How to set SMART goals
Successful businesses set goals. As a business owner, it's important you take the time to set targets, review your business regularly, and communicate with your team.
While we all know the importance of goals, it's also easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of your business and leave those unattended. We hear you! But, if your team doesn't know and understand what it is you are trying to achieve, now is the time to sit yourself down for the next five minutes and read on.
1. Define your goal
Goals give you a long-term vision and a short-term motivation. The reason SMART goals are so important is that they make you accountable by defining measurable and time-bound factors.
So what are SMART goals?
- S - specific: be clear with what you want to accomplish. Use the 5Ws; who, what, where, when and why
- M - measurable: this will indicate how your goal is measured
- A - attainable: you need to find that sweet spot between blue sky and realistic goals
- R - relevant: is this goal relevant to your business objectives and values?
- T - time-bound: give yourself a deadline and stick to it!
Saying "I want to get more Club signups" is not enough to actually gain more signups!
By using SMART goals you acknowledge how, what, where and when you will achieve your goal.
- Why are you creating content?
- What is your business objective and how does this goal help you achieve it?
- How does this goal align with your business’ story?
#1. My goal is to drink more water.
My SMART goal is, ‘I am drinking 1 liter of water every day by August 30th, 2018’.
#2. My goal is to get more email subscribers.
My SMART goal is, ‘Our company will have 800 subscribers by August 30th, 2018’.
#3. My goal is to sell more wine.
My SMART goal is, ‘Our winery will sell 80 bottles of wine every week by August 30th, 2018’.
Brainstorm your SMART Goals for two minutes
Having trouble defining your goals? Try working backward. In this scenario ask yourself: "What is my ultimate goal?"
My goal is to reach 800 Wine Club subscribers by November 2018. To reach this goal, what milestones will you have to achieve? It might be opening a CRM/EDM account four months prior, building a Wine Club homepage on your website three months prior, or setting up three paid social ads pushing subscriptions two months prior, etc.
Now share your goals with the whole team
and keep them top of mind by writing them on the wall.
According to a 2015 study by Dr. Gail Matthews, 70% of participants who sent updates to their friends or co-workers reported successful goal achievements (either fully completed or more than halfway). Only 35% of participants who kept their goals to themselves reported success.
2. Record your metrics
Congratulations! Now that you’ve got your goals signed off there’s one thing you must do to ensure they don’t fail!
Record metrics weekly + review gains and losses
The reason we record weekly is to create closure and growth. You can keep your goal tracking simple (such as by using paper), but we recommend going digital, with Google Docs, for example. Have each member of your team fill the results of their responsibilities/tasks on a spreadsheet the end of each week. Keep it simple!
3. How do you know if you’ve achieved your goals?
The success of your goal is not as black and white as yes or no. The reason we use SMART goals is so that you can qualify your results.
You currently gain 10 Wine Club subscribers each week.
Your goal is to increase your Wine Club by 30 new subscribers every week over the next 12 weeks. Your records show you fell short a total 20 subscribers over the 12 week period. This is not bad news!
While you didn’t reach a total of 360 new subscribers in 12 weeks, you managed to increase your overall list by more than 83% compared to your normal gain! *cheer*
When looking at your SMART goals, every cloud has a silver lining. The most important factor to remember is to have your goals in clear view so they create a sense of focus between you and your team. Celebrate your achievements and discuss your shortcomings weekly. You’ll quickly notice patterns. At the end of your goal cycle, you can either set new (higher) targets or readjust the business focus.