Would you design a building without blueprints?
Could you build a house without plans?
Would you go tramping without a map and compass?
Most people wouldn’t conceive of starting a project or journey without direction and guidance… Why is a business goal any different?
An integral part of a successful business is a Business Plan.
An integral part of a successful Business Plan is the setting of goals.
An integral part of setting Goals is the use of the “SMART” Goals process.
Do you want a successful business? → Having a SMART Goals plan:
Clearly encapsulates what you want to achieve,
Lays out the critical details in a simple and easy to understand way.
Imparts the ability to capture and measure progress.
Creates clarity and increases accountability.
What is the SMART Goals process? →
It’s a streamlined process that uses 5 criteria that ensures that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound:
Make your goal specific. The more specific it is, the easier it will be to identify if you’ve achieved it. Drill down to outcomes and use action words.
How will you measure progress to target or completion? Utilising specific dates, times or numbers will work better than using a vague indicator.
Make sure the goals are within your scope. Setting achievable goals is critical to creating momentum. Review each goal seriously and assess it’s possibility.
The delivered goal must be relevant to the required business outcome, achievement or job function. It must improve the business in some way
Lock your goal delivery into a timeframe. State the required date for goal completion. Be specific so that progress can be mapped towards completion.
- Each letter in the SMART acronym highlights a different and critical aspect of the outcome you seek to achieve.
- Capturing them in writing will help to achieve them. Create a document and update it regularly with progress.
- Using a formula means you do not forget any critical data.
- This process will improve clarity and create accountability between team members.
Each part of the Acronym works like this:
As opposed to saying “I want more sales”, a smart goal would be “My aim for the first quarter is to sign up $10,000 worth of sales by [insert date]”
Be specific and use action verbs so that the objective, who is responsible and what steps need to be taken and the date they must be taken by, is captured and concise.
This helps you clarify/quantify what you do, so you can measure them.
You can measure “$10,000”.
You can measure specific dates.
Has the goal been assessed carefully? Is $10,000 by a specific date possible, probable or futile? Setting goals that will never be achieved defeats the purpose of planning.
Refer to your Business plan to ensure that the goal is in line with your overall business needs. The most critical business deliverables should be the most relevant.
Setting a timeframe for your goals means that you can map out timeframes for deliverables and measure progress towards a conclusion. This also motivates those involved.
An Example of a very simple SMART Goal:
“My aim for the first quarter is to sign up $10,000 worth of sales by [insert date]”
“Use the company Invoiced Sales Report every Monday to record confirmed sales and progress to goal.”
“Historical sales performance, portfolio planning and identified opportunities indicate that this is achievable.”
“The business requires a 10% year-on-year increase by quarter in sales, to achieve market percentage and growth forecast in business plan.
Two progress checkpoints of $3300 by January 31st and $6600 by February 28th with final figure of $10,000 to be delivered by March 31st.
You don’t build a house without plans and you wouldn’t go tramping without a map. Your business goals are the same. Make sure your business has a plan, and that the goals in that plan are SMART.
If you’re starting a new business or seeking growth, contact me for a free 2-hour assessment and report.
If you wish to learn more about me, a resume of my skills, experience and qualifications are available on my website. feel free to email me for a summary of recently completed projects.
P.S. This article is part of my Secrets of Success series, aimed at helping business owners and entrepreneurs with some of the key components of business success. The insights I wish I’d had at the start of my business career. I hope that by passing on these little gems of knowledge I can give you some support and help you along the pathway to growth and prosperity.