Although not considered one of the top six data center markets in the United States, the Philadelphia, PA, colocation scene is quite crowded.
365 Data Centers, Broadview Networks, Cross Connect Solutions, Digital Edge, Equinix, Keystone NAP, Level 3, Lightower Fiber Networks, Necessary Resources, Quonix, Razor, SunGuard, TierPoint, TrueNet, vXchnge, XO Communications, and zColo (Zayo) are all in some way participating in the colocation space in Philadelphia.
With at least 17 colo firms in Philadelphia, each needs to spend some time differentiating itself from the pack.
But when setting priorities, it’s likely that each of the players is after growth – of its square footage, of its clients, of its revenue, and of its profitability.
As noble as these aspirations are for Philadelphia colocation firms, they may not be SMART goals.
For a goal to be considered SMART, it must be:
Every colocation provider wants more profit and more revenue.
Most want more leads and clients too.
But wanting more just isn’t specific enough to be an accountable or actionable data-driven goal.
To make your goal SMART, it can’t be a vague objective.
A SMART goal, for example, may be to “grow colocation revenue in Philadelphia from $1,300,000 to $1,600,000 million.”
In order for a specific goal to be considered SMART, it must also be measurable.
In other words, can the data be readily ascertained so that you can constantly measure progress against goals?
So if the goal is to grow colocation revenue in the city by $300,000, how will this be measured?
Will this data be readily accessible in the firm’s accounting software?
Founders and entrepreneurs of colocation firms are usually grounded in reality – at least to a certain degree.
So it would be rather uncharacteristically optimistic, or just flat out naïve, to set the growth goal to go from $1,300,000 to $1,300,000,000 – regardless of the timeframe.
For example, if your colocation firm currently has a 5% market share in the city by the percentage of total colocation square footage in Philadelphia, is it really attainable to grow market share from 5% to 100% (monopoly status) and, on top of that, grow another 50-fold?
And more likely, at somewhere between 25% and 50% market share, way before approaching monopoly status, the colo firm would likely face regulatory scrutiny to try to cool its growth rate.
Now growing revenue in Philadelphia by $300,000 is certainly a SMART goal that a CEO or CFO could be proud of, but what if the goal wasn’t so relevant?
What if the goal was more tangential rather than focused on bottom-line growth?
For example, what if the firm’s HR director wanted all its employees to use at least 90% of their paid time off each year?
Sure, that’s a goal that many employees will gladly rally around.
But at the end of the day, is growing the paid time off utilization rate really going to improve the bottom line?
While you could make the argument that recharging your batteries improves company culture and drives greater sales productivity, it’s hard to envision the percentage of vacation time utilized really slotting into a diagram of your sales funnel.
Goals without deadlines are meaningless.
After all, like my dad always said, a stopped clock is right twice a day.
So if your colocation firm has growth goals worth building towards, and you want those goals to be SMART, there’s got to be a concrete date.
Returning to our original example, perhaps the SMART goal is to grow the Philadelphia colocation revenue from $300,000 to $1,600,000 by December 31st of the next calendar year.
Does your colocation firm use a SMART goal framework to focus your efforts around client growth or revenue growth? Let us know in the Comments section below.