Setting Actionable, SMART Business Goals for 2019

Business owners and executives are typically tasked with maintaining a bird’s-eye view on both the organization’s current health and forecasted future health. It is from this perspective that critical decisions are made and the overall direction of the company is established. As 2018 comes to a close, time is of the essence to evaluate the past year’s numbers, conduct necessary market research, consider internal business changes, and begin calculating where the company will go in 2019 and beyond.

The concept of a SMART goal was first cited in a 1981 issue of Management Review, a paper written by George T. Doran entitled There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Doran’s writings have been referenced and utilized in countless capacities in the last 37 years, highlighting their clear effectiveness. Outlined in his writings states the basis to which every objective should be created:

  • 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

The overarching concept here is to construct goals and objectives with a narrowed focus and a very specific understanding of how they will be achieved. In doing so, your company will avoid falling into the trap of setting ambiguous resolutions that are seldom achieved. With the SMART goal concept in mind, consider the following actionable goals for your company in 2019:

  • Improving internal operations by assessing current employee skillset and position as well as current departments
  • Analyze policies and processes that have been in place for years – they are often outdated and thus inefficient
  • Better define your target markets and ensure marketing strategy aligns with them appropriately
  • Take a look at business expenses and evaluate where overspending exists
  • Shift marketing focus to predominately digital efforts
  • Take a new approach to the staff’s (and your own) daily schedule – consider planning specific blocks of time for important, repeated tasks
  • Talk to your team about realistic revenue increase goals and steps towards achieving them
  • Institute a better internal evaluation process and enforce regular reviews

The above objectives are just a few of the most commonly seen action items for the 2019 year. While each industry and each business varies greatly, the important thing to remember is that utilizing SMART goals will paint a clear picture into what needs to be done and how to best get there. From the very top to the very bottom, the organization will benefit tremendously from this implementation. What are some of the most prominent SMART goals for your company? How do you plan to get there? It’s time to put pen to paper and determine how to take your business to the next level in 2019. Here’s to a prosperous New Year!