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How to set SMART business goals and succeed

17 May 2018 / By Desley Grant

Who knew that sticking to business goals could be so tough? Things get in the way and the money stretches thin. Before you know it, things are slipping through the cracks. If you lose sight of the long-term business plan and adopt a reactive, day-to-day approach, you're setting your small business up for big problems.

You've probably heard of SMART goal setting before. It's an acronym - for a goal to be SMART, it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. In this blog we explain how implementing SMART goal setting can help you steer your business towards success.

The following five SMART goal examples can be tweaked and used in your own business.

If you're already a pro at setting SMART goals, why not take a look at the different metrics you should be tracking.

SMART Goal One:

“Claim an additional 3% of the market share in our primary market (Christchurch) this year, through sales promotions and our partnerships with local distributors.”

This goal is a great place to start because all businesses need to carve out a share of their market. There’s no one method you must use to do this – instead, you can combine different business strategies to achieve this goal.

SMART Goal Two:

“By the end of the year, increase the number of leads registering on the website by 10%.”

Business is increasingly going online, and you don’t want to miss out on a growing market. Focusing on drawing more customer leads through your website is a meaningful goal. It'll take a lot of planning and effort to increase your leads, but it's worth the effort. Every contact who becomes a customer is a win for your business.

SMART Goal Three:

“To complete my book, I'll write a chapter of 8000 words every month for a year, on social media. Once it's complete, I'll self-publish.”

Publishing a book is a good way for a business to demonstrate expertise and authority in their industry or focus area. If you have a long-term SMART goal like this one, it pays to break it up into smaller chunks that make it much more achievable.

SMART Goal Four:

“Participate in monthly business networking events, and make at least three new connections at each event.”

Smaller goals like this one are also important. They ensure that your business keeps growing steadily, while you strive towards the bigger goals. It also keeps your morale high, ticking off achievements regularly.

SMART Goal Five:

“Increase efficiency by 50% and quality by 100%, by designing and implementing operational improvement techniques.”

Not every goal has to focus on your financial situation. It's important to have goals that focus on improving your operational methods, too. These goals often create financial success as a happy by-product.

There's no point in being frustrated by your business goals - or your inability to stick with them. Goals should work for you. Make this possible with SMART goals: goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

If you're used to winging it or working it out on the fly, SMART goals can help you avoid costly mistakes by keeping you on target. Be proactive, use SMART goal setting and achieve your career and business goals.

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