How to Create SMARTER Business Goals
Setting goals is as old as time itself and whatever you are trying to achieve in life or business having a measure or a way of breaking down strategic objectives into manageable tasks will ensure you can check on progress and stay focused. However, it’s easier said than done. In this blog, we’ll look at why they are important, how to set them, how to use the SMART and SMARTER process and why goal setting in your business is a critical and hugely beneficial process.
What are SMART Goals?
The process of setting goals is key to its success and the SMART model is a tried and tested methodology to give both structures and focus ensuring you stay on track.
S – Specific: Your goals need to be crystal clear and well defined. If it’s vague then it provides insufficient direction but also allows ambiguity for you or your team.
M – Measurable: The more measurable the goal, the easier it becomes to track success factors. Merely saying “increase sales” isn’t enough, by how much, what percentage increase? Measurement makes the goal transparent.
A – Attainable: This is where the balance of stretch Vs reality comes into play. We want it to be achievable but not so easy that it doesn’t push us or our team to deliver the outcome.
R – Relevant: The goals need to be relevant to the direction you are trying to take your life or business. If they are misaligned or there isn’t a personally motivating reason to want to deliver them they won’t get done.
T – Timebound: They must have a deadline. Without clarity and commitment to the date, they will drift and lose momentum and urgency. Alongside the date needs to be the review points, progress, and check-ins to ensure they don’t slip.
If you follow the above acronym, you’ll be starting with the best possible chance of success.
Moving from SMART to SMARTER Goals
So we’ve looked at SMART but as with any model, there’s the potential to add to the process and move to SMARTER.
E – Evaluate: The sixth step in setting goals using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. method is to ensure that your goals are evaluated. By evaluating your goals every single day, you’ll be much more likely to achieve them. Why is that? Well, long-term goals (and also goals that are 3 months or 6 months out), can easily be ignored if they aren’t evaluated every single day.
Make sure that you set up a system for evaluating your goals and you make the evaluation of your goals habitual. Don’t ignore this all-important step. Your mind has a clever way of allowing you to ignore your goals by pushing you into emotion-numbing behaviours when those goals aren’t closely evaluated.
R – Readjust: The final step in setting goals with the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. method is to re-adjust your approach. If, for example, you find yourself pursuing a goal but continuously hitting a brick wall, readjust your method and techniques. For example, when a plane has a goal of flying from one airport to another it has to constantly evaluate its progress and readjust its approach to ensure that it reaches its destination. This may be due to weather, wind direction, routing from ground control etc, our business is no different, we are constantly adjusting based on conditions, obstacles, resources, priorities etc.
Readjust doesn’t mean that you have to throw your goals out and start all over again. What it means is that you have to try different approaches until you find yourself getting closer and closer to your goals. That’s why constant evaluation on a daily basis is so important. If you don’t evaluate you can’t change.
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How to Create SMARTER Goals
Firstly, we need to ensure the goals are linked to the overriding objective. Let’s say it’s “deliver sales of £250k in Q1”… Now we need a series of goals that will help deliver it. One might be to deliver a series of 3 seminars to drive 30 sales leads into the business.
So using the above we can plan out the SMARTER process
We now have a specific revenue target and a strategy to help deliver it. It’s measurable as we can see how many seminars and leads we need to create and deliver. It’s attainable as it’s within our control, although it might be a stretch that could be positive to push us outside of our comfort zone. Is it relevant, yes, it ties in with the business strategic plan to grow, and it’s timebound due to Q1. We can evaluate after each seminar to see if it was delivered and if not re-evaluate and adjust to ensure we get the outcome we expected.
Planning is key to success in any business, if you want to learn a little more then we welcome you to read our blog below, “Hope is not a strategy”
Utilising Business Coaching Services to Create SMARTER Goals
So why doesn’t everyone set goals, and more importantly why doesn’t everyone achieve them? The answer is simple, things get in the way, we get distracted, we lose focus or we have so much going on we can’t see the wood for the trees to even prioritise what will have the biggest impact.
As a coach I consistently hear the same feedback, “you help give me clarity” Having someone else alongside you allows the headspace and bandwidth to set, clarify and deliver against your goals. Being slightly removed from any situation allows you to see it from a different perspective and therefore structure your goals in the context of the bigger picture. They should of course be in line with your overall strategic objectives for the business. The goal is what will help you get there.
We often help individuals and businesses set out their long terms objectives for growth, strategic direction, change of business strategy and then distil this into a set of goals for themselves and the business. Using SMARTER gives structure to the goal-setting process and to check and adjust during its progress.
If you’d like to speak to us or find out more about how business coaching could help in your goal setting then we invite you to visit our Business Coaching page.
Whatever you are looking to achieve in life goals are a motivational way of clarifying the milestones and setting out the route to success.
Remember – “Dreams without goals are just dreamed and ultimately fuel disappointment” (Denzel Washington)
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Chalkhill Blue’s business coaching, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or give our experts a call on 01793 239542.
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