The start of the year is the most common time for people to make personal resolutions, but why not make one for your business as well? By following the S.M.A.R.T. framework, you can create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals to help improve your business for the new year. In this article, we will go through three common strategic goals your company might be trying to achieve in the new year, as well as how you can use the S.M.A.R.T. framework to help you achieve them.
Instead of making a hollow promise to improve your budget, set a realistic goal for your company and meet it. One of the most helpful ways to balance your budget is to cut costs and reduce wasteful spending. Poorly managing expenses often causes business owners to be unable to expand their company. However, with a S.M.A.R.T. goal, anyone can avoid this pitfall. For example, let’s say a company’s expenses have risen 20% in that last two years, posing a huge threat to the success of the business. Attempting to slash costs by 20% in a short period of time is unattainable and will lead to failure. Instead, having a specific goal (cutting total costs), that is measurable (by 15%), that is attainable and realistic (15% is a level we can reasonably achieve), and follows a timeline (3% per quarter for five quarters), provides a clear path towards financial salvation and doesn’t leave you lost and scrambling.
Another common many business owners face is client acquisition. Whether the problem stems from marketing, the product, or unknown source, arbitrarily trying to add clients without analyzing your strategy will not lead to results. Try using a S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I want to grow my client base in the Northeast by 50% in the next two years”. This goal will be much more helpful than simply stating “I want to double my clients this year”. The latter is unspecific, unattainable, and provides no target to measure your success against.
For many business owners, social media might seem like an afterthought. After all, your business exists to help you grow your profits not your followers. However, if you operate your business with this mindset, you might end up with no profits at all. Social media is already one of the most powerful tools your business can leverage, helping to improve your visibility, showcase new products, and keep your client base engaged. Luckily, improvements in social media are highly measurable and fit perfectly into the smart system. You can choose to improve upon your total outreach, likes, new followers, or even your sales made through social media. Choose a realistic target, strategically allocate your resources to meet this goal, and grow your business for the new year!