Business plans are important for everything from obtaining financing to guiding your company. The process of writing one can be made easier with objectives built under the tenants of SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Including such goals in your business plan is a way to give your business realistic targets, a way to achieve them on schedule, and a way to show the results.
This article looks at how to keep SMART goals in mind when creating the sections of your business plan related to launch schedules, market research, and financials.
A good practice when it comes to a business plan’s launch schedule is to break it down by quarter. That means a 12-month period broken down into a three-month increment. To turn it into a SMART launch schedule, build goals in that connect and launch off of one another. For example, one quarter’s SMART goal might be to obtain three new clients.
With all the information available today, it can be easily for an entrepreneur to feel lost when it comes time to review mountains of market research. However, it is not necessary to include pages upon pages of market research in your business plan. Keep your market-research section limited to two to three pages. End the section with up to three SMART goals. These goals should be actionable and point to the next moves your business will make in response to your market research.
Financial information in your business plan should also be looked at from the perspective of SMART goals. Be specific about both revenue targets and cost projections. No matter how large or small a cost or revenue opportunity seems, take it into account. It is impossible to be perfectly omniscient in this section, but the more realistic and thorough you are, the better your chances of success.
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