A SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goal is an approach used to set accurate and reachable objectives. It helps with deciding 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, criteria for doing it, and see the examples. We’ll also find out how to set SMART goals.

Why is it important to set SMART goals?

Often startup owners set unrealistic objectives that result in rapid failure. Defining SMART goals is necessary if you want to avoid this scenario. The method helps improve the company’s productivity and effectiveness in different situations. A business can gradually increase revenue, customer service, customer experience, improve customer loyalty, and usability. With SMART goals, entrepreneurs can develop a step-by-step marketing plan, set deadlines, control the progress among employees, avoid unnecessary expenditures, and reduce the risk of failure.

To achieve success, you need to define things you want to reach in more detail, be specific, timely, and real. With measurable and achievable objectives, your company will be able to develop a detailed marketing plan and move faster towards your key target.

Setting your goals based on the SMART approach allows you to improve the probability of reaching the desired results. In the next section, we’ll review the 5 criteria to correctly define the goals.

5 Criteria for Setting SMART Goals

It’s often a problem for many companies to set goals that are 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.

  • Specific. To reach the objectives you strive for, you need to be specific and avoid using generic words and phrases. Be clear to move all your motivation and efforts towards the achievement of your main target. There are several aspects you should pay attention to before setting the goal. You need to consider the resources you have and the limits you might face, the reason why the achievement of this objective is essential for your business, the things you want to attain, the people involved, and the location.
  • Measurable. It’s crucial to set goals you can measure. By having such objectives in mind, you’ll focus on your achievement and deadlines to reach your target. Ask yourself “how much”, “how many”, “how to find out if it’s achieved” 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 make sure that the goal is relevant for your business and can bring real value to the growth and success of your company. Check out whether it’s worth spending time and effort to achieve it.
  • Timely. Every goal should have a deadline. The time when you can see the real 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 clear 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 clarity on your wants and business plans. To do everything right, you need to follow these 5 tips.

  1. Decide what you want to achieve.
  2. Think about success and what it means for your company.
  3. Find out whether the goal you set is reasonable.
  4. Make sure to adjust your goal to your overarching goals.
  5. Develop a schedule and decide on the deadline to reach your target.

To understand how to use the method, you need to see some examples. That’s why let’s review them in more detail.

Examples of SMART goals

It’s time to create some fictional scenarios and develop SMART goals for each of them.

Example 1

“Speak” language school 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 convert 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, yet besides email campaigns, it should use a chatbot in WhatsApp since this is a preferred communication channel among 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 the necessary resources to improve its marketing plan and see tangible results within 20 days.

The final Speak’s SMART goal will be “To double conversion rates within 20 days”.

Example 2

Yoga teacher Mia sells her online yoga course to people on Instagram and Facebook. She successfully sells the 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 the target audience, the yoga teacher decided to define the new goal. It’s necessary to increase sales by 50%. Let’s see a possible SMART goal for this situation.

Specific: Attract new customers.
Measurable: Attain 1200 clients.
Achievable: To reach this goal, Mia’s team should identify the most effective communication channels and eliminate those that bring low results. To do this, Mia needs to increase the budget.
Relevant: An increase in the number of customers will have a positive impact on revenue, recognition, customer base, and position in the market.
Timely: 12 months.

The goal will be “To attract 1200 clients during one year”.

Setting SMART goals is one of the basic conditions for success. Define your objectives in the right way to develop an effective plan for your actions and make your business prosper.

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