If you operate a business or are looking to start a new business, your overall goals and strategies are absolutely vital to the success of your venture. But are your goals feasible? Are they gearing you up for success or failure? There are several factors to take into consideration when designing your business strategies to help keep you focused and streamlined to achieving your desired results. Developing SMART goals and strategies is an important tool to help prevent you and your business from derailing.
SMART is a business/entrepreneurial acronym that stands for S- specific, M- measurable, A- action-based, R- realistic and T- time-bound. These principles when applied to your goals and strategies help to give you an understanding of whether or not your business is operating or intend to operate in a manner that will achieve the best possible results.
Firstly, you need to ensure that your goals are specific. Have a detailed idea of exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. "To make money" is way too broad a goal because that is what all businesses want to do. Try to tailor your goal to detailed tasks that you want to accomplish. Lets say you operate a pet store, and your sales have not been great. A good "specific" goal could be to increase the sales for your lowest performing area, like your reptile sales. By improving this particular area, that would ultimately improve your larger goal of increasing your sales.
Next, is measurable. Here you would identify what quantifiable things will help you to determine if you underperformed, met the criteria or exceeded it. Using the same pet store example your reptiles sales report would do. So the total number of reptiles sold is how you would measure this performance. As the business operator you would know just how many need to be sold to assess how well you performed.
The next step is achievable. This comprises of the various activities you'll need to undertake that will help you to meet the specific goal. This section gives you an opportunity to brainstorm and come up with various ideas that can help you achieve your goals. This is also an opportunity to evaluate if these proposals are within your power of doing. Increased marketing, upselling and so on could be tasks to increase the sales of the reptiles in our pet store example. These tasks once completed should be leading you and the business towards the desired outcome.
The realistic section helps you to determine if your strategy or endeavor as a whole is feasible. Here you ask yourself, based on the actions that I will undertake, whether or not my desired outcome is possible, or too ambitious and needs to be revised.
And lastly, time-bound. Here you assign a time period in which you expect to achieve the overall objective after completing the various tasks previously stipulated. By following the SMART goals outline, you should be able to determine whether or not your objective is feasible and be able to achieve your business goals a little easier.
If you would like help improving or starting your business, contact us today to learn how our business consulting services can bring you closer to success.