In 2020, businesses should not just set goals, but they must set SMART goals. As a business owner, do you set goals? If yes, are they SMART?

These days, you hear a lot of people talk about setting SMART business goals, and you keep asking yourself “is this not the same old recycled information I have been hearing for the past few years?” Well, your guess is as good as mine. I thought I was familiar with it too until I delved a little deeper and realized that many of the business goals I have been setting for myself weren’t SMART after all!

The question is why bother setting goals at all if they are not SMART? To put it bluntly, if you do not have SMART goals, then how do you measure performance and determine if you’re making progress or not as a business?!

As business owners, making your goals SMART would bring about clarity of purpose. It helps you focus your efforts and increase your chances of success. Once you have your goals, it is equally important that you make out plans on how to achieve them. If you’re not familiar with the SMART acronym, here’s a reminder:

SPECIFIC – Ask yourself specifically what do I want to accomplish?

Who are those you need to bring on board and what resources do you need?

For instance, you want to make at least 2,000 deliveries within Lagos alone as a courier service company and you barely have 4 dispatch riders. Part of setting up SMART goals is to enable you to look inward and see what are those things that need to be put in place in order to achieve your goal/objective. The good thing about setting a SMART goal is that it allows you to look inward.

MEASURABLE – As a business owner whose aim is to have returns on investment, it is advisable to use numbers. That way you can keep track of your investments.

For instance, you could measure your email campaigns by using certain metrics like delivery rate, bounced rate, dropped rate, unique clicks and so on. To ascertain if such medium is the best to reach your potential clients or not. Such metrics will inform your decision on whether to continue with the campaign or not.

ACHIEVABLE – A good way to look at this, is to consider your desire for achieving the goal plus the possibility of achieving it. Let’s say you own a pastry shop and would like to sell 2,000 cupcakes every week, you need to ask yourself what is the motivation behind such goal? Is it achievable? Bear in mind that in setting SMART goals, you need to be realistic.

RELEVANT – In being relevant, this is the time to be asking yourself as a business owner about your “why” can really come in handy. Ask yourself whether the goal is worthwhile and if it fits your values and aspirations. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to re-strategize. Bear in mind that when setting SMART goals, it is pertinent to ask yourself whether it is the right time to work on your goals. Does it fit with other things you have going on in your business?

TIME-BOUND – Finally, consider when you are going to achieve the goal by asking yourself when you intend to start working on the goal you set out for your business. Set milestones as you begin your journey, more so, it is very important to build in some allowable slippage so that you don’t feel disheartened if you were unable to meet the target you set for yourself.