It’s obviously important to set goals for your business, but setting a goal without outlining how it will be achieved isn’t going to be very effective. Saying that you have a goal to increase annual revenue in 2022 by 25% sounds good, but it lacks the structure that will help you achieve that goal. But don’t worry – keep reading and we’ll take you through the process of changing your vague and open-ended goals into SMART goals with concrete targets, time frames, and clear pathways to success!
What is a SMART Goal?
The “SMART” acronym stands for “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “relevant,” and “timely.” Including each of these five characteristics when writing out your goal ensures your goal can be reached. Now let’s break each of them down and demonstrate how to use them.
Make sure your goals are focused and identify a tangible and measurable outcome. Without being precise, your goal will run the risk of being too vague and far more difficult to achieve. Being specific helps you identify precisely what you hope to achieve.
Don’t forget to answer the six “W” questions:
Who: Who is involved in this goal?
What: What do you plan to accomplish?
Where: Is there a target location for this goal?
When: Narrow down a realistic timeline.
Which: Note any requirements and constraints involved with this goal.
Why: Hone in on your purpose and benefits of accomplishing your goal.
An example of a vague goal would be, “Get more Instagram followers.” A specific goal would sound more like, “Introduce our new holiday campaign and increase our Instagram followers by 4% by the end of Q4.”
Establishing criteria for measuring your goal’s progress is key to staying on the path to achieving it. To make your goal something that’s measurable, ask yourself the following:
- How many, or how much?
- How will I know if I’ve reached my goal?
- What is a solid indicator of progress?
Attaching a number to your goal gives you a concrete benchmark to strive toward. If you just say you want more Instagram followers and only gain two by the end of Q4, it might seem like you reached your goal. However, if you started with 4,000 followers and the goal was to increase your follower count by 4%, you would know that 160 new followers are needed. Tracking progress just got a whole lot easier, and you’ll know if what you’re doing is working, or if something needs to be changed in order to hit that end number.
It’s great to have big goals, but keeping them realistic will help set you up for success. An attainable goal should be something you’re both willing and able to work towards. For instance, saying you want to double your Instagram followers in just one quarter is probably a little far-fetched. Something more attainable would be increasing your followers by 4% or 160 total new followers (when you start with 4,000 followers). You should already know that this number is attainable based on your current growth rate.
When you begin to set achievable goals, you’ll start to identify areas previously overlooked and opportunities missed. Try asking yourself: “Do I have the capabilities and resources to realistically achieve this goal? If not, what am I missing?”
The goal you’re making should address a core initiative and matter to you and your business as a whole. Essentially, recognizing if your goal is a priority worthy of your focus. Increasing your following by 4% using a new holiday campaign will likely lead to more website visits, email signups, and sales, making your goal a relevant one.
In order to stay motivated, your goal needs to have a timeline and target end date. This will help prevent other less important tasks from taking priority over your long-term goal of growing your following by 4%. Additionally, a time frame can help you chart your progress. If Q4 is already halfway through and you’re not on pace to hit your end goal, you’ll be able to identify areas you could improve to ensure you reach your goal by the end of the year.
Specific and measured goals are the key to success. With your new SMART goal, you’ll have a clear target that will allow you to quickly evaluate whether you’re on track or need to make some adjustments to your strategy. This is all because it was realistic and relevant to your business. Using a structure like the SMART formula can help you succeed in whatever you set out to do. If you find that you’re lacking the tools to crush your goals, reach out to our team and let us help you today!