How to Set Smarter Goals

How to Set Smarter Goals

Every business owner has to set clear goals to meet specific outcomes. But with a to-do list longer than the line at the DMV, your plans might get side tracked or misconstrued. And when your answers to questions like “How will we market our new product?” or “What are our financial goals for the next quarter?” start sounding vague, your results are likely to be weak, too.

That’s where SMART goals come in: a method for setting clear objectives and achieving tangible outcomes. The acronym, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, will keep you on-track to complete whatever task is at hand. Here’s how you can put your business on the fast-track by applying the principles of SMART goals.

  • Specific: Your goals should be well-defined and focused. Be specific about what you want to accomplish, thinking about this step as the mission statement for your goal. After all, “Obtain two new corporate clients in our area with an interest in X and Y projects” is a stronger statement than “Get more clients.”
  • Measurable: A goal without a measurement system is like a sports game without a scoreboard. There’s no definite way to tell if you did what you set out to do. Add tangible number to your goal to keep you on track. A white board in your office or shared spreadsheet will keep you and your employees motivated.
  • Attainable: Your goals should inspire motivation, not discouragement. Too often, business people pursue goals which are too large and costly. While you might get there someday, focus on what you can do for your business right now. Take a pulse check on your industry to get a handle on realistic growth opportunities for your business.
  • Relevant: Achievable goals are based on the reality of your business. For example, if you’re looking to launch a new product, it should be something that’s in alignment with your overall business objectives. Look at where your company is, then decide where to go from there.
  • Time-based: Anyone can set goals, but if there’s no time frame tied to them, chances are they won’t get done. Set a deadline for yourself, then decide what’s achievable at a quarter, half-way, and three-quarters of the way into the process.

When your business goals are SMART, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. Need a little help setting your next objective? Contact us today to learn how we can help you set SMART goals and implement even smarter solutions.

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