What do you need to accomplish in your business in 2023? It’s not uncommon to hear business owners attempt goals like; drive sales, start a blog, implement SEO, increase social media followers, ect. While these are great ideas to grow your business, they lack clarity, vision and purpose.
Business owners are struggling to keep their head above water right now. It can be difficult to dream for your business especially as we face a recession. However, a goal that lacks clarity will also lack results. Nothing will make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels more than aiming for goals that miss the core elements that will keep you focused on the end results.
“If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time” – Unknown
The S.M.A.R.T Goals framework provides the clarity, focus and motivation you will need to achieve your goals. The S.M.A.R.T acronym has proven to be an effective framework because it ensures that goals are attainable and achievable. So what does S.M.A.R.T stand for?
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable and Achievable
R – Relevant (Reasonable, Realistic, Results Based)
T – Time Bound (deadline)
The goal setting process is harder than it looks. If you are not sure how to get out of your own way to create ideas that will help you grow, consider hiring a business coach. A business coach can help you step out of your comfort zone and take you places you never knew possible. However, it is not impossible to implement the S.M.A.R.T framework on your own.
Set SMART Goals for your business! Listen to the episode here.
Specific – Setting Clear and Concise Goals
Goals that become achievable are very clear and concise. At this stage of the goal setting process, ask yourself the following questions to help you discover the specific goals you will set for your business this year.
- What exactly does business success look like for you in the next year?
- What do you need to accomplish in the next year to take your business to the next level?
- How much revenue do you need to make the next year a success?
By answering these questions you can transform your idea into a specific goal. Instead of setting a goal to “increase sales in 2023” you can create a goal to “Generate $30,000 in revenue by recruiting 80 new members to a new group health coaching program in 90 days.” This goal transformed from a simple idea to a clear picture of an end result that must be achieved to experience an “increase in sales.”
Measurable – Tracking Your Progress
Your specific goal needs to include a measurable metric. Again, just saying “I will increase my sales this year” is not measurable. However, increasing your sales by 30% over last year is now measurable. Simply determine what that number is and decide how many products or memberships you will sell in order to meet that goal.
How will you know when you have met your goal? First you will need a deadline by which the goal will be achieved. Having a way to track your progress is crucial. Consider using an online program that helps you track and manage your goals for yourself, your teams and your company. If you cannot afford a program right now, do not let that stop you. Simply using a whiteboard to track your goals is sufficient. The main point is, you need a way to track where you are at, how much further you need to go, and to determine if you are on track to achieve the specific goal by the deadline.
For my coaching clients, I use Coach Accountable as a reporting system by which I can hold them accountable as well as watch their progress. Of course it serves other communication needs as well, but one of the features is a metric tool. When you have a physical way of monitoring your goal, you are able to watch for progress and catch areas of improvement needed before you fail to meet the goal.
Attainable and Achievable – Manageable Goal Setting
Your goals should be taking you out of your comfort zone. If your goals are too easy to meet, you may not be challenging yourself enough to grow or scale your business. But, they also need to be attainable and achievable. Setting goals way out of reach may lead to negative emotions and resentment about your business. It’s important to filter your goals through reality. This is especially true with revenue and income goals. If you have not yet reached $6-figures in your business, it may not be realistic to set goals to become a $7-figure earner in the next 12 months. It is realistic though, to set yourself up for your first $6-figure year. If you have not attained a $6-figure income, then this would be a stretch because you have not achieved this milestone yet. If you are not sure if your goal is attainable or achievable or not, ask yourself these questions to help guide you:
- What will you do to accomplish this goal? (ex: launch a new course or product)
- Is this goal realistic?
- Are there any additional financial costs or time constraints you should consider in regards to this goal? (ex: resources, staff, programs, product development, research, ect).
Aim big and step out of your comfort zone this year. Reach for something that will challenge you to grow personally and professionally.
Relevant – Add Value to Your Business
We have an ongoing joke around here at Business Builders. You are not going to start training dogs if you own a graphic design company. I am joking, but I am not. Business owners have a tendency to have a lot of fun ideas that are not always profitable. It is easy to chase quick cash when sales are down or growth is not happening as quickly as they hoped for. It is so easy to bounce around to so many new things that you never accomplish anything.
Your relevant goals should help keep you focused rather than sending you to chase rainbows and unicorns. So, how do you ensure your goals are relevant?
- Does my goal align with my company’s mission and vision?
- Do you have the skills, time and motivation too achieve the goal in the timeframe desired?
- Does your goal drive profitable products or services for your company?
- Is it the right time for this goal? (ex: some goals are not relevant after a tragic event, or if you have an infant you may not be able to commit to the time needed to pursue the goal.)
If your company does not have a mission or vision yet, consider writing your business executive summary before you write your SMART goals for this year.
Time Bound – What Is the Deadline to Meet Your Goals?
You will never experience results if you do not set a deadline on your goals. The purpose behind a target date is to keep you motivated and on track. It is easy to get sidetracked, but when you know where you are going, how you will get there, and when you need to be there by, you are more likely to take purposeful steps towards achieving results. However, make sure you are honest with time. How long will it take you to reach this goal?
Accountability is the key behind your time bound goals. When you are only accountable to yourself, it is easy to slack on the challenges that come with growth. If you do not have a business coach, you should consider investing in a coach to help you achieve greater results and hold you accountable to your deadlines. A good business coach can help you 10x your investment and get a great return on your business efforts this year.
Your goals are not complete without a plan to get results. After you have your goals in place, you will need to create a roadmap to guide you to your goal.
“To accomplish our goals, we must distill our dreams into daily actions” – Michael Hyatt
I recommend hiring a strategic planner to help guide you and your company through this process. As business owners we have a bias for our desires. and outcomes. Because you don’t know what you don’t know, you may find yourself guiding the strategic plan with limiting beliefs. A third party can bring out ideas and strategic thinking you have never experienced.
As a small business you may find it costly to hire a strategic planner. Don’t let this hold you back from getting a plan in place to get results this year. We love the 12 Week Year for helping you achieve more in 12 weeks than you will in 12 months. Also, The Full Focus Planner is a great system for helping you achieve the goals you have set for your business. Keep in mind with the Full Focus Planner, you will still need to generate your plan of action and distill your goals into an actionable plan.
Your goals are not the same as your strategic plan. The S.M.A.R.T goals will help you define what you will accomplish, and the strategic plan is the steps and actions you will take to make that happen. Both are important to experience your best year in business yet.
Share one goal you have for your business in 2023?
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