Adaptability, time management, organization, reliability, resourcefulness — these are just some of the skills professionals in the PR industry, and otherwise, need to thrive as entrepreneurs and business owners.
But what about goal-setting?
When you run your own business, it’s imperative to have a clear idea of where you are and where you want to be. Goals are a crucial aspect of managing a business. Without clearly defined objectives, you won’t have a path to follow or the foresight to know what to focus on.
That’s why you and every PR pro you know need to set SMART goals.
What are SMART goals?
Applied across numerous industries, including marketing and PR, the SMART acronym is a popular approach to goal-setting that stands for:
- Specific – You set clear goals that aim to help you achieve your desired objectives. To do so, include as much relevant information as you can that answer the 5 W’s of your end-goal: who, what, when, where and why. Without the specificity, it might be more difficult to focus on what matters.
- Measurable – When a goal is measurable, that means you can objectively quantify whether or not it’s been achieved. Without criteria to measure progress, how will you know if you’re on track? That’s why it’s key to set measurable goals. For example, you can’t quantify a goal of being liked by your client — but you can when the goal is to increase your monthly revenue by 10%.
- Achievable – SMART goals have to be attainable. You should certainly be challenged by your goals, but not so much that you can’t achieve them. When setting achievable goals, ask yourself two questions: Has anyone else done this successfully? What are the resources I have but still need?
- Realistic – Ensure your SMART goals accommodate your skills, objectives and your role. That way, it’s reasonable and within reach of your resources and capabilities. Like unachievable goals, unrealistic goals that aren’t aligned with your desired direction and don’t take your circumstances into account will be difficult to accomplish.
- Time-Bound – How long will it take you to achieve your SMART goals? Don’t be afraid of a deadline. To motivate yourself (and reduce unproductivity), set a start and end date for every goal.
As an entrepreneur navigating the daily grind of running your own business, goals with a SMART foundation give you the structure and guidance you need to achieve whatever you set your mind to.
|Need some help getting started? Check out our Setting SMART Goals for Success ebook to access tons of guidance and worksheets that are sure to help you create SMART goals that work.|
Why every entre-Pro-neur needs to set SMART goals
When you set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, you set yourself and your business up for continued success.
Need a few (more) reasons why you need to start SMART goal setting to run a more efficient and successful business? Here are three.
1. Provide a structured sense of direction
SMART goals not only provide clarity but they also help you focus your best efforts on objectives that grow your business.
Plus, this approach to goals helps you be better prepared for any challenges, you’ll reduce the possibility of overlooking important details, and you’ll know exactly where to aim your attention.
Rather than set a vague goal of landing a magazine mention at some point in your career, challenge yourself with a SMART goal to earn a spot in your favorite magazine’s featured list of the fastest-growing small businesses in your region or the country within the next two years.
See the difference?
2. Help you organize your strategies and ideas
While we should always have high hopes and dreams for our businesses, we often place lofty (but well-intentioned) expectations on ourselves that can demotivate us from achieving our objectives.
For instance, say you start a small business and after your first month, you set a goal to be as profitable as a competitor with a larger following and a few more years in the industry in one year.
That goal has S-M and T, but it’s both unrealistic and unachievable. Besides being daunting, this kind of goal might distract you from finetuning your own product to stake your claim in the market.
Lean on SMART goals to help you break down each step and visualize your process to avoid wasting time on tasks that don’t move the needle forward.
3. Ensure you achieve all your goals
SMART goals make sure you reach the many finish lines you aim to cross.
And what’s even better about this approach is it’s modifiable, so you can adjust the acronym by using different adjectives — or even extend it with the ‘ER’ suffix to include evaluate and review — to fit your business model.
No matter how you use it, you’re guaranteed to reach your goals with a method that tackles all the important aspects of project management (and completion!).
Discussion time! If you’ve ever set a SMART goal, tell us how it went. Were you successful? If you’re just getting started with this approach, share one goal you hope to achieve. Leave your response in the comments section below or tag us on social media using #solopr.