By Deb Bixler
When experienced business professionals tell you that you need to make SMART goals, they are referring to more than just using your intelligence to guide your planning.
The SMART goal concept for developing and achieving goals has been around for a while and it has been used by business professionals to grow their businesses and find success.
- S (Specific)
The “S” stands for creating specific goals that you can reach for.
Too many people say that their business goal is to “make a lot of money”, or “hold more direct selling parties” or something equally as generic. A specific goal would be to grow sales in a particular product line by 10 percent or to date 12 shows per month and actually hold 10 after cancellations.
With that kind of specific goal, you can then create a plan of attack.
- M (Measurable)
If you cannot measure your goals, then you have no way of knowing whether or not you are on the way to achieving them. You may have to get creative to be able to measure some of your goals, but specific goals can always be measured in some way.
- A (Attainable)
Business goals need to be attainable to be practical. If you set goals that you know you cannot achieve just to try and motivate yourself, then you miss the point of business planning. You can make your goals aggressive, just be sure that you can attain your goals with hard work.
- R (Relevant)
Entrepreneurs can sometimes allow personal feelings to get in the way of setting business goals. If you set a goal to “crush your biggest competitor”,then that is not really relevant to your business. Keep your goals focused on growing your business and the things you need to do to make achieving those goals a reality.
- T (Timely)
In business, timing is everything. Your business planning needs to keep up with current trends and keep your company ahead of the competition. If you are basing your business goals on trends that have already passed, then you are putting yourself in a hole.
Smart-ER Goals Work Best
Now take it a step further and make them SMART-ER goals!
- E (Evaluate)
Part of the reason that your business goals need to be measurable is because you have to be able to set milestones that you can use to evaluate your progress. The process of evaluating your plan and making necessary changes is critical to its success.
- R (Re-evaluate)
When the plan has been completed, you need to re-evaluate what happened and pull as many lessons as possible from the results. There is no such thing as over-evaluating the results of a business plan.
Setting goals is the way that successful entrepreneurs find success.
When you use the SMARTER method for planning, you will be able to take your business where you want it to be.
Deb Bixler specializes teaching party plan consultants systems for business success. Visit her website, www.CreateACashFlowShow.com to learn how to create systems for your business.