Setting SMART Goals for the New Financial Year: A Guide for Business Owners


The theory of goal setting emphasises that setting specific targets creates a powerful sense of motivation, excitement, and a drive to succeed. When a goal is clearly defined, it not only provides direction but also energises individuals and teams to put in the effort required to achieve it. This heightened focus and commitment can lead to enhanced performance and significant progress. One proven goal-setting method that harnesses this theory is the SMART framework.

SMART goals are:

Timely, providing a structured approach to goal setting that can lead to greater success and growth.

By following this structured approach, businesses can ensure their goals are clear, trackable, realistic, aligned with broader objectives, and bound by timeframes. This can significantly enhance the likelihood of success and facilitate sustained growth.

Setting SMART goals is a powerful way to ensure that your business starts the new financial year with clear, actionable objectives.
By being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, you can create a roadmap for success that aligns with your broader business objectives.

We know how challenging these times are, but it doesn’t have to be devastating to your business. By setting goals and staying on top of the management of those goals you can still achieve success. Remember to involve your team, break down large goals, monitor progress, and celebrate achievements to maintain momentum and drive your business forward. Here's to a successful and prosperous new financial year! 

Related: Is keeping it simple Smart when setting Business Goals?

In this blog, we'll walk you through each component of SMART goals and offer practical tips to help you set and achieve your business objectives.

1. Specific: Define Your Goals Clearly
To set a SMART goal, start by being specific about what you want to achieve. Vague goals can lead to confusion and lack of direction. Instead, clearly define the goal in detail.

Example: Instead of setting a goal to "increase sales," specify "increase sales of product X by 10% in the next quarter."

2. Measurable: Track Your Progress
Ensure your goals are measurable so you can track your progress and determine when you've achieved them. This involves defining criteria for success.

Example: If your goal is to "improve customer satisfaction," measure it by "achieving a customer satisfaction score of 90% or higher on quarterly surveys."

3. Achievable: Set Realistic Goals
While it's important to aim high, your goals should also be realistic and attainable. Setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and demotivation.

Example: If you aim to "double your client base," ensure you have the resources and capacity to handle the increased demand.

4. Relevant: Align with Business Objectives
Your goals should be relevant to your overall business objectives and align with your company's mission and vision. This ensures that your efforts contribute to your broader strategic aims.

Example: If your business objective is to expand into new markets, a relevant goal might be "enter three new regional markets by the end of the financial year."

5. Time-bound: Set Deadlines
A goal without a deadline can lead to procrastination. By setting a specific timeframe, you create a sense of urgency and a timeline for achieving your goals.

Example: Instead of planning to "launch a new product," set a time-bound goal like "launch the new product by October 1st, 2024."

Related: The Benefits of Financial Modelling for Small Businesses

Practical Tips for Setting and Achieving SMART Goals

  • Involve Your Team: Engage your team in the goal-setting process. Their input can provide valuable insights and foster a sense of ownership and commitment to achieving the goals.
  • Break Down Goals: Large goals can be overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks to make progress more attainable and less daunting. We often use the 90-day sprint methodology to breakdown goals into achievable outcomes in a short burst. It’s about identifying milestones that you want to achieve in the next three months and detailing daily and weekly steps toward for you and your team to complete so you can accomplish your main objective.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your progress towards your goals. Be prepared to adjust your strategies and tactics as needed to stay on track.
  • Celebrate Successes: Recognise and celebrate the milestones and successes along the way. This can boost morale and keep motivation high.


Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to Accounting

“Good cash flow forecasting gets more accurate over time: the most important things to do, like most things in life, is to start.”

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About Author

Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

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