Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 1 – Specific
Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 2 – Measurable
Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 3 – Achievable
Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 4 – Relevant
Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 5 – Time-Based
Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 6 – Creating the Final SMART Goal
This article breaks down the 4th part of SMART goal setting, along with tips to help complete the section and apply it to your business planning. We have also included a downloadable template to help in creating your business’s Relevant goals.
Most business owners are aware of how important a business plan is for their success. It lays out the different goals that the business aims to achieve, along with the plan for achieving those specific goals. However, do we truly understand what should be included in setting a business goal? Both in our personal lives and in business, it is essential to have clear objectives! Without goals we are not truly in charge of the direction we are heading, and usually end up drifting haphazardly hoping not to run into any problems that will set us back from success – not to mention it’s also hard to measure success without having set goals to accomplish! So, what is one of the best ways to set a business goal, you may be asking? Well, we think it’s a smart idea to set SMART goals! These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Let’s take a look at what the 4th part of SMART goal setting is, along with Relevant tips to help.
Business goals should help move your company in the right direction towards achieving your vision and success. There really is no point in setting a business goal if it isn’t important to the long-term success of the company! While it may be tempting to set a goal that sounds good or looks good on paper, it is critical to take a step back and ask if that achievement truly relates to the BIG picture the company is wanting to achieve. A relevant business goal will have your partners and employee’s goal-hearted support!
While a SMART goal must relate to the company’s overall objectives, it must also account for the current trends and the industry. If the aim is to generate more revenue for example, will increasing e-mail or social media traffic lead to increased revenue? Likely not as much within an industry such as construction, however it depends on the industry and the type of products and services the company is providing.
Here are 4 questions to ask to help ensure business goals are Relevant:
Why is this significant to our business objectives? Answering this first question is essential for knowing if the goal is relevant to the business. If there isn’t a strong ‘why’ behind wanting to achieve the objective, then it is most likely not relevant to the company’s success. The ‘why’ will be the main reason this goal will help the business and will act as the guiding light if there are difficulties in achieving the goal.
Is this worthwhile in the long run? Another way to frame this question is thinking about how it will help the long-term success of the company. If this is a short-term fix to a problem, it could be worth re-evaluating for a solution that may require more time and effort yet be more rewarding and valuable in the end.
Is it the right time to focus on this objective? This question requires consideration of the current trends in the industry, as well as the current social and economic environment. Business goals will most likely not be relevant to the success of the company if they are not aligned with the economy, or if they contradict current social trends.
Does this align with other efforts and needs of the company? A great way to think of this question is asking if the goal aligns with the company’s mission, vision, and values. If it supports what your company stands for and where the company is wanting to go in the future, then it is likely the goal is in alignment and therefore relevant.
Let’s say a marketing company has a goal of increasing the number of people that sign up for their webinars. Here are what the answers to the above questions could be:
The BIG why behind our webinars is to help our current clients with relevant information and solutions, while also providing the information to potential new clients. We have found that our webinars create the most leads, and also have the highest number of new clients that sales staff are able to close. Plus, we have fun with our webinars, and they are relatively inexpensive for us to create!
Our webinars help us with short-term goals, as well as supporting the long-term success of our business with increased revenue. With the low cost and highest rate of new clients that sign up for our services this is definitely a goal that contributes to the success of our business long-term.
This is the perfect time for webinars as many people are working from home! Even before working from home became more popular in the last couple years, people enjoyed being able to join in on a live meeting from anywhere they could access a computer. There are also many people that are unable to join live and will receive the download link to see the recorded webinar when it is most convenient for them.
One of our company values is community. For many this has been hard to support in the last couple years due to restrictions. Webinars have helped us create that sense of community with our current and potential clients. We also send recordings out to all of those that signed up for the webinar, meaning they can share the webinar if they would like. Culture is also very important to our company. Allowing our staff to do webinars together in pairs or groups has created the opportunity for them to share and work together towards common goals while talking about topics that interest them.
Are Your Business Goals SMART?
With the why behind it, knowing it is worthwhile in the long run, the right timing, and aligning with the needs of the company, a SMART business goal will provide the Relevance you need to plan. Having a plan set out will also empower you to keep moving forward and seek resolution when you run into the bumps in the road – which will happen! Now that you have a better understanding of the Relevant aspects of SMART goal setting, the question left to ask is: “Are your current business goals Relevant?”
As this is only the 4th step of 5 in SMART goal setting, we think it would be a smart idea to check out the next part in this series: “Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 5 – Time-Based”.