Dec 16, 2020
2021 is right around the corner. Have you thought about your goals yet? If not, maybe this can help get a handle on what you want to accomplish in the new year!
Business goals usually involve an entire organization and can include items like budgets, customer lists, vendors, and service or product management. Pulling it all together can be challenging, but it’s worth it if you can learn how to implement SMART goals (S=specific, M=measurable, A=achievable, R=relevant, and T=time-bound). We outlined some SMART goals examples you can use to help you create your own and stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve.
Each letter in the SMART goal acronym highlights a different aspect of your desired outcome. It doesn’t matter if your goals are business-related or focused on some aspect of your personal life. Writing them down helps you achieve them. Using a formula like SMART when writing goals ensures you don’t miss any critical goal-setting details. In addition, this process allows for a clear understanding and objective setting when worked on with a team of several people.
Here’s how each letter in a SMART goal acronym helps you focus your efforts to achieve desired results.
The “S” in a SMART goal stands for “Specificity.”
We all know that it helps us to remember to write down what you want to do, using action words. For example, instead of saying, “I want more clients,” you might say, “I’m going to sign up four new clients within this next quarter.” Being specific and using action verbs focuses you on what exactly you, or your team, needs to do. The key questions that you are asking you or your team are the following:
The “M” in a SMART goal helps you clarify and quantify your efforts so you can “Measure” them.
In the example above, we can add the additional note that your goal is to increase, by four, the number of new clients. Although establishing a target may seem obvious, many fail to add this important component to their goal framework. In short, your measurements determine whether or not you achieve your goal.
The “A” in SMART goals represents the goal’s “Achievability” factor.
This step reminds us to check to make sure the goal is within reach; is it practical? Experienced leaders will tell you that people are motivated by goals that stretch them as long as they’re not unrealistic. Let’s assume, for example, four new clients is an achievable goal, but the timeline suggested is not. Ensure that you are both ambitious as well as practical.
The “R” in SMART goals addresses the “Relevance” of the goal.
If your overall business plan calls for increasing profitability, instead of sales, perhaps new customers aren’t your primary goal. Instead of focusing on new customers, you may need to focus on the retention of existing customers and their profitability per sale transaction, price increases, or reducing production costs. Make sure the goal you set makes sense for you.
The “T” in SMART goals references the “Time” aspect of your goal.
Setting a time frame around your goals is essential, not just to identify the end or conclusion of the duration of your goal, but it motivates the identified endeavor. Working to achieve four new customers is fine, but if you don’t set a time frame, it could diminish the objective overall, as it could take much longer to achieve four customers than desired.
NISA is in the process of setting new goals to retain and keep our membership. One SMART goal we are working on is:
A good plan here is to plan and execute four customer education webinars by the fourth quarter with 15-plus attendees per event and at least 80% highly satisfied or very satisfied responses regarding content:
What are your goals for 2021? Not having a goal is like hiking without a map or building a boat without a plan. Making your goals SMART ensures that you not only know what you want to achieve, but you have a road map to get there as well as a way to measure your progress along the way. Utilizing the SMART goals methodology will help your company achieve its strategic objectives. By designing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you will focus your team members on the most important objectives for your business, which will help you in achieving them efficiently.