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Get SMART When it Comes to Setting Strategic Goals

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Joe Giordano Partner Whisman Giordano

Strategic planning is key to ensuring every company’s long term viability. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there. Does this scenario sound familiar? Let us explain how we can help you using the SMART approach.

First, we start with the letter S which stands for specific. Goals must be precise.  If your strategic plan includes growing the business, your goals should state how you’ll do so. For each goal, define the 5 W’s: Who, what, where, when and why

Next, we have the letter M, which stands for Measurable. Setting goals is useless if you can’t easily assess your progress toward them. Try pairing each goal with numbers to measure progress and success.

A stands for Achievable. No one wants to put time and effort into something that isn’t able to be accomplished. Ensure your goals can be reached, but don’t make them too easy. The best ones are usually somewhat of a stretch, but still doable.

R stands for Relevant. When identifying a goal, make sure you ask yourself how it will move your business forward to make sure it makes sense. Goals should directly and clearly support your long-term strategic plan and avoid those that lead nowhere.

Lastly, T is for timely. Assign each goal a deadline. Doing so will motivate those involved by creating a sense of urgency. Aslo, you’ve established a deadline, set periodic milestones to help everyone pace themselves toward the goal.

There you have it. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. We hope this helps and our firm would be happy to explain further and offer other ideas.

About the author 

Joe is a 2004 graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is also a 2000 graduate of Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware. Joe started with the firm in 2002 as a part-time intern, joining full-time in 2004.

Since then, he has worked with a myriad of clients, including entrepreneurial firms, agricultural businesses and nonprofit entities, including those with OMB A-133 audits. Joe, along with the firm, contributes to Toys for Tots, Goodwill Industries, as well as several other community organizations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Delaware Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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