Most local business owners have one common struggle. They have a finite amount of time and resources but unlimited ways to try to grow their business.
In many cases, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stuck in an “analysis paralysis” phase which can result in either trying a little bit of everything with no results or in some cases, trying nothing at all.
Setting SMART goals can help identify the goals that you should be wanting to achieve in your business and how to reach those goals. In this article, we’ll show you what SMART goals are and how to use them to help market your local business.
What Is A SMART Goal?
As you can probably guess, SMART is an acronym that can allow you to set clear marketing goals for your business.
When talking with many business owners around the St. Louis area, we’ve come to realize that many try to set targets in their business but always lose track of them when the next new and shiny thing comes along.
A SMART goal makes your goal clear and attainable. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based.
Using this framework, you can define the purpose of your marketing efforts to make sure you’re not wasting yours and your employees’ time.
Let’s walk through how to make a SMART goal…
Step One: Specific
You want your goals to be specific so you understand the destination that you or your employee is trying to reach with the goal in mind. A mistake that many business owners make when trying to set goals for their business is to use vague benchmarks. They say things like “I want to get more customers” or “I want more people on my mailing list.”
The problem with this is that you never know when you’ve technically reached your goal. That’s why you must be specific in setting up your SMART goals.
For example, instead of saying “I want to get more customers” you can say, “I want to get 25 extra leads this month.” For our mailing list example, you can say, “We will boost our email marketing subscribers by 10% this month.”
Step Two: Measurable
The goals you set should be measurable in such a way that you can track them throughout the goal’s progress to make sure you’re on the right track. There should be a way within your goal to measure the growth from your starting point to the endpoint.
In our 25 extra leads a month example, you should be able to see how many leads you have obtained to then know how many leads you have left to reach your goal. If it’s the 10th of the month and you only have 5 new leads, then you know you need to kick it up a notch to reach your goal.
If you don’t make that goal measurable, you won’t know if you’re on track to reach it.
Step Three: Achievable
When setting your goal, you need to be realistic in your ability to complete it successfully. It should bring you out of your comfort zone but also stay possible. If you want your website to increase in traffic, you wouldn’t set your goal to be three times the viewers you got last month.
You’d try to get a 10-20% increase month over month. This will allow you to eventually triple the viewers you had at the starting point if you keep achieving this but is more realistic and attainable in the long run.
One mistake business owners make here is when they’re setting their revenue goals for the start of the year. Owners try to create these crazy benchmarks like “we want to make 10,000% more than we made the year before” instead of something realistic like 150%.
Step Four: Relevant
Every goal your business has should be relevant to the overall brand that your company and niche fit into. This is the step that will help you stay on track when you see all these shiny objects that come out every year.
If you have a roofing company, a not-so-smart goal would be to try to get lots of followers on your company Snapchat profile (unless you know your clients use Snapchat).
Ask yourself. Does this goal seem worthwhile in the long run? You want to make sure you’re putting your time and efforts into the right avenues for your business and staying relevant will definitely help.
Step Five: Time Based
Every marketing goal you set should have a date or time frame attached to it. This is essentially the deadline to focus on and a timeline to work with.
Not only does setting a goal like finding X amount of prospects a month give you a measurable amount of people to target, but it also allows your day-to-day tasks to have more structure as well.
If you’re looking for 300 extra prospects a month, then you can think about it as finding 10 a day. This allows those everyday non-important tasks to get pushed aside when you have a long-term goal like this in mind.
Get to Work
Using the SMART goal framework to set goals for your business allows you and your employees to stay focused and efficient each day. Try setting a SMART goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
Once you get good enough, you’ll start setting SMARTgoals for different sections of your business whether that’s marketing, customer satisfaction, management, and more. That’s the great thing about goals. You don’t have to have just one.