This is a great weekend to set your small business goals for the year. What do you want to accomplish? How will you get there? Is there a way you can measure your strides?
You can use the SMART method to create actionable goals. SMART is a mnemonic used by life coaches, motivators, HR departments, and educators for a system of goal identification, setting, and achievement. Every letter in SMART stands for an adjective that describes an effective way to set goals.
- Specific. When setting goals, they should answer the highly specific questions of who, what, where, when, and why. Instead of the general goal, “I want to start a small business,” try for a specific goal, “I want to launch my small business by the end of March.”
- Measurable. In order for us to track our progress, goals should be quantifiable. “I’m going to make more money by the spring” is far more difficult to track and measure than “Everyday I’m going to take one step to make my small business dream come true.”
- Attainable. It is important to evaluate your situation honestly and recognize which goals are realistic, and which are a little far-fetched. Instead of, “I am going to be the next Steve Jobs,” it might be more realistic to say, “I am going to come up with a realistic small business idea I can launch within the next three months.”
- Relevant. Is this goal relevant to your life and to the “big picture” questions you have already asked yourself? Some good questions to ask yourself when figuring this out are: does it seem worthwhile? Is now the right time for this? Does this match my needs?
- Time-related. Setting a “due date” to meet goals not only keeps you on track, but it prevents pesky daily roadblocks from getting in the way.