All successful businesses have clearly set SMART goals to achieve specific objectives. SMART stands for business goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Every goal you create should have these above characteristics. These characteristics will ensure that the goal should be reached and also offer benefits to the employee.
They play a critical role in business growth, marketing strategies, and project management, allowing business owners to evaluate their business.
Why are Smart Goals important?
When you make goals that are specific, attainable, relevant, measurable and time-bound, you are increasing your chance of success by verifying if that goal is achievable. You also identify the metrics that define the success of your business by creating a roadmap following those metrics.
In this article, we will talk about how to create and use SMART goals for a business plan.
Make Your Smart Goals Specific
Having a smart outcome in mind is the key to setting a smart goal for your business plan. Be it sales, marketing, data collection, or CRM, creating specific goals helps you narrow your focus and get an idea of what you want to achieve.
Suppose you want to get more website traffic or boost brand visibility. While these are great aspirations for your business, they aren’t specific. You need to define your goals a little more to make them specific. For example, ‘You want to build a following of 5,000 likes on your Instagram page.’
Smart Goals Are Measurable
There is no point in setting business goals if you can’t track your progress or see the results. Though you have made your goals specific, the important thing lies in identifying the essential metrics that will help you spot the problem areas.
For example, suppose your goal is to increase the website traffic to 2000 views/month. For this specific goal, ‘monthly views’ is an obvious metric to track. This metric will help you know if you have achieved your goal or not. Moreover, you can set small milestones to measure your progress.
What else could you do to track the progress?
Break down the chosen metrics further; it should state what, how, by whom, where and when things have to be achieved. Doing so will help you see which channels are performing well and which are falling short of your goals. You can use tools like PPC analysis to allow you to view the data quickly. It will save you a lot of time measuring the results manually.
Make the Goals Are Achievable
This trick is all about how important a goal is, how important a goal is to your business and what you could do to make it achievable. Don’t confuse your business vision with business goals. Suppose your dream is to build a multi-million dollar company.
But the current situation may be unfavorable. Thus, the point is to create goals that motivate you and not discourage you. Your business goal and visions should be aligned in one direction, but they aren’t necessarily the same.
While it’s important to challenge yourself, don’t set goals that are out of reach? If you set goals that are tough to achieve, you will likely quit even before you have started. Take time to research your industry and conduct market analysis. The research will help you make informed decisions.
Furthermore, you can attain your goals when you step smartly and in a specific time frame. Goals that look far away and out of reach look more closely when you work on them wisely. Keep in mind that when you list your specific goals, you create a self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals and also develop the personality that allows you to adhere to them.
Your Goals Should Be Relevant and Realistic To Your Business
Relevance means focusing on what makes sense with broad business goals. Do you remember the vanity metrics that often blind the advertisers to what’s important for the business? You need to ask yourself if something you are using is relevant to the business goals.
Or, are you just doing it because everyone else is doing it? To be realistic, your goals should represent the objective toward which you are not just able to work but also willing to do anything.
Thus, before you create a business goal, ask yourself ‘why.’ Suppose your goal is to increase the Facebook fan following. But what is the reason behind this goal?
The answer could be, you want to increase the brand visibility, Facebook is a great place for community building, etc. A realistic and high goal is easy to achieve than a low one because the low goal will be of a low motivational value.
Time-Bound You’re Goals
Now that you have set goals, the next step is to decide a timeframe when you want to achieve those goals. Have a deadline to make the process of planning or executing more organized. It could be a powerful motivator to help your team work together. It should be in a timeframe; with no specific period, there will be no sense of urgency to accomplish that goal.
Also, working towards timely goals will give you insights into the best time to do the business. In addition to giving your goals a timescale, make sure to set small milestones too. ‘T’ also stands for tangible; a goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of your senses like you can taste, smell, hear or touch it.
So this is all you need to know to create and use SMART business goals for your business plan. Ask yourself and your team important questions before creating goals. Once you get the answers, you will be in a far better position to refine your strategy and ensure that your goals are attainable.
Be as realistic as possible and write goals with a positive attitude. You can use these goals to shape your business planning, track all the business activities, and manage your time efficiently.