Setting goals is something every small business owner does. The goals can be simple or they can be overarching. Whether it’s a daily goal or an end-of-year goal, small business owners must get in the habit of using SMART goals. SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It may seem a bit much for setting goals, but if a goal is SMART, then it’s a goal having lasting impact on a business.
Specific goals are clear, concise, and they wiggle room. For example, a goal that’s not specific is to “Increase revenue over last year.” While the idea of increasing revenue seems specific, small business owners understand there are several types of revenue and different measurements. If measuring gross revenue, the goal has greater specificity. Goal setting with a specific metric in mind allows for the rest of the SMART process to flow easier, like a lazy river in a water park.
Small business owners understand the importance of metrics. Hitting a goal means knowing how to get there. The measurable component to goals takes it out of the subjective realm and makes it objective. Measurements also get into the actions as well. When a goal is measurable, small business owners think about processes leading to the measurable number. Process-oriented thinking is an important part of running a business, and the measurable component brings these goals to life.
There are many small businesses setting outrageous goals only to achieve great things but feel like failures because this massive goal hasn’t been reached. Achievable doesn’t mean not to reach for stars – it means set high but reasonable expectations. For example, if a small business grew by 5% last year, why not aim for 7%? That’s a reasonable increase whereas 20% is hard to come by. Achievable goals keep morale up, and if success is coming too easy, the goal is always adjustable.
The goals must be centered on a small business’s operations. Relevant seems easy to understand, but the truth is many small business owners set goals outside of a business’s bailiwick. Goals unrelated to the performance of the business must be discarded. Any goal relating to the performance of the business is considered relevant.
Time-bound is a simple concept – there’s an expiration window on when the goal is to be reached. Goals should never have an open time frame. Time-bound goals get everyone on board and create a sense of urgency. The timeframe itself can be large or small; for example, yearly revenue requires 365 days, but weekly sales require less time.
Setting goals is essential for all small businesses. ROI consultants work with many small businesses and help build processes to create SMART goals. Create a culture of success within your small business by speaking with an ROI consultant today firstname.lastname@example.org.