The foundation of every business should begin with its business goals. Whether you set short-term or long-term goals, you need to set goals that embody your company culture and best help your business achieve great success. Strive for purposeful, inspirational and timely goals that support your vision as well as the strengths of your team. More importantly, find a balance between setting both SMART and HARD business goals.
Let’s start with your SMART goals. These are any goals your business has that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Most people, if not everyone, has at some point set SMART goals for personal or professional reasons. If you don’t find yourself in this category though, you need to define your goals in this manner moving forward. However, studies show that while SMART goals are helpful in the short run, it’s actually more beneficial to your team and business if you set HARD - Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult - business goals.
Heartfelt, referring to how emotionally attached you are to your goals. Emotions will always play a role in how we are motivated. So, the more emotionally involved we are with our goals, the more likely we are to achieve them. Animated, meaning your goals are defined by your business vision. The more visual your goals are - both well defined and physically displayed in the office - the quicker your team will drive to reach those goals. Required, focusing on the urgency and immediate actions around your goals. Similar to time-bound goals, the more urgency you place on your goals, them more likely the business is to reach them. Difficult because your goals should challenge yourself and your team as well as push you out of your comfort zone. Goals that make your team collaborate and think outside of the box increase engagement and propel your team toward success.
With the creation of goals being so crucial to success, it’s important to create strong ones that embrace your long-term vision and encourage growth. Don’t hesitate to set those audacious goals because they demonstrate strong leadership and determination for greatness. Remember, you can even start by defining your HARD goals and then break those down into SMART goals. Leaders who focus on defining HARD goals, will motivate team members to be more active in planning and reaching not only the business’s goals but their personal career goals as well.
About the Author
Colin DunnDirector & Co-founder at PANALITIX
Colin is a Chartered Accountant who, having spent almost 10 years with one of the fastest growing and most innovative firms in the UK, has since invested over 20 years helping business owners to improve their businesses with a focus on attracting new clients, better managing existing clients, developing new products, building an engaged team and strengthening internal business processes.
Colin's primary focus at PANALITIX is on product development and business improvement content. He is the author of the bestselling book “Accountants: The Natural Trusted Advisors".