All businesses need to measure their performance and one of the most effective tools for identifying business objectives is the use SMART. SMART is a goal setting tool, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Orientated, Realistic, Time-based.
What’s a SMART business goal?
A truly effective business goal meets the SMART criteria which I’ve outlined below:
Make sure you are very specific about what you want to achieve in your goal. Saying you want to create more business is vague. Instead, you could set the goal of winning three new creative design projects, and contacting 10 companies to find out their creative needs.
How will you know whether you have achieved your specific business goal? You want to grow your client portfolio. One way of measuring it is to look at the number of existing clients you have and specify that you want to grow that number by 50%. If you want to increase your conversion rate of prospects to customers, make sure you can track each part of your sales process so you know exactly when and where the prospect becomes a customer.
Your business goals need to be something you can attach specific actions to.
- Can you create a step-by-step plan for achieving the goals?
- Is it something under your control?
For example, setting a goal of gaining three new clients is highly desirable. However, there are no actions involved and it’s not under your direct control. Instead, you should say that you will implement three new business development tactics over the course of the next 3 months to gain new business. Then list out the detailed goals for each tactic. You’ll be able to easily measure the results and then determine your next course of action.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. By setting goals that are unrealistic or impossible to achieve you will demoralise your team. For example, if you are new to the design world it’s unrealistic to think that you can write to 100 potential clients on a daily basis, for 3 months. Not impossible, just unrealistic. If you market online it’s easy to get sucked into the thinking you can achieve a promised £10,000 of business in 3 days. That’s not realistic. You need to make sure you have access to all the resources you need to achieve your business goals in the first place. Don’t set yourself up to fail, you and your team will become disillusioned very quickly.
As with any of your plans, put a timeframe around your goals. You could set a goal of doubling your clients in the next six months, or writing one brilliant business development letter per month for the next year . You will then be able to set up specific tasks to make sure this happens, and you’ll be able to measure the results.
SMART goals are a powerful business tool. As well as helping you identify and achieve business objectives, they’ll also help you identify members of your creative team that are not performing in their roles and staff members who perform incredibly.
If you’ve used SMART goals and found your creative team is lacking a vital member to achieve them, give us a call on 0203 116 0000 and we’ll run through your requirements and find you the right person.