Whenever I’m talking to entrepreneurs for the first-time I like to figure out their why (see Start With Why). Why do they do this? Why be an entrepreneur? After understanding the why, I like to talk through the one page strategic plan that was required before meeting. Only, 9 out of 10 times the annual and quarterly goals are too generic. Goals like “raise money” or “sign new customers” are vague. I’m a fan of SMART goals.
Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of SMART goals from the origination of the acronym in 1981:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Another variation has “Achievable” for the “A” and “Relevant” for the “R” in the acronym. Regardless, SMART goals are the way to go and plain goals should be avoided.
What else? What are some more thoughts on SMART goals?