Every business obviously wants to succeed, but what is the definition of success? SMART goals are a way to measure your business’ successes and failures. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Creating SMART goals helps define what actions will be needed in order to reach your end goal.
What is a SMART Goal?
SMART starts with “S” – or specific – and it’s the first step toward setting your goal. It acts as your goal’s mission statement. Specific goals describe exactly what you want to accomplish and always include the 6 W’s.
- Who will help achieve this goal?
- When do you want this goal to be completed?
- What are you precisely trying to achieve?
- What obstacles are standing in your way from reaching your goal?
- Where will this happen? (What area is affected by reaching this?)
- Why are you trying to reach this goal? (What purpose does it serve?)
Avoid general statements that have no substance. Ask yourself the questions above to help narrow your focus.
When setting a SMART goal, it’s always important to be able to measure progress. This measurement helps assess if you are on the right track or need to make adjustments to reach your goal. We suggest dividing a large goal into smaller goals. Not only is it less stressful to think in smaller amounts, but it also helps with time management.
For Example: If you are wanting to reach $120,000 in sales per year, focus your goal on reaching $10,000 a month instead.
When you are setting goals, it is important to make sure that they are actually achievable. Goals are designed to motivate you. If you can’t see the goal’s ability to be reached, you are setting yourself up for failure. Employees that believe they can reach a goal are more likely to stay encouraged and motivated to complete tasks to achieve it.
Think about how you can track your progress toward your goal. Small victories along the way will help keep motivation high.
Goals can be short term or long term, but understanding how this goal affects what your business wants to achieve in the long run is crucial. It is important to take note of the current conditions and realities of your business if you want your goal to be achievable.
For Example: You may want to open a new store across town, but your current store hasn’t been meeting sales goals for the past 6 months. Now would be the time to start discovering why the decrease in sales is occurring and to begin creating goals to increase sales, instead of directly opening a new store.
Without an estimated time, there can’t be a successful goal. You can say, ”I want to raise sales by 23%.” but without a time frame, the goal isn’t specific, measurable, relative or attainable. A lack of time frame could also lead to a lack of motivation by whoever is supposed to reach the goal. It’s easy to put off tasks or mini-goals when there isn’t a set due date. A time-bound goal will help create a sense of urgency.
For Example: A timely goal could be, “I will book the main event speaker for our fall retreat by June 1, 2019.” Now, you have a firm deadline everyone can work toward – and create supporting mini-goals leading up to it.
Broad Goal vs SMART Goal
Broad Goal: I want to grow my business.
SMART Goal: I will gain 5 new clients while retaining current clients within the next three months by asking clients for referrals and Google reviews, increasing my social media presence and creating a brochure to hand out, so my business’s revenue will increase and potentially expand.
- Specific: I will gain five new clients for my consulting business.
- Measurable: I will measure my progress by how many new clients I sign on while retaining my current clients.
- Attainable: I will ask current clients for referrals and Google reviews. I will also create a brochure to hand out and increase my presence on social media.
- Relevant: Adding additional clients will increase revenue and allow the opportunity for my business to expand.
- Time-Based: I will gain five new clients in three months.
SMART goals help your business grow and increase productivity. Setting goals helps employees stay on the same path while increasing employee motivation and engagement. Your business needs a defined plan and defined, specific goals to be successful. MJ Executive Consulting can help you identify and define your vision, mission and goals. And, we will help make sure you’ve got the tools you need to make it happen. Contact me today to start working on your company’s SMART goals!