Even if your business is experiencing rapid growth, it’s still important to look to the future and set attainable goals.
If you didn’t set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) goals when your business launched, during its first surge of growth is a good time to catch up on your goal-setting.
Where will your growth take you? What are realistic expectations for the future? Setting SMART goals for a growing business gives you a roadmap into the future and a clear way to measure your results against your expectations.
It will give you a future stopping point to assess your progress and determine whether to adjust your approach. Let’s check out how each element of the SMART goal-setting process relates to a growing business.
When your business is growing, it makes sense to have a goal of continuing or accelerating that growth. But if you aren’t specific about what exactly that means, you will have a hard time determining whether you’ve been successful.
Think in terms of pinpointing the elements of growth that matter to you. For example, will you be looking at revenue growth, profit growth, expanding your customer base, or another specific measure?
Being specific will give you a defined data point to look at when you are measuring results.
Making your growth measurable means setting a goal that is quantifiable. Perhaps you are interested in translating your business’ growth into increased profits. A measurable goal toward that end would be to reduce production costs to increase profit margins.
By how much will you reduce costs, and by how much will profit margin grow? These are very measurable elements of a profit growth goal.
Take a look back on your recent growth as a way to set up attainable future growth goals. How much did your business grow over the last six months? Is it reasonable - based on factors like your market opportunities, level of competition, level of production - to set a goal to outpace that over the next six months? By how much?
Or is a more attainable goal to match your growth over the next six months?
Ensure that your goals are attainable so you don’t set yourself up to come up short.
What are relevant goals for a growing business? Aside from revenue and profit-related goals - always relevant to a growing business - consider a focus on marketing goals, such as expanding your email contact list or growing your social media following.
Make sure your goals are relevant to your business to increase your chances of following through and achieving success.
Attaching a defined time frame to your goals is an essential component to making them measurable. Goals that relate to revenue, profitability, customer expansion, and marketing success all can be enhanced by identifying a future time to measure results.
Phrase a marketing goal, for example, like: “increase my email list by 300 people by the end of the year.” Phrase a profitability goal like: “Reduce the cost of production by 10 percent by the end of the second quarter of 2018.”
Attaching that time frame gives you a stopping point to measure success. Remember the attainable criteria here, though. Give yourself enough time to achieve that goal!
A growing business can benefit greatly from SMART goals. They will give you a clear picture of your expectations for your company’s growth and a measurable way to assess your success.
Thanks for reading,
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