SMART Business Goals
There are so many things to do when it comes to growing your business it's difficult to know what to do first. Whether you're the CEO, Executive Director or a team member, determining where to really focus your energy can be a challenge. Everyday you have to ask yourself: Are the actions I'm taking getting me closer to my goal?
Goal Setting in Business
Goal setting in business can become ambiguous and cloudy. Sure, everyone wants more funding, more customers, more resources, or more awareness, but how do you take these vague concepts and turn them into actionable steps, activities, and tasks that really make a difference in your daily activities?
Getting SMART about it
When you consider your business goals the first thing you want to do is clarify what it is you are trying to achieve. For example, what does growing your business really mean for you --- hiring staff, building brand awareness, increasing volunteers or donors, expanding into new markets, improving operations, strategic planning? Until you become very clear on what it is you truly need to accomplish and define your next level of growth, you can easily continue down a path that is not leading you to where you want to go. This means you have to be SMART.
S - Get as Specific as possible about what it is you want to accomplish. Ex. Increase Productivity might become Increase call reports to 25.
M - Determine how you will Measure your progress. What is your anticipated outcome? Ex. Decrease overtime by 15%.
A - How Attainable is your goal? Attainable means that your goal is both manageable and possible, thus it's something within your reach. This is where you determine what resources, be it finances, staff support, or other resources are available that will allow you to meet the goal you have outlined.
R- Consequently, setting smart goals means being Realistic. How reasonable and practical is your goal based on your capacity. Think big, but don't set yourself up for disappointment.
T- Adding a Time Frame to your goal makes the expectations around completion clear for all those involved. If you set a goal with specific time frames, everyone, including yourself understands when results should be accomplished. Ex. Increase productivity (call reports to 25) and decrease overtime by 15% over the next 6 months.
Regardless of how SMART your goal is, without a clear cut road map (actionable steps to complete your goal) it can be challenging to complete. Thus you must take SMART actions. Knowing exactly what is needed to make your goals a reality is the missing key to the goal setting process.