When starting a business, it’s clear there is one objective that is on every business owner’s mind: growth. Every new or small business owner wants to see their work pay off, and the only way to do this is to expand their enterprise. Having objections set in place give us a direction to follow and motivates a team to keep moving forward. It’s very straightforward. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and it’s no surprise that half of the small businesses startups fail within five years.
So what’s the problem? Assuming you have a working knowledge of the ins and outs of running a business, not following a process of adequately achieving your goals might be the culprit. Achieving these goals is how we determine our overall success and allow our business to grow.
So how do we go about setting goals that lead to success? The answer is by setting SMART goals. Think of the big picture and then break it down into smaller, more attainable goals. Essentially, you will reverse engineer the more important objective to uncover the smaller and more trackable ones, and this can be aided by following the SMART goal-setting process.
There are five components of SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s break each one down and apply them to the small business needs.
Setting Specific Goals:
It would be best if you had a clear definition of your goal. If you want to start growing business this year, understand what needs to be done, who will be involved, why it is necessary, and when you want to start. By analyzing all of the factors that are needed to grow, you can go about narrowing your definition of what that objective is. It would be best if you also defined what growth and success are for your business. Is it more clients you wish for, or do you want more traffic on your website? Being clear and concise about what you want to achieve is imperative to the overall success of your goal.
Let’s say you want to have more clients–they’re the key to growing your business. So, your specific marketing goal is to obtain new clients. Now, you can move on to the next step which is understanding how you will go about gaining new clients.
Setting Measurable Goals:
Actively measuring your progress helps you examine the steps that are further needed to achieve your goal. You can do this by assigning and completing daily or weekly projects that stem off from the primary goal. However, to start, you should adequately break down your objective into smaller, more manageable tasks. Once you have assessed them, you should structure a way to track your accomplishments. Accurately measuring your progress will more likely motivate you and your team to push harder and continue to work towards that goal.
So how would you go about obtaining new clients? By asking this question, you can brainstorm the necessary methods to achieve the goal. Once you have your strategy planned, you can start measuring your progress by tracking the completion of projects and client acquisition.
Setting Achievable Goals:
It’s never a bad idea to think big because having that big idea is what led you to start a business. That being said, be realistic about your objectives and thoughtfully analyze the possibility of achieving those results. If the goal you set for yourself requires additional skills or resources, anticipate how you will allocate them. You could also consider which tools and resources you currently have and leverage whether they will help with achieving the goal, especially if they cut back on any supplemental costs.
Now, if the goal is to get more clients, how many are you capable of fitting into your current schedule? Carefully consider your resources when evaluating this, because if you don’t have a big enough infrastructure set in place, you might get in over your head. Make sure you understand what works for your schedule and talent, as well. If you seek out too many clients, it will be too much to handle for you and your small team. Then you will either have to hire additional workers or freelancers, but again, that might not fit within your budget right away.
Setting Relevant Goals:
Of course, some external factors influence the outcome of your business feats, and you definitely cannot ignore them. However, set goals vs outcomes that are relevant to your current business model. Ask yourself if this goal is right for you, your team members, and most importantly, your business. Nobody will put in as much effort as they can if they don’t think their work will have an impact on the business. You should also assess the benefit of achieving the goal.
Gaining new clients is entirely relevant to the growth of your business because it increases your income, which in return, will allow you to employ more people and invest in additional resources. This might seem very obvious, but seriously reviewing the relevance of your goal could save you from pursuing an unimportant objective.
Setting Time-Bound Goals:
Have a timeframe set in stone for when you want to see results. Now, if you’re going to grow your business, it should be an ongoing, long-term goal. However, since breaking down the overarching objective into smaller goals is necessary for the success, set deadlines for the tasks. Treat them just like any other project.
Let’s say you want to gain five new clients within three months. Set a specific date to work towards, and find a system of tracking that works best for you and your business. You can set goals and track their progress with goal setting apps. The app offers a variety of goal maps and vision boards that can help inspire your team jumpstart or continue an existing project. They even provide a business team bundle to help you easily and effectively streamline the goal-setting process for you and your members.