Many of us use the new year to set goals for our companies. If you want to increase the likelihood that your teams will achieve the goals then make sure your goals are SMART goals
M – MEASURABLE
A – ATTAINABLE
R – RELEVANT
T – TIME BOUND
A smart goal is SPECIFIC
Remember learning the 5 W’s in grade school? You want all of those reflected in each of your goals:
You are trying to avoid any ambiguity whether you have reached this target. The intention of a goal is to achieve it. If the goal is lacking adequate details then we won’t know for sure what we are striving for. In addition if a team is working toward a goal, the goal can not have details left to a interpretation of the individual.
A goal that is not specific for your small business would be:
- Goal: Increase revenues
- Goal: build a healthy team
This is what a specific SMART goal looks like:
- SMART Goal: In my small business I want the gross revenues for product A increase 12% for each quarter as compared to the same quarter in the previous year to improve my gross margin.
- SMART Goal: By summer 2022, rank either healthy or thriving on the mandatory workplace wellness quiz completed by at least 90% of employees. This will ensure that my business is a place where the staff want to come work
A smart goal is MEASURABLE
When I plan to hit the slopes I check the snow report. Imagine if the snow report was something like this:
New snow overnight? YES
Total accumulation? A good amount
This snow report wouldn’t give me the information I need to assess whether it’s a good day to bundle up so I can spend the day carving.
Your goals can not be numerically ambiguous either. You won’t know whether you have reached your goal if you use a generic adjective to describe it
A goal that is not measurable for your small business would be:
- Goal: read more books
- Goal: build a newsletter database
This is what a measurable SMART goal looks like:
- Read 3 non fiction books each month except July and August. In those month, read a total of 10 fiction books
- After choosing a e-newsletter platform grow the database of subscribers by a net increase of 21% of the previous quarters’ subscriber count
When ensuring that your goal is measurable consider questions like “How many?” How much?” and “By what percentage?”. A goal that is measurable is easier to track along the way. The intermittent reinforcement of the steady progress is powerful.
A smart goal is ATTAINABLE
“One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.” Karen Casey
Now it’s time in the goal setting process for the reality check. Is this goal realistic? Among other details, you need to consider the resources you have available to you. Furthermore, what is the available time you have to commit to achieving the goal; do you have that amount of time available? All of us only get 24 hours / day, you know. Push the goal through your attainability filter. The goal will require you to push yourself, but is it reasonably achievable?
A goal that is not attainable for your small business would be:
- I grossed $25,000 in sales last year, this year I want to earn $1.3 million
- My marketing team of 1 employee is going to run 15 ad campaigns / month on 6 different social platforms.
This is what an attainable SMART goal looks like:
- I will double last year’s sales of $25,000 to $50,000 by the end of the 3rd fiscal quarter
- My current marketing team of 1 will hire 3 new staff and then run 4 ad campaigns per month on 6 social platforms.
A smart goal is RELEVANT
A relevant goal aligns with your businesses objectives and core values. Does this goal mean anything to you or your company? Ensure that your goal can answer “yes” to questions like this:
- Am I considering the current economic climate?
- Does this align with the companies’ other goals and objectives?
- Is this worthwhile pursuing?
A goal that is not relevant for your small business would be:
- Launch a new product line that is kissable lip gloss during the pandemic
- For a company that focuses on environmentally conscious products adding excess aesthetically pleasing packaging to all shipments over $100.
This is what a relevant SMART goal looks like:
- Expand the fashion forward PPE product line already in operation by 3 new products during this pandemic.
- Since we are so passionate about making sports accessible to all abilities of children, increase the registration of differently abled children in our community by 30%
A smart goal is TIME BOUND
Want your dream to become a goal? Put a time frame on it. You gotta give your self a deadline. Your goal must be bound by a concrete time. Day to day small activities tend to dominate our time, unless we are intentional about when we are working on achieving our goal. The best way to achieve this is to set deadlines. A team working toward a common goal with a set deadline rally together to support the group to “win”! To piggy back with one of the other attributes (attainable) the timeframe you choose must also be attainable and realistic.
To take it a step further, breaking down the goal in to bite size / smaller time frame pieces you will be that much more likely to achieve the overall goal.
A goal that is not time bound for your small business would be:
- Read all of John Maxwell’s books on leadership
- Reduce the waste the company produces by 650 kilograms
This is what a relevant SMART goal looks like:
- Select seven of John Maxwell’s books on Leadership and complete reading them with note taking by Spring Break 2022.
- Checkmark Before Earth Day 2022 reduce the waste our company produces by 650 kilograms.
A corporate team that establishes SMART goals will position themselves and the business to be a path to achieving the targets. They will achieve their goals because they are SMART about setting them. You and your team must start out as though you intend to complete the tasks. If your team needs a hand at nailing down some goals, working with a Canadian Finance Gal financial coach can help your build SMART goal and even better, will support you to keep you on track to achieve them.
May you be empowered;
Shanalisa Keller is a CPA, CGA and Coactive Trained Coach who founded and leads the team at Canadian Finance Gal. She has a desire to make personal and business finances less daunting and confusing. She loves accounting and tax and wears the respective geek label with pride. When Shanalisa is not counting beans you can find her mixing a fun new cocktail or building a tasty charcuterie board. You can read her other blogs on various small business topics here, book a chat or coffee or wine with her here, or you can find her on LinkedIn (her favourite social platform).