Everyone in the business world wants to be successful. Whether you’re working on a team or you’re self-employed, it is vital to understand how your business defines success. The best way to decide that is to set goals for yourself or for your team. However, not all goals are created equal. Your business needs SMART goals.
When referring to SMART goals, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It is important to outline each of these parameters to ensure that your goals can be accomplished within a set timeframe. This removes vagueness and guesswork, sets up a well-defined window of time, and makes it easier to measure progress and recognize areas that need improvement.
A key difference between a goal and a dream is specificity. If a company sets a goal to simply generate more revenue, that would be far too vague. It would be much more helpful to pick a precise figure for how much you aim to earn. Do you want to start bringing in $10,000 a month? $20,000? How many new customers do you want to acquire this year? Set a clear number. This will allow you to measure your progress.
How do you quantify your goal? Can you? How will you know when you have met them? A measurable goal is concrete and offers you a way to gauge your progress. Making a goal measurable may seem obvious, however, many businesses and individuals fail to consider this factor when outlining their goals. How can you achieve a goal if it isn’t tangible enough to measure? To make your goal is more effective, you should always implement measurable benchmarks that you can evaluate.
A few years ago, Apple surpassed the 1 trillion dollar market cap, and while you should never be discouraged from aiming high in your business ventures, setting similar success as a short-term goal is extremely unrealistic. When outlining your goals, it is important to look at your business and ask yourself questions that will help you understand whether your goals are attainable (at the present state of your company) or not. What is necessary to reach your goal? Can you achieve it with the time/resources/personnel currently at your disposal? How does your course need to be adjusted to get there?
A relevant goal focuses on something that makes sense within the scope of your business. If you’re wanting to create a new campaign for your company’s product, that campaign should align with the overall objectives of your business. Your team may have the time and resources to launch the campaign, but if your business is not prioritizing launching that type of campaign, then the goal wouldn’t be relevant.
To effectively measure success, your business needs a well-defined timeline for when a goal needs to be met. Anyone can outline goals, but if your goals lack an achievable timeframe, you’re not likely to accomplish them. Giving yourself a deadline for finishing tasks is important. Ask focused questions about the goal deadline and what can be realistically completed in that time.
More SMART Goal tips
Get your team involved.
People tend to care more about the goals they help make. Bring your team in on the creative process and include them in the decision of selecting the targets they will personally undertake.
Write down your goals.
Putting your goals in writing makes you much more likely to accomplish them. Give a copy to your team members. Outline long-term and short-term goals with your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Review your goals.
Following completed milestones, review your performance and the business’s overall performance. What were you aiming for? Did you accomplish your goal? What were the positive and negative takeaways? What was learned that can help improve your future performance?
Revise and edit the goals as needed.
Goals don’t have to be set in stone. As you progress in a project, you may realize that you have to adjust your strategies, or even revise your overarching SMART goal. Periodically give yourself opportunities to make sure that your plan is still in alignment with your business’s main mission and vision.
Set Yourself Up For Success
It can seem daunting to outline goals in this much detail. But the more you flesh out what you’re aiming at and how you will get there, the better equipped you will be for the journey.
Simply mulling over hopes and dreams in your head won’t get you closer to success. So, set yourself up for success by making your goals tangible. You wouldn’t start a long journey without some sort of roadmap. You should treat your business journey the same. Understanding why and how to set SMART goals will give your business structure to help you succeed in making and meeting goals.