Setting clear, actionable goals for your business can be a daunting task. We’ll give you some pointers on how to set effective goals that will help your business thrive. 

Setting business goals is an essential part of owning and operating a business, but the importance can oftentimes be overlooked. Goals help you and your company find a unified direction and clear purpose, as well as establish how to get there. Goals should encompass what your priorities are so that your business can grow, expand and prosper. If you’re feeling lost or stuck when it comes to the goal-setting process, here are some tips to help get you back on track.

Setting Business Goals with SMART

You may have heard of the SMART acronym before, but there is a lot of value in using this to help set your business goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Using this framework will help you set relevant goals that you can actually see through to the end and ensure that you can measure your progress along the way. 

Be Specific

While this may seem pretty straightforward, being as specific and direct as possible when setting goals for your business will help ensure that you and your team or employees are all on the same page and working towards the same thing. When there is uncertainty and murkiness in your goals, there is opportunity for miscommunication and misdirection within your business. Make sure your goals are understood by everyone, not just you.

Make Your Goals Measurable

Goals that can’t be measured will not help your business stay on a growth trajectory. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goals if you can’t measure them? Make sure your goals can be measured by data so that you and your team can know when you’ve reached them.

Make Your Goals Achievable

Setting unrealistic goals will only make you feel discouraged when they don’t pan out. It can be easy to want to set broad and expansive business goals that look great on paper, but getting smaller, achievable goals will actually help you stay accountable and on track.

Relevancy is Key

Part of setting effective goals for your business is knowing what to prioritize. You cannot do everything at once, so setting relevant goals to the current situation your company is in will help you focus your attention where it is most needed.

Make Time-Bound Goals

Just as your goals should be measurable, they should also be time-bound, which means you should have a clear time frame for what you want to achieve. Keep in mind the “achievable” aspect–as previously mentioned, you still want to be able to achieve your goals in a realistic time frame. Setting time-bound goals helps you and your team stick to a schedule and timeline and keeps everyone on the same page moving forward.

Create a Plan of Action

While establishing your goals is the first step in the goal-setting process, you need to follow up with an actionable list of how you will achieve said goal. This list will include the steps and processes needed to achieve your goal, who will be responsible for each step, and how each step will bring you closer to achieving the goal. It’s critical that this information be shared and distributed amongst your team and/or employees so that the whole company is on the same page. Just as your ultimate goal should be specific, your plan of action should be as specific as possible too.

Reevaluate Periodically

Our lives, situations, and the world around us can change rapidly, sometimes without warning. Having an adaptable approach towards your goals can help you adjust your sails quickly and efficiently to keep your business afloat and sailing in the right direction. Reevaluating your goals is essential so that you are not working towards a myopic goal that may no longer be achievable or relevant. Goal-setting requires upkeep, so make sure you revisit those goals you set at least once a year. 

Goals for the Future

And there you have it! You’re ready and able now to set SMART goals, and you know how to maintain and readjust goals as the years go on. You now have goal-setting tools that will help your business take off, and you can look back with pride once you actually stick to it and achieve your goals. Get out there and go after your goals!