Set Clear Goals

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Most business owners have the desire to improve. But do you know what it takes?

Here are some tips for setting clear goals for success for 2016.

#1: Set SMART Goals

Yes, it’s smart to set goals but your goals themselves should also be SMART. That’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Any goal you choose to set should fit into this SMART category. By doing so, your goals will be clear, specific and focused so you can understand how to best attain them.

#2: Find a professional mentor

Many business owners who are successful credit the ability to talk to someone experienced when they need advice. If you don’t have at least 1 fellow business owner you can go to with questions, now is the time to work towards meeting someone as a goal. You might also consider having several business owners to turn to as they may have different strengths. is a free, nonprofit network of expert business mentors. You can talk with experienced business owners and professionals and ask questions about every aspect of running a business.

#3: Use Your Business Plan to Focus Your Goals

Now, when you started your business it was a sensible idea to create a business plan. If you did not create one, we recommend you do so now. Here are guidelines to get you started.

A business plan explains what your business does and how you are unique to other businesses (your competition). It describes how you will stay financially viable. Many suggest you include a marketing plan with your business plan as starting a business means connecting with new customers.

Take a look at your business plan to understand how you envision your business and what you would like it to be.

This should give you a sense of what you would like your goals to be as well. You can use your business plan to help target not only what your goals can be for now but what they should be for the following year and the future.

If your goals do not align with your business plan, then this is a sign that you are thinking about your business in a much different way than you’ve created it. This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it, but it may be time for more serious planning than simply creating one step goals. You may need to re-do your business plan to re-focus your business strategy both short and long term.

Remember that by setting goals and then looking at them regularly, you are doing something that few people actually do. You are focusing on what you want to achieve. The business owner who plans out their goals can become a great success!