“SMART” Growth, Part 1 of 2
Success Begins with Setting Goals and a Measurable Plan
By Danny Kerr, Managing Partner, Breakthrough Academy
Chances are that, as an entrepreneur, one of your greatest strengths is your ability to get stuff done. Every company needs a leader who can make things happen, no matter the obstacles in front of them, especially when the company is in its smaller stages. A strong commitment to driving marketing, closing sales, and completing quality work can make a business grow very quickly for some time.
There comes a point, however, when your focus as a business owner must shift in order to take your business to its next stage of growth and development. You must employ more strategy, so that the execution side of your business is not just happening, but happening in a way that will pull your business forward to where you want it to go. One of the most crucial skill sets involved in accomplishing this is the ability to set the right goals on a regular basis, for both you and your staff.
Success begins with pointing your energy in the right direction. Consider this analogy: when hitting a golf ball with a powerful swing, minute changes in the angle and area where you strike the ball can change its final course by many yards. Goals in your business are similar – small differences in how you focus your time and energy will make drastic differences in your long-term success.
How do you point your time and energy in the right direction? By defining and executing on the right goals.
Step 1: Set a Proper SMART Goal
Not all goals will necessarily result in greater effectiveness. The key is to define your ideal vision for yourself and your company, and translate it to a “SMART” goal. Here is what that means:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time bound
The most common mistake that business owners make when setting goals is not making them specific and measurable enough, resulting in action plans that are weak and can’t provide clarity on what to do on a weekly basis. For example, there is a big difference between these two goals for 2018:
Goal 1 – Make more money and have more time for fun and family.
Goal 2 – Earn $225,000 in net profit while not working more than 40 hours per week and taking a four-week trip to Australia with the family.
The latter can be broken down into a detailed plan for execution, and can be measured to understand what was and was not achieved. Ensure you are adding metrics to your goals, and make them specific enough that you would know whether or not you hit your target.
Attainable goals are critical, as lofty targets can often lead to significantly missed goals and low morale. The highest performers shoot for results that they know are difficult, but still possible to achieve. Be sure to set goals that are reachable for yourself and your team, but still require you to grow and stretch your current abilities.
Perhaps the most challenging criteria to get right when defining a goal is the “relevant” part. To be able to decide exactly what needs to be accomplished and focused on is one of the most important and challenging skills in business. When setting vision, direction and, goals, it’s vital to thoroughly think through what goals would be most relevant for the business’s development. This is unique to each business, and will require your dedicated thought and consideration.
All goals should also always be time bound with a specific goal date. Some are shorter such as daily or weekly, while some are monthly or annual. Regardless, when setting goals you should always have a firm end date by which you want to achieve the desired result.
Get started on your own SMART goals using our templates.