How does your business set goals? Goal development is a necessity within a business all the way down to setting your personal growth goals. Over time though S.M.A.R.T. goals have become more and more prominent in today’s corporate world. They are even being used in employee reviews to set growth goals for the year. This set of criteria can be put into any goal to improve and define, for stronger results.
What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that provides criteria for objectives(goals): Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. When creating a goal you must be as specific as possible. Be specific enough that someone with basic knowledge of the company or project can understand. When moving into the measurement stage, ask yourself “How will you see the progress during the production of the goal” and “How will you know when you have achieved the goal?” When stepping into the Attainable question, think “Do I believe this goal is realistic?” Even though the goal might be challenging, it can still be seen as realistic. The next item on the list is Relevance. Based on the direction of the company and what it’s vision is, how connected is this goal to the ideals you are trying to reach. The last item on the criteria is to be Timely. Now this one can be used in two ways, both long term and short term. Based on how aggressive your goal is, make sure your timeline aligns with how much effort it will require. If the goal will require a large amount of effort, you may want to look at extending your timeline to make sure your goal is attainable. Vice Versa, if your marketing and sales plan require a shorter timeline, make sure you align the measureable data points to this shorter schedule.
Where can S.M.A.R.T. goals be used?
The better question is, “Where can’t SMART goals be used?” Implementing these goals will help you achieve long-term and short-term projects. They will also help reduce the risk of wasting money on goals that lack a clear directive or are not fully defined.
Now that you understand the basics of S.M.A.R.T, let's look at an example:
Company background: ‘Get Fit’ a newly opened gym is trying to gain more members.
Following our steps as we start to build the goal:
Specific: We want to gain more members from September 2017- December 2017 by using a promotion. The promo will run through these months and will be advertised on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The promotion prize is a giveaway of 6 months of free membership if you sign up and pay for a year in advance.
Measurable: How are we going to measure the promo? The promotion will have a dedicated coupon code. We will track all sales that signed up with the promotion code during the months of September through December. With the promotion, we will look to increase membership by 20%.
Attainable: We have to think about how realistic this goal is. Looking at growth over the last six months with no promotion running memberships increased by 10%. With this, Get Fit is looking to double their six months recruitment in three months. The question they need to ask themselves: “Is this Possible?” For now, we will say Get Fit is being very aggressive and say this is possible.
Relevant: Is this promotion relevant to gaining more members? We believe the promotion will give the members 6 months to see how amazing our gym is and will result in those members signing up long term.
Timely: We actually got a bit ahead of ourselves and defined a timeline in the specific stage which happens often. We believe there is enough time to promote and gain the amount of members we are targeting based on the strength of the promotion and the timeline we have set.
Now that we have all the steps outlined let's look at the completed S.M.A.R.T Goal:
Get Fit Gym is looking to increase membership leveraging a new promotion. The promotion will run from September 2017 - December 2017 and will increase member signups by 20%.
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