Last Updated: 6th April 2020
I’m talking about setting objectives in your business plan, not the strength of your IQ. Come to think of it, SMART can also be applied to your personal life. Think about it!
S (Specific/Simple) M (Measurable) A (Attainable) R (Realistic) T (Timed) Objectives
In its simplest form, SMART is a good business tool to utilize when you’re setting up the objectives of your business. Let’s start from the beginning:
S – Specific: Also interpreted as “Simple”, this is the first step of clarifying your business objectives. Once you have a list of possible objectives in your business plan, go through each one and ask yourself this – is the objective well defined?
The objective you define should relate to your vision of the business. Attention to detail is mandatory for this task.
M – Measurable: The business objectives you’ve chosen, can you measure them in terms of money, time, milestones, etc? Maybe you can measure your objectives by year, by month, even by day. The further you can break down your business objectives in terms of measurements, the better are your chances of assessing the overall success of these business objectives.
A – Attainable: Here is where you decide if the business objectives you’ve chosen are do-able at all. Can you accomplish these goals? Or maybe somone in your company can? There is no room for assumptions. You have to graph the possibility of achieving each objective.
R – Realistic: Do you have enough resources to achieve these business goals? Is there any possibility you’ll be receiving additional resources to accomplish your goals? Again, no room for assumptions. You have to be definite – that’s the only way you can assess if your goals are realistic, or not.
It’s best to assess any obstacles you might encounter for each business objective you have at this point.
T – Timed: Last, but not the least, you have to consider the time it takes to achieve each business objective you’ve listed. Can you accomplish your business goals within a reasonable amount of time? In a month, year, or even X number of years?
If certain elements in your business plan do not relate to the SMART technique, it’s best to re-evaluate and draw up SMART objectives to implement a successful business plan.
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2 thoughts on “Are You SMART in Business?”
I’ve always wondered what the difference between “attainable” and “realistic” are. I suppose that it’s an important enough criteria to be repeated, but still…… maybe the “a” should be “actionable” or “Aggressive” or “Authentic.” What do you think?
Thanks for your input!
From my understanding, “Attainable” is basically figuring out if the objectives we choose for a particular business plan can be achieved or not. For instance, in a marketing plan for a particular Facebook page, an attainable objective is distributing the page link to 100 Facebook Friends, NOT collecting 100 Likes from these 100 Facebook Friends because one can not predict human nature.
Next, “Realistic” is determining if the objectives we choose can be achieved within our resources. Taking the same example from above, a realistic objective is using Facebook Ads to generate 100 Likes within our budget, NOT funding Facebook Ads until we get 100 Likes – that will dry up our resources.
Hope this helps.