There's a lot of hoopla out there on the Internet about how SMART goals are a hogwash, a thing of the past, way overrated.
From our perspective, that simply isn't so. Setting SMART goals can be an important tool as you strive for business growth in your organization. However, SMART goals are not the only kind of goals that you need.
I think the criticism of SMART goals comes from the fact that often businesses get so caught up in focusing on the minuscule details that they forget to set larger, more long-term goals. They forget to DREAM BIG. And when business leaders don't dream big, there's simply no business growth.
So, before setting SMART goals, take some time to look at the bigger picture.
Start with 10 years. If that's not far enough in the future, start with 15 or 20.
- What does your personal life look like in 10 years?
- What does your business look like in 10 years?
- Dream big.
- Write it down.
- The sky's the limit.
There's nothing you can't accomplish in 10 years except that which you tell yourself you can't accomplish. Stop limiting yourself. Be specific as you write down your dreams. This is your chance to draw the landscape on which you will build your road map. If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there.
Now repeat the above steps as you consider the next 5 years. What will your personal life and your business look like in 5 years if you want to reach the goals you've written down in 10.
Now turn your focus to your business. You're operating your business as part of your journey to reaching your personal goals. And if that's not the case, you're in the wrong business. So, consider that everything you're doing to grow your business is getting you one step closer to reaching your business and personal goals.
What are your overall goals for your business to achieve in the next 12 months? Consider the following aspects:
- revenue growth
- territory expansion
- customer retention and acquisition
- employee retention
Consider any aspect of what you currently use to measure overall company growth right now.
Now define what your overall company growth goals are for the next 3 months? 6 months? 9 months?
Taking the time to consider what you want your business growth to be from now to 3 months from now to a year to 5 years to 10 years and beyond that is a necessary step in breaking your goals down into smaller measurable SMART goals that are associated with specific marketing initiatives, such as using online marketing for business growth.
As you consider all of these overall goals, remember that your company's core values should be in alignment with helping you get where you want to go. If it isn't, it's time to look at that again and consider how to define your core purpose and how to tell your company story in a way that really resonates with your growth targets.
In our next blog, we will explore how to set SMART goals to help you achieve business growth using online marketing. For now, however, spend some time looking at the big picture. Dream big and remember that anything is possible.