Goal-setting for a small business is a crucial tool for success. Here's how to be SMART about your business aspirations.
When you look to create a business, you need to make sure it's well-thought-out and planned. An option for this is to make sure it’s a SMART business. If your business idea is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, you will be off to a great start. Let's go over each of these in detail.
Good business goals are focused and defined. The language that business owners use in the process of goal setting is crucial for those goals to be meaningful. You need to be sure your future team will understand the goals you set and are able to accomplish those them. Having focused business goals creates a powerful force, like a magnet pulling you to accomplish it.
For example, when you work to create the stepping stones of your business plan, one step might be to get business insurance to keep your business safe. If you simply write find insurance as a goal, you leave a lot of specificities out. Rather, if you add "obtain quotes on small business liability insurance from three agencies and talk about the other policies needed," you stand a much higher chance of getting to your goals with the best outcome.
Every business must be measured in its growth. Business goals no matter how specific they are, without measurable outcomes, are like a sports competition without a scoreboard. Numbers can make or break a business they are essential to business development. When a business plan has concrete numbers the business owners can rest assure they are on the right track. Measuring business goals are a daily reminder of what the business is striving for, how far has come, and a where it wants to be.
When you create your business plan, you need to make sure you have goals set with numbers included. Think about your budgets and how they will impact what you need to sell or raise. If you haven't created a financial plan in your business plan, now is the time. Without a business plan, your soon to be business is running blind.
Every new business owner has an idea of how they want the business to be. The ideal scenario and how big or important the dream is often unattainable if unrealistic business goals are set that may be beyond reach. You can't build a billion-dollar business overnight; you must definitely aim high, but keep one foot determinedly based in reality.
When you look at your one year or five-year plan, be realistic. If you have a goal of increasing sales over the first year, try telling yourself that you will increase your sales by two clients each month. If you find that this is easy, make the goal a bit harder. If you can’t make this goal, aim for one and look for ways to get better.
When you venture into the hectic world of business, you should base the business goals based on current market conditions. The realities of the financial, political and social climate need to be taken into account. Think of cars as an example. Though electric cars have been around for well over a decade, they never took off. Until recently, the market hasn’t been ready. Now, however, the market is booming with electric cars.
Sometimes, a look from outside is what it takes to see if your idea is ready. Through no fault of your own, your idea might not be relevant to the current market. Perhaps you can find a new market or change your idea to fit the current environment.
A time frame helps to keep business goals and objective in mind. It helps the team to get goals done. When the business goal process is not under a time constraint they just won't get done. If the business goal is to increase revenue by 20 percent or obtain six new customers, you must set a time frame to accomplish that.
With a set of SMART business goals, the owner and the team must break those down into a specific set of tasks. Remember, these goals are not set in stone -- they must be often revised and adjust if necessary. Goal setting for a small business is a necessary and crucial tool for success.