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SMART Goals for Your Business: 5 Ways to Achieve Success In 2017

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

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If your resolution for 2017 is to have a better year on the mobile workforce and communications technology front, then it's time to set some ambitious goals for your business. Successful goal setting is a thoughtful and strategic process, it's not enough to have vague or general ideas of what you want to achieve. You need to be specific in what you want - and realistic. In addition to knowing what you want, you must understand what it takes to get there. Therefore, many business leaders are embracing the concept of SMART goals as a management practice. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Let's look at what these mean in the context of your business.

If your wish for a stronger, more efficient mobile workforce or improved communications technology is too vague or general, it will be hard to know where to start. Specific goals, then, are the key. You need to ask yourself exactly what you want your team could do, and how you can harness their potential from a managerial standpoint. Sometimes knowing what you want comes from awareness of capabilities that are lacking. For example, you may notice that tracking the working hours of employees on the road is cumbersome and tedious, or that their ability to work on the road is hampered by outdated mobile devices or poor software. If you're a fleet manager, you may be frustrated by route scheduling because you don't always know where your vehicles are and you often find yourself routing one vehicle for a new delivery, only to find out that later that you'd had another vehicle already in the area.

It's from these considerations that you derive specific goals, that might look like this: "I wish it was easier to manage my payroll," or "I wish we had a better fleet tracking solution." The next step is to ensure that your goals are measurable. In other words, do you know exactly what it will take to achieve them? If you want to ramp up your fleet management capability you will need to adopt a robust remote monitoring solution (such as GPS tracking and telematic software platforms from Actsoft). If you want to improve payroll management you could adopt a cloud-based timesheet system (such as ClickTime, a platform that, for as low as $10 per month per user, enables automated or manual time tracking through a mobile app). Some goals may require an improvement in human interaction rather than technology. For example, if you want to improve your customer relationships you might adopt training methods that will help your staff be friendlier and more attentive to customer needs.

Are your goals attainable? This is the next thing to consider. Are there software solutions or management techniques available to solve your specific problems? And can you afford them? In this sense, attainability is related to the next SMART point, 'realistic.'


'Realistic' is an important point because it goes beyond the issue of affordability and can involve complex variables such as staff expertise and disposition. You might be able to afford new mobile phones and tablets for your staff, but are they technically inclined enough to use them, or the new software you're planning to adopt? If the initial answer is 'no,' then you may have to reconsider this solution, or, consider a training program that will help your staff adjust.

As for being timely, your goal of upgrading your fleet may not be feasible if you can't afford it this year. Upgrading technology and software is a great idea, but if you have several older employees who are due to retire in the next 12 months, maybe now isn't the time to implement high-tech solutions with a hard learning curve.

Using the SMART system is a handy way of developing thoughtful goal-setting practices, and is an overall benefit for strategic planning. Just because a goal isn't attainable this year, doesn't mean it won't be attainable or realistic next year. The key is to start thinking about ways to improve your business and to develop a roadmap that will lead to increased productivity, bottom-line profit and better customer relationships.

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