A SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goal is an approach used to set accurate and reachable objectives. It helps decide on the right goals that can be achieved within a specific timeframe.
In this article, we’ll unveil why it is important to set SMART goals, define the criteria for setting them, and review some examples. We’ll also find out how to set SMART goals.
Why is it important to set SMART goals?
Startup owners often set unrealistic objectives that result in rapid failure. Defining SMART goals is necessary if you want to avoid this scenario. The method helps improve your company’s productivity and effectiveness in different situations. A business can gradually increase its revenue and boost customer service, customer experience, customer loyalty, and usability. With SMART goals, entrepreneurs can develop a step-by-step marketing plan, set deadlines, control their progress, avoid unnecessary expenditures, and reduce the risk of failure.
You need to define all the aims you want to reach in more detail and be specific, timely, and realistic. With measurable and achievable objectives, your company will be able to develop a detailed marketing plan and move faster toward your key target.
Setting your goals based on the SMART approach allows you to improve the probability of reaching your desired results. In the next section, we’ll review the five criteria that can help you define your goals correctly.
5 Criteria for Setting SMART Goals
For many companies, it’s often a problem to set a goal that is possible to reach. That’s why there are several criteria you should follow to set clear objectives your brand can attain within a certain time frame.
- Specific. Try to be specific and avoid using generic words and phrases to reach the objectives you strive for. Make sure to move all your motivation and efforts towards the achievement of your primary target. There are several aspects you should pay attention to before setting your goal. You need to consider the resources you have, limits you might face, reasons why achieving this objective is essential for your business, aims you want to attain, people involved, and location.
- Measurable. It’s crucial to set the goals you can measure. By having such objectives in mind, you’ll focus on your achievements and deadlines to reach your target. Ask yourself “how much,” “how many,” and “how to find out if it’s achievable” to set accurate goals.
- Achievable. When defining the goals, don’t overestimate your abilities — they should be realistic to attain. Make sure you have enough information, money, personnel, an effective strategy, a detailed plan, and experts who can help you reach your target.
- Relevant. It’s critical to ensure that the goal is relevant to your business needs and can help your company bloom and grow. Check whether it’s worth spending time and effort to achieve it.
- Timely. Every goal should have a deadline — the time when you can see tangible results. You need to take this fact into account when delegating tasks.
If your goals comply with all the criteria above, you’ll have a clear direction and be able to develop a marketing plan. Next, you’ll find out how to formulate SMART goals.
How to Set SMART Goals
With SMART goals, you have an opportunity to obtain more clarity on your wants and business plans. Follow these five tips to get this right from the first try:
- Decide what you want to achieve.
- Think about success and what it means for your company.
- Find out whether the goal you set is reasonable.
- Make sure to adjust your aims to your overarching goals.
- Develop a schedule, and decide on the deadline to reach your target.
Let’s review several examples of SMART goals in detail so that you can better understand how to use the method.
Examples of SMART Goals
We will create some fictional scenarios and develop SMART goals for each of them.
Speak is a language school that strives to increase the sales volume of its English courses and attract new students. At this moment, the company manages to attain 100 potential clients, and 25 of them have converted into students. It indicates that the conversion rate is 25%. Let’s set the SMART goal for this scenario:
Specific: Improve conversion rate.
Measurable: Double the conversion rate.
Achievable: The school has all the necessary resources, but its team should use a WhatsApp chatbot besides email campaigns since it is a preferred communication channel among the school’s customers.
Relevant: An increase in conversions will help improve the company’s reputation, credibility in the market, and revenue.
Timely: The school is ready and has all the necessary resources to improve its marketing plan and see tangible results within 20 days.
The final SMART goal is “to double conversion rates within 20 days.”
A yoga teacher, Mia, sells her online course to people on Instagram and Facebook. She successfully sells her online course to 50 people each month. During the last year, the number of Mia’s students reached 600 individuals. After identifying the most effective channels for reaching her target audience, the yoga teacher decided to define a new goal. It’s necessary to increase Mia’s sales by 50%. Let’s develop a possible SMART goal for this situation.
Specific: Attract new customers.
Measurable: Attain 1200 clients.
Achievable: Mia’s team should identify the most effective communication channels and eliminate those that bring poor results to acquire more customers. Mia needs to increase her budget to do this.
Relevant: An increase in the number of customers will have a positive impact on Mia’s revenue, recognition, customer base, and position in the market.
Timely: 12 months.
The goal is “to attract 1200 clients during one year.”
Setting SMART goals is one of the primary conditions of success. Define your objectives the right way to develop an effective plan for your actions and make your business prosper.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023
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