Our 1st quarter 90-Day Planning group had so much positive feedback and success that we promised we would do another round. We had several people who were interested in participating, but were just too busy with tax season and the end of the fiscal year. We get it!
Then, let’s be honest, it was summer… kids were headed back to school… and the list goes on, right?
Well, no more excuses! Taxes are done, summer is over, kids are in school and it’s finally time to focus on finishing out the last quarter of the year. Now is the perfect time to set some goals and have them achieved by the time the first leaf hits the ground and the holiday season kicks into full gear. So, don’t delay!
I can read your mind – “no way my goals can happen so fast.” Sure they can – you just need a plan. Our system will get you creating and implementing a project blueprint that will be painless to follow, simple to execute, and most importantly – deliver results!
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Many ‘planning’ gimmicks come and go but this guideline has been tried and tested. No doubt about it, S.M.A.R.T. goals produce results. Certainly, writing down your plan is a critical first step, but these goals need to then be divided and systemized. Dean Bokhari explains why: “But if all we do is dream big and write down a long list of audacious aspirations, it’s unlikely that we’ll take any action on them. Why? Because most of the time, it’s unclear what, specifically, we need to do in order to make those dreams a reality.”
So, let’s get SMART! There are small variations in the acronym, but generally, this is what each letter represents:
S – Specific/setting – this defines the goal and answers the ‘five Ws’; who, what, where, when, and why.
M – Measurable/motivational – this represents the breakdown of how you will measure achieving your goal. It will also serve as motivation for your small victories along the way.
A – Action-oriented/agreed upon – Everyone involved in its creation must be clearly instructed of the actions they need to take, and the direct ownership that they have.
R – Realistic/resources – It’s nice to dream big but you must make your goal realistic or it will likely fail. Evaluate your knowledge, experience, tools and manpower against your desires.
T – Timely/towards – Time is squeezed for everyone. Make sure you keep timelines reasonable and flexible while keeping your project on track. Marking set guidelines along the way will ensure you don’t miss any steps or spend too much on one facet of your goal.
Making your goal S.M.A.R.T. gets things moving from idea, to plan, to achievement. Brian Tracy states, “Once your business goals are SMART, break down each goal into a specific, clear tasks and activities needed to accomplish your goals. It’s important to periodically review your goals and make adjustments if necessary. Goal setting for your small business is an essential tool for business success.”
Here’s an example you might be able to relate to as a coach or consultant:
Long-term Goal:Residual or Passive income stream of $2,000 per month via a membership program.
Goal Deadline:January 1st, 2018
Now, let’s take a minute to break this down and see if it fits the SMART model.
Specific? – We think it’s pretty specific because it’s defining a single source of passive income associated with a single specific membership program and it clearly states an amount.
Actionable? – The action items could be more clearly defined in terms of how this will occur. For a membership program that has already been created, the action will likely be found in the marketing channels. So, we might add something to the effect of ‘by sending weekly emails to my list, running targeted Facebook ads, and staying in touch with affiliates on a bi-weekly basis’.
Realistic? – This is where business owners often fail. Because this is just an example, its tough tot know if it’s realistic. If this were real, we would look at past performance to see if this goal of $2,000 per month was in fact a realistic number for this particular membership program. We would also want to review past efforts to see if the actions seemed realistic and sustainable as well.
Timely? – This task includes both a monthly goal and a deadline, so it appears to satisfy the time requirement.
Next, let’s take a quick look at ‘backward planning’ to find out what we need to accomplish each month…
To have $2,000/month in residual income by next January, we want to have the membership site launched by September 1st. And to have created, launched, promoted and have actual members for this membership site by this date, we would have started at least 90 days prior to its initial launch with the creation phase.
Are you understanding ‘backward planning’ now?
Here’s what a basic blueprint might be:
June – Plan the design; select the platform that is best suited for the needs.
July – Develop the membership site; including the general layout, content creation, and graphic selection and design.
August – Launch BETA test, make final tweaks, and start promoting to audiences.
September – Launch the program and market it like crazy.
October – Make sure your program is capturing and maintaining the interest of your current members. Solicit their honest feedback and offer incentives for recommending it to others (i.e. $50 virtual GC to anyone who gets a friend to sign up).
November – Implement all the good recommendations collected from the membership base. Relaunch and market heavily to existing and new audiences. Offer a Black Friday deal.
December – Leverage the holidays to cultivate camaraderie between the members, and between you and the members. Offer a New Year’s deal.
Hopefully, we have shown you the importance of having a clearly written and defined outline. If not, you can easily spend three months just focusing on the content piece (yes, we’ve all done this before). By setting milestones and chunking it out into mini projects, you have the journey from point A to point B all mapped out. You know what you want, and now, have the detailed plan to get it done!
Make Your Business Goals Happen!
We love this stuff and want to help you get started. We are offering our downloadable 90-Day Planning Guide for FREE. It was developed by a team of expert project planners, and designed to be user-friendly, straightforward and achievable. Just opt in here and you’ll have it in a snap.
Not sure which goals to tackle first? Need a kickstart? No problem! We will notify you of our upcoming planning lab (also FREE) where we help you to map it all out. We have a bag full of insider tricks that support, shape, and construct your 90-Day Plan. Did we mention that it’s FREE?
You have absolutely nothing to lose, (except those lingering, unaccomplished goals) and many industry secrets to gain. Download your 90-Day Planning Guide now