All You Need To Know About SMART Goals
9 MIN READ
SMART Business Goals are a large part of successfully implementing the Profit First method. Having clearly defined and achievable SMART Business Goals keeps you on track and moving forward. Without having clearly defined and achievable SMART goals, it is easy to get discouraged and stop moving forward.
It is like going for a walk in the forest with no defined endpoint, you may see a lot of things along the way and get your exercise, but when you get home, you don’t feel that you accomplished anything.
If someone was to ask how your walk was, you might answer with a vague “it was good” response. That is because you didn’t set expectations for what you wanted to achieve before starting your journey. Now, if you took the same walk to see the waterfall at the end of the path when you get there, you would have achieved your goal. Now, if someone asked you how your walk was, you would answer by saying “it was great” and talk about the waterfall you saw.
Running a business is very much the same. It would be best if you determined the business goals you want to achieve at the start. Otherwise, you will never be able to determine if you got where you wanted to go. These SMART goals will evolve and grow with you as your practice grows, but it is vital to develop SMART goals to keep you on track to what you want to achieve.
A financially healthy company is a result of a frugal business owner not a cheap one.
What Are SMART Business Goals?
The concept of SMART Business Goals is a generally new idea. Created by George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water power Company, 1981, who published a paper called “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” It was in this article he introduced the idea of SMART Goals. Since then, SMART goals have become a go-to method for ensuring overall success.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
What does SMART Goal mean?
SMART is an acronym which stands for:
S – Specific
You want to be specific about what you are trying to accomplish. It’s essentially a mission statement. Remember, you do not want to detail everything when formulating the specifics of your SMART business goal. You are not creating a task list; instead, it should answer the question Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
Who – Are you working alone or part of a team? Did you hire outside consultants? Or maybe you are waiting for a loan to clear. These are just a few examples of who may be involved in achieving your SMART Goals. Knowing who your goals rely on is essential to ultimately achieve success, as you may not be able to do it alone.
What – What is it that you are trying to achieve? Don’t be broad. Instead, think specifically about what it is you want to accomplish. Be as detailed as possible because these details are what will become your goals, objectives, or milestones.
When – The “when” is in terms of generality and not specifics. For example, is it going to get done this week, next month, or over the next six months? As we move forward, you will get much more detailed in outlining your time frame. Right now, the when should serve as an initial estimate or ideal completion time frame.
Where – Not all goals are location specific. However, if yours is, then be sure to document all the places where this goal applies too. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your new location by handing out flyers in your current location. Then you will want to ensure your SMART Goals track where things are happening and where you should see results.
Why – What is driving you toward this goal? Be specific. There are many possible reasons why you would want to achieve something. Perhaps you want to see a particular percentage increase in your business. Maybe you want to reach a specific revenue goal. It could be that you want to increase your website traffic. To make the “why” even more straightforward, think about how accomplishing that will benefit you. Perhaps, expanding your overall revenue will allow you to hire that associate you have been wanting, so you can cut your hours by 10%, giving you more personal time.
M – Measurable
It’s vital to the success of your SMART Business goal to understand what aspects of your goal are measurable. That way, you can determine if you are on schedule and if the desired outcome of your plan is getting accomplished.
Review your goal and determine the specific metrics you want to track. Next, you will want to determine how and when to track your metrics. Regularly reviewing your metrics can ensure you are on track to achieve your goal within your designated timeframe.
For example, let’s say your goal is to “Grow Your Business.” That’s a broad goal and offers no details about what Growth means. For instance, are you trying to bring in new people, keep existing people longer or increase your collection average? You will never know if you achieved your desired outcome without knowing specifics. If you can’t track progress through measurable goals, you will have no way of knowing if you need to change your plan.
A – Achievable
Based on your current situation, how achievable is your SMART business goal? Do you need to hire help, buy materials or software, remodel your office, or learn a new skill?
For example, if you want to increase your social media presence but don’t know how to use Social Media Ads. Then you will want to modify your goal to include hiring help or set aside time to learn about ads.
Remember to keep this positive and encouraging. Don’t turn this into a list of reasons you can’t achieve your goal. Instead, list things you need to make your goal achievable.
Think about staffing requirements and the tools needed to complete the goal. Do you need to hire more staff or find consultants? Do you need to buy new or different equipment or software to provide the result? This list should tell you everything you need to do to achieve your goal.
R – Relevant
Arguably, one of the most important questions to ask yourself when creating a goal is to ask, “Is my goal relevant”? The next logical question would be. “Relevant to what”?
One answer to this question will be to see if the goal is relevant to your overall business mission and vision.
You don’t want your ideas, although good ones, to take you down a side path that does not support the overall mission and vision you have created for your business. Such goals can quickly become distractions and have untold consequences on your comprehensive business plan.
T – Time-Bound
Setting a SMART business goal is only half the battle. Making sure it gets completed is the other half. However, you also want to ensure it gets completed in a reasonable time.
First, start by generating a list of all tasks to be completed. Then group those tasks into like categories. It is these categories that will become your Objectives and Milestones. By staying organized, you can ensure you achieve your goal within a specific time frame.
Next, please choose a category and review all the tasks within it. Think about each item individually and estimate how much time it will take to complete. Then, for each category, sum up the estimates for that category and jot them down.
Finally, sum up the estimates for each category to determine the realistic time frame to achieve your SMART business goals. Having realistic timeframes helps provide constraints that drive urgency to complete tasks and ensure you are on track to accomplishing your goals.
The Easiest Way to Write SMART Business Goals
Creating specific and attainable SMART business goals takes effort, but a solid plan makes for achievable goals. Start by gathering everyone that needs to be involved. Be prepared to ask and answer many questions to help flush out the details of your SMART business goal.
Don’t try to do this in a 5-minute meeting before the shift starts. But instead, set aside dedicated time to plan out your goal correctly. Answering these questions will allow you to fine-tune your objective to determine the action steps needed to achieve it.
This planning period should be fun, energetic, and happy. Don’t get bogged down in negativity. Focus on innovative solutions to help you achieve your SMART goals now.
Welcome to Profit First Chiro!
Hi, we are Debra and Sabrina! We are mothers, wives, financial experts, Profit First enthusiasts, chiropractic advocates, and co-founders of Profit First Chiro: a company on a mission to elevate chiropractic financial literacy. We are here to teach you how to transform your practice’s profitability and finally achieve the abundant lifestyle you desire.
We specialize in using the Profit First system to achieve your financial goals, helping you shift from pieced-together financial and business systems to a holistic financial plan that supports you in achieving your goals in every aspect of your practice and life.