So, we're over half way through January, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going? I didn't set any this year ... they never last! They are always unachievable and far too random to actually stick. But that doesn't mean you can't have ambitious plans and goals, it's how you go about it that matters.
Thinking back to when I was at school (!!) I can remember being told about setting SMART targets and this is actually true and relevant to your business goals too. SMART stands for:
Looking at these in turn:
Specific ... your goals need to be specific, they are far more achievable then general ones ie I will grow online sales by 40% over the next 6 months is specific, I will grow online sales is not.
Measurable ... There needs to be a ready say to assess whether a goal has been met or not, in the above example there is a measurable target of 40% growth.
Achievable ... If the goal is too stretching, then chances are you'll give up before you even get going. A percentage target in the growth of online sales is more achievable than an absolute number.
Realistic ... You need to be realistic in your goals and have the resources and structure in place to place to support them. If you have no e-commerce capability, then growth of 40% in online sales isn't realistic.
Timely ... Give your goals time frames ... So six months, or three months or a year.
As well setting SMART goals it's good to review them on a regular basis is quarterly and to also look at having different length goals running at the same time ... even if they then have sub-goals within them.
Make sure you don't have too many goals, 3 - 5 at a time are plenty!!
Goal 1: Grow online sales 40% in 6 months
Breakdown - Q1 15%, Q2 25%
Goal 2: Attend 4 local networking events over the year
Smart ? Ish ... What is The aim of attending the networking events?
Breakdown - 1 event per quarter and aim of ???
Goal 3: outsource database management by the end of the year
SMART ... Yep
Breakdown ... Q1, ensure database is correct and complete, Q2, systems & procedures notes for database updates and reports that are run and when, Q3 quotes and tenders for work, Q4 decision and appointment made.
Set aside the time to stop and reflect on how you are progressing against your goals (quarterly is often sensible, gives time for progress but also time to adjust it things go awry) and remember, they are YOUR goals ... a lot will happen over a year so it's perfectly allowable to rip them up and start again if that's what's needed!!