SMART goals are a method for setting and achieving specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
The acronym was first coined by management consultant George T. Doran in the 1980s and has since become a widely used tool for setting and achieving goals in various contexts, including business and entrepreneurship.
Key elements of SMART goals
Specific: Goals should be clear, specific, and well-defined. This helps ensure everyone understands what needs to be accomplished and how it will be measured.
Measurable: Goals should be measurable, so that progress can be tracked and success can be determined. This could involve setting specific targets or milestones or using quantitative measures such as revenue or market share.
Attainable: Goals should be realistic and achievable, given the resources and constraints of the company. Setting unrealistic goals can be demoralizing and lead to a lack of progress.
Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the overall strategy and goals of the company and should align with the company’s values and mission.
Time-bound: Goals should have a specific timeframe, so that progress can be tracked and the team can stay on track.
SMART goals for entrepreneurs and startups
They help clarify the direction and focus of the company: By setting specific, measurable goals, entrepreneurs and startups can ensure that their efforts are focused on the most important tasks and that progress is being made.
They enable better decision-making: By setting clear goals, entrepreneurs and startups can make more informed decisions about allocating their time and resources.
They promote accountability: By setting specific targets and measuring progress, SMART goals help ensure that the team is accountable for achieving their goals.
They drive continuous improvement: By setting time-bound goals and regularly reviewing progress, entrepreneurs and startups can identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed.
SMART goals are a powerful tool for helping entrepreneurs and startups stay focused, make better decisions, hold themselves accountable, and continuously improve as they grow and evolve.