How to set goals as a franchisee


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SMART goals

It’s Entrepreneurship Month in November, and we’re getting in a little early. There’s long been a debate whether franchisees are entrepreneurs, and there can be little doubt that apart from the tightest of definitions, you certainly are.

While a franchise dictates many of your decisions in business, there are still many decisions you have to make on your own account, and November is a sensible time to look at where you want your business to be in five years’ time. If you don’t dream it, you’re not likely to get there – or anywhere for that matter. The reality is that most people are unclear as to what they want to have achieved even by the end of today.

If the destination is success, the route is via goals

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Reading articles such as this, or reading one of the many books on the subject, may act as inspiration and prompt you to do what you instinctively know is right.

As a self-employed individual, you can’t treat your work as a nine-to-five, and sleep walk through your life. Decisions and choices always need to be made, and it is better you make them than have life make them for you. Lacking goals, you lack focus and direction. Goal setting allows you to take control of your life’s direction. It also provides you benchmark for determining whether you are succeeding or not.

There are two simple tips to setting goals:

  1. Set Goals That Motivate You

It is important that your goal motivates you, and gets you out of bed enthusiastically every morning. To determine what is motivating to you, write down why it’s valuable and important to you. Write it as though you had to convince someone else it is a worthwhile goal. Write it down and place this motivating value statement somewhere visible to remind yourself each day, in case you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to make your goal happen. This goal has to be of immense interest to you, or the chances of you putting in the work to make it (or them) happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.

  1. Set SMART Goals

SMART is a commonly used acronym, but nonetheless is a valuable tool in developing a worthwhile goal. There are a number of variations as to what SMART stands for, but the essence is that goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

Specific – your goal must be clear and well defined, thereby providing sufficient direction.

Measurable – be as precise as possible in setting amounts and dates, both qualitatively and quantitatively, thereby enabling you to measure your degree of success. Do not simply set a goal of ‘reduce expenses’ as it gives no parameters of success – rather say, ‘to reduce expenses by 10% within twelve months’. Don’t forget to set the baseline of what quantum expenses are currently.

Attainable – make sure the goal is realistically attainable, even if a stretch. If you set a goal that has no hope of achievement, you will quickly demoralise yourself and erode your confidence. Don’t rely on luck or prayers – they must be achievable by your own hard work. Also, make sure they are stretch goals – resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. You’ll be kidding only yourself. This doesn’t prevent you from setting goals that are outlandish or foolish — remember, you’re dreaming! Just set the right time frames, and also set intermediate, attainable goals.

Relevant – your goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and business to take. They should also not conflict with the policies of your franchisor, or it’s not a goal at all but a betrayal. Your goals should be in the direction of helping you develop focus to get ahead and accomplish what you want.

Time-bound – set a deadline, and also establish consequences to missing those deadlines. This increases your sense of urgency, and achievement will come that much quicker.

Thereafter, stick with it! Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity that can be repeated each year, or whenever individual goals are achieved.