You already know the importance of setting goals for your company, and you probably have quite a few penned down to accomplish this year. You might have another list of objectives at the beginning of last year and the year before, too. But how many targets do you accomplish each time the year ends?
Many business owners start off with an ambitious list of things they need to do. It’s a commendable act; goals keep you motivated along the way and help you achieve success. But many people never usually get around to accomplishing even half of the goals they set. This is mainly because their goals lack focus.
A lot of people establish too many goals, which are mostly unspecific of how they are going to achieve them. However, setting up S.MA.R.T. goals can help them plan their tasks wisely making it easier to complete and lessen the stress in juggling responsibilities.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. It is a proven goal setting procedure that high achievers use to reach their goals consistently.
Learn how the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T. goals by following the tips below, so you and your business can achieve success in no time.
1. Identify and Clearly Define Specific Goals
Great goals are well-defined. Outline exactly what you want to achieve and break it down to specific tasks. Explain what you need to do, when you need to do it, how you are going to do it and the desired result of your goals. “To expand the business to Asian markets” is a good goal, albeit a very vague one. It can be revised to a more specific goal like, “To open 10 outlets in 5 Southeast Asian countries by December 2016 and gain an international market share.”
Also, when you have identified your specific goals, write them down for future reference, clarity of thought and accountability.
2. Measure Your Goals
Setting a goal without measurable outcomes is like a tennis competition without a scorekeeper. You’ll never know if you are winning. Put concrete numbers to your goals to track and recognize the milestones you reach. A measurable goal should answer these questions: How much? How many? How will you know if you have reached your goal?
The goal outlined in the previous point is a good example of a measurable goal. It answers the number of outlets the organization needs to open, the number of countries it needs to have a presence in and the timeframe it needs to happen. By the end of 2016, the organization will measure their results by the number of stores opened and the countries they have entered.
3. Have Resources to Attain Your Set Goals
One of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs when setting goals is aiming out of reach. No one has ever built a billion-dollar business overnight. It took top companies many years of hard work and strategizing to get to where they are. This, in no way, means you need to stop dreaming or that you must set sub-standard goals. It just means you should have a foot placed firmly in reality while you reach for the stars.
Take inventory of your available resources, skills and tools, and compare them with what’s necessary to achieve your goal. Scale down your goals to what’s possible to hit according to your resources in the current situation and keep updating them as you grow.
4. Set Goals That Are Realistic and Relevant
Your goals should matter to your business. This is, perhaps, the most important part of setting goals and should be considered first. Your goals won’t matter if they are not relevant to your business, whether they are attainable and measurable. You will just spend time pursuing goals that do little to improve your business.
Relevant and realistic goals are those that are closely related to what your business does and will drive it forward. A practical goal should answer questions like:
Is it worth pursuing? Is it the right time? Is it feasible in the current socio-economic climate?
Take careful consideration of the business climate and set goals that are based on current economic conditions and business realities. For example, your company might be doing well and you’re looking to increase its revenue through sales by 50% at the end of the year, but if a looming economic recession and a big increase of competitors will develop, your goal might not be realistic at the current time.
5. Have a Timeframe for Achieving Goals
If your goal for your business is to make a 50% revenue increase, sure, that could happen. But it could be in 50 years’ time if you don’t set a timeframe to achieve it. A timeframe gives you a deadline to strive for, and that will motivate you to work harder to reach your target.
Set a particular time when you’ll start working on your goals, when you’ll review the progress, when the goal should be completed and when you’ll assess the result. Doing such practice will give you a sense of urgency and avoid replacing your goal with other day-to-day crises that will be invariably present as your business grows.
Whether you are a budding empire of 50 people or just starting out on your own, setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is essential to your success. Without goals, you have no defined purpose or a benchmark to strive for, consequently forcing you to struggle in moving your business forward.
If you want to learn more about setting goals and achieving them, then you must log into the Mindset, Mechanics & Money – Daily Power-Up Call.
Source: https://www.smart-goals-guide.com/smart-goal.html, The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives." was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham.