How to use SMART goal setting in your business

SMART goal setting for your small business helps define realistic and achievable goals to grow your business and keep you motivated.
How to use SMART goal setting in your business

How do you know when your business has become successful? What does success mean to you? What are your success factors in your goal setting? Do you know when you have reached your goal?

Do you even know what goals you should be setting??

There are so many different targets that you could set, but is chasing them all the right thing to do?

The best way to get your business heading in the right direction is to set realistic goals for success.

Success will mean different things to different businesses. It is up to you to make sure you are aiming for something that is right for your business.

S.M.A.R.T goal setting lets you define realistic, well-planned goals that will keep you motivated, stay focussed and ultimately stay on track.

What is S.M.A.R.T Goal setting?

SMART is an acronym defined as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Limited. It is an effective process for setting and achieving your business goals.

Use the SMART goal setting technique as follows:

  • Specific – A good goal includes specific details. The first step is to define a specific milestone you want to reach. Avoid goals that are too broad.
  • Measurable – To determine if you have been successful at meeting your goal you need to be able to track and measure it. You must define how you are going to measure your success so you know when and if you have met your objectives.
  • Achievable – An achievable goal is one that is realistic and that you can reasonably do.
  • Relevant – Your goals need to be meaningful to you so that you stay motivated. Don’t set goals that someone else wants you to obtain. Try and determine what is most important to you, and then define your goals.
  • Time-limited – Each goal should have a time limit that you can reasonably reach your goal. Giving yourself a time limit can motivate you to get started and stay on course.

By applying the SMART technique to all your goals, you will create specific, achievable goals to measure against.

Here’s a worksheetto help you define your SMART goals.

Using SMART goal setting in your business

Here are some examples of how a broad goal can change into a SMART Goal.

Broad Goal – I want to start a new creative business

  • Specific – I will sell modern colourful knitting patterns on Etsy.
  • Measurable – I will be ready to take my first order within a month, and I will aim to add a new pattern every week and sell at least 5 patterns a week.
  • Achievable – I will set up my Etsy shop in the first week and will then build an inventory of 20 knitting patterns to sell. I will then promote my business on Instagram and Pinterest and at my local knitting groups.
  • Relevant – Selling my knitting patterns will pay for the wool I use doing my favourite hobby.
  • Time-Limited – My Etsy shop will be up and running within four weeks and I will have an inventory of 10 knitting patterns within 10 weeks.

SMART Goal – Within a month, I am going to set up and sell handmade knitting patterns on Etsy. This will allow me to pay for the materials I use in my favourite hobby. Within ten weeks, I will have an inventory of 10 patterns to sell. And I aim to sell at least five patterns per week, building customer relationships through social media and local networking.

Broad Goal – I want to increase my business audience

  • Specific – I will build my own website with a blog and a compelling free opt-in to join my email list.
  • Measurable – I will measure my progress by measuring how many new email subscribers I gain.
  • Achievable – I will set up the new blog within a month and will write a new blog post each week. I will then promote my business on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Relevant – Adding a blog will provide more value to my existing customers. This provides me with an option for further self-promotion on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Time-Limited – I will have the website and 5 new blog posts within 2 months.

SMART Goal – Within 2 months I will have my own website with the blog up and running, plus 5 blog posts and a compelling free opt-in to join my email list. This will provide more value to my existing customers and provides me with more content to share on Instagram and Pinterest.

Broad Goal – I want to start a grow my creative business

  • Specific – I will broaden the product line by adding knitting kits.
  • Measurable – I will add one new knitting kit a month and whilst maintaining my current pattern output.
  • Achievable – I will source wholesale wool, needles and packaging within the month using my contacts with the knitting clubs.
  • Relevant – Adding more varied products to my product line will allow me to increase my revenue and grow my business.
  • Time-Limited – I will have 2 new knitting kits within two months.

SMART Goal – Within 2 months I will have created wholesale contacts and created two knitting kits in my Etsy shop. This will allow me to grow and expand my business to increase revenue.

Putting it into action

The Smart Goal process provides a frame where you can create a long term goal. It also provides a time limit for you to work on the same goal. By doing this business’ are 70% more successful in achieving their goals thanks to regular check-ins, updates and accountability.

What are your goals for the coming year? Let me know in the comments below. 

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