Using the SMART Goal Setting Method
For your business to grow, knowing goal-setting methods is essential. It can be easy to have goals for yourself and your business, and it is important to set those goals properly to be attained within the desired timeline. Even us here at hla Bookkeeping have struggled to focus on the long-term goals instead of being derailed by problem-solving and more short-term gratification. When you remember the why and work to stay motivated throughout the process of reaching your goals you are more likely to achieve them.
Not only do we want to help ourselves set goals, but we want you to use this to outline and track your own goals in a more measurable and attainable way using the SMART goal setting method. Throughout the writing below, we will be laying out a very real goal for us here at hla bookkeeping. That goal is that we would like all our clients to be transferred to our Pure Bookkeeping System, the same system that we explained in a previous blog, check it out if you would like to see the big things you may have missed at hla Bookkeeping.
In this section, you focus on your goal and provide an overarching outline of the who, what, when, where, and which limits are involved if we are to relate this to the goal of HLA Bookkeeping and answer these questions.
First and foremost, we wish to transfer all our current clients to our Pure Bookkeeping system. Our why is because we believe this system will be more effective in standardizing our process and providing more consistency throughout each client’s bookkeeping needs—the who would be my team at hla Bookkeeping and me. The where would be our office location in Wheatland Wyoming. Our limits in reaching this goal currently are training the client transfer process to our employees. This process can be different if they are clients for bookkeeping or payroll reasons or if their books are in QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online. We are currently reviewing the best possible way to train our staff to make this goal more attainable under a shorter deadline. Now, using the SMART goal setting method, outline a purpose for your own business.
Your goals must be measurable. If your plans are not measurable, it can be harder to stay motivated to continue reaching them. It can also be challenging to set a realistic deadline for the goal. Determining if your goal is measurable is to determine how many or much it would take off your given variable to accomplish the goal and how you will know when it is completed. For our purpose, when learning the total number of clients, we need to be transferred, we see the number of employees we have to contribute to the end goal. Once all our clients have been transferred to our Pure Bookkeeping System, we know our goal has been accomplished. Does the goal you wish to accomplish have measurable components?
Within this section, you will be questioning your own goal. By examining your own goal, you are verifying that it is attainable. If your goal is unattainable, you should be able to explicitly explain how it can be attained while considering each possible roadblock. For hla Bookkeeping to transfer all of its current clients to the Pure Bookkeeping System, we must follow the checklist.
The learning curve is knowing which points on the checklist refer to the client you are transferring or if it does not. Our checklist has a couple of hundred tasks that need to be done to move the given client, but that depends on the program they are already using for their bookkeeping processes and whether they are a client for bookkeeping and payroll or one or the other. When we consider this potential roadblock, we concluded that we need to create training videos to make the transfer process easier and more efficient within our internal team. Ask yourself what your biggest roadblock is or could be.
Now that you have established your goal, made sure it could be measured, and if it is achievable, you must ask yourself if it is relevant to your business right now. Some people set great goals, but there may be steps that need to be achieved to reach that goal. In this section, you are analyzing if it is relevant to your business externally and the benefits it may have for your clients or customers. In our case, we know the Pure Bookkeeping System will allow us to standardize our processes with less room for errors. The benefit for our clients is making sure their books are getting flipped each month as opposed to falling behind due to our current more lengthy process. How do we know this is the right time for this? We know because our clientele has exceeded our capacity to update everyone’s books without the Pure Bookkeeping System, and we want to continue to take on more clients. Ask yourself if your goal is right for your business internally and externally.
For a goal to be successful, it needs a deadline. A deadline allows you to stay motivated to complete the steps to reach your goal. But you must set a realistic deadline. You can break this time down by analyzing how long it would take you to complete your first step. Once you know how long that takes, you can take that time multiplied by how many steps you have to reach your goal and create a more accurate time estimate. For our goal of converting all our clients to the Pure Bookkeeping System, this is where we are building our timeline for reaching this goal.
We hope that by sharing our thinking on a goal we are trying to accomplish, we can help you walk through the steps you can use to set up and achieve your own goals. Goal setting is essential to growing your business but can be tedious work to accomplish.