Small business owners often fail to consider themselves large enough to set specific plans of action regarding the growth of their businesses. You, as a small business owner are larger than life in the big economic picture. So play it SMART! Reach your objective!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the results of the last census taken in 2014, 5.83 million employer firm businesses operated in the United States. Small businesses employ approximately 53% of those in the private sector workforce. Larger corporations with more than 500 employees employ only about 38% of the workforce in the private sector. In summation, today about 62% of the small U.S. businesses employ less than five employees, and these small business numbers continue to grow.
With this in mind, it is critical that small businesses become savvier in using both creative and proven methods to enhance their customer base and profitability. To accomplish growth, small businesses must consider a laser focus on how to include their employee base, (no matter how small) in the growth of their companies.
We would suggest using a method that is tried and true often used by those who select business administration as a part of their career choice early in their educational processes. This strategy is called SMART. By using this written strategy, you and your employees will have the ability to map their individual intentions, therefore collectively setting goals within the business that will become far more likely to create growth and a higher level of financial sustainability. Each owner and employee must be willing to take personal responsibility for their goals within your organization.
Create an SMART Goal document using the following information:
Specific – Defining the specifics of the project will address the what, the why and the how of the individual’s intent to improve the business. Each person participating should clearly define their intention or what their plan of action will be. The aim should be written as a simple statement.
Measurable – To achieve a semblance of tangible evidence that the stated goals are met, the goals must be measurable. Of course, the entire statement is about the measurement of the indicated project; however, usually, a project plan will contain, smaller or short-term measurable metrics. The stated metric essential would likely be whether the selected and agreed upon system could genuinely be achievable and by a specific date or by the end of a specific imposed timeline.
Achievability – Are your goals achievable? To begin, the individual employee planning their portion of the growth processes must have the capability to accomplish the goal with the proper skills, knowledge, and ability to execute their respective aspect of the desired outcome. Don’t overwhelm yourself but you should expand and challenge yourself. Define your goals but be confident that they are achievable.
Results Oriented- The results of your goal should focus not on activities, but on outcomes. This particular part of this process will enable owner(s), managers and employees to acquire a more competent evaluation of overall performance. This evaluation will assist in the better development of careers and not just the benefits and activities that individuals will bring to the table to bring the goal(s) into reality.
Time Orientation – Provide a time, due date or deadline. This aspect may reflect the end point of the project. In other cases, it may be check-points that will assist all participants in assessing just how well the project is progressing before its completion and therefore allowing for any needed modifications to ensure that in the end, your results will meet your expectations. Regardless, it is a good idea to implement time restrictions to create a sense of urgency; in doing so, the participants will be more likely to complete their response to the project on time.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are highly beneficial for a myriad of reasons. They encourage specified purposes that are better monitored, collectively throughout the process. A well-planned goal is one that is detailed and should, therefore, allow for a better understanding among participants of the importance of the needed activities to accomplish the aims of the business. Setting these goals, step-by-step will ensure a more natural way to track several aspects of progress to include how profitability is affected. Most importantly, when a project is broken down into detailed specifics, it is much easier to visualize and is much more likely to produce a better-projected outcome.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: