Owning a small business can be both exhilarating and challenging. But at the end of the day, you’ll average getting out of it what you put into it.
There is a lot of work involved in having a small business, but you may find that you can get more done if you are smart about it. No, not that kind of smart – this kind: S.M.A.R.T. Lets take a look at what these letters mean, and how they can work in your smart small business.
Be S.M.A.R.T with Your Smart Small Business
S – Specific
When it comes to improving some aspect of your smart small business, make it a specific goal to accomplish. For example, you don’t want to say that you want to make more money, Sure, that probably IS the goal, but it’s too broad to break down into a real target.
Instead, let’s say that you want to increase your weekend sales. Better yet, let’s be more specific and declare that your direct weekend online sales are going to be improved. By making it more specific, you can paint your target in a clear and definitive way.
One way you could try to raise weekend sales is to manage customer churn. The loss of a valued customer hurts not only in immediate sales (such as for our weekend), but replacing them can have an even higher cost associated with it.
M – Measurable
To know that you are making progress towards your goal, you are going to need some way to measure the effects of your effort. In the case of our example above (improving weekend online sales), we would probably need sales information for the given period covering the weekend.
We would also need to go one step further and break out the online sales differently from all the other sales channels. We would want to remove affiliate sales from the total, and other channels that are not precisely the online sales for the given period.
A – Assignable
Once you have your specific goal in mind and have a way to measure it, you will need to assign it to someone to make the magic happen. The action of tasking the goal is where the small business approach may vary from typical S.M.A.R.T business practices.
The reason is that many times a smart small business may be a single person. You already know who you are going to assign it to – no surprise there – but it needs to be manageable.
For example, you may need to look at your calendar and see what time you have free that you can dedicate to the task. Once you figure that out, go ahead and assign it by specifying that time to your S.M.A.R.T. business goal.
R – Realistic
Your specific goal has to be realistic. Sure, you can loudly declare that you will triple weekend online sales within a fortnight (does anyone even say fortnight anymore?)
But that kind of increase in sales is not possible. Instead aim for a realistic goal, such as a 30% increase. Keeping your goals realistic makes them achievable, which is essential to both reaching your target as well as the psychological impact of being successful.
Don’t discount the boost that you will get from reaching a new goal. A good win can spur you on to the next target, and before you know it, you are climbing mountains.
T – Timely
Making a goal timely goes in hand with it being realistic. For example, you may decide that you want to increase your weekend sales by 30% over the next three months. Situations vary, but that should be an approachable goal for your smart small business (and please note that I did not say “fortnight” again.)
By applying the S.M.A.R.T paradigm to your small business, you may find that it can help you isolate and accomplish specific goals that make a considerable impact on your bottom line. Once you understand how this simple but effective process works, you may discover that the sky is the limit.