SMART goals demonstrate a good example of what should be expressed in the goals of your business. To break this down, they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. But, what do all these really mean? This blog post will go through the elements that make up SMART goals and how they can help you and your business.
When setting your SMART goal, it needs to refer to the precise aspect of your business where you are trying to improve. Providing as much depth and going into detail is how your goal is going to become effective. You need to clarify where, why, when it needs to be achieved and how you are going to meet this goal.
It needs to be clear to peers and well defined to anyone that has a basic understanding of the project. Make your goal sensible but significant and think about how this goal will add value to the business. You are always wanting to add value so stick to this when setting out your SMART goals.
Your goal needs to be tracked, otherwise how are you going to know if it was successful? Measuring your success will tell you how far along you are and how far you have come. So, if your business wants to gain twice as many followers next month than the previous month, then how many followers are you away? How many followers so far? Is it looking likely you will achieve this goal?
Measuring success also shows that you may fail. So, be prepared that it might not be the result you want to see. A metric is needed to measure the success; these can be qualitative or quantitative. Make sure you use the right data types and data collection methods to measure the right aspects.
Remember, it’s okay to not necessarily be at the point you want to be at, but progress is progress and it’s always good to have something to work towards.
Be ambitious, but realistic. Your goal needs to be achievable in the timeframe that you have, otherwise there’s not much point setting it in the first place. However, don’t set yourself a goal that would be likely to already be met.
Set yourself a challenge and don’t limit yourself. Be enthusiastic in what you want to achieve. If you set yourself too much of an easy goal, it can bring discouragement and lack of motivation. It’s best to find that happy medium between aspiration and practicality.
Make sure the goal you set is relevant to creating a positive impact on your business. Set a goal if there is actually something you want to achieve, not just for the sake of it. Will it increase revenue? Will it create more leads? Also, make sure it is aligned with the current business state.
The goal needs to be in line with the business objectives and be up to date with any potential new launches. Using the wrong terminology could confuse who you are trying to target. Think about whether you are a business to consumer or business to business company and always refer to the right contact you are reaching out to in your SMART goals.
There should be a sense of urgency with your goal, just like meeting a deadline. Deadlines can be stressful but would we ever get complete a piece of work without them? They can avoid procrastination and make you move a little quicker in order to reach your goal. Having a timeline can show where you should be and whether you are behind or ahead of reaching your objective. Keep the time flexible, so you aren’t rushed and have the ability to continue to work on your goal in unexpected circumstances.
Next time you plan out a business growth strategy, think about using SMART goals while setting yourself an achievable target and align them to your overall business goals. Follow SMART and you’ll always be able to understand where your strategy is at, rather than chucking a few things together hoping they work.