New Year - New Goals

It is Time to Set New Goals


The changing of the calendar gives everyone a chance to reset.  There is just something about the combination of coming back after a couple of weeks of holidays and starting a new calendar that gives people the drive they need to improve themselves and their businesses.  As always remember that if your goals include growth, The Essex Companies can be a major part of your new year goals helping you set yourself up for success.


When Setting Goals, Be SMART


Start the new year knowing that you are going to have a great year.  Set your goals and work toward them.  It is important to set strong yet attainable goals.  The acronym name people use, appropriately is SMART.


When you set your goals for the year, make sure they are:


Specific.  Anyone can say they are going to have a great year.  For some people and companies having a great year means they are going to match last year.  For some it means they want to have a growth of 15%.  For some they want to see a growth of 50%.  Give yourself a specific goal so you will know definitively whether you have achieved your goal.


Measurable.  What is your gauge going to be?  If you are talking about sales?  Are you talking about leads, phone calls, orders placed?  Whatever your goal is, define how you are going to measure whether you have achieved the goal.  Without a measurement, you are just guessing about your numbers.  You need to have a very cut and dry measure of what you are gauging success.


Attainable.  We spoke to a small business owner who was using SMART has his guide to goal setting.  He said he was shooting for 25% growth in his monthly billing.  In passing, he joked he would like to see 200% growth.  His associate said, then why not work to that?  It wasn’t realistic or attainable.  Some people like to overshoot their goals.  Those are called stretch goals and for a lot of people stretch goals are a great motivator.  For most people, goal setting has to be realistic or they can lose momentum and drive.  If you reach for the stars and say you want 200% growth, but don’t reach it, you might consider yourself as having failed.  There are multiple philosophies to goal setting, but we believe that setting attainable goals is the best bet.  You are setting yourself up for success, not disappointment, or worse, the feeling of having failed.


Relevant.  Goals must have meaning.  Discussing goal setting with one of our clients, they said one of their goals was to keep the office clean.  As the company was a parts supplier, we asked how keeping the office clean was relevant to the goal of increasing sales.  The answer was that the owner noticed that when the office was cleaned on a regular basis, his salespeople were in better spirits and the number of sick days was drastically decreased.  Improving morale and the health of the employees was relevant to sales, so it became a goal related to the business.  All goals should lead, directly or indirectly to the betterment of the business or the individuals in the business.


Time-bound.  You must give yourself a timeframe in which to achieve your goal.  If your goal for your sales force is to meet with five additional leads without giving them a timeframe, they will have no incentive to move on achieving the goal, because there is no real way to track it.  If your goal states that you want each sales person to meet with five new potential client in the next month, then they have an idea of what they need to do to achieve the goal.  People work great when they are up against the clock.  But remember the “A!”  The goal must be attainable.  If you tell your sales force they must meet with five new people by the end of the week, you are just causing them undue stress and setting them up to fail.


SMART Goals Give You a Sense of Accomplishment


Besides Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and Trackable, each letter in SMART has other meanings:  Significant, Meaningful, Action-oriented, Rewarding, and Trackable.


If you think about these meanings and add them to the previous, your goals become something that will give you a real sense of accomplishment and you and your employees will feel great about having been a part of real opportunity and growth.