The world of business can be competitive and unforgiving. Therefore, it is essential to make goals so that you are not left without a clear direction and knowledge of how to move forward. Targets made should always be clear and realistic so that you are not left overwhelmed with the task or ultimately give up as you lack the motivation to see the task through.
This is where setting up smart goals for your business can be extremely valuable. SMART goals can help bring clarity to your objectives and help you to be more productive. They will help you come one step closer to achieving what your business needs to flourish.
This article will give you 5 SMART business goals and why they are important for growth.
What are SMART Targets – 5 Smart Business Goals
SMART is an acronym used as a guide for how to create goals. To ensure that your goals are reachable and clear. For a target to be considered a SMART target, you must ensure that they are specific so that you know exactly what you are aiming for. They must also be measurable so you can track your progress and attainable meaning that your goals are not unrealistic. Additionally, your targets should be relevant meaning that your goals are of great importance for your progression. Lastly, they must be timebound meaning that there is a deadline that keeps you motivated and on track.
Getting and Staying Profitable
The first of our 5 SMART business goals is to stay profitable. A company that generates a large amount of profit is ultimately going to be more likely to survive in the market economy. Additionally, when a company is doing well in terms of profit, this can do wonders in boosting morale for staff within a company and increasing retention.
Firstly you will need to consider whether your targets are specific. You do not want to be vague here. A goal such as “I want to increase our profits” will ultimately serve no use as it will leave you with no clear direction where to start. A more specific target here might be to increase profits by cutting unnecessary expenses and increasing our online advertising.
Secondly, you will need to ensure that your pursuit of more profit is measurable. You can do this by stating that you will increase profits by x amount over x amount of months.
Next, you will need to ensure that your goal to increase profits are attainable. You can do this by answering how you are going to go about increasing profits and assessing whether these measures are likely to work. For example, we have already stated above that you might choose to increase profits by cutting unnecessary expenses and increasing online advertising. However, you will then need to further consider the likelihood of these measures working. Furthermore, you may need to assess how much money you would be saving on costs you are willing to cut as well as whether any money you spend on online advertising will be worthwhile in the long run.
Furthermore, all goals you should make, even for a profit, should be made with the intent of being the most relevant need of your business. Here, you will need to consider how increasing profits will benefit your business. This may seem obvious for this example, but there are additional ways in which this goal may be relevant such as in increasing employee morale and retention.
Lastly, you will need to consider a deadline in order to stay on task and track your progress. For this example, you might do this by stating something like “I will increase my profits by a margin of 15% in 3 months”.
Strengthening Customer Service
The second one of our 5 SMART business goals you may find relevant might be to improve customer service. Many Companies may wish to improve customer service as an important factor that can boost sales and reflect your brand in a positive way.
Firstly, you should consider making sure your customer goals are specific. Narrow your focus on what aspect of customer service you would like to improve. For example, a more specific goal might be to improve customer waiting times.
Furthermore, to ensure that this goal is measurable you may wish to consider implementing flow charts to track the average company response time over a given month.
To ensure that this target is achievable, a company might consider what methods they would use to improve response time. One solution might be to introduce an omnichannel customer experience where customers can get in contact through several different channels of communication.
In order to ensure that this goal is relevant, a company will need to consider why improving response times will be beneficial. For example, it may increase sales where customers don’t become too impatient.
A timeline would need to be placed on this objective in order to track progress. For example, by using a tracking method, you may be able to set a goal like “I want our average response times to fall from 2 days to 1 day over the next month.
Another one of our 5 SMART business goals you might consider might be to increase productivity in order to increase output amongst your team members.
To make this goal specific, you will need to consider how productivity can be improved. For example, a company leader might consider implementing time tracking tools to monitor how long it takes staff to complete specific objectives.
To ensure that this goal is measurable, you can track the average amount of output for specific tasks compared to a prior month. In doing so you will then be able to identify factors that might be affecting productivity such as employee satisfaction and burnout.
In order to analyse whether this objective is achievable, you may need to consider the motivations of your employees. Is it possible there are additional factors that might be affecting the level of productivity within the business? Do employees feel valued for the work they are producing?
When considering whether this goal is relevant, you should consider whether this is the most useful object for your business. Increased productivity is always great but if your staff feel overworked then perhaps another goal might be more relevant. For example, you may want to consider hiring more staff.
To keep people motivated and on track on this objective then a clear goal should be set out for a particular time frame. For example “I want our content output to increase from 10 to 15 over the next month”.
Increasing Community Outreach
For businesses, increasing your outreach within your community is of utmost importance in being a connected part of that community. It is also important in strengthening your brand.
To create a SMART goal for community outreach you should be specific with what you want to achieve. For example, I will get in contact with x about sponsoring their local community event.
To make your community outreach goals measurable, you may wish to keep a record of money given to specific local charities within a month or any new initiatives introduced into the workplace that raise awareness for a cause.
To ensure that increasing community outreach is achievable for your company you will need to consider the time available for your company in attending public events and money that can be afforded for donations for valuable causes.
When considering the relevance of community outreach to your company, you may consider several factors from the initial benefit to the charities themselves and the morale this may provide for employees as well as a possible increase in brand awareness and a positive reflection of your companies’ image.
In order to make sure that these tasks don’t get forgotten about or postponed, set a deadline for deciding what companies, events and charities you would like to be involved with and who you will need to contact to offer support.
Increasing Employee Satisfaction – 5 SMART Business Goals
Worker wellbeing is essential for creating an ideal environment that is productive and for maintaining staff within the company.
Firstly, when making sure your goals towards increased employee satisfaction are successful, you must be specific in how this will be achieved. For example, many companies implement employee engagement surveys which can be reviewed in order to find out any possible changes that can be made to benefit the employee experience.
To measure this progress you might consider repeating the same employee engagement surveys over regular intervals of the working year. This will allow you to pinpoint parts of the year where employees were less happy which will further help in finding a potential solution.
To make sure that this goal is achievable, you may want to consider what other measures can be taken that might lead to better employee satisfaction. For example, are there any promotion opportunities available? Could you implement a reward scheme for high performing staff?
When considering the relevance of employee engagement, you may consider how an increased employee will further improve other aspects of your business including retention and productivity.
In order to put a timeframe on the goal, you may want to state as part of this goal something like “I want the employee satisfaction survey results to have increased next month in comparison to last month”. By doing so you will provide a clear scope on which to base your results.
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