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Set SMART Goals For Your Business To Get Better Results

December 20, 2011

So you want your business to be more successful in 2012. You’ve made it a goal. A resolution. Now how will you make it happen?

Start by turning it into a SMART goal. Simply, a SMART goal is Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Track-able. Setting SMART goals reduces ambiguity. It narrows the target. Once defined within these terms, you’ve done more than set a goal. You’ve laid a foundation for action.

Try it

Apply the SMART goal criteria to the original resolution “be more successful in 2012.” As is, it’s too broad to manage. How does it define success? When is the deadline? It’s overwhelming.

Break down your resolution into one specific way to achieve success, such as making it your goal to create polished, professional presentations. Suddenly, it’s not so scary.

Creating a polished presentation can simply mean developing a more compelling sales pitch to potential investors. Or executing a persuasive finance meeting with lenders. The goal to create a convincing presentation is a specific one that can lead to success.

To identify success, your goal must be measurable: How many pitches turned into sales? Did you secure the bank loan?

And it must be attainable: Can you perform with the materials at hand? No extraordinary resources or even expensive equipment are needed. Just you and your message—and possibly a handout or visual aid.

And be realistic: Is your goal within reach?

Finally, make it a track-able goal: How many pitches or presentations will you perform per quarter? How much revenue from completed sales will you need to increase earnings over the previous quarter?

Ways to shine

Now you have a SMART goal. You have a timeline and a clear vision. And more importantly, you have methods to measure success:

Showcase your brand. From creating simple business cards to gifting handy leave-behind magnets, conveying the brand of your business shows you are serious and professional. Postcards, letterhead and even thank-you notes can also carry the brand and reinforce your message.

Be on time and ready. Elementary as it may seem, punctuality can make or break your first impression. Arriving late or unprepared suggests you don’t value other people’s time. Show up on time, or early, and with everything you need. Rather than tote your reports, posters or handouts—or risk forgetting them altogether—depend on FedEx Office for professional printing and reliable delivery. Simply email your files via FedEx Office Print Online or, when you’re on the go, use FedEx Office Print & Go via your smartphone. We’ll print your documents and have them ready for you to pick up, or we’ll bring them directly to you, whether you’re presenting in town or across the country.

Look good on paper. Depending on the type of presentation you choose, incorporating visual aids, handouts or other materials can give you an added boost. A one-on-one sales meeting may call for a well-crafted brochure, while a trade-show-style presentation requires an eye-catching banner. A colorful poster or sell sheet can also bring your presentation to life.

Make eye contact and smile. The fastest way to demonstrate confidence is with quality eye contact and a genuine smile. Throw in a sturdy handshake and you’ve surely made a successful first impression. Deep, cleansing breaths can help you regain focus and relax if you get off track.

Put your resolutions to work

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