Entrepreneurs and business owners have all been in a situation where there is continuous work, but see no fruits of their labor, thus the importance of making goals.
Goals offer something to anticipate. It’s the drive that keeps a business motivated to move forward, improve, and measure success. Whenever you want to start a marketing plan, you have to set a measurable goal to analyze how your strategy is working, but it’s never enough to write something down and achieve it.
Anyone who sets goals knows they have to go through challenges to reach the bottom line. There is a criterion that business owners should use to manage expectations.
So, what process can help your business achieve success by setting goals? Top-tier leaders in successful companies use SMART goals. Read on to learn more about what this could mean for your business.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is the acronym for the sole purpose of setting goals. The term SMART has changed, developed, and has stood for a variety of concepts over the years. As it stands today, SMART goals are:
The purpose of this formula is to form a clear idea of your objectives that can in turn be repeated to create the best action plan for your business.
How to Use SMART In Managing Expectations
First, be specific. Every goal should be apparent and concise. Ask yourself, why is this goal important? Who will be part of driving activities related to the goal? What constraints may affect the achievement of this goal?
Initially, the more specific the details and the more refined the goal, which in turn will be easier to execute and accomplish.
For example, a business may be looking to drive more leads. For a goal to be successful the goal can’t simply be “drive more leads.” A specific goal can be to drive 10 more leads per month. This goal is specific, can be measured, and can be attained in the long run versus the first which is ambiguous.
Set Measurable Goals.
As mentioned above, ambiguous goals are difficult to measure, therefore, define the criteria for measuring your goal and the progress that will drive you to realize the results.
What is something your business would like to achieve? Look at things such as contacts, customers or visits. Take the time to record and set benchmarks for your company to in turn analyze how your business has grown over a period of time.
Address questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- What would be the evidence of success in my business?
For example, back to the specific goal mentioned above, if your business is interested in producing more leads per month, deciding on a number, shows you if a goal was attained or missed. Once again, a measurable goal can be to drive 10 more leads per month. There is a set number here that can be tracked over a period of time and can be analyzed to see if the goal was met or missed in the process of your business growth.
Make Sure It’s Attainable.
At times entrepreneurs can get caught up in the moment and overestimate their brand, services, or products, creating goals that may never be achievable even with excess input. Keeping in mind the bandwidth of your company and setting goals that can be achieved will allow you to see real benefits.
For example, will attaining 10 leads per month burnout your workers? Is 10 leads a month an attainable goal or a shot in the stars based on your past growth and projected growth for the future? What is an attainable goal that can increase your expose and bring more consumers to your business? These are all important things to note when setting goals.
Are They Relevant?
The goals you form should matter to the business plan and address its core operations. There is no need to create a goal that is not relevant to you or your business. In the end, a goal should help you to achieve something your business has been working for.
- Is it the right time to do this?
- Will similar tactics in my industry work for my business plan?
- Does this goal make sense for my business?
If your business is looking to gain more leads a month, ensure leads are what is relevant to your business. If your business thrives off of sales per month, focus on those measurable results. All businesses are different and one goal that is relevant to a consumer brand might not be relevant to a medical office, for example.
Every goal requires a target date. This allows your team to focus on the more critical activities and will give a good idea of what to prioritize on a day-to-day basis. Look into things such as:
- When should this be achieved?
- What should we be achieving in the next five months?
- What are the next steps weekly, monthly, or yearly to meet the goals we have set?
For example, your business may be looking to drive more leads. For a goal to be successful the goal can’t simply be “drive more leads.” Here’s a timely goal: Drive 10 more leads per month. Placing a deadline on a goal allows for urgency and keeps a business on track to achieve what was planned.
The Bottom Line
Setting SMART goals is a great way to achieve your business expectations with a clear sense of direction. Overall, goals contribute to the success of your organization. Their purpose is to ensure your team is motivated while increasing productivity and business growth in the process.
Are you an entrepreneur with questions about how you can form goals that work? Don’t hesitate to contact us at Odato Marketing Group. We help professionals meet their goals with the best approaches that guarantee success.