“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
For someone who’s in the midst of starting a business, having a well-define and focused goal are important. Without goals, they have no defined purpose or nothing to strive for. It might be a simple thing, but many people have spent a big amount of time only to decide and align their business goal. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) Goal as a tool helps you and your team clarify your ideas, focuses your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want with your business. To manage your business objectives efficiently to achieve a better and clearer goal, below are some detail information about SMART Goals you can follow:
The first step are to be simple, sensible, and significant. Throw away all the goals that seem vague with no specific action in it like ‘our company wants to be successful’ or ‘our company wants to help our partners’. A goal with action plans that is to-the-point and easy to be understood with its simpleness will give ease and clearance for other parties involved what they should do. Precise and specific goals would also help them know what is expected of them. It will even be more helpful if a quantitative value is linked to a number, amount or percentage. Questions that will guide you to create significant and precise goals:
- What do you want to accomplish? (to increase 30% more sales than I did last semester)
- Who are involved? (sales and marketing department)
- Where it should take place? (Singapore)
- What resources do you need? (by making a S$50K budget available for the coming semester)
- When is it going to happen? (1 July 2019 until 31 December 2019)
- What parts of the goals should be given more attention? (a more active advertising and sales activity)
- Why is the goal important? (to survive the tight competition and become a key player in the business world)
The second step are to be measurable, meaningful and motivating. This step will help indicate the quality of the effort to be made. It will also help you track your progress and stay motivated. Measuring and assessing your progress helps you to stay focused on fulfilling every step to get your goals with the set deadline. This step would be your benchmark to determine a baseline measurement of the starting situation.
You can present the answer to the “how” question. The question that you should address:
- How was the sale of the past semester? (S$120K in the first semester of 2019)
- How do you know whether the goal has been achieved?
- How do you require it? (a good advertising campaign from the marketing department and follow-up actions from the sales department)
- How can it be measured?
The third step are agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, and action-oriented. The goals that you want to achieve have to make sense. It should stretch your abilities but still remain possible, how it will weigh your effort, time and other costs that your goal will take against the profits and other obligations and priorities. By identifying previously overlooked opportunities or resources, it can bring you many steps closer to your goals. If you are a manager, you have to make sure that the goals can be accepted by your team as well. Therefore, it will increase the support base, especially when the employees are involved in the decision-making as well. This applies to both short and long term goals. These are the questions that you should address:
- How the achievement will weigh your effort, time and other costs that your goal will take against the profits and other obligations and priorities?
- Is the achievement be acceptable for your team?
The fourth step are realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, and results-oriented. You have to make sure that the goals are within your availability of resources, knowledge and time. You also have to make sure that your plans drive everyone forward while still responsible for achieving your own goal. The goal must be challenging. If not, it can be a demotivating effect on the people involved and the goals will gain little or no attention and therefore will not be achieved. The objective has to be challenging and bring benefits to the parties involved and aligned with the capacity, resources and authority of them. You should ask questions with all-yes answers:
- Is it worthwhile?
- Is it the right time?
- Does this match our efforts and needs?
- Can I do it?
- Am I worthy enough to achieve it?
- Is it applicable in the current environment?
The fifth step are time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, and can be tracked. Make sure that there is enough time to achieve your desired goal, not too few and not too much time, just about enough. It helps you prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals as well. The “when” question is the perfect question to be addressed:
- When will it happen?
- What can you do in six months from now?
There are many examples that can be your references to set SMART goals. Dr. George Taylor, Co-Founder and Entrepreneur of Serent Properties LLC-ENTORGCORP, LLC use a leadership SMART Goal:
“By December 31, 2018, my company will improve sales conversion rates by 20% for HRIS implementation efforts within the public sector, city and federal.”
Specific and precisely, isn’t it? It is specific enough to galvanize efforts yet also phrased and structured where specific actions can be developed.
SMART goal will help you and your team to figure out your business goal and what to achieve in the set time. Simple yet specific and precise goals will bring clarity to future achievement. It will also motivate you to do things orderly from the beginning and track your progress until you meet the deadline. This method will help you achieve a reasonable goal that can be accepted by every party involved, which will be a good base to carry on the business. Lastly, it will help you to be aware of the time you set in order to achieve your goal.
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YourCoach. (n.d.). SMART Goals. Retrieved from https://www.yourcoach.be/en/coaching-tools/smart-goal-setting.php