This article was written by Tiffany Fulcher
Every successful business has a set of clearly defined goals and objectives. Knowing exactly where your company is going and how it will get there is key to running a strong and lucrative operation. Oftentimes, many businesses fail because their sole intention is to focus on “creating more business,” negating the need to build an actionable and well-defined plan that includes future endeavors, key indicators, and metrics that will provide critical data to help them move forward.
If you run a large corporation or a mom-and-pop shop, you need a streamlined roadmap to help you meet current goals and future endeavors. When you apply SMART goals to your business you set your company on a fast track toward success.
SMART is an acronym that encompasses the five aspects of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals. It’s a clearly defined tool used by businesses to go beyond the realm of ambiguous goal setting into an actionable plan for results.
Let’s look briefly at how we apply this type of goal setting to our businesses.
Well-defined goals bring companies together. When employees are provided cryptic unclear goals, not only does it lower morale, productivity and efficiency are lost in the process. Clarity provides continuity and movement while confusion causes delay and chaos. Set specific goals that are not only clear, they provide simplicity and exactness.
Numbers are very important in business. Having solid, defined numerical goals to achieve on an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily basis will set your company apart. When you know where the money is, you can easily identify leaks, overages in expenses, and increase profit. You can also measure things like ad dollars versus actual consumers, social media influence, and productivity.
Big goals are commendable but not always attainable. Truth be told, you won’t build that million-dollar empire overnight. While having a grand vision of the company you desire, it’s important to be realistic about the company you have. Creating attainable goals builds confidence and allows your company to see positive gains.
Be sure to set goals that are aligned with the current economic climate. If you intend to increase revenue or offer high-end luxury products, check the status of the average and above average consumer. Focus on real-time data and offer unique solutions that align with the market landscape.
Failure to place business goals under a time constriction leaves them open to being completed whenever you get around to it, which is costly and futile. However, when you attach a time frame you can narrow in on productivity, resources, budget, and the personnel necessary to see the project to the end. You can project early on whether the objective will be advantageous to your company or excessive.
Once you’ve set SMART goals for the business that are clear and concise, you can take it a step further and break each goal down into an action step and assign tasks to team members. Over the course of a year, a quarter, or month-to-month, you will begin to see those plans come together with ease and accuracy.
Tiffany Fulcher is the CEO and founder of Momspace, an online membership community for entrepreneurial moms who want to become moguls.