SMART goals are an absolute asset for your business planning. And before you click away thinking, "I don't have time for that", think about this, 50% of the 1 in 2 businesses that fail by the end of their second year were actually profitable... yep... they made money but failed anyway. Ineffective planning is considered a problem that is too significant to overcome leading to businesses failing when they did not need too.
It isn't just goals that do it though, it's SMART goals. They can help you efficiently and effectively plan your project management, KPIs, employee standards and even goals in your personal life.
To use smart goals, start with a clear idea.
What are the specific details? For example, if your goal is to grow your business, break this down into smaller goals and include the 'how,' such as, "get more sales by improving the conversion of my website sales funnel."
You know you have picked your goal well if it is clearly measurable and you can see your progress. For the example above, your measure would be your site analytics. What percentage of visitors are converted? What percentage of these are turning into long-term, valuable customers?
Your goal should challenge you, but it shouldn't be impossible to achieve. For example, giving yourself a week to improve and measure your conversion rates would be unrealistic. This is also a great place to think about the outside resources you may need whether that is research, a tool or outsourcing.
Reflect on your goal, is it realistic? Do you have all the tools in place to achieve it? Do you have an appropriate time-frame? Have you set time to check in, reflect on your progress and make any adjustments? If you achieve your goal, does your business have processes and the capacity to deal with it? Such as the man-power to deal with the extra customer support that may come with higher sales?
Lastly, the most successful goals are time-bound. You will have a timeframe for completion as well as time set to check in and reflect on your progress. Your goals can be either long term or short term depending on their priority and steps involved.
For a free, usable SMART goal template to apply to your business, head to Shop to download it for free.