"You might be very good at what you do, but how good are you at business?"

Dreams into plans …

Perhaps you have been toying with the idea of setting up your business for a while now or maybe you are bumbling along quite comfortably in a business you have worked in for a while, but what do you actually want to achieve? That might sound a bit daft – surely it’s obvious – you want to earn a living doing what you enjoy doing, right? Isn’t that what everyone wants from their business?

The reason I ask the question is that very few of us are specific about what we want to achieve – we have a vague idea that we would like to be “successful” but what does that mean to you? Success could be lots of new customers, it could be higher turnover, or more profit or to be big enough to employ a team so that you can manage the business rather than be it, it could be developing a business that runs itself whilst you enjoy playing golf or a business that earns you that elusive Ferrari that you have craved for so long … but what does success mean to you? And how will you get there? And how will you know that you have arrived?

That’s the importance of goal setting – first of all the massive benefit of taking some time out to be absolutely crystal clear about what it is that you want to achieve so that you can focus, laser-like on that rather than bobbing along having a nice time and “seeing where you end up” – because once you have a clear destination in mind, you have a far better chance of planning the route – otherwise does it matter which direction you go in because you have no real place to aim for?

I worked with a client this week who told me she had read “The Secret” – some of you may have done, others may find the idea of the Law of Attraction a little far fetched – and I’m not suggesting that the way to earn your fortune is to sit back and imagine it happening and it will, no, I am far too cynical a Northern Bird for that – what I do believe though, passionately, is one element of “The Secret” is about working out what you DO want, what is important to you, what matters most because if you are not clear on that, how can you head in that direction?

With that in mind I would encourage you to take some time out to really get some focus and set yourself some clear goals – first of all determine your measurement of success. For me, I need to earn £x per month to pay my way and keep my Brindle Bugger in the life style to which he has become accustomed. That means I need to run x number of workshops or y number of coaching sessions or z training days and immediately from that my planning can begin.

First of all, if my end goal suggests I need to work 425 days a year to achieve it, I am going to have to do some tweaking! A dog walker I worked with recently calculated she would have to walk dogs for 23 hours a day to make the salary she needed! Not forgetting that all dogs have to be walked between 10am and 2pm ….. so first of all, is your plan actually achievable? Once you are specific about what you want, you then need to think about what the measurement of success is and then whether that is actually an achievable goal? Is it something that is within your control, your power? Can you make it happen?

Some of you will see where we are going with this if you are familiar with the acronym SMART – goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable then we need to make sure that those goals are indeed realistic – checking in with your own levels of motivation and commitment, asking yourself challenging questions about whether it is realistic to think you will attract 10 new clients a week within a 5 mile radius of your business base, or whatever you might need to do to realise your goal. Finally T, time. How much time will you set yourself to achieve your goal? So using SMART as a checklist I might say …

By the end of September 2017 I will be working with 10 clients on a regular basis to achieve £x turnover per week.

Specific? Yep. Measurable? Yep. Achievable? Yep. Realistic? I think so. Timed? September 2017 …..

By starting with the end in mind (what do I want to achieve as a result of this) we can focus our effort and attention on making something happen rather than just hoping for the best and going with the flow – goal setting is a really useful investment for any small business owner as if nothing else it makes you stop and think. Get off the wheel and take time out to breathe and work out what matters most to you. Just the process of gaining clarity can make a massive difference to your chances of success.

 

If you’d like some help in creating SMART goals for yourself and your own business, you could become one of the 10 regular clients I need to achieve MY goal! Give me a call on 07976 743 882 if you want to set yourself up for success?