Many Entrepreneurs have heard of developing SMART goals in business. However, most are unclear of the steps to take in creating this plan, while others need further explanation on what it means and how it will make a difference.
Whether you are trying something new on Social Media or launching a new product, every action that you take must be documented and tracked to see if it is making for better business. While on Twitter I read the following:
“I just saw a Twitter User who has tweeted over 100,000 times, and has less than 100 followers. Dude, switch up your strategy!”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Why anyone would tweet that many times to a handful of people is beyond me. What astounds me is that with all the information regarding using analytics to monitor how your message is being accepted by your audience, that people still aren’t doing it.
Improvement in anything only happens with goal-setting and constant measurement. Hence, your SMART goals:
Your goal needs to be very clear and never general. Imagine that you are writing a note regarding your child’s bedtime routine for their babysitter; would you leave them general guidelines? Nope! You’re going to be extremely detailed, ensuring that you will not be receiving a call later in the evening with questions. So yes…that specific.
Your specific goal will always cover the following: What do I want to accomplish? Who is going to be involved / needed? Where is this change / goal occurring (ie. on Twitter, on Facebook, etc). You may also wish to include the specific reasons why you are trying to make such goals and / or changes.
If you are not monitoring the progress of your goals / changes, then it is impossible to tell if there is success. In this case, you need to make note of an indicator of advancement: How many new leads to you want? How much revenue increase will you see? Simply stating that you will see an increase in your social media following is far too vague.
Achievable does not mean setting low goals or settling. Of course you still want to push yourself to achieve the desired outcome, but you don’t want your goals to be out-of-reach either. In coaching my clients, I often encourage them to take an average over the past few months (ie. the number of Twitter followers they get in a day or week) and then use that average as a spring-board. Thus, if you average 10 new followers a day, increasing your goal to 100 per day is not going to be achievable (and will only leave you frustrated when this doesn’t happen).
This one is obvious. You need to answer questions such as: Is this goal worthwhile? Is this the right time? Am I the right person to be taking this on (or is outside help needed)?
Every goal needs to be set within a time-frame and given a target date. You may choose to target one specific date, or you may decide to answer questions such as “What can I do this quarter?”
Having a clear (and written!) plan in place is incredibly important to business success; your business will not excel without it.
However, while almost all of the information on the internet discusses using SMART, there are two concepts that are definitely missing. These two concepts will ensure the best results when setting goals, and will help move your business and objectives to the next level.
In a future article will cover what these two concepts are but while you are waiting, please download our SMART Goal Exercise Sheet. Be sure to leave a comment below in regards to whether or not you’ve ever used SMART goals to better your small business.