Goal setting is something you’ve done all your life, so how hard can it be to set goals for your business? Well, it’s a lot harder than it sounds! Set a goal that’s too hard, and you’ll be working your butt off. Set one that’s too easy, and your business won’t grow. Striking a balance with reachable but solid goals is key. We’ll teach you how to do this.

Before we discuss goal setting, let’s recap what SMART goals are and why they are the perfect format to follow.

SMART Goals: Why You Should Love Them

  • Specific. Be clear about the goals you hope to achieve. Include numbers, deadlines and other specifics so that you know exactly what you’re going after.

  • Measurable. Determine how you will track and measure your progress. With today’s analytic tools, you don’t have to do any guesswork.

  • Attainable. Work toward goals that are challenging, but won’t be impossible to reach. Setting your teams up for failure will only kill their spirit.

  • Realistic. Choose goals that are relevant to your business and have a positive impact. You don’t want to waste time on goals that only look good on paper.

  • Time-bound. Give yourself a deadline of when you plan to reach the goal. This will keep you on track as you reach smaller milestones that lead to the bigger picture.

Steps for Setting SMART Goals

Follow the steps below when creating goals that follow the SMART format.

  • Summarize your goal. Think about your goal and how it will benefit your business. Create a short summary that’s easy for your team to understand.

  • Set your numbers. Pin down the specific number you want to work toward. If you’re not sure what’s realistic, review your current data and trends.

  • Set your date. Now decide the date you expect to reach your goal. Consider the time and resources you have available. After all, you have other priorities that need your attention.

  • Write it down. If you have a habit of taking mental notes, stop. Write down your goals and all the specifics. This way, everyone is on the same page.

  • Break it down. Most goals are big and hard to achieve all at once. Break your goal down into smaller tasks so that your team sees what needs to be accomplished.

  • Define obstacles. It’s helpful to identify potential problems before your team starts working. Maybe they will cross them, maybe they won’t, but having a game plan prevents panic mode.

  • Communicate. Communication is key. Your team should be aware of the milestones they’ve reached, hurdles they’ve crossed, and overall progress.

  • Analyze. Don’t just set it and forget it. Each month, analyze your goal and the progress made. Is your team reaching their smaller milestones? Will the goal be reached on time?

Even though you’ve probably been setting goals all your life, professional goal setting requires practice. You need to learn how to identify tough, but attainable, goals that will help grow your business. You also need to be comfortable naming specific numbers and dates. Give it some time and you’ll soon be a goal setting champion!