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What Are SMART Goals and Why Are They Important?

Setting SMART Goals
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Brad Bialy: Matt, I’m reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek, which also happens to be one of the most viewed TED Talks. I had to bring this topic onto the show because not only is it the fundamental purpose of the book, but it keeps coming up as we consult with individuals throughout the staffing industry.

What are SMART Goals and Why Do They Matter?

Matt Lozar: SMART goals are SMART, an acronym, S-M-A-R-T.

When you see the phrase or the term SMART goals, SMART usually in all caps. So we want to break those down letter by letter here real quick. The S is specific; the M is measurement; the A is achievable; the R is realistic or relevant, and then the T is time-bound. So we’d want to look at when you set goals or try to set goals, the process of creating those goals for yourself or your company, you want to really look at those different components of the SMART goal and see how your goal matches each of those areas.

Brad Bialy: Without a SMART goal, for me, you really just have a hope or a wish. You have a dream of I want to generate more applications. The minute that you define a SMART goal, again, something that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound, you have a defined destination.

Brad Bialy: Matt, think about a road trip that you might go on with your family. If you were to just get in the car and start driving 60 miles an hour down the road, there’s zero chance, maybe some chance that you’ll actually make it to Disney World, you might make it to Disney World. Instead, you reverse engineer that road trip. You have your destination in mind, you come up with a strategy for how you’ll get there and then you think through the tactics that will ultimately fuel that strategy and get you to that goal. When we think about SMART business goals, it’s the exact same situation. We need to have a defined goal. We need to know where we’re trying to get before we deploy that strategy.

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Matt Lozar: Yeah. Brad gets really fired up about this topic, and it’s a topic Haley Marketing Group really likes to focus on when we consult with clients and help them to plan with their products and services that they use with Haley Marketing. Because if we don’t have that SMART goal, we aren’t able to measure success. It’s a dream. Our dream is a goal about a deadline. So if I want to grow my business, not a SMART goal I want-

Brad Bialy: t’s a hope or a wish.

Matt Lozar: Correct. A SMART goal would be I want to grow my warehouse business by 10% in six months. It could be a totally unrealistic goal right now, but maybe for your business that’s a very relevant goal, a very realistic goal for you. What’s 10% of your business in six months?

Brad Bialy: Right. We want to think through, again, this SMART goal is something that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Because we want to be able to hold ourselves accountable in six months, in a year, if we’re just deploying strategy and tactics, if we’re just thinking through, okay, I’m going to post this picture on Facebook today, who cares? Think through what that end result is. What are you trying to do as a business and then what tactics are going to drive you towards that?

Matt Lozar: Yeah. I mean, it’s really thinking about how can you really make that SMART goal and then the strategies and the text is to get you there. It’s challenging because it’s hard in that, probably that last part is the time-bound part like I just want to grow my business by 10%. Great, you might do that in 10 years, but your business might be closed before that happens or who knows what could happen. So if you really focus on that longer-term goals and then dig a little deeper focus on shorter goals to get you to that long one, that’s how you can really achieve that SMART goal to help your business grow, to implement the right marketing tactics. It could be the right operations tactics, other tactics on the sales side. Anything that can help your business grow, really folks start with that SMART goal, that really specific goal and then how can you create the right processes, strategies, and tactics to get you to that point.

Brad Bialy: So bringing this back to Simon Sinek and Start with Why, he mentions the golden circle. In the majority of business owners, think about this circle in a reverse way. The way that they currently do, they start with what they do, how they do it and then why they do it. We need to rethink that and instead think about why we do the things we do, how we do them and then what we do. If we’re thinking through our day-to-day operations and we’re thinking through content marketing, we’re thinking through recruitment marketing, we need to think about why we’re doing it, what is our goal, what is our purpose then how are we going to do it, and ultimately what are we going to do day to day to drive us towards that goal? Don’t start with what. Don’t start with the tactics. Don’t start with the day-to-day, instead always come back to your why. Always come back to what you’re trying to achieve as a staffing specialist, as a recruiter, as a business owner, what are you trying to achieve and what day-to-day tactics will ultimately get you there.

Matt Lozar: Yeah, it’s creating your goal. My goal right now is to make my program I’m working on here programmatic $1 million by the end of the year, and I believe I am 70-ish percent of the way there. It’s a little challenging thing to say like there is what, four months left? We’re taping this end of August so we’re on pace, but that’s the goal. If I don’t hit the goal, is it a loss a little bit. We try to celebrate those wins as we get there and really to focus on how can you get to that SMART goal it again.

Brad Bialy: Right, but you set a goal.

Matt Lozar: Correct.

Brad Bialy: So knowing that you wanted to reach a million dollars by the end of the year, by January 1, you can then break that down into 12-month increments. You can break that down into bite-size goals and checkpoints along the way. If you don’t have that SMART goal from day one, you never know if you’re successful or not. You never know if you reach that destination just like that family road trip.

Matt Lozar: Right, and right now what I’m doing with that SMART goal is how can I improve my reporting on a monthly basis to show more value to clients like it’s literally something I’m going to do this week is what can I do to make it simpler and easier to understand so how we can use our expertise and recommendations to help the recruitment side of staffing agencies grow.

Brad Bialy: So to bring this full circle and to wrap up segment one here, think about your SMART goal for the week, the month, maybe it’s the upcoming year. What is your SMART goal and what are you trying to achieve? Again, a SMART goal is specific, it’s measurable, it’s achievable, it’s realistic, and it’s time-bound. Don’t get caught in the day-to-day tactics. Instead, think through that main overall goal and how the strategies and tactics you deploy will drive you one step closer towards that goal.

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