SMART Goals: The First Step Toward Success for Your Business

One of the first steps for any successful business plan is setting goals. For a truly successful business, those goals must be S.M.A.R.T. This means all goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Especially when you are dealing with abstract concepts like brand awareness or social media, SMART goals help you define exactly what you hope to do so you’re not throwing money at something that isn’t working. It may seem like a lot of work to come up with SMART goals but it will pay off in the long-term success of your business.


Specific goals go into great detail. What exactly are you trying to achieve? How do you define improving sales? Are you looking to increase online sales, in-store sales, or both? Are you hoping for a certain percentage increase or a specific amount over last month, last quarter, or last year? The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to assess your goals later on. A vague goal will only raise more questions where a specific goal will show clear-cut success or failure because it is…


Measurable goal setting goes hand in hand with specific goal setting. What good is it to define specifically how you view an increase in sales without stating a specific amount by which you will measure that increase? In order to clearly define a success or failure, you need to have clear and measurable metrics that you can use to determine that success. Measurable goals are particularly useful when you have a large, long-term goal. Small, measurable goals help you chip away at larger goals which make them…


In order to set yourself up to succeed you need to set goals that are attainable. What is the point of making a goal that is so lofty that it’s nearly impossible to attain the desired results? Goals are meant to give direction, to push your business further, but they are still meant to be achieved. You must ask yourself if it’s realistically plausible for you to triple your sales in just one month. If it’s not, then you should probably step back and figure out a more realistic number or maybe you should extend the timeline. This does not mean that you should set your expectations so low that you’ll succeed with little to no effort. You must find a happy medium that is…


Just like all goals should be attainable, they must also be realistic. This means you should be able to reach this goal but also that you should logically want to reach this goal to further your business. Having 500,000 twitter followers could be attainable depending on how much time and energy you spend online but is that realistic for your small, corner grocery store? Don’t waste your time on goals that aren’t relevant to your business and realistic to your overall success. To really have an impact, your goals must be realistic and…


Any useful goal must have a deadline. What’s the point of setting goals if there is a never any motivation to keep going? Specific time restraints are vital to any goal. Deadlines keep us on track and they give us a sense of urgency. It’s a safe assumption that the faster you meet your goals, the better of you and your company will be. Timely goals are also very important if you’re dealing with a project or medium that is constantly evolving. You wouldn’t want to waste money and resources working on a project for to be passé by the time it’s complete. As a business owner, you must strike when the iron is hot and to do so, you must have timely goals.

Taking the time to create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals may not always be convenient and it may seem like a lot of work in the beginning but once you’ve got those SMART goals, you can better assess the success of each goal and also the effect that goal has had on business. From there, you can keep, tweak, or completely redo your goals to further the success of your business.

What do you think? Does your business already use SMART goals? How have they helped your business? Are there any other steps in the SMART goal setting process that you find vital to your business?

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