As a small business owner, you might feel that you have so many goals for your company that you end up more overwhelmed than inspired to complete them.
While this is completely understandable, fortunately, there is a “SMART” way to approach goals that makes each one more manageable and achievable. Here are examples of how SMART goals can help your business improve.
What are SMART Goals?
The SMART goal method helps you set goals according to parameters intended to create realistic, feasible goals for your small business. SMART is an acronym for each parameter your goal needs to meet. Here is the SMART acronym explained:
- Specific: Name your tangible objective and what you want to achieve
- Measurable: Create a way to evaluate your progress
- Achievable: Make sure the goal is reasonably within reach
- Relevant: The goal should be a logical component of your business
- Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadline to accomplish it
SMART Goals and Small Businesses
As you think about each plan you have for your small business, using each of these parameters to help define the goal will help to keep you on track. Also, by taking the vagueness and guesswork out of your objectives, it can eliminate a lot of the stress from the entire process.
As for how you can use SMART goals in your own company, consider these specific examples:
1. Buying New Equipment
When a small business needs some new or additional equipment, using SMART goals can really help. Here’s how:
- Specific: Make a list of what pieces of equipment you wish to buy and how much they will cost.
- Measurable: Keep track of your financial progress, tracking each month how much money you are setting aside.
- Achievable: Rather than get a cash advance from your business credit card, look into applying for small business loans. Zinch, for example, offers multiple types of business loans, including those for businesses with no credit.
- Relevant: Explain to your staff how this new equipment will bring in new customers, which in turn could lead to higher pay.
- Time-bound: Set a specific timeline for the project and note how you will track it’s progress.
2. Hiring More Staff
Suppose that sales have been on the rise lately and you need to hire more staff. To make this happen, consider using SMART goals in the following way:
- Specific: Start by determining the number of new employees you need to hire.
- Measurable: Place a specific number of ads on social media and job sites.
- Achievable: Adjust your schedule to spend more time interviewing and making offers.
- Relevant: Shorten your application process and focus more on looking for the right applicant.
- Time-bound: Set a date for when you expect to have hired all new employees; 60 days is a reasonable goal.
3. Increase the Number of Customer Reviews
What small business doesn’t want more online reviews? Here’s how to use SMART goals to help boost the number of customer reviews your business receives, which in turn can increase brand awareness.
- Specific: Decide on the amount by which you want to increase—for instance, 20 percent. Then set out with your strategy to get more customer reviews.
- Measurable: Check every week how many new reviews came in and how much they are helping you meet your goal.
- Achievable: Compare your current goal to last year’s results—for instance, if in 2021 you increased your reviews by 10 percent, you might want to reach for 15 percent in 2022.
- Relevant: Remember the reason for the goal: You hope that an increase in reviews will lead to a boost in sales.
- Time-bound: Set monthly milestone check-ins so by the end of 2022 you will be right on track.
A SMART Small Business is a Successful One
The more specific you can be with your small business goals, the greater your chances are for success. By using the SMART goal method and breaking each goal down to five specific parts, you should see an improvement in achieving your objectives, which in turn should make your company more successful than ever.