Key Elements of a SMART Business Plan

Goals play an important role in helping us reach the next level in our careers. When you’re building a business, goals are especially essential in ensuring we channel our energy in the right direction.

But it’s not enough to blindly set goals. As a startup coach, I regularly work with business owners who think they have goals, but what they actually have is a “dream.” What’s the difference? A goal is a dream with a deadline. When you write that goal down, you give yourself a guideline that you can follow as your business grows. Here are the key elements built into every good business goal.

SMART Goals Motivate You

Not all goals are created equal. Many successful entrepreneurs find the best goals follow the SMART goal-setting formula:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Saying you want your business to earn a specific income this year isn’t SMART. Saying you want to boost lead acquisition by 10 percent over the next month by following up on previous conversations and adding calls to action to your communications is. It’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

SMART Goals Motivate

Let’s face it: building a business has its ups and downs. Having a goal helps keep you motivated even when you suffer a setback or two. That doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your goals as you learn, but you’ll at least have something to work with.

Writing your SMART goals down is only the beginning, though. Look at that goal and break it into smaller pieces that you can achieve on a daily or weekly basis. By doing that, you’ll see yourself checking items off your to-do list and feel empowered to keep going.

SMART Goals Build Character

It can be easy to get so caught up in the destination, you forget to enjoy the journey. But the truth is, setting goals improves the journey. You don’t realize it at the time, but goal setting helps build character.

To get the biggest character-building benefits of setting and working toward goals, regularly track your progress. Set weekly and monthly goals, then sit down and reflect on how much you’ve accomplished along the way. It can be easy to get caught up in what you haven’t achieved rather than appreciating what you have.

My coaching business specializes in helping startups create business plans based on the SMART goal-setting system. If you’re building a startup and want a little help, check out my business coaching services. I can work with you to create a plan that will help you reach your dreams while learning more about yourself along the way.

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