As businesses gear up for the New Year, it’s essential to sit down and brainstorm how you want your organization to grow. Setting Smart Goals (or S.M.A.R.T.) is a popular method used by many business leaders and entrepreneurs to set objectives that are realistic, achievable, and measurable. This way, owners can effectively track their progress toward meeting each goal – whether it’s increasing sales or growing customer satisfaction rates – and make sure they’re working on tasks necessary to reach those objectives by year-end.
There are many good reasons a business owner would want to consider what they want to achieve in this new year. Here’s how to set SMART goals:
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.
A specific goal states who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Ask yourself these questions to get more specific about your business goals: What exactly needs to be accomplished? Who else might be involved? Where will this take place? Why do I want to accomplish this?
When setting goals, you want to allow benchmarks so you can track your progress.
Ask these questions: How will I know if I have succeeded? How many steps will it take to achieve this?
Make sure your goal is actually possible. Don’t set yourself up for failure — it helps to break down a larger goal into several smaller steps.
Ask yourself: Do I have the resources I need to make this happen? Is this goal too easy or too hard for me to accomplish? Will the steps I have planned help me reach my goal?
Your goals should fit your business strategy to be most effective.
Questions to ask: Can I commit to this goal? Does this goal conflict with other goals? Will this get my business where I want it to be?
Set a time frame to complete the goal. Otherwise, the goal may never be reached promptly.
Questions to answer: When is the deadline? When do I need to take action?
Share your goals with someone else and ask them to be your accountability partner (someone who will check in with you regularly to get an update on your progress and discuss how to overcome obstacles). Publically stating your goal will increase your level of accountability and the amount of support you will receive from others.
Also, don’t be afraid to revise your goals. Review your goals, make changes if necessary.