“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland
Believe it or not, but Q4 is literally just around the corner. There’s never been a better time to start preparing for the coming year… even if it still feels like a long way off.
One thing I always recommend to business owners—both small and large—is to strategically plan what next year will look like for your business. And one key piece of that process is setting goals. Goals give you purpose, a clear vision for the future, and will help you measure success. SMART goals are particularly valuable because they give you the ability to identify gaps in your business and set solid business foundations in place for growth. Here’s how.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are particularly helpful when it comes to setting a plan in place for the new year. The SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, can help you understand exactly what you’d like to accomplish, rather than a vague business aspiration.
- Specific: What do you want to accomplish, and why is it important?
- Measurable: Can you track your progress towards reaching your goal?
- Attainable: Is it possible to achieve this goal, given restraints (like budget)?
- Relevant: How does this goal fit into your bigger-picture goals?
- Timely: When should this goal be reached by?
Rather than just saying, “I’d like to drive more leads to my site in 2022,” a SMART goal clearly lays out the specifics of what you’re trying to achieve. You might say, “I want to collect 200 leads through my website by the end of Q2.”
SMART Goals Help You Identify Gaps in Your Business
Once you’ve set a couple of SMART goals for the coming year, take a step back and examine them in the context of your business. Do you have all of the resources and systems in place to achieve those goals?
What I love about SMART goals is that they help leaders identify gaps in their businesses, whether it be staffing or resource allocation, or systems. Many times, there is a need that must be filled before it’s possible to achieve a goal. Sometimes that means adding new talent to a team, other times it means examining your business foundations to ensure you have everything in place for sustainable growth. Other times it’s as simple as integrating a new digital tool to help your team work more efficiently and effectively.
Take some time during Q4 to set SMART goals and then determine whether you have everything you need to successfully reach those goals in the new year. Chances are, you may find some room for improvement—no business is perfect. If you come up against any roadblocks that may prevent you from achieving your goals, we can work together to create an action plan for success.