As a business owner, freelancer or blogger, it is vital that you conduct a reset at some point in the year to evaluate how your business is performing. This step is imperative to your future success and will keep you accountable.
Examine if you are setting goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) for your business. As business owners, we need to set goals that are SMART instead of a list of wants or wishes. Create goals that you will put in time and effort to achieve that are measurable.
To be clear, I am not saying that you can’t dream big. In fact, you should. However, you need to create SMART goals that you can map out the pathway to achieve.
Here are my suggestions for your consideration when creating SMART goals for your business:
What Happened Last Year?
It is time for you to get extremely honest with yourself and your business performance. It is a common business practice to evaluate your past achievements, disappointments and come up with predictions for the future. The reason why this is vital for businesses is that you can determine what worked and didn’t. This way you can create plans to toss out what isn’t going right, expand on what is working and develop solutions to last year’s problems.
In other words, you should look at your wins and losses for the year.
For your wins, it is important to note what went well for you and your business. Can you repeat this success? Maybe at a higher level? If so, you need to create your SMART goals to get you to the next level in your business.
For your losses, it is equally essential to look at ways you can improve. Doing this will help you see which tasks to keep, clear or possible outsourcing to virtual assistants such as Fancy Hands. Let's face it, we might be great at many things, but there are few things that other people might be better suited to complete. It is important to realize this before it starts costing you excessive time and money. You may also determine that certain things may not fit your business and may need to do away with them.
What do You Want to Happen Next Year?
This step is where many business owners start dreaming away. Dreaming big is okay. However, when it comes to sustainable business operations, you need to create SMART goals. Ask yourself what your short-term and long-term goals are to put everything in perspective.
Here are some things to think about:
Money and Expenses
Many of us want millions out the gate but if we are trying to create SMART goals we have to be honest and realistic. Going from making hundredths a month to a millionaire typically doesn’t happen quickly. For most business owners, it takes consistency, professional development and time to increase your income. I encourage you to create a SMART goal for your expectations for earnings each year. For your business expenses go line by line and look at your costs. Ask yourself is it assisting you with getting to the next level in your business. If not, well maybe it is time to consider other options.
Hours and Time
Keep track of your time and hours as you work and precisely what you are achieving in the process. The number of productive hours and time you put in your business will often tell you about your success or disappointments. Determine if you are giving your business quality productive hours. You may need to outsource some task so that you can focus on the money-making responsibilities that need your attention.
The reason why you have or want a home-based business is likely to be for personal reasons. Therefore, it is only right to consider your own goals as well. It might be health or family related. Or maybe you want to be more involved in the community or do more with a hobby you have. Including your personal goals will keep you grounded and realistic. This way you will be happier and fulfilled in your journey.
What can you do to get there?
Now it is time to create an action plan. I love action plans because if done correctly they can serve as your guide to help you reach those SMART goals. So, go ahead and outline the steps you need to take to achieve your SMART goals. Now it is common to run into roadblocks in this process. It is nothing that we can’t overcome but let's talk about some common ones.
Do you have it? If not, what can you remove from your plate to increase the time you have? For me, it was hiring Fancy Hands to provide virtual assistants to help with social media, research, shopping, emails and many other small tasks for my business.
Being in business cost money. Do you have the means to help you achieve your goals? If not, how can you minimize your cost or gain capital for your business?
Do you have the skills to do what you need to do to meet your goals. If not, how can you obtain training, Always look for a free way to learn what you need to know. For example, when we started the podcast, I had no idea where to start. I taught myself everything I know from searching on google and YouTube. Remember there may be free resources out there. I encourage you to use them first to keep expenses down.
Following these steps will assist you in the process of creating SMART goals for your home-based business this year. Did you learn something new? Do you have something to add to this list? Share your goals, and maybe we can help each other.
Rita is a freelance writer, consultant, professor and flex work enthusiast who enjoys the freedom and flexibility of working remotely. After starting remote work in 2011, she has continued to work remotely and currently enjoys the flexibility. Today, Rita continues to embrace the remote work lifestyle and encourages others to do what they love on their own terms. Be sure to follow the Guide to Working at Home where we share advice, jobs, tips for remote workers, freelancers, business owners to find flexible work and opportunities.
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