How To Set Smart Goals

As a mum starting up a business I know all about setting goals. Not the kind that instantly come to mind - the ones that your little lad scored at footie on Sunday... You know the one I mean, where you were standing on a bogged field in freezing rain and yelling like mad 'cause the little man in your life zapped the ball into the net at long last.

Those memories are hugely fond to me because my little man is now all grown up and setting up his own freelancing consultancy so he also needs goals now more than ever.

Hey, we all do. From start up businesses to growing ventures and even established businesses need to revisit their goals and learn how to set goals. You will need to add your goals to your business plan.

How to set goals for marketing your home based business

Let's look at some vital goals that home business start-ups should really focus on when setting goals.

You may have heard people sprouting about SMART goals. Although the acronym has a number of slightly different variations, in short, it means your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Limited. This basic approach will enable you to not only know how to set goals but also achieve them.

Specific

Don’t just say you want to set up your online business this year. Say that you want to set it up within the next three months. Or, better still, set a launch date. A general goal would suggest: “Set up my online business.”

A specific goal would state: “Launch my online business by the 29th of January.” Also try and stretch yourself by using this type of declaration to inspire you or boot you into action.

Measurable

Measure your progress with meaningful goals and milestones. This way you will stay on target and experience the excitement of achievement, which will motivate and urge you to reach your goal.

Attainable

To attain, reach or accomplish your goal, plan your steps and create a time frame. When I set goals for my book to be published, I created a spreadsheet in Excel and as I targeted publishers, I literally ticked them off the list. I am sure you can guess that I am a ‘list person’!

Relevant And Realistic

Your goal will be realistic if you truly believe that it can be done and you know what it will take to accomplish it. When my partner and I decided to be Google’s No 1 for flexible jobs, we had no idea what it would take and I set myself a steep learning curve (hey ho, what fun we’ve had!).

Be reasonable with yourself and, above all, be rewarding. Give yourself little treats when you reach different milestones and share it with your family. It will gain their support for your idea.

For example: whenever we reach even a small step in the right direction, we buy ourselves a mega coffee, a lunch or even a dinner. You may even set aside outings with friends and family.

How good would your son feel if you told him that you were going to play footie with him after school on Friday?  Whatever the treat, the feel-good factor makes you work harder. You know how to set goals, you deserve a reward.

Timely

By setting a track-able time frame with an exact date when setting goals, you have set your mind into gear. Without you being aware, it will be quietly working away at reaching the goal date. Setting a time also cunningly gives you a sense of urgency to ensure you keep making progress.

iHubbub's wide network of home business owners all went through the same things you're about to go through too, so make use of its ever-growing community.  Share your achievements, and your bad days, with your network! 

For lots of other useful articles on setting up and running a home business, see our How To section... and good luck!

If you need any Business plan templates and free business plan samples or downloads to help you learn how to write a business plan that will include your smart goals, take a look at our selection of articles on Business Plans.

Paula Wynne, author of 'Create A Successful Website', an expert on setting up and successfully running a business from home remembers her little man's goals and has enjoyed sharing some real life business goal setting. 

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