Be Intentional and Strategic With Your Business Planning

Dec 24, 2018

By: Leandra Nisbet, Owner, Stingray Advisory Group LLC

This is certainly the time of year when people are not only reflecting on what’s transpired but also thinking about how to best move forward. Whether a new year is upon us or not, it is always a good idea to be analyzing your performance and intentionally planning for your future. In addition to some of the standard business growth goals, this is a great time to begin thinking about the impact of your organization and how you can use your business as an agent for positive change.

For those who aren’t aware, Good For Michigan’s Quick Impact Assessment (QIA) is a tool tailored to meet the needs of local organizations and allow them to see how they are performing in comparison to others in their industry. It addresses items such as the strength of your mission statement, considerations regarding diversity, collaborations within the community and sustainability practices.

If you have not taken the QIA before, it can provide you with valuable insights and also recommendations for strengthening your business. If you have completed it, be sure to mark your calendars so you can retake it annually. The assessment will allow you to monitor your progress and continue seeing new opportunities for growth. Either way, as you develop your plan of action, make sure you are setting SMART goals.

SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Sensitive. By structuring your goals with these elements in mind, it will help prepare you for success. As an example, instead of saying, ABC Company will start engaging with more women and minority-owned suppliers, say - By March 1, 2019, ABC Company’s leadership team will create a written policy specifying selection guidelines and providing preference to women and minority-owned suppliers.

Think of it this way -

  • Specific - Consider the five ‘W’s - Who, What, When, Why and Where. As you craft your goal, make sure you factor in what resources or individuals need to be involved, why the goal is being set and what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable - How will you know if you are successful? What metrics, tangible outcomes or deliverables can you incorporate?
  • Attainable - Think about who the right person/people are to see this goal through to completion. Do they have the necessary information and decision-making power to see it through?
  • Realistic - Timing and other endeavors may need to be considered before diving into a new goal. You’ll want to determine if this is the best time and if it’s relevant to any other action items and your mission as a whole.
  • Time-Sensitive - Without a deadline, it will be hard to stay motivated or fully determine success. When working through your goal, think of both the long-term vision and the short-term benchmarks that you can implement to help you reach it!

Whether you are setting new goals or carrying over some from 2018, be sure to consider all of the moving parts. SMART goals will help you be deliberate and focused as you move forward.

Be sure to stay tuned for information about the annual Good For Michigan awards, coming in the spring, which will showcase some of the amazing local organizations that are positively impacting the community or have significantly moved the needle since 2017!

We’d love to hear from you! What is one SMART goal your organization is currently working on?

About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By creating dynamic customized solutions for business growth, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit Follow us today on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful tips!

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