Everyone needs goals to keep them in check! Life goals, friendship goals, relationship goals, body goals, marriage goals…and the list goes on. And so does your business. However, these goals that you set must not just be any goals, but goals that help create a roadmap towards your larger aspirations and achieve long-term success. In other words, they must be realistic, such that they can be clearly defined and understood in order for you and your business partners or team members to be able to achieve them.
One popular technique for setting effective and realistic goals for that matter is the SMART method, which breaks down as:
- Specific: Having a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve. ‘Making more money’ isn’t very specific. ‘Increasing revenue from sales’ is better.
- Measurable: knowing how you will measure progress towards the goal, and know when it’s been met is very key when it comes to setting realistic goals. A measurable goal might be ‘increasing profits by 4 per cent each month’. So at the end of every month, you know that measuring a profit growth of 4 per cent.
- Attainable: The best business goals strike a balance between being completely impractical and being achievable. This way they are more likely to be met, but will still help expand your skills – in finance, team leadership, strategy and other areas.
- Relevant: Is the goal relevant to what your business does, and to the market overall? This can simply be about getting your priorities in order. If sales of a product are falling because it has become obsolete, increasing the sales of that product may not be as relevant as finding a suitable replacement source of revenue.
- Time-bound: A specific deadline is a key part of successfully setting and reaching goals. Just make sure it’s achievable – very few people have been able to build a multimillion-dollar business from scratch in just one year, for example.
Realistic goals are the key to long-term business growth. By forcing you to look ahead, they can make you more adaptable to changes in the market and better able to protect your business against risks.