Taking time to set goals is an important process in life, both personally and professionally. When running a small business, it’s especially vital to set goals in order to ensure that you, your employees, investors, fellow managers, etc. are all on the same page. Some goals are short-term while others may extrapolate over a number of years. Regardless, there are a number of things to keep in mind when setting up smart management goals.

Specific

Make sure that your goals are clearly stated and don’t have any ambiguity. Having a vague idea of where you want your company to get to can be a good place to start, but break it down and make sure that each goal is attainable. When communicating to employees goals that should be reached, it’s much better to have a specific number or mark to hit as opposed to simply suggesting that production should increase. Once specific goals are set, it’s also much easier to track progress towards reaching that goal.

Quantifiable

A goal that cannot be measured is not much of a goal. It’s incredibly tough to track the progress and completion of a goal if there is no way to quantify results of something. For instance, it’s much better to tell employees in the sales department that they each need to get 100 new subscribers every week as opposed to saying that they should focus on increasing subscriptions and reach for high numbers. When goals are measurable, then employees can work towards them as opposed to just keeping them in mind while going about their business.

Reasonable

There’s little to no point in setting goals that can’t be reached, so be sure that each goal you set is attainable. While it’s great to shoot for the stars, it’s much more feasible to set smaller goals along the way to help you get your company to where you want it to be. Employees should strive to improve performance in order to reach goals, but they should be well within their grasp so that your business isn’t constantly falling below the mark. Nevertheless, goals should not be set to low either in order to ensure that your employees are looking to improve and not simply hit a misplaced goal.

Relevant

Every goal you set should fit into a larger target of where you want your business to end up. Whenever setting goals, keep in mind your mission statement and make sure that each goal fits in to your company’s vision. For instance, if great customer service is a big part of your company’s mission then create a goal of a certain amount of perfect feedback in any given week. Don’t simply set a goal to increase sales without a clear idea of why.

Timely

Each goal that you set should have a set start point and end point. Without a set duration then you leave too much room open for interpretation. Employees generally respond better to deadlines because it allows them to focus on a due date. If there are no set times for goals to be reached, then they could easily become lost given the craziness that tends to overtake offices on a daily basis.

As long as you set goals that follow the above rules, then it should lead to an increase in production and performance throughout the workplace.

Sources

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/setting-smart-management-goals.html