Why eating donuts helps your business strategy

Today Smarta is the proud owner of two whopping boxes of Krisy Kremes, in all their oozy-sweet-doughy-jam glory. COO Kevin got them for us because we've all worked out socks off and hit our monthly target. We're not telling you this just to boast. We're telling you because herein lies a very important business lesson. Albeit one that has been pleasantly sugar-coated (for us at least).

Target-setting is an essential part of creating structure for your business. Have your month-by-month figures lain out ahead of you, and you have something solid to work towards. Make sure everyone in the company has an individual target to take responsibility for. Then they know what's expected of them (give them something quantifiable to work towards: a percentage or number rather than just a vague 'increase this a bit'). In far more cases than not, staff rise to the challenge. Individual targets give employees a sense of ownership, which fosters determination. They do the same for you, whether you're a manager or a one-mad band.

And you can and most definitely should celebrate when targets are reached (with friends and family if you're not part of a team). Make sure you've set deadlines for your goals, and celebrate even more if you reach them early. Donuts are a good monthly treat - particularly when they come as a lovely surprise, as they did for us this morning. If you're trying to incentivise sales, you can afford to link achievement to pay. More sales equals more money coming into the business, so give the person who brought that money in a slice of the financial pie to show them you value them and to encourage them.

A delicious treat doesn't cost you much, but it makes all the difference to the team. It cheers everyone up, shows that you recognise their efforts, and gives you a chance to give a pep talk and start gearing everyone up for the nest target over a tea break. Fun days are all well and good to keep morale high every few months or so, but don't forget these smaller gestures in-between. (Smarta founder Shaa regularly brings us cakes and cold-busting remedies too to keep us going through the bleaker hours of the week.) It really does make your employees happy. And a happy workplace is a driven workplace. Which means your business strategy gets executed with aplomb.

Read more like this in our feature on how to set business targets.

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