SMART goals and Small Business Saturday

As we’ve explained before, and hopefully you have all picked up on, we are always passionate about helping businesses of any size, so we were delighted when our offer of a drop- in clinic for businesses this Small Business Saturday was so well received.

We offered 30 minute slots to discuss any business issue and all our slots were snapped up within a few days of making the offer. We saw a real mixture of people: some with ideas for fantastic new businesses and others who run established businesses who were looking for some extra motivation and ideas for their plans for the next year.

One of the most common themes of advice was that it was definitely time to start thinking about goals for 2016. Why? Well research shows that if you write down your goals and review them regularly it gives you a 95% higher chance of achieving your desired outcomes. And any business needs to know where they are going, as Lewis Carroll says “Any road will get you there, if you don’t know where you are going.” Goals define the route you are taking and ensure you are on the fastest and easiest route to get to your destination.

Goals are clear targets to be achieved within a set time frame and with specific outcomes. They focus your efforts in driving your business in a specific direction. They can motivate and drive you in a clear direction. They ensure that all employees are working towards a common outcome. Goals focus the attention of the business on a specific plan of action.

SMART goals

We recommend setting SMART goals – ones that are specific; measurable; achievable; realistic; with a time limit. This ensures that the goal is precise enough to concentrate your focus and effort and means that the goal has a far greater chance of being realised than a general goal.

To set your goals think about the following questions:


  • What exactly are you going to do, with or for whom?
  • What strategies will be used?
  • Is the objective well understood?
  • Is the objective described with action verbs?
  • Who will be involved?
  • Is it clear where this will happen?
  • Is it clear what needs to happen?
  • Is the outcome clear?
  • Will this objective lead to the desired results?


  • How will you know that the change has occurred?
  • Can these measurements be obtained?
  • Who has responsibility for recording the results?


  • Can you get it done in the proposed timeframe?
  • Do you understand the limitations and constraints?
  • Can you do this with the resources we have?
  • Has anyone else done this successfully?
  • Is this possible?


  • Do you have the appropriate resources available to achieve this objective?
  • Do you need to revisit priorities in your business to make this happen?
  • Is it actually possible to achieve this objective?

Time limited

  • When will this objective be accomplished?
  • What is the required deadline?


So, time to set your goals, and if you feel like sharing them to make you even more accountable in achieving them then get in touch on