It’s one thing to set a goal for your business; it’s another thing to set actionable and effective goals. Of course, we all want to achieve the latter, but getting there isn’t always the easiest route.
Enter SMART goals, which challenge you to create goals for your business that are clear and measurable. SMART goals are designed to be achievable, effectively moving you one step closer toward your next goal.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART goals can be used to create a plan of action for individuals or teams to work toward. Although SMART goals can apply to almost any aspect of life, they’ve become prominent in marketing as a way for teams to ensure the highest level of effectiveness in advertising and promotional campaigns.
SMART goals have the following characteristics:
- [S]pecific: Specific goals create action. When defining a specific goal, you’ll need a clear objective and the steps necessary to reach that goal.
- [M]easurable: A measurable goal is one that you can quantify in some way. For example, you might have a goal to get 500 more email subscribers within one month or get 25 more leads this week from Facebook ads.
- [A]chievable: Think of each goal as a step toward another goal. In other words, it should feel achievable. For example, if you think 500 email subscribers in a month seems unachievable, change it to a number you think you can achieve realistically.
- [R]elevant: Define why you are setting this goal. This keeps everyone working on the goal on the same page, painting a picture of the end goal. For example, “Increasing our email list will allow us to communicate more frequently with our followers, building value and trust in our brand.”
- [T]ime-bound: SMART goals should have a clear endpoint to keep those working toward the goal on track and help you determine, without a doubt, whether you have reached that goal.
SMART Goals Examples
The best way to understand how SMART goals work is by studying examples of them. Here are a few to demonstrate:
- The SEO team will strengthen our backlink profile in Q2 by gaining at least 5 backlinks each week on authority domains to increase the trust factor of our content.
- To use Facebook as a marketing tool, we will gain 1,000 Facebook likes by the end of June by connecting with industry leaders, sharing industry news, and increasing engagement through comments and reactions.
- By November 30th, the day before our app’s release date of December 1st, we’ll increase early-bird sign-ups by 25% by promoting it on our social channels at least once per day.
Setting SMART Goals for Success
The following tips outline how to set SMART goals that work for your team.
Collaborate with Others
Even if you’re a solopreneur, you could benefit from working with others to set SMART goals. For example, a social media marketing assistant could help you determine, based on your current social media performance and goals, what to realistically strive for with your Facebook and Instagram marketing.
Consider including others on your team to help you define goals for your business. Pull in financial experts, marketing experts, human resources representatives, etc. The more people you have on the same page with your goals, the more effective your SMART goals can be.
The ‘A’ in SMART stands for ‘Achievable’, which means that your goals should be realistic to reach. It’s especially important to stick to this when creating your goals. It might take several edits to transform your goal into one that’s 100% realistic for your team to achieve, but it’s worth it to finalize a goal that you know you can work toward.
Write Goals with Clarity
SMART goals don’t need to be several sentences long. For instance, our examples above are just one sentence each. That’s because each SMART goal should be concise and clear enough so that every single member of your team can understand it thoroughly.
Try to keep SMART goals no more than 3-4 sentences long (even better if they’re just 1-2 sentences!). After writing one, have a few other people read it to look for any potential gaps in clarity.
Propel Your Business with SMART Goals
If SMART goals aren’t currently a part of your daily operations, they should be. These goals give you clear steps to work toward in any aspect of your business, whether that’s advertising, gaining more leads, or strengthening your finances.
As you work toward your business and marketing goals, it’s always a good idea to consider how you can improve your results through marketing automation or other activities that don’t require a lot of hands-on time and effort. For example, installing social media share buttons on your blog or website can help you build brand awareness and grow your social media following effortlessly. How? By enabling your visitors to share your content to their favorite social media networks with a single click, social media share buttons allow your visitors to promote your website through powerful word-of-mouth marketing. And, they’re totally free to use, so there’s nothing to lose!