Entrepreneurship is risky and every passing time, the market conditions become more fierce for entrepreneurs and startups. The 2021 small business statistics indicated that there were over 5.6 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Autonomy, social motivation, and prowess are among the greatest drivers for entrepreneurship.
However, although the entrepreneurship field looks attractive with an overview, entrepreneurs deal with a lot which at times leads to their ousting. Statistics indicate that at least 20% of all businesses are ousted within the first year, while 60% of them suffer financial crises within the first three years. To substantiate, at least 390, 000 businesses were started in 2020, yet 316,000 of them were unable to continue operating.
Among the many reasons why entrepreneurs fail include; limited markets for their goods or services and capital. However, as much as the entrepreneurship field isn’t a bed of roses, that shouldn’t scare you from embarking on your dream, taking up opportunities, or making the difference you want.
Whether you’re planning to start a business or already run one but the outcomes you expected aren’t manifesting, it’s important to revise your roadmap. Develop smart strategies to help you attain smart goals. At this juncture, we will explore what SMART Goals mean and how entrepreneurs like you can achieve them.
The term “SMART Goals” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Achieving smart goals starts with setting a smart master plan, however, not every goal is smart. Smart goal setting is very crucial and if you’re an entrepreneur, it becomes a must to know how to set goals strategically. SMART Goals generally refer to goals that are realistic and not vague. They are clear and are clearly understood by every involved party. The goals should also be measurable, in other words, quantitative or qualitative.
It also requires an entrepreneur to ensure that the objectives are attainable; in other words, able to be achieved or have ever been achieved somewhere else. The term relevant means that a goal is associated with a value or is meaningful and lastly; time-bound requires a goal to have a time frame within which it must be achieved. The deadline serves as a motivator and any goal with these attributes is rendered a smart goal. So how can entrepreneurs achieve smart goals?
7 Amazing Pathways Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Smart Goals
Be Realistic While Setting Goals
It’s good to put one’s imagination to use, but entrepreneurs must ensure that they aren’t daydreaming. Anyone would agree that anything is possible, that’s why we have billionaire drop-out entrepreneurs inspiring us to move out of our comfort zones. In addition, there are many brands making their way to the global market and yet they aren’t driven by all-time moguls. However, all these entrepreneurial stories have realistic foundations.
Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs dropped out of college but focused on their interests and career development. That means that no matter your goal and size, a realistic goal can be achieved no matter the limitations and the time it takes.
But often, some entrepreneurs ignore the nature of limitations and aren’t effectively prepared to tackle challenges. This is why many businesses fail within the first year or three years. With that, examine your goals to ensure that they are realistically achievable. Also, skillfully control the market forces to increase your success chances.
Break Cumbersome Goals into Small Bites
Many business owners start with a bigger picture but are unable to strategically operate to reach their dreams. In fact, no entrepreneur would wish to run a business temporarily but many are ousted due to limited capital among other factors. With all the dilemma of running a business, entrepreneurs are liable to feel overwhelmed and quit.
With that, try to break down cumbersome goals into daily, weekly, or monthly targets. Set benchmarks to help you measure the performance of your business and the direction it’s taking in order to be more proactive. This will also help you navigate everyday challenges and attain the ultimate goal eventually.
Let your Vision be Known
One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is trying to control everything and this renders them bad visionaries. A great visionary is one with a clear idea and ensures to make it known to the team. He or she guides and influences the team to follow the selected path in order to reach the ultimate goal. Also, at times they will reflect the things over themselves. There are plenty of reflection models that are used for self-reflection.
Although not all entrepreneurs are the same, with the fact that there are different leadership theories to define them, every entrepreneur should however strive to be a transformative leader. Transformative leaders are also defined as change agents. They generally communicate effectively, inspire, and motivate their teams which helps businesses to attain their already set smart goals.
Thanks to technological advancements, there is a range of modern software and tools that can help entrepreneurs run businesses effectively. To streamline operations, automate repetitive tasks, or improve customer service, there are many tools today that entrepreneurs can leverage if they think beyond survival.
These include project management, communication, and collaboration tools that reduce workload, enhance productivity and reduce resource wastage. Although such tools are at times thought to be enterprise-level solutions, today there are tools for small businesses that can fit any business type and goals.
Evaluate Progress Periodically
Smart goals are time-bound and this means that they must be attained within a given time frame. However, for that to happen, any entrepreneur ought to check in periodically to understand business progress. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, an entrepreneur must assess the business progress as per the benchmark. Evaluate every goal against the expectations, set timeframe, and obstacles. Take necessary action or redefine targets in order to help you achieve your smart goals.
Never Stop Learning
Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning because they never assume to know it all. Every year, there are very many entrepreneurial trends and skill sets that evade the business realm. Learning and applying them where necessary can help an entrepreneur attain the competence it takes to run a business and this can help the business to thrive. As an entrepreneur, try to stay up to date with the latest trends in the entrepreneurial field. That’s by making research or leveraging learning apps for professionals to upgrade your skill sets.
Tap into the Power of EQ
Running a business isn’t easy and it takes a clear mind to manage people. However, there are higher chances of burnout, frustration, stress, and work-life imbalance. EQ or emotional intelligence is a leadership skill that offers any entrepreneur or leader an added advantage.
The skill has proven to be reliable when it comes to managing teams, stress, relationships, and cultivating self-improvement. Generally, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions and as well know their impact on those around them. EQ cultivates empathy and entrepreneurs with a high EQ score tend to perform better than their counterparts all-round.
To encapsulate, it is easy to set smart goals, but quite difficult to achieve them. Although goals may differ, many entrepreneurial goals have much in common. With that, you can follow a few tips here to help you reach every ultimate goal you set.