Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Goals or hopes ?

The Etsy forums are full of Etsyians saying such things like

"My goals this year are 100 more sales."

Well, that is not a goal it is a hope. A goal is something that can be achieved via a course of action. A hope is something that you have no control over.

So I am sure you can all understand what a hope is "My hope is that I win the lottery. Yes I can buy a ticket, but my odds of winning are out of my control."

So what is a goal and how do you define it as such?

A goal is a task that is set down on paper with 5 qualifying criteria.

I have simplified this method, there are others , but for my blog I am going to introduce you to S.M.A.R.T.

Stands for
S - Specific
M- Measureable
A- Achieveable
R- Realistic
T- Time Bound

A written goal therefore needs to have these 5 criteria met for it to be achieved. A simple example follows

It can't be a vague goal such as I want to start a blog. It has to be SPECIFIC - which is - I will ask for advice tomorrow about which Blog I should start and I will join and get my free account up and running by Sunday.

This is now also a MEASUREABLE task as you have given a day by which to complete. It is either done by Sunday or not.

The task has to be ACHIEVEABLE - so, is it feasiable to get some feedback about blogs, and then decide, log on, and create a free acccount in the next X days? If I was going to say that I want to climb Everest by tomorrow afternoon, this is just not ACHIEVEABLE.

IS it a REALISTIC task? For instance, is it a simple enough task , that you , with your skills can complete? In this case, yes it is. Signing up for Blogs is idiot proof. (I am a good example - you are reading my blog afterall)

IS it TIME BOUND? Again we accomplished that one by saying "by Sunday". If we forget to mention a timescale, beit a week, month or year, the task is meaningless.

As I mentioned earlier, there are other methods for composing tasks, and this is not meant to be a definitive article on task setting - you could write a book on that one.

So how do you set SALE GOALS?

You don't.

What you do , is set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. and once performed, they have the potential to deliver sales. Such tasks to set that "might" influence sales would be...

Better Photos
better Descriptions
Better use of Tags
Starting and regular use of a blog
Writing for other peoples blogs
Creating Treasurys
Posting on the Forums
Listing daily/weekly etc
Starting a Flickr account
Sell wholesale
Sell in Galleries/Shops
Joining an Etsy Team
...................there are many, many more activities which will increase your exposure to the world. These activities will hopefully deliver your dream of more sales.

It is vitally important that you understand the difference between a hope, which you have no control over, and a task that can be achieved following the S.M.A.R.T. rule. When you read your written goal (yes yo have to write them down) you should be able to tick off the 5 criteria.

Hope the info helps - any questions - gt in contact.


Homespun Mama said...

Another great post from you. THANKS!
I'm posting about your spreadsheet today, and linking to your blog. You just have so much great information. Thanks again!

MonsterBug Blankets said...

Thanks--this is great! I like the "smart" way of setting goals, and the definition of hopes vs goals. Thanks for keeping me on track! :)
MonsterBug Blankets

Roie said...

do this at work all the time but the fact you need to do it for "your work" i.e. Etsy had kinda passed me by! I have just set up a blog www.roiesblog.blogspot.com
and a flickr account so I suppose I am part way there. I am trying to avoid the Etsy posts that sound desperate cos begging just isn't my thing. You either like my stuff or you don't

Thanks again for the tip.


duckduck said...

SMART targets! now there was me thinking they were part of my day job (I teach; they're the bane of my life) - but you're absolutely right.