When you own your own business it is crucial that you have clearly defined goals. Clear goals will provide a straightforward path for you to follow in various stages of your business development.
The SMART goal setting model makes the task of goal setting a walk in the park. Working in marketing and PR, I use this model each and every time I put together a marketing campaign.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
- What are you going to do? This could include things such as 'gain new Facebook "likes"' or 'sell three paintings'. Make sure to incorporate action words such as organise, coordinate, develop, plan, etc.
- Why are you going to do it? It is important to define exactly why you want to achieve the goal. Perhaps you want to build your brand image, generate new sales or bring on a new client.
- How are you going to do it? What methods will you employ to reach your goal? You might choose to invest in advertising, attend a networking event or organise a stall for yourself at a local market.
Measurable: you must define a way in which you will measure your success - otherwise, how will you know when you've reached your goal? For example, if your goal is to gain new Facebook "likes" because you want to generate new sales, set yourself a target of, for example, 100 new "likes". You will be able to measure your progress by monitoring the number of new "likes" you are receiving.
Attainable: keep your goals attainable: this will make it easier to commit to reaching them. While you may have wonderful ideas of where you would like your business to be 10 years down the track, setting smaller goals along the way is a great idea as it will lead to small successes along the way. These small successes are very encouraging! If you set a goal that is currently too far out of reach, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will prevent you from really trying to achieve it.
Realistic: ensure your goals are realistic. The skills and resources necessary to achieve your goal must be within your reach. If you are aiming to increase your social media following, this is only a realistic goal if you have reliable internet access and can dedicate several hours a week to updating your social media pages.
Timely: set an end-point for your goal. Working within a timeframe will help to keep you focused and on track. Without a timeframe there is little motivation to get started right way, as subconsciously you feel as though you can start any time. Once again, make sure your timeframe is both attainable and realistic.
Now grab a pad and pen and jot down your business goals - today is a wonderful day to get the ball rolling!