The new year is fast approaching and 2018 will be coming to its end. Have you achieved the goals you’d set for yourself and your pet retail business? Did you start 2018 with specific goals or did you cross your fingers and hope for the best?
We believe in starting every year with a plan. A goal. A focused set of action steps to achieve success. We also know that if you don’t have a plan you can’t truly measure whether you’re achieving success. Sure, your balance sheets will show that you’re in the red or in the black, but even with that – do you know why you’re not making money or why you are? It’s hard to tell if you don’t know what you did to achieve those numbers.
This year – 2019 – let’s start the year with S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym is a way to write down a goal and follow it through.
Are you ready to meet 2019 with a plan in place? Of course you are!
Goal Setting For 2019 For Pet Retailers
S.M.A.R.T. stands for
Achievable or Attainable
When you have a SPECIFIC goal you are more likely to achieve it. Let’s say for example, a time-honored resolution. “I want to lose weight” or “I want my business to make more money.” There’s nothing specific about “losing weight” or “more money.”
If you say I want to lose TEN POUNDS or I want to make $1,000 MORE a month than I did in 2018 that is SPECIFIC.
Look at your goals and make them specific. If you want to cross them of your list in 2019, you need to write them down and set a specific action or amount to them.
Your MEASURABLE goal let’s you know whether you have truly achieved it. If you want to “raise awareness” of your pet retail store what does that truly mean? Raising awareness is a vague construct. Saying you want to “increase foot traffic to your store” or “get more referrals through Facebook” these are measurable items BUT you need to set specific numbers to them. For example you want to “get 10 more customers a week in the store” that’s MEASURABLE and SPECIFIC.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal that isn’t ATTAINABLE. Sure, you want to make $10,000 more a month BUT if you’re making $100 a month right now, is it truly ATTAINABLE to think you can jump to $10,000 a month? Yes, you want to push yourself to higher goals, but don’t overshoot your goals.
Maybe you could ACHIEVE or ATTAIN a $10,000 increase in the first quarter then shoot for that.
REALISTIC goals are akin to the ACHIEVABLE or ATTAINABLE goals. A $10,000 increase might be attainable for you. If you have the insight to back that up, then go for it!
Look at industry trends. Check out the state of business in your specific location and set goals that are realistic for you. Also, when setting all of these goals, you will need to go back and assure yourself that you have the resources in place to help you achieve and attain and set realistic, measurable goals.
For example if your goal is to increase website traffic you need to ask yourself:
- Do you have a website that can support this increase?
- Does my website need to be updated/upgraded and if so, what resource (personnel and money) do I need to do this and can I allocate those resources
- What will you to do increase traffic? Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for that
Deadlines and TIME BOUND goals keep you focused and on track. It’s very easy to say “I want to lose ten pounds” or “Make $1,000 more a month” but if you don’t give yourself a TIME BOUND deadline you could drag those goals out until December of 2019. Will that have served you or your business? Is that a S.M.A.R.T. goal if it hasn’t been attained until the next year is over? Probably not.
With all of your goals, you want to set a deadline for achieving it. Make it realistic. Chances are you’re not going to “lose ten pounds” in the next 24-hours BUT you may be able to lose ten pounds by March 1, right? Don’t forget your “lose ten pounds” S.M.A.R.T. goal will bring with it other, smaller goals that will help you achieve the over arching “ten pound” goal.
Whew! Goal setting may seem like a lot of work and it may be. BUT if you don’t set goals and if you don’t have your own road map toward success for your pet retail business, how will you know if you’ve “arrived.”
As Lewis Carroll famously wrote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Don’t you want to know where you’re going?