How smoothly is your business moving forward? Are you progressing as well, or as quickly, as you’d imagined you would? Do you find you’re spinning your wheels and not accomplishing all that you’d wanted to? Could it be because you haven’t fully articulated your goals? When I talk with pet business owners I typically ask, “Do you have SMART goals for your business?”
Having goals is a step in the right direction, but SMART goals help set you up for success. Why? Because each goal is spelled out and should follow the SMART format, which is:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
Do You Have SMART Goals For Your Business?
Here’s why you need them
In order to have direction and know what you’re trying to achieve you have to know where you’re going in order to get there. SMART goals take your big ideas and make them manageable and measurable.
If you say, “I want to grow my business,” that’s not a goal… not really. How can you measure that? You need to be specific. You need to clarify the idea. Focus your efforts and use your time effectively, otherwise you will be all over the place.
It’s the same thing as saying, “I want to make more money in my business.” What is “more money”? To one pet business owner it could be, “more than I made last month” to another it could be, “more than I made last year.” Those are both intangible. It’s better to say, “I want to make $1,000 more a month in my business than I did last month.” When you state a specific objective ($1,000 more a month) you can go about setting a SMART goal to achieve that.
SMART goals increase your change of achieving your goals because you have a plan around each of them. When you take the time to make your goals SMART you will likely have gained clarity on the direction toward which you must move to achieve the goal.
SMART goals also enhance the “Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.” theory of what you are trying to accomplish.
Who is involved/Who is your audience
What is the outcome you’re seeking/What resources do you need
When does it need to be accomplished
Where is it taking place/Is it a location-based goal
Why is this important?
How will you measure your success?
SMART goals are not static
Yes, you will have some goals that you can complete in a short amount of time. If, however, you have an ongoing goal — and many pet business entrepreneurs do — you should evaluate your goals monthly and tweak them as necessary. Your SMART goals are living, breathing entities and need your attention in order to help you thrive.
If you need to postpone or course correct a goal, that’s all right. Your goals don’t have to be set in stone. Give yourself the grace to adjust them to suit the nuances of your business.
There is nothing better for forward momentum than to celebrate your milestone successes. It is vitally important that you celebrate the success of your goals — no matter how small. Even when I create realistic goals for my business I always put in stretch goals. I feel every pet business entrepreneur needs to stretch him- or herself to achieve a goal that seems audacious. Set smaller goals to get you toward your stretch goal and take time to celebrate the milestones.
Setting goals and being an entrepreneur can sometimes be a lonely business. Working in isolation, too, may mean you can let goals slide a bit. If you know you’re not setting or meeting your goals, you may be best served to find an accountability partner. This person will help you stay accountable to your own goals. Find an accountability partner you know will hold you accountable and you will do the same for that person. Set aside a time, at least once a week, to tell your partner what you plan to accomplish that week, ask what they have planned and do a mid-week check in as well as an end of the week check-in. If the goals have been met — then celebrate! If you haven’t achieved the goal you’d set for yourself, determine why and figure out what you can do next week to achieve it.
I started using SMART goals before I got into the pet industry. Any business initiative I have undertaken has had SMART goals attached. SMART goals work for large corporations and large teams, solopreneurs and any size pet business in between.
Do you use SMART goals? Do they work for you? Do you feel they have helped you achieve or attain greater success?