The great thing about being a business owner is that you get to dedicate your time and energy to products and services about which you’re passionate. Even though many small businesses are passion projects, no one starts their own business merely to have fun. Passion aside, the main reason for launching your small business was to make a profit.
Every company would like to increase its bottom line, but growth isn’t something that happens automatically for business. If you want to increase your profits and grow your customer base, you need to set goals and develop a business strategy to achieve them. Continue reading to learn how SMART goals can help you to optimize your company objectives and best practices and boost your revenue.
What are SMART goals?
Even though goal-setting seems simple enough, there’s a big difference between having general goals and having SMART goals. So, what are SMART goals, and why is SMART in all caps? We’re glad you asked. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, and when applied to businesses and individuals, this term can yield amazing results.
The acronym SMART was coined by Dr. George T. Doran Ph.D. in the November 1981 issue of “Management Review,” and the acronym has been revised and used by managers and business owners everywhere. The good news is that you don’t have to have a Ph.D. like Dr. Doran, or even a master’s degree, to make smart goals work for you.
SMART goals can help you fine-tune your business strategy.
One of the most common mistakes business owners make is not having a concrete or focused business strategy. When there’s ambiguity about the company objectives, you can’t expect your team members to get on board with your initiatives. No one likes to feel like the blind following the blind, even if the leader is the business owner.
The first part of SMART goals (Specific) is a reminder to be precise about the areas of your business that need change the most. The best way to identify inefficient business processes is with the use of an “objectives and key results” tool (OKR tool) like the one WorkBoard employs on their software.
One of the best things about using OKRs is that it utilizes data analytics to deliver metrics that give insights into everything from the efficacy of social media campaigns to employee engagement and productivity. OKR software allows project managers to have greater control over initiatives and encourages accountability. When you’re specific about your company objectives, you can get a more accurate picture of your company’s progress and implement the necessary changes.
SMART goals help you to focus on achievable goals that will have a measurable effect on your business.
There are plenty of different financial concepts worth mastering, but as a small business owner, the one that should most concern you is your return on investment (ROI). One of the great things about SMART goals is that it’s an actionable strategy that emphasizes efficiency at every step of the goal-setting process. That means it aims to conserve energy and money while simultaneously optimizing key results.
SMART goals can improve your products and services.
You may be an expert on how to run a product-based business, but running a business and growing one are very different things. SMART goals aren’t just about implementing new best practices and striving for particular markers, even though that’s the crux of it. However, SMART goals are useful when it comes to product development and expanding services.
As previously mentioned, the “R” in SMART is for “relevant,” and your customers are the ones who decide what’s relevant. Before you implement new ideas or release new products, you need to set metrics for valuation so you can get insight into how your initiatives are performing.
You may have learned about the importance of goal-setting before you became a business owner, but now you know the difference between SMART goals and regular ones. Your company objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. As you can see, SMART more than an acronym, it’s a business model.