Do you ever think about the end goal in your business?
What are you trying to accomplish as you work diligently to become well known within your niche in the health and fitness industry? Do you plan out your daily activities in advance or are you constantly putting out fires and barely keeping up?
These questions are crucial in the analysis of where your business is headed and whether or not you are heading toward your end goal.
Think of your business plan like painting a picture. The first thing you need to establish is what your end goal is. Are you painting a landscape or a portrait? Will you paint in color or use shades of black, grey & white? What type of canvas material will you use, etc. You need to know the answers to these questions before you begin or you may end up with a very abstract painting that doesn’t have a designated flow.
It’s important for you to take the same approach to your business plan. Start with the end goal in mind.
Let’s face it… Growing a business, (especially if you’re doing it on your own like many of us are), can feel overwhelming at times. We’ve all experienced it. Maybe you feel overwhelmed right now. It’s okay to feel that way. It’s your indication that you need to put a few systems in place to move forward in a more organized fashion.
There is a great tool that I was introduced to early in my business. It’s called, “The Principal Of Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals”. I’m sharing this valuable tool with you today so that you too will be able to start to see the “Big Picture” for your business as well as the road you want to take to get there. (Remember, the road is different for each of us so don’t be held back by comparing yourself to what someone else is doing.)
The Principal Of Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. Goals should describe accomplishments, not activities.
First, let’s look at what the S.M.A.R.T. acronym means…
Specific: Goal objectives should address the five Ws… who, what, when, where, and why. Make sure the goal specifies what needs to be done with a timeframe for completion. Use action verbs… create, design, develop, implement, produce, etc.
Example: Publish a newsletter once per week that will be distributed on Thursday mornings.
Measurable: Goal objectives should include numeric or descriptive measures that define quantity, quality, cost, etc. How will you know when the goal has been successfully met? Focus on elements such as observable actions, quantity, quality, cycle time, efficiency, and/or flexibility to measure outcomes, not activities.
Example: Increase my email list by at least 25 people per week, with an annual increase of no less than 1,300 people.
Achievable: Goal objectives should be within your control and influence; a goal may be a “stretch” but still feasible. Is the goal achievable with the available resources? Is the goal achievable within the timeframe originally outlined?
Achievable Goal Example: Increase my email list by at least 25 people per week, with an annual increase of no less than 1,300 people.
Potentially Non-Achievable Goal Example: Increase my email list by at least 100 people per week, with an annual increase of no less than 5200 people. (This particular goal may be unrealistic for someone just starting out because it would take posting many free offers in many locations on a daily basis to meet this extensive goal.)
Relevant: Goals should be relevant to your current situation. Why is the goal important? How will the goal help you achieve your objectives? Develop goals that relate to your current conditions and environment.
Example: Since I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 children ranging in age from 6 months to 8, I can commit 12 hours per week to my business. (It would be unrealistic for this mom to say she is going to commit 40 hours per week to her business because of her current situation of taking care of three children under the age of 8.)
Time-bound: Goal objectives should identify a definite target date for completion and/or frequency for specific action steps that are important for achieving the goal. How often should you work on this assignment? By when should this goal be accomplished? Incorporate specific dates, calendar milestones, or timeframes that are relative to your big picture goal.
Example: Publish a newsletter once per week that will be distributed on Thursday mornings. (This goal is very time specific. It says that a newsletter will be published once per week AND it states that it will be delivered on Thursday mornings.)
I encourage you to draft and commit to three very specific goals for your business right now. Don’t wait!! Now is the time for action. Use the parameters outlined above to set S.M.A.R.T goals that will make your journey to an established, profitable business owner much easier.
If you found this article valuable then please do me a favor… Share it with one person that you believe would also benefit from this information. As small business owners, we need to stick together and share resources whenever possible.
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