SMART Method for Writing a Business Plan

Whether you’re gathering around a table in a conference room or sitting down at your desk alone, you need a fresh, compelling business plan. There are dozens of ways to write successful plans for your business, but one option that keeps your company at the forefront of your industry is the SMART method. Learn more about this innovative method and find out if it’s right for you and your business.

SMART plans include particular goals that keep your plan focused on the essentials. These goals, which come from the acronym SMART, are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Unpacking all of these traits allows you to create foundational goals that make crafting a plan for your business more intuitive and effective.

Specific goals include details. Whether you’re creating a goal around a yearly growth percentage, a number of new employees or number of successful sales, your goal needs a detailed target to keep you on track. Similar to specific ones, measurable goals have a determined endpoint. Measurable numbers, percentages and other features allow you to determine whether you’ve completed your goal or not.

Achievable goals are realistic for your current company and resources. It’s easy to set lofty goals for the future of your business, but your plan won’t be successful without starting off with achievable goals. Small goals are sometimes better than larger ones because they are more easily attainable. An attainable goal gives you and your employees the confidence you need to continue moving toward your goals.

A relevant goal gives your business plan a purpose. The clear direction allows you to stay on track and avoid exciting, but ultimately distracting business ventures. While your company may be excellent at branching out and starting a new product line or providing a new service, if it doesn’t help you work toward your goals then it isn’t a relevant project.

Finally, SMART goals are time-sensitive. The goal of being the best company in your industry may be applaudable, but without a time frame, it can easily be pushed to tomorrow, next week or next year again and again. Set a time frame for your goal to keep you on track and ensure you use your time wisely.

From an initial business plan draft to your continuous revisions, keep SMART goals in mind to boost your business and create a worthwhile plan. Enjoy all the benefits that come from having a clear sense of purpose, forward momentum, and clear goals as you build your business.

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