There is a well used acronym to help define goals (not just business but it can also be personal or any other walk of life) known as SMART.
When you are writing your business plan, you should absolutely define goals and ambitions to help you measure your success. Goals should motivate you, not demoralise – so if you find your goals are getting you down then perhaps you need to be SMART:
- Specific – well defined goals help you focus on the most important things (and there could be several specific goals) that will help your business succeed. The main thing is that you identify what that specific goals are and what they need to achieve within the context of your business.
- Measurable – you need to have benchmarks and reference points within the goals and the indicators you set to be quantifiable. How else will you know if the ultimate goal has been achieved?
- Achievable – there is nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals but we are back to one of the main watch words – realistic. Given all the constraints around your business proposition, the goals have to be realistically attainable or they will simply deflate your enjoyment.
- Relevant – goals can always fulfil the other 4 criteria but the ones you set for your business have to be relevant to your overall objectives. It has to be worthwhile in the context of the business.
- Time-bound – again, be realistic by putting a time frame around the goals you set (and they may vary on a goal by goal basis). This discipline is designed to keep you focused on achieving your desired result and minimising distraction that could be detrimental to the success of your venture.
We are passionate believers in setting goals and targets to help your business. If you struggle with this then ask for help – mentors and business consultants such as accountants and business coaches can help you focus on SMART goals.
Goal setting thoughts from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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