Thinking SMART: Setting the right goals for you and your business

Haven Accounting | 3 MIN READ August 26, 2018

Setting goals should be part of our everyday lives, from making New Year’s resolutions to exercise more or to learn a new skill, to setting a long-term savings goal. But how many of us actually achieve our goals?

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Forgetting about your resolutions a month after setting them may not have much of an impact if the goal is of a personal nature, but for your business this can have a hugely detrimental effect.

If you have already put some goals in place for your business, have you actually followed through on these? Have you achieved any recently? You might think that you’re fine chugging along and that you’ll get there eventually – this just means the goals you have set aren’t strong enough to actually help you succeed.

So let’s talk about the best ways to set goals that you actually want to work to achieve to benefit your business. One of the best methods to use when setting good business goals is the SMART process.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-Based

Specific

The first step in the SMART goal-setting process is to make your goal specific. It’s not enough to say that you want to increase your profits. How much would you like to increase them by? Why do you want to increase them? The more specific here the better, you need to clearly identify and define what you want to accomplish, why it’s important, and how you intend to accomplish the goal.

Measurable

To avoid stagnation in achieving your goals and to make sure you’re accountable for staying on track, your goal needs to have some targets and milestones along the way to help you determine how you are tracking. You need to ensure you’re always moving in the right direction towards your goals by checking in at certain times and measuring where you are against where you have decided you should be right now.

Attainable

You may want to go all in and create some bigger, more challenging goals, but it’s best to start with goals that are actually realistic. You should always be striving for progress but if your goal is too much of a stretch for you in terms of your time or budget, it’s not likely to actually be achieved. Break down your goal into manageable action steps that use your available resources.

Relevant

Obviously a goal that is not going to make a difference to your business is not one to strive towards. Any goals you set for your business should be in line with your current business model, embodying your mission statement and your values. For example, if one of your values is ensuring the customer has a hassle-free experience online, one of your goals could be to cut down the time spent at the checkout process from 7 minutes to 4 minutes.

Time-Based

If you don’t have a deadline or a time in which you’d like to achieve your goal, there won’t be any incentive for you to follow through and reach it. This is often what happens with goal-setting; if a timeframe is not set in stone or is unrealistic, then the goal itself falls by the wayside. It’s a good idea to have a visual reminder of your goal and the timeline to reach it somewhere where you can see it everyday – this will keep you on track and will remind you of where you need to be now to achieve your goals.

Need help setting some solid goals for your business? Chat to one of our friendly Haven business specialists today.


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