For the goal-oriented, January can be a very exciting time. Resolutions for the new year can leave us feeling optimistic and enthusiastic about meeting new challenges, but many of us also have small piles of neglected projects and forgotten gym memberships to attest to the challenges of creating well-defined goals with attainable benchmarks to keep us motivated when our enthusiasm flags. This month, to help you with your marketing resolutions for 2015, we’re going to go over some tips for creating—and achieving—your SMART goals for your business this year!
What is a SMART Goal?
To start, let’s review what a SMART goal is and how to create one. Setting a SMART goal is about breaking down the big-picture idea you’re working toward into its necessary components and creating a well-defined goal that can be completed in smaller parts. SMART goals are:
Setting a SMART goal means being specific about the desired outcomes as well as the steps you’ll take to reach them. The strongest SMART goals can be summarized in a statement that includes active pieces: a well-defined client or audience, specific goals (often on a timeline), the specific tools you’ll use to achieve them, and the ways you’ll measure and celebrate your progress.
To help you get started, here’s an example of a SMART goal:
“In the first three months of 2015, I am going to expand my small business selling hand-made glass bowls through three local gift shops and increasing my sales by $350 per quarter. Currently, I sell fifteen bowls a quarter at a price of $45 per bowl through my booth at a local farmer’s market. In late 2014 the shops expressed interest in purchasing bowls from from me at the price of $35 and reselling them for $45. During January, I will create the additional ten bowls and add them to my existing inventory of fifteen, for a total of twenty-five items. In February and March, I hope to sell the additional ten pieces through these shops. Should they not sell in the shops, I can take the remaining inventory to a craft fair in March.”
What Makes This Goal SMART:
- The goal is Specific: it outlines a timeline, a point-of-sale, an estimated inventory, a means of reaching customers, and an alternative plan to ensure ROI if the initial goal is not met.
- The goal is Measurable: by basing the goal on a specific inventory, the business owner can easily track progress.
- The goal is Achievable: By basing the expansion on the current level, the goal has reasonable expectations.
- The goal is Result-Oriented: The specificity of the outcome means that results can be measured over time and in the long term.
- The goal is Trackable: This goal has a clearly-defined time line and a means of making adjustments if necessary.
By turning your New Year’s resolution for your business into a SMART goal, you are already one step ahead of the game when it comes to meeting your business goals for 2015. For the rest of January, we will review some specific steps you can take to ensure that your goals are SMART ones!
Here is the full series: