Planning for the future is essential when running a business and, ideally, you should have a perspective of where you want to be in three to five years.
Goals or targets provide a sense of direction, focus, and motivation. But how do you set aims effectively?
You could try the SMART method. This relies on five key criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based – which allow you to create a clear target for success.
What is the plan to get you there?
It may be that small steps are needed before achieving the ultimate goals and could include:
- Establishing your USP. What can you offer that the competition cannot?
- Identifying your ideal customer, do you need to pivot the business to attract new clients?
- Maximising talent. Your staff are your most important asset.
How you can build SMART goals into your business plan:
A specific goal clearly defines what needs to be achieved, by whom, where and when it is to be achieved (and sometimes why).
Measuring draws your focus, and the latest tracking software can measure this accurately.
When you measure, you need to ask certain questions:
- How much?
- How often?
- How many?
When you set goals, ensure they’re achievable. It’s a mistake to set unreachable goals because you’re setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.
Make sure the goal that you set has long-term importance in what you want to achieve as an individual or an organisation.
It sounds obvious but set up a timeframe. A deadline can be an excellent motivator.
Struggle to set goals? Need help monitoring your KPIs? It makes the most sense to seek professional support so you can create a SMARTer approach to working.