SMART Goals Lead to Clear Strategy

by | May 15, 2024

What does strategy look like for you and your business? A couple weeks back I talked about how to deal with feeling overwhelmed. I suggested that strategy and prioritization are a method you could use to navigate that. Last week was about prioritization and time management, which leaves us with strategy. 

Very simply put, strategy is how you will accomplish your goals.

If you have clear goals, your strategy will likely be relatively straightforward. If your goals are a little more fuzzy, or even if they are too ambitious, that’s where things get complicated and potentially overwhelming. And before we get to the logical question about what your goals are, there’s something we need to go over first.

There is a concept known as SMART goals, where SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. My goal might be “I want my business to be successful.” This is a relatable goal, but not a SMART goal. Translating that into a SMART goal would look something like “I want my business to reach $300k in profit by the end of this fiscal year without incurring any debt.”

The first goal is up for interpretation. How do you define successful? If that nebulous “success” is reached in 10 years are you happy? How do you develop a strategy for or accomplish something with so many unknowns?

The second goal though, if your profits are $50k so far, and you have another eight months left in the fiscal year, depending on your business the strategy for the year might write itself. Profit is the goal. What drives profitability in the short term? What can you control? What will have the greatest impact?

The answers to those questions leave you with levers to pull. Your plan for how to pull those levers over the next eight months?

That’s your strategy.

Start small and build out from there. If you don’t know what your goals should be, then I’ve got an tool for you that might help. It’s called the Leader’s Dashboard. It’s a living document (which means it will change over time) very similar to your business plan. It helps you keep track of your mission, vision, and values, along with other essential elements of your business and how you think about it.

It’s one of the tools I use whenever I start a coaching engagement with someone, and I’m happy to share it with you for free. After signing up for the newsletter you’ll get a link to it. When you’ve spent some time filling yours out, reach out and let me know what you thought. What insights did you gain from the exercise?