May 02

Your Business Needs a Smart Plan

One of the reasons TWFG is a successful company is because we operate with a SMART Plan.

Here are the ingredients for your SMART plan.

Simple – Is the objective easy enough to clearly understand? The target goal needs to be understood by everyone involved. Don’t use vague ranges for goals like growth of 20-30% – use specifics like 10% minimum growth in gross revenue.

Measurable – Can success be measured? Use achievable goals or other specific objectives as the tools needed to measure success. For example, a tangible sales goal is easy to measure. No matter what the objective is, you need to make sure you can accurately identify success by advance planning the criteria to measure it.

Attainable – Are the goals and objectives realistic and attainable? Some folk’s egos have themselves setting goals that cannot be met. Bad managers use this as a way to underpay team members and that truly demoralizes a team. If individual contributors are part of the goal-setting process, make sure their targets are realistic before blindly accepting their projections. Management should work as a team to develop goals and measures that are attainable before adopting the SMART plan.

Reasonable – Is the objective or goal realistic and compatible with the tools, talent and business you operate? What else may be needed to make sure the goals and objectives can be met? Does the company need new team members, equipment, marketing, vendors, technology or anything else required to counter excuses claiming that the measured goal or objective were not reasonable?

Time-Bound – Whatever is integral to your SMART plan should include the dates when teams will be measured and held accountable for their results. Interim measurements allow for recalibrating plans and avoid surprises that should have been addressed at an earlier date. Are definitive deliverable dates or measuring points clearly identified? It is best to measure results throughout the year and include review dates within your plan. When measurable progress is identified, it also serves as a motivator to continue the good works or provides a call to action to correct non-producing activity.

I choose to meet with my executive team monthly to review their division’s goals and results so that we can swiftly address any needed changes or impacts to the company. Each division meets with their respective team weekly and direct supervisors interact with their downline staff daily. Like any successful company we are always recalibrating our plans and looking for ways to improve. I hope this article was helpful and wish you and your business great success.

Richard “Gordy” Bunch is the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Gulf Coast for Products and Services and Chairman of The Woodlands Township. Submit suggested topics for future business columns to

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