SMART Goal Setting for 2018

SMART Goal Setting for 2018

SMART goal setting can make 2018 your best ever, so take some time this holiday season to plan for the year ahead.

The concept of SMART goals has been around for awhile, so you’ve probably heard of them before. It’s a proven system that can help you gain the clarity and focus you need to achieve your dreams – but only if you follow through!

First, determine where you’d like your business to be this time next year. Making more money? Gaining more clients? Creating a new product or offering a new service? Freeing you to take more time off?

Sorry, but that’s not enough to get you there.

You need SMART goal setting!

Your goal will need to be:

SPECIFIC. Exactly what do you plan to achieve? Why do you want this outcome? Who can you partner with to make this happen? Which resources will you need to have available?

MEASURABLE. How will you know if your efforts are producing results? You will need to set milestones and review your progress periodically to stay on track. Be ready to change course if something isn’t working.

ACTIONABLE. Break your goal into the steps you will need to take to achieve it. This is the key to the entire system. Every activity you take on to reach your ultimate goal keeps you motivated to continue, builds confidence – and gets you closer to where you want to be!

RESULTS-BASED. It’s important that your goals are relevant to the stage of development your business is in. Stay focused on the results of every action you take toward reaching the final outcome.

TIME-BOUND. Set time limits for various stages of the process. Keep track of your target dates to be clear on the progress you’re making.

The most important part of crafting SMART goals is to have a process that you will follow through on.

Develop your 2018 plan of action by focusing on a single meaningful, achievable, realistic goal. Break that down into the steps you will take to reach daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual milestones.

A significant component of this process is to begin with your big hairy goal for the year and work backward to develop an actionable task list.

So you want to [fill in your goal here!] in 2018.

You will need to be clear on where you must be halfway through the year to get there. The procedures you’ll need to implement will have to be spelled out in detail. And then broken down again into ever smaller pieces until you have a complete plan of action devised specifically to meet those markers of success.

One caveat: It’s been said that planning SMART goals is inflexible and forces you to follow rigid guidelines you’ve set without taking roadblocks into account. That idea couldn’t be farther from the truth!

SMART goals are attainable simply because they are well-defined and purposeful.

Setting SMART goals gives you the freedom to switch up your plan of action on the fly since you are able to review and revise it by tracking daily, weekly and monthly progress. You’ll know you’re not going to meet that quarterly goal well in advance, and have plenty of time to correct course.

Keep these guidelines in mind when SMART goal setting in 2018 and beyond. You’ll be glad you did!

Website Setup: 1st Steps Made Easy

Website Setup: 1st Steps Made Easy

Every single business today needs a website. Period.

Your website is your most valuable business asset. It’s where potential clients will find and get to know you. It’s the first place referrals will turn to learn more about you.

Your website is where you’ll sell your products and services, invite contact requests, brand yourself in your niche, and show off what you know.

It might also be where you host your webinars, offer group coaching programs, publish a podcast, create a blog, and even set appointments with clients.

Whew! That’s a lot of jobs for a single website to do.

If you choose a versatile content management system (CMS) like WordPress, though, you can easily incorporate those tasks and many others.

Why choose WordPress for your website.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: WordPress is the number one CMS out there, powering close to 30% of the Internet.

WordPress is so popular because it’s a free and user-friendly platform for building websites without a steep learning curve.

So don’t be intimidated! You can use WordPress to design an attractive, mobile-friendly site with powerful features to fit just about any budget and business profile.

It’s easy to set up a WordPress website starting with these 4 steps.

You can quickly search the Internet and find dozens of set-up guides to help you get started with the website of your dreams, but the procedure begins with four basic steps.

The foundation:

1. Obtain a domain, the name of your website and the address where it will be located online. You’ll find plenty of resources for this step but choose carefully since your domain name is such an important piece of your brand identity.

2. Next, get a hosting provider to publish your website on the Internet. Do the research to find the best fit for you. Cost differences are negligible, so be sure the provider you choose has good uptime and customer support ratings.

Note that it’s not required to purchase the domain name and hosting from the same provider. You may find a better deal buying separately than from a package, but you will then need to connect the two before moving on to the next step.

The execution:

3. Now it’s time to install WordPress and begin building your website. Most hosting services provide easy, one-click installations and will offer help if you have questions.

Here’s where you’ll set up email and direct it to your regular inbox. You’ll also configure the administration panel, the inner workings you will use to control your website’s settings.

4. Finally, choose a Theme, the framework that creates the look and design of your site. This is the fun part, where you customize your website and add functionality with plugins. 

That’s it. You’re ready to add content and join the World Wide Web!

Hopefully, this simplified breakdown gives you the confidence to get started with your own website strategy.

Because we encourage you to seek out the information that resonates best with you, no resources are linked here.

Have you decided to start your business website yet? Please share any questions or comments below!

This article is part of an ongoing series on how small businesses can improve their procedures and processes to maximize their growth. What topics would you like to see featured? Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments!