Whether it's a new year, new quarter or new month, business goals probably come to mind. Maybe you're crushing them; maybe not. If you find yourself in the later group, here's a way to help you make goals that you can achieve.
Specific: Your goal needs to be specific. Don't just say that you want to make a lot of money this year. Write down that you want to be earning $8,000 each month by the end of the year. When you get to December 31 and your earnings for the last twelve months have been going up you know you did well. If the last three months all exceeded $8,000 you know you've met your goal. Likewise if each month you've been earning $5,000 this means you're doing well but haven't yet met your target.
Measurable: You need to be able to track some metrics like income. You could also track customers. Say you have a house cleaning business that has 10 clients. You want to be working full time by the end of the quarter. You'll need to double that to get 20 clients. This is a metric that you can easily track. Another goal might be to review insurance policies. You need to be clear so that you know when you're done. Your goal can be review business insurance, auto insurance and life insurance for better coverage.
Attainable: There's no sense in making a goal if you can't meet it. A small mom and pop restaurant in a town of 10,000 people is not likely going to bring in $1 million in revenue in a year. When you're starting up your new business, you will find that you need to have more than a four hour work week you dream of.
Read Often: Write out your goals and review them often. You might find that rewriting them weekly keeps you focused on them. At the very least, keep them in a prominent place so you see them daily and keep them top of mind.
Time Bound: Goals that have no time frame are dreams. You need to make it your goal to have hired an assistant by June 30. Or you will sell thirty houses in the first quarter of the year. Also remember that work expands to fill the amount of time that's available. Keep your deadline as short as realistically possible. If you need to design new business cards, make it a goal to have them done in two weeks. There's only a slim chance that they'll get done in two weeks if you allow yourself four.
Use this SMART framework for all your business goal setting and you'll find that you achieve more than ever before.