Thursday, 12 July 2012

Be A SMART Entrepreneur

goalWhen you begin your journey as an aspiring entrepreneur one skill which you will more than likely need to develop to be successful is your ability to set goals and achieve them. This not only increases your motivation due to experiencing success it also allows your business idea to gather momentum and continue to develop. This means your business idea if pursued is less likely to remain in the status quo allowing you to try and be competitive. Further goal setting can give your business idea a clear direction and purpose. Once
you have a goal you can start putting things in place to achieve this goal. Goal setting can also help you to manage your time and resources efficently as you can focus on what you are wanting to achieve and not get sidetracked by tasks that aren't going to benefit your business idea. Goal setting can really allow you to prioritise what you are wanting to achieve so that you can complete tasks in the correct chronological order.

Without any goals being set there is a risk that your business idea may lack structure and clarity. Additionally if you do not have any goals how will you know you are achieving what you want? How will you remain competitve? And how will you know your business is going in the direction you want it to?

Goal setting can be a challenging skill to master if it is not a technique you have used in a structured manner before. However I feel the below technique is a goal setting format which can probably be used by anyone and is very practical. I find it benenficial because if it is used correctly it really allows you to define what you want to achieve and put small steps in place to set about achieving it.

The technique I am going to outline can be easily remembered as it is an acronym. The SMART goal setting technique means goals need to be:

Specific: This means defining your goal as much as you can. Perhaps you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Although this is a goal it is very general and lacks clarification. A more specific example would be "research and learn three techniques that help you develop creative business ideas". When you have achieved this goal you may then decide your next goal is "use the three techniques to develop 10 possible/ potential business ideas".

Measureable: It can be seen that both of the above specific goals are measureable as you have stated you want to "learn three techniques" and "develop 10 possible/ potential business ideas".

Attainable: Dependent upon your personal research skills it would appear these goals are both achievable as they are small goals which have been clearly defined.

Realistic: Wanting to be a "successful entrepreneur" as an initial goal is argueably unrealistic as it is poorly defined, lacks direction, is open to interpretation and difficult to measure. However the two specific goals outlined above are much more realistic as they are short term goals that are working towards a long term goal.

Timed: Ensuring that you set yourself a date for achieving a goal is also very important as this helps to prevent you procrastinating and putting tasks off. Meaning you should become more focussed and motivated as you have a clear task that needs defining by a set date. So for example the goal "research and learn three techniques that help you develop creative business ideas" could be added to by stating "I will achieve this in two weeks from todays date".

If after following this technique you feel you are finding goal setting challenging review your goal and ensure you are correctly adhering to each of these steps. It may be a case of modifying your goal so that meets all of the above criteria. Alternatively you may find it useful to read Top 5 Goal Setting Tools for Entrepreneurs . This post is on the YFS Magazine website and is a useful resource as it discusses goal setting, motivation and tools which can aid goal setting.

If you would like some hints and tips for creating business ideas my post Top Tips To Get A Business Idea is a good place to start.

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