SMART Business Plans Can Be the Secret to Your Success
A lot of business owners and entrepreneurs are reluctant to create a business plan. It can be daunting to write a powerful business plan, especially when you’re first starting out. However, your plan can be a real asset to your business growth and can keep you on target when times get tough. Use SMART goals to make your plan more effective.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym to help you remember what goes into goal setting. Specific goals can help you be more focused. Write down exactly what you hope to accomplish. Describe how you will know if you have achieved that objective with ͞M͟ for measurable goals. Goals should be Attainable and practical. Relevant goals mean that goals match your objectives. T is Time-Bound. Have a time frame for achieving the goal.
Applying SMART to Your Business Plan
Before you get started, you should keep in mind that as you make predictions, you’re not always going to be accurate. You may set a measurable goal that you can’t attain. You may underscore yourself and go way beyond. The idea with setting SMART goals isn’t to hit the mark, but to give you something to shoot for. SMART goals increase the odds of success. Over time, your goals may get more reasonable and accurate.
Use SMART in creating financial predications. You probably have revenue goals. Are you using the SMART acronym in making projections? Be specific and realistic about your financials. Tweak your numbers to make sure they’re attainable and practical. Give yourself a time frame to meet your goals. Have a plan to adjust your goals if you’re going over or under.
Use SMART projections for a business launch timeline. Break down goals into quarterly projects. List what you need to do over the next year in three-month increments. You don’t get so overwhelmed by thinking in quarterly terms. You can think in terms of sales, brand awareness or profits, or all three.
When you do market research, use that data to drive your goals. Consider the information you know about your customer and your industry. Let that awareness influence the goals you set. Summarize why the statistics and trends matter, then turn that information into specific goals for your business.
Writing a business plan will help your business in ways you can’t imagine until you’ve done the work. It’s important to put your ideas on paper, but using SMART goals can turn those ideas into an actionable plan that can take you from dream to reality.