In last week's B-Dairy post, Keep Organized, Focused and Stress Free, we touched upon the idea of setting SMART objectives for your business. This week, I am going to expand on SMART objectives and how they are crucial to business planning.
Each letter in the acronym stands for an attribute your objective should have:
Your objectives should tell you exactly what you wish to attain. If you are an Etsy seller, you may want more people to view your shop. But this is vague, to make this objective more specific you would say "I would like to increase my views by 50%."
You want to know whether or not you have reached your objective. You need to set objectives that your can evaluate. Let's say that you want to increase your profit by 25%. Do you know exactly how much your making in profit now? What is your profit margin? How will you keep track of your profits over time?
Your objective should be within reach, never too high. If we set seeming unattainable objectives, then we can become easily overwhelmed and discouraged. Here is a personal example: At mile 10 of my first my half marathon, I hit a wall and the last 3.1 miles seemed nearly impossible. I focused my sight on the nearest tree. That was my attainable objective. A few trees later, I reached the finish line. In business, every objective is important, especially when you are working towards a larger goal. You don't want to forget a step or make a mistake at a crossroads.
Set an objective that you are likely to succeed at but don't be afraid to challenge yourself or your business. That is how we grow.
This is the last and most important point: Set deadlines. You want to measure and evaluate how you are coming along. If plan A is not helping you attain your objective, you need to be able to know ASAP so that you have enough time to go to plan B. Plan B may take longer than plan A, you need to be able to adjust for that as well.