SMART goals - Business Planning - Business Station - Perth

Setting SMART Goals for your Business – the key to success!

Have you ever wanted to achieve something for your business, but aren’t sure how to get started? Or have you tried to act on them, but failed to achieve your vision?

It’s time for a new way of thinking.

No matter how big or small your goal is, there is always a way to turn it into reality. However, in order to get to where you want to be, you first need to know where you are going.

To create and maintain your determination to follow through with achieving your goals, you must ensure that you are moving towards them. This means that, you carry out various means to stay focused. These means may include creating vision boards and setting up regular daily reminders of what your overall goals are. If you really want it, there will always be a way to remind yourself of it – set phone reminders, have it on post-it notes, or even write it on your mirror. These are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you are going in the right direction.

Anyone can set a goal, but not everyone makes it a SMART goal, and therefore, few actually accomplish it. Until you’ve gotten specific with what it is you’re trying to accomplish, and have a way to measure your progress, you won’t be able to put a plan in place to execute. Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:

SPECIFIC – Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.
• WHAT do you want to achieve or do?
• WHY is it important or why do you want it?
• HOW are you going to achieve it?
Provide as much detail as possible, we want it to be a clear and definite outcome of what you want to achieve.

MEASUREABLE – Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can monitor the changes as they happen. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goals that you set. When you are able to measure your progress, you know that you are on track to reach your targets.
As an example of a goal, as a business owner, let’s say “you would want to obtain three clients in the next three months”. Measuring goals allows you to be accountable for the action that is associated with that goal. Measuring goals also helps when implementing strategy. Therefore, if you know you have to get three clients over the next three months, your strategy would be based around achieving this particular outcome. Multi-national companies also implement this perspective – HP teaches their sales staff that for every 100 clients that they connect with, 10 would be interested, and one would become a client. Therefore, if your new strategy means three clients in the next three months, you can tie that in with 100 client visits every month – linking to your measurable goal of three clients in three months.

ACHIEVABLE – As cliché as it may sound, you need to believe that your business goal is achievable. However, when I say achievable, you as the business owner should be the one to believe that you are capable of attaining your goals. Many times over, you will hear people tell you that your business idea is not worth doing, that you are simply wasting your time for nothing – but what matters most is that YOU believe in your business and that YOU can see how your business model is going to give you the success that you dream of.
When you identify the goals that are most important to you, you come up with ideas to realise them. You develop the attitude, skills, and abilities to make them come true. You seek for opportunities, and you take them with great commitment.

RELEVANT – Set goals that are important to you and to where your business is right now. Do not set goals just because someone else is pressuring you to work towards those, because in this case, you would not be really motivated in the long run. It is within your bounds and experience that you will develop the confidence that you will be able to achieve the goals that you care for. Keep on examining your goals. Are they worthwhile and will they meet your needs?

TIME-BOUND – Time your goals and include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline will push you to get started right away.
For example, you goal is to have your company website to be up within two months. The following week of that, you want to start advertising on Google Adwords, Gumtree, in the local paper, and so on. If you have dates and schedule linked to your progress, you will be able to closely monitor where you are. Therefore, you are less likely to lose track of time and spend many months, if not years, plotting along without actually taking a step towards your goal.

To sum it up, goal setting and a clear vision are both vital steps in any business. Whether you are starting out or already halfway through. Ask yourself the question, where do I see this business in the next 1-3 or 5-10 years? What do I want to get out of this business? Then be SMART about it, and set some goals that are structured towards achieving that goal!

Do not be afraid of the process because these are formulated to benefit you and your business in the future. Goal setting is easy, especially if you are very inclined to your vision, all it takes is breaking them down against the SMART criteria to ensure that you have the drive and capacity to start executing.

Tanja Coyne
Business Station Manager/Advisor
Business Owner