Why Setting Quarterly Goals is SMART for Business

Because we heard nobody ever got anything accomplished without them…

You’ve probably heard the age-old saying that you must fill the proverbial jar with “rocks” before you can fill in the empty parts with sand…because if you pour the sand in first, your larger rocks won’t fit.

This is the way to think about goals. Sure, there are lots of smaller tasks you need to get done that take up a bunch of time, but taking care of the larger ones first allows you to prioritize your time, and optimize performance.

A couple more things to consider when setting quarterly goals is making sure the goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely), and that they are leading to a larger business goal.

Here are five reasons why setting short-term goals is a solid move:


1. Short-term goals make the longer ones seem less overwhelming.

Maybe your goal is to become the next POTUS? After all, our parents said we can be whatever we want when we grow up. Before you get overwhelmed with how far you have to get there, think about some smaller steps that are necessary to achieving that goal.

Maybe you should first get elected as Mayor, or maybe even start with becoming a council member? Think through some steps you need to do that will get you closer to becoming POTUS, and make those your short term goals.


2. Giving yourself a set time frame helps you prioritize your time.

We’re all guilty of pushing things off that aren’t urgent. By setting quarterly goals, you’re giving yourself a set timeframe for when you need to have something done. This will help with prioritizing your time to make sure you actually reach your goals, while still having time for your daily tasks.


3. It gives managers a measurable goal for their team members.

Don’t worry – being measured is a good thing! How else will your manager know just how much you’re kicking ass if you’re not consistently showing that you’re achieving your goals? This leads to thoughts like, “Janet has reached all of her goals for the last 3 quarters- let’s give that woman a raise!”


4. They always lead to a larger, overarching goal…a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, if you will.

Ideally, your short-term goals will eventually get you to your ultimate business goal. If your Big Hairy Audacious goal is to become a household name for cat lasers, the goals for each quarter could be things like organize grassroots marketing efforts in 10 key cities in the U.S., invest 30% of your marketing budget into brand awareness ads on Google and social media, build an engaged audience on Instagram, land a placement on Good Morning America where a famous cat influencer is demonstrating the laser on live TV…all can be steps to making your brand of cat lasers a household name!


5. They create accountability among team members.

If everyone is responsible for something, they must hold themselves and others accountable. Nobody wants to be the slacker who misses their goals over and over. And nobody wants to work with someone who never pulls their own weight. Team work (and accountability) makes the dream work!

If there’s no other reason why setting short-term goals is a good idea, it gives you small victories to celebrate! And who doesn’t love a good celebration?


At Parachute Media, we set quarterly goals for each of our clients, depending on their long-term goals, as well as for each employee. We review our quarterly goals for clients in our team meeting each week, and go over individual employee goals in quarterly reviews and periodic check-ins. All employee goals support the long-term goals for the company. Needless to say, we love having goals…and we love to celebrate achieving them even more!