I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “start with the end in mind” and “goals come first” over and over again. However since I’ve spent the last couple of years working closely with entrepreneurs, and working on my own business- I seen that simply saying “set goals” is a lot harder than actually doing it
Like anything else, if there’s a system or a framework in place that breaks down the big scary job of setting a goal, and takes your mind “down in the dirt instead of in the clouds” it’s a lot easier for people to do.
The 4 Goal Categories
Whenever I take on a new brand identity design client, I send them a series of questionnaires to get them to reflect and what they truly want for their business. When I ask them to list off what goals they have, I brea them down into four different categories
Visionary goals are the “impact” they want to have on the world. These can be described as “The meaning behind the money”. I first heard this term from Mack Web Solutions, and thought it was such a great place to start. Maybe what your business wants to create is charities around the world, or you want to inspire women in your local community to become entrepreneurs, or maybe your hairstylist that wants to elevate your industry, or you could be an essential oil advocate that wants to bring more awareness two alternative health options to new mothers. Your visionary goals are the big picture goals, and are the optimum outcome your business can achieve.
Monetary goals are pretty self-explanatory. They are the numbers that you want to see your business grow to. Many people don’t really love this part, because they either want to stick with the humanitarian aspect of their business, or they have no idea what a good number would be. However this really can be the fun part of running a business; setting a number goal, and seeing which of your efforts gets you closest to that number. Remember this number is never set in stone, and is used as a baseline to measure how effective your marketing strategies are.
Community goals has to do with how you are viewed in either your industry by your peers or competition, and/or how you are perceived by your ideal audience. A community goal might be you are asked to speak at a conference, or you collaborate with another creative individual, or you reach a certain number of followers on social media to use a social proof, or even being interviewed by somebody on a prominent podcast. Basically it’s a goal that measures how your community views you.
And lastly I have my clients write down their short-term campaign goals. These are any kind of promotion they are working on at this time, or within the next 90 days. It’s a specific outcomes that they want to accomplish with a very specific effort. This could mean a launch, or a Black Friday sale, or a free email challenge.
SMART Goal Framework
With in each of these categories, we make sure that the goals my clients write down are using the SMART goal framework- there’s a few different versions of this, but I like to use
We need to be as specific as possible when we set our goals, so we can bring our strategy down from the clouds and into the dirt. Any good goal is measurable, so you can actually tell if your efforts are “working” or not. It also needs to be actionable, that can be tackled step by step with a plan. Even though I tend to set really high goals for myself, I encourage clients to be realistic when setting their goals, so they’re happy with their progress, and not bummed if they didn’t reach the goals in the time allotted. A goal without a deadline is just a dream, so we need to have time constraints on our goals. It’s not so much about the end result, and reaching the goal perfectly; but seeing the efforts you put in pay off and comparing them with all the things you try out.
I’ve included a Goal Setting Worksheet in this post for you to download when you are setting goals for your own business, and not just wandering aimlessly with your marketing and branding efforts.
Please let me know your thoughts or leave questions below in the comments! I’d love to see what YOUR SMART goals are, so please share in the comments as well!
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