Are your goals helping or hurting your small business? SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. It is a simple but useful checklist that you can use to ensure your goals are fit for purpose.

SpecificSMART Goals

General goals only produce general results.  If you want specific results then make sure your goals are well defined.

Use the following questions to help define your goals.

  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • What?
  • Who?
  • How?’


If your goals are not measurable how will you know if they have been achieved or not. For example, ‘we will improve quality’ is not measurable whilst ‘we will reduce rejects by 10%’ is measurable.


Your goals must present the right level of challenge to be accepted by everyone involved.

If your goals are not achievable then it will damage motivation but alternatively the achievement of goals must be worthwhile.


All goals must work towards the overall strategy of your small business. If they are pulling in the wrong direction they could waste resources or even damage your business.

Also make sure goals are results orientated rather than just activity orientated.


Each goal should include an appropriate deadline to avoid procrastination.


SMART goals help to ensure the efficient and productive use of resources. Make sure that your small business goals are SMART goals and set your business free.

© Business Set Free Ltd 2013

This is just one of many articles that you can find at or click to subscribe to our free e-newsletter.