The moment we start a business project it is necessary to define objective and clear goals. One of the main reasons why many businesses fail is because of the lack of definition of the company’s goals. SMART goals are a methodology that allows businesses to define their future goals.
To know what the SMART goals are and how to apply them to your company, we recommend you continue reading.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym in English that refers to the following words:
- Specific (specific)
- Measurable (measurable).
- Attachable (reachable).
- Realist (realistic).
- Timely (programmed in time).
These are the characteristics of the intelligent goals developed under the SMART method. Are the goals of your company smart? Are they based on SMART particularities of this method? If not, you are probably wondering what you do wrong in your business. What you need is to redefine your goals by following these tips.
How to Apply the SMART Method to Your Company?
First of all, sit down and think. Reflect on the things you want to achieve and write them down on a piece of paper. Next, review the list of goals you have written and complete the following questions:
- Are your objectives, specific?
- Are your goals measurable?
- Are your goals achievable?
- Are your goals realistic?
- Are your objectives programmable over time?
If you have answered NO to any of these questions, you need to review the true purpose of your business project.
The Importance of Objectives in a Company
Why do you need to define what is the purpose of your business? You need to do it to know where all your strategies should go. You need to know where to point to get the target. You can never advance if you do not know where you are going.
This is the reason why SMART goals are necessary for your business evolution. Thanks to them you can reduce time, effort and money in unnecessary resources. Your work will only be oriented towards the achievement of your goals. In this way, you will be able to eliminate the exhaustion and frustration of a job that does not take you anywhere.
Examples of SMART Goals
Suppose one of the goals of your company is to improve sales. This is a too general goal that you should make more specific. That is to say:
- How much do I want to improve sales?
- Why do I want to do it?
- What tools do I need to achieve it?
- How many people will I need to get it?
- What other resources will be necessary?
The more information accompanies your goals, the more specific it will be and, therefore, the easier to achieve.
Thanks to the specification of your goal “sell more” now we know that, for example, you want to sell 500 more units of your product per year. Your goal is becoming SMART. We now turn to the next point. Your goal must be measurable or quantifiable (M). That is, it has to allow its verification by means of statistics. Only then you can check the evolution or progress of your goal. If the results of this measurement are positive, you are on the right path.
Another characteristic that your goals have to meet according to the SMART objectives is that they are achievable. What does this mean? If you want to sell 500 more units a year, you have all the necessary resources to get it. The challenge is to set ambitious but close goals. Analyze the number of employees you currently have, as well as the state and quantity of machinery available to fulfill your purpose.
This also happens with the following premise of the SMART goals. These must be realistic (R). Is it worth the effort or is it too risky a dream? The reality of your goals must be a priority over your wishes. If a goal is going to suppose too high a risk then you are not facing a realistic purpose.
Finally, in the development of a SMART objectives strategy, you need to establish a specific execution time or time to achieve your business purposes (T). You can not spend all your life wanting to sell 500 more units a year and seeing how you do nothing to achieve it. The deadlines help motivate you and define whether a goal is urgent or not.
As you can see we already have a defined intelligent goal that can be: sell 500 more units a year, hiring two more people and in a maximum period of two years, for example. A specific objective, measurable, achievable, realistic and programmed over time.
Let’s see more examples to clarify your ideas.
Target example SMART 1: BRANDING + ATTRACTION
- The overall goal for your website: Create brand recognition and increase views on my website
- The SMART goal for brand recognition: Publish 144 contents in the blog and social networks (Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook) during the next 12 months.
- SMART 2 goal for increased visits: Go from the current 1000 visits to 3,000 visits per month at the end of 12 months.
Target example SMART 2: ONLINE SALES
- General business goal: To have more customers this year.
- SMART business goal: Increase the number of sales on the website of X products by 25% (from 500 to 625 per month) in the next 3 months, to increase the portfolio of new customers with our current 10% conversion from lead to customer.
Target example SMART 3: GROWTH
- Overall activity goal: Grow our team to be more efficient
- SMART business goal: Increase sales from 22% to 50% in the market in the next 2 years to increase the team members from 9 to 20 people, and thus be able to have more independence from the central office.
Advantages of SMART Goals
When a company decides to work efficiently it is important that it focuses on defining its objectives in an intelligent manner. The SMART goals method provides the following benefits to all types of businesses, regardless of their size or importance:
- Reduce unnecessary business risks.
- They help to better manage the available resources with the purpose to not waste them.
- They motivate the human team of the company.
- Improve both the personal and professional performance of workers.
- They facilitate the measurement and evaluation of other parallel strategies.
- They reduce the time and costs associated with marketing plans.
- Improve decision making based on reliable data.
- They optimize commercial management.
- They help the best adaptation to the changes and fluctuations of the market.
- Increase the productivity of any business.
In a company, goals can change over time and they should do it. They are not fixed and immovable. One of the premises of the SMART goals is that they have to be reviewed every so often. Updating your goals from time to time will help you to deepen what is really important for your company. In this way, you can establish stronger links with your customers and compete more powerfully within your sector.
For your company does not enter the list of failed businesses, it is important that you have SMART objectives ready to be measured and put into operation.
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