Do you know where you’re going this year, or have you jumped back into work without giving it a moment’s thought? Whether you’ve always set regular goals for your business, or it’s something haven’t done for a while, Christmas and the New Year is the perfect time to get on with it. Even if you’ve already set goals in line with your financial year, it’s a good idea to revisit your goals in January and check you’re on track.
Why Set Goals?
Goals give you a clear idea of where you’re going, help to motivate you and give you a way to measure your progress. If you run your business without setting clearly defined goals, it’s a bit like driving around an unfamiliar area without typing your destination into the Sat Nav – you could end up anywhere!
So you need to set goals and you need to then keep yourself on track. If you’d like further guidance on setting goals then read on or click here for more detail and for a further link to a webinar. Goals should be ambitious – and then they need to be broken down into objectives that you can ‘tick off’ along the way. You may have heard the acronym SMART in association with goal setting – well this isn’t strictly speaking correct! Goals do not need to be SMART – but the objectives do!
When you’re setting your objectives, make sure that they’re SMART. Here at BizSmart we didn’t come up with the SMART acronym, but we don’t mind if you use our name as a handy reminder!
Specific (clearly defined)
Measurable (you can track your progress)
Achievable (can this be done and who will need to do what?)
Realistic (is this possible with the resources you have?)
Time-based (set a target date to reach your goal)
Where Do I Start?
The Christmas break and early New Year is an ideal time to start thinking about what you want from 2017. , it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sit down and immediately come up with a sensible list of goal(s) and objectives for your business. Goal setting is going to take a bit of work, which is why people tend to put it off! It can help to think about why you started your business in the first place, and what your original vision was. Have you achieved what you set out to do? Or is your business on a different path now? What are you happy with and what would you like to change? A reminder of that link
While you’re thinking about your goals, you need to look at both the long-term and the short-term. Where do you want to be in three years time? And what will you need to do between now and then to get there? Once you have a vision for where you’d like your business to be by 2017, you can look at what you need to do within the three years and then the next year to make that goal achievable. You can then break down this year into three-month blocks and set out what you need to do in each quarter to hit your one-year goals. What action do you need to take in the next three months to hit your goals?
Staying on Target
It’s a good idea to set a regular reminder in your calendar to check that you’re on track – perhaps every Monday morning. In the day-to-day running of your business, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals and put your grand plans on the back burner. But it’s not enough just to set goals. The only way you’ll actually reach your goals is if you keep doing the work that needs to be done to achieve them.
If one of your goals is to grow your business, then don’t forget to take a look at our SmartChecker. Spend a few minutes answering some simple questions and we’ll give you some useful insights into your business – giving you a great starting point for your goal-setting exercise!
As a final point, when you do reach one of your goals then don’t just move straight onto the next one. Take some time to celebrate your achievement!