Could This Be the Biggest Mistake that Small Businesses Make? Getting Smarter About SMART

Not getting crystal clear about what you want to achieve in all aspects of your business (and life for that matter) is like getting into your car and driving off without knowing where you are going – a massive waste of time and money.

And yet why do so many of us small businesses do it?

We suspect that at least one reason is because up until now Small Business has not had a simple system for developing and managing these goals, objectives, targets or outcomes – whatever word you want to use.

Many people know about “SMART” goals and objectives but how many people actually apply 5 different criteria (S-M-A-R-T) to each of their objectives?

“SMART” is one of those things that’s great in theory but not so easy in practice.

So, we have developed our own simplified version of SMART which we call ‘TM Objectives”.

The approach applies to both groups (businesses, divisions and teams) and individuals.

In short, it says:

– T – start your objective with a timebound word like ‘by, when, each, every’. (In some cases where an objective is genuinely ‘ongoing’ you can also use that word but be careful of not defaulting to ‘ongoing’ all the time)

– M – make your objectives measurable by asking ‘Would an ordinary person be able to test or measure whether the objective or goal has been achieved.

That’s it – Timebound and Measurable.

You can try it out now in just 5-10 minutes.

Grab pen and paper and write down 3 of your most important projects or issues (whether business or personal). Now develop an objective for each using the TM approach.

Like all things, this approach needs a little practice so we offer coaching help to small businesses on what we call Simplified SMART Objectives.

2 thoughts on “Could This Be the Biggest Mistake that Small Businesses Make? Getting Smarter About SMART

  1. Naomi

    The TM objectives should form part of a business plan. It’s very important to be able to measure in time because a lot of people who start a small business don’t take into account how long it will take them to complete the tasks. Outsourcing is a good way to cope with a huge workload.

  2. val yenko

    Not being clear can cost you a lot of money and having a plan set up to prevent confusion can really make a difference for any business, not just upstarts.


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