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Have you ever felt that as a business owner, you’re working hard but still unable to get anywhere? It may be necessary for you to spend some more time reassessing or evaluating your company’s objectives. Or have you not set any strategic goals at all? Lack of preparation and unrealistic goals are major contributors to business failure.
One of the most effective ways for a company to stay ahead of the competition is to establish and pursue worthwhile goals. In this article, we will explore how you can implement SMART goals into your organization’s SOP to boost efficiency.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. The SMART goals strategy is designed to structure your business goals so that you achieve your goals more systematically. Setting SMART goals is essential as it helps stay focused and productively achieve goals. The following are the key points of SMART goals:
Being specific means knowing what you want to accomplish as a business. You must answer the 4Ws when setting goals; What do I want to achieve? Why is it important? Who will be involved? Where is the goal located?
Always set measurable goals so you can move in the right direction. Measurable goals allow you to know your progress. Goals can be measured based on data, the number of customers or viewers, feedback, and more.
Besides being measurable, your business goals should be realistic and attainable. You must have enough resources to achieve those goals; if you don’t, you must work on having more resources first. As a business owner, you must ensure you have the time and money needed to attain those goals.
Your goals should be relevant to your business. Focus only on those goals that are beneficial for your business. If you launch a new product, you must make sure that the product is in line with your business goals and your company’s mission.
Goals should always be time-based because milestones are considered useless if you achieve a goal in more time than required. As such, goals are meaningless if a business doesn’t achieve them in a specific period. Planning a deliverable date is important and gives the motivation to do something in a more focused way.
Why Does Your Business Need SMART Goals, anyway?
SMART goals increase productivity, and every business should implement them for a more organized approach. Goal setting also helps companies set criteria to measure their performance and complete them on time. When you get a pencil and paper and jot down the SMART goals, you realize that there are many things you can do to improve your business operations and attain goals.
To come up with the best SMART goals, you must ask yourself all the questions that are needed to achieve these goals. Often businesses set unrealistic goals and fail to achieve them because the goals aren’t set in a properly planned way. Your online business needs SMART goals to help you organize and get the right direction to achieve your goals.
Pros and Cons of SMART Goals
SMART goals have many benefits, which is why many businesses pay attention to these before writing down their goals and missions. First, with the help of these goals, you get the ‘push’ that you need to move on and an ‘objective’ that you wish to achieve as a business. These goals motivate you to succeed because you know you have a milestone to achieve at a particular time. To summarize, this is a handy tool to remain motivated and focused and achieve business goals.
There are a few disadvantages of the SMART goals strategy too. For instance, business owners or employees may get too involved and spend a lot of time developing realistic SMART goals. Plus, if these goals are misunderstood or are created without proper planning, they will be meaningless. Also, these goals don’t work for the long term as there is no flexibility.
Examples of SMART Goals in Business
Following are examples of all the components of a Smart Goal:
Specific: Let’s suppose you have to market your products in Kansas. A non-smart goal approach will be if you just move on with the marketing process in Kansas. On the other hand, a smart-goal approach will be to start a proper networking program in Kansas. Plus, you must define the number of people that will be targeted and determine how many of them will use the products.
Measurable: Suppose your online business goal is to reach 60,000 sales per year. To achieve this milestone, you must make 5000 sales per month and focus on achieving, let’s say, $10,000 per month (or calculate the price of each product and the total sales in dollars per month).
Attainable: When you make goals, you must ensure they’re achievable. For example, if your online business is about providing home cleaning services and you have only three teams to do the home cleaning tasks. In this case, if you set a goal of cleaning five homes per day, it will be unrealistic as you don’t have enough resources.
Relevant: Your business goals should be relevant to your business’s field. For instance, you have to sell fertilizer in rural areas. Now, this wouldn’t be relevant if you set a goal to increase your followers on your social media page. Why? For the most part, those living in remote locations lack the technological literacy to make effective use of social media.
Time-based: You ran a freelancing agency and gave the writing team a target of writing 5,000 words. However, you forgot to specify the time or define a deadline for achieving the target. If your writing team delivers 5,000 words in three days, your target won’t be achieved since your client wants 5,000 words daily.
Often businesses don’t achieve their goals because they haven’t set SMART goals for their company. You can gain insight into your strengths and areas for improvement in business operations by establishing SMART goals. Now that you’ve understood how to set and use these goals efficiently, I hope your business will get the planning and structure it lacks.
I know you are already busy, but set some time apart to establish those goals today!