When you own a relatively new business, as I do, you are pretty much doing everything on your own. This means that when your personal circumstances become more demanding, the amount of energy you can invest in work will dip. As one focuses on other aspects of life, it is easy to lose track of the business goals for the year.
In fact that’s just what’s been happening with me over the past few months. The freedom to choose how much time I devote to work and family is one of the things I love most about being a freelance writer. But I realized that apart from handling my regular clients, I was left with little time to look at other aspects of my business.
Fortunately, I had at the beginning of the year prepared a SMART document which detailed all I wanted to do more of during the year, such as expanding my writing services, improving my skills, writing an e-book, promoting my blog and increasing my revenue. So even though I have had to change course mid-way due to unforeseen circumstances, I could still go back review the original plan and ask ‘What can I do still’?
SMART goals are a staple part of an employee’s existence. Its something that I did at the start of each year for 14 years as a banker.
SMART Goals for Achieving Business Objectives
The acronym SMART stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound’. It is one of the best tools for working towards your business objectives.
Be specific – Define what it is exactly you want to achieve. For instance, if the objective is expand writing skills, it needs to be drilled down further into what aspects of my writing I want to improve – business plans, press releases, or marketing collaterals?
Define how you will measure achievement – Defining measures of success is crucial for evaluating whether your efforts have paid off in the desired direction. If success cannot be measured, then you need to re-look at how you have defined the goal.
Are your goals achievable? – Setting goals is a balancing act. Being overambitious can make it difficult to achieve goals and dishearten the team. At the same time goals need to be challenging enough to make your team push their boundaries.
Are your goals relevant? Goals must take into consideration current industry and competition trends, as well as your own competencies and limitations.
How much time will you take to achieve the goals? Setting target dates for all the goals will help you in prioritizing objectives at different months of the year and set a definite timeframe for achieving those goals.
Infographic from visual.ly on creating SMART goals