SMART Goals: A Critical Component of Business Growth Planning

When was the last time you evaluated your SMART goals? For many companies, these are the keys to effective business growth planning. From entry-level employees to upper management, SMART goals serve as performance absolutes on which to execute. All daily business activities performed by your teams should directly influence attainment of those goals. They are an effective tool to hold yourself and your teams accountable.

You will find an excellent and detailed piece on SMART goals on Corporate Finance Institute. These key points of the piece break down the SMART acronym. This is helpful whether you are new to, or familiar with, the SMART goal concept:

  • Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
  • Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
  • Achievable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
  • Realistic– To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
  • Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

Every team needs a clear roadmap. This framework ensures consistency and comprehensiveness in the goal-setting process.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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