Does Having a Specific Plan Really Help A Business Owner Succeed?
There are very interesting research findings that show the importance of clearly articulating your goals, and how this relatively simple act impacts business success rates. PDMA (Product Development and Management Association) Research conducted a study to evaluate the impact between clarity of ideas and success, and found the following:
Low or poor clarity of goals/ideas resulted in 23% of businesses achieving success while a whopping 85% of businesses achieved success when they were very clear/articulate about their goals/ideas.
When you use words to express your ideas and vision, they have a significantly higher chance of becoming realized.
My Father Always Told Me Not to Mumble
Since articulating your goals is clearly a method of preparing your mind to achieve them, why is goal setting so difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners? I constantly find myself having to beg, plead and cajole the entrepreneurs in my seminars and workshops to write down their goals in a specific, measurable and actionable way. I recognize that this seemingly simple articulation is hard work, but why do so many people who are genuinely working hard at their businesses fail to do a very good job of actually completing this task? Can you relate? Why isn’t it obvious that the pure act of defining clear goals helps increase the chances of success? When you put your goals in writing and see what you want to achieve, clarity emerges that can make all the difference in the world. Yet many people seem to prefer to spend their time focused on the day-to-day activities of their business and do not define their big picture. I want to help you improve your chances of success and eliminate the process of simply hoping that you’ll get lucky.
Therefore, setting SMART Goals is a great place to start. This week’s lesson focuses on writing down your number 1 most important business goal for the next six months – right now, before you have the chance to get involved with some part of your business that is calling you. There’s always going to be another distraction for your attention, always. Remember, if you don’t articulate (and write down) your goals, then your chances of successfully achieving them are rather slim.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of SMART goals, here’s a brief primer:
S: Specific. While this seems obvious, it’s usually overlooked. Make sure your goal is very clear and concise so anybody reading it can not only understand it but not misinterpret what you hope to achieve
M: Measurable: If you can’t measure a goal, you can’t manage toward achieving it. Set a benchmark that you hope to achieve and improve over time
A: Actionable or Achievable: Is this a goal that you can actually achieve or is it so far ‘out there’ that your chances of success are slim? Remember, this isn’t a goal that looks good for somebody else but one that you can truly accomplish in a realistic period of time
R: Realistic: Realistic is similar to Achievable except the difference is that while you might be able to achieve this goal given all the resources needed, it may be totally unrealistic in terms of your overall business goals or the resources that you need (time, money, people) simply aren’t available.
T: Time-based: Time-based always seems to be the simplest aspect of goal-setting, yet one that people simply forget about. Set a framework with deadlines that make sense given your business model and resources.
Weekly Lesson Three (Try this…)
Let’s Jump Right In… Describe Your Top SMART Goal
This week’s lesson is an exercise to help you improve your SMART goal setting skills (trust me, this appears to be much easier to do than it really is).
Write down your number 1 most important business goal for the next six months
Now confirm that it satisfies the standards of SMART goal setting. If not, jot notes below to improve it: