The best way for a business to profit from short-term goals is to use the SMART goal-setting strategy. This strategy urges the creation of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals in order for each goal to come to fruition. The SMART goal-setting formula is applicable to any type of business, but the specific goals that a business sets will be custom for that individual company.
To simply state "Increase profits" is not a SMART goal, but a business can set a goal to "Increase profits by 150 percent in 2010," which is an attainable goal that is specific, measurable and timely. This goal references a measurable task, making it easier for the business to track whether or not the goal is being achieved, and when it will be achieved based on whatever progress has been made toward that end.
Cutting costs is a positive short-term goal for a business because it presents the business with ways to lower expenses, thereby improving profits. To make cutting costs into an attainable short-term goal, a business should choose one aspect of its costs at a time and create a measurable improvement and a time frame in which to achieve it. For example, a business might set the goal to "Lower shipping costs by 10 percent this month," and this goal fits into the SMART formula, giving the business a better chance of accomplishing it.
Improving Human Resources
Improving human resources and employee relations is a common goal in many businesses, but companies struggle to find ways to measure the results of this goal. This makes it difficult to determine whether or not the goal was achieved. A business can, however, create a measurable goal by determining what types of improvements are desired. For example, a business may set a goal to "Decrease employee turnover by 10 percent in 2010 by improving employee relations," and this creates a goal that fits into the SMART formula.
A business may also want to improve efficiency through various means in the business, which can cut down on costs, improve revenues and help the business run more smoothly. A SMART goal to this end may be "Cut down on overtime by 50 percent by implementing training programs for employees in the sales department."