Do you cringe when someone asks, “What goals have you set for your business?”
Setting goals can be challenging, but they are a necessary evil for all successful businesses. When goals are clearly written and communicated, the commitment between all of your business partners will be aligned and focused. These goals will also benefit anyone that works with or for you, (including virtual business assistants).
If you do not have specific goals set for your business, do not despair!
More than 80 percent of the 300 small business owners polled, in the 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey, said that they don’t keep track of their business goals!
Those statistics are understandable; as it does require devoting a great deal of time to the task and, as a small business owner, time is usually in short supply. However, having solid goals can be the key to sustaining and growing your business!
Many small businesses have found that, although they may not be able to hire a full-time, on-site employee; they can contract with a virtual business assistant for help with goal setting!
You may be thinking, “How can a virtual assistant help me with my goal setting?” Although a virtual assistant may not be able to develop your actual business goals, they can free up the time you need to focus on setting those realistic, solid, all-important business goals.
Okay, you have contracted someone to free up your time… NOW WHAT?
What is S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting
George T. Doran presented SMART goals in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. The paper, titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives,” discussed the difficulty and importance of setting objectives. The SMART model has been widely used, since 1981, to make the process both manageable and successful for both small and large businesses.
Always remember that goals guide and direct your behavior, provide clarity, reflect what’s important to grow the business, help improve performance and gives the motivation to succeed.
Here are 5 S.M.A.R.T. steps to setting those all-important goals:
- Specific– A specific goal has a better chance of being accomplished than a ‘general’ goal.
- Measurable – Keeping track of your progress gives you the incentive to keep going.
- Attainable – Make your goals realistic and attainable. You want to set goals that are a “stretch”, but make sure they are attainable.
- Relevant – When you set goals that you know are important to grow your business, you begin to figure out ways to make them come to fruition.
- Time-Bound – A goal that is time-bound prevents other day-to-day tasks from taking over. Set the timing so that you have a sense of urgency in accomplishing the goal.
Don’t forget – If you need to eliminate some tasks, in order to free up the time to work on your goals; collaborate with a professional Virtual Assistant! IVAA offer a free RFP system for you to post your VA needs and our members can reply to you with a proposal. So if you are looking to hire a Virtual Assistant, click here to learn about submitting an RFP.
Good luck with your goal setting!
Karen Kannegiesser is an online business resource assistant with over three decades of C-suite level executive administrative and supply chain expertise. She has many years as a strategic MRO buyer for a large specialty chemical manufacturer, as well as an extensive background in database management, project management, contract administration and business continuity/disaster recovery preparedness. www.LotusBusinessResources.com