Guide To Successful SMART Goal Setting For Entrepreneurs
Updated: Sep 5
Do you want to start setting and achieving goals to become a better entrepreneur? Have your previous goal-setting efforts been a bust?
Goal setting, for entrepreneurs specifically, is important because to be successful, you have to be constantly learning, growing, and becoming better.
But, just writing them down and hoping for the best won't do you any good. The SMART method helps you craft a plan and stay accountable.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about how to successfully set goals as an entrepreneur using the SMART goal method. And at the end, you’ll get access to a FREE printable workbook to help you get started setting successful goals today!
SMART Goal Setting For Entrepreneurs
SMART goal setting is an acronym that stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic.” And, yes, your goals should be all five of these things. But more than being an acronym, SMART goals are also an action plan.
As you write each step, you’re creating a tangible goal and plan to achieve it. That’s what makes SMART goal-setting so effective. Another great thing about SMART goals is that they’re totally universal. You can use SMART goal setting for your personal and business goals.
One of the most commonly made mistakes is making your goals too broad. Of course, it’s good to look at the big picture, but not when you’re creating goals for success.
When it comes to goal setting for entrepreneurs, the key is to make your goals super-specific. You want to narrow things down to see what that goal looks like, and how to get there.
For example, instead of “Gaining more traffic on my blog,” you should write something more specific like, “Increasing traffic by 10% each month.” This is a specific goal that states exactly what you want from this goal.
The next step is figuring out how to measure your goal. Ask yourself, “How will I know when my goal has been accomplished? How will I measure my success?” If you are data-driven, put a number on it for a tangible result that means you’ve achieved your goal. It’s the “finish line.
Example: To measure increasing blog traffic, you should set the number of blog views that you want to gain. “Increasing traffic by 10% each month, until monthly views are at or above 1000 a month.”
This is a clear number for you to try and reach each month. And, when you have to track your progress, you have something to reference.
The third step of the SMART goal-setting model is to think about how you’re actually going to achieve this goal. What are you going to do to make this goal a success?
Think of the steps that you’ll need to take to get to your goal. Break your goal down into simple steps that lead to your goal.
Example: If you want to increase your blog’s traffic to 1000 views a month, you should take steps to promote your website to viewers. You could do that through advertising and search engine optimization.
Next, you need to think about how realistic this goal is for you. It’s one thing to set the bar high to challenge yourself. It’s completely different to set the bar so high that there’s no real way to reach it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
· Is this goal realistic?
· Does it align with my other goals?
· Why is this goal important for me to achieve?
For example: Gaining more traffic for a steady monthly viewership is an important goal for leads and sales. And, it’s realistic, if you put the time and effort into it.
It’s time to put a deadline on this sucker. The last step of my guide to successful SMART goal setting for entrepreneurs is making your goal timely.
Having a deadline set for your goal makes it more realistic, as do the other parts of SMART goal setting. And, it keeps you accountable and gives you more initiative to achieve it.
When do you want this goal to be accomplished? Pick an exact date or a certain amount of weeks/months. For example: Continuing with the “gaining traffic” example, you could set the deadline at having 1000 views per month in six months.
Other Goal-Setting Tips
Here are some tips that, with your SMART goals will help you set successful goals as an entrepreneur!
Start With Reflection
Whether you’re setting business goals or personal goals, you have to take a look at where you are to really understand where you’re going and how to get there. With reflection, you know what to change, what to do differently, etc.
The point of having a measurable goal is to track your progress. You can make one in your journal or grab the downloadable worksheet.
Remember Your “Whys”
Why are you doing each of these goals? Why does it matter to you to accomplish these goals? Remembering the “why” behind it all really helps to keep you focused on actually achieving your goal.
Don’t Set Too Many Goals
Another commonly made mistake when it comes to goal setting is setting too many goals at once. If you have too many goals, you’re just going to burn yourself out. Start with one, then move on to two or three, and expand from there.
As I said, good goal-setting is absolutely crucial to your personal growth as a professional. Make sure you make them count!