How to Create SMART Goals for Your Business

Today I'm going to teach you how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your business.

By following this process, you're going to take your original goals and turn them into S.MA.R.T. goals that you can (and will!) actually achieve.


Ready to set your own S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

Enter your information below to download the free S.M.A.R.T. Goal-Setting workbook!


What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?

What is a smart goal? When I say "smart" goal, I'm actually referring to the acronym S.M.A.R.T..

S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable / Achievable
R = Relevant
T = Time-Bound

 

Step #1: Write out your goal.

The first thing I want you to do is write out your goal as it is in your mind. I mean actually grabbing a piece of paper and writing this down.

Write down what your goal is. Don't over-analyze it. We're going to go through a process to make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal. 

I'm going to be creating an example with you. My example will be that I want to grow my business. That's what I would write down right now. 

I've actually created a workbook to help guide you through this process! Enter your information below to download it and follow along with the prompts: 

 

Step #2: Is it specific?

Now that we have your original goal written down, it's time to start making it S.M.A.R.T..

However you're doing this, whether it's on the worksheet I provided for you, or on your own sheet of paper, next to your original goal, let's go ahead and ask ourselves, is it specific?

How can you make this more specific?

Going back to my example of growing my business, that's obviously not specific. How can I make that more specific? For me, I would say, let's make that grow my email list. If I'm growing my email list, that's growing my business. That's the next step for me, is saying, okay, it went from grow my business to now grow my email list. Go ahead and do this with your goal now too.

 

Step #3: Is it measurable?

Next, ask yourself, is it measurable?

In my example of growing my email list, that is kind of measurable, but not really. I wouldn't know when I had accomplished this goal.

That's really the purpose of making it measurable, is so you know when you have met this goal.

If it's just to grow my email list, I get one person and I could accomplish this goal, or I could endlessly feel like I have never accomplished this goal.

Let's make sure we put numbers and measurements on our goals. Go ahead and do this now and write down what you're going to measure about this goal.

For my example, let's say that I want to grow my email list to 10,000 subscribers. That's what I'm going to write down. Now we've gone through a few steps already. We wrote our original goal, we made it specific. Now, we're making it measurable. Let's keep going.

 

Step #4: Is it achievable?

The next step in this process is to ask yourself, is this achievable or attainable?

Now, I'm all for setting really big goals. Trust me, I love setting really high up there goals, because I feel like even if I don't quite make it, I'm going to get a lot closer than I would if I set myself lower.

There is a balance to this. If you are currently making zero dollars and your goal is to make a million dollars, that might not be attainable. It might be, I'm not saying a blanket statement here, but you need to know yourself and your business and your time and everything that's going into it to decide is this a real, attainable, achievable goal for you.

Go ahead and ask yourself, you can just write yes or you can write no. If you answer is no, let's make some adjustments so that it is attainable for you and your business. 

 

Step #5: Is it relevant?

Now I want you to ask yourself, is this goal relevant? Is it relevant to your business, to your brand, to the lifestyle you want?

A good example of this is, let's say you set a goal where ultimately you're going to need a team to support that goal. Maybe you actually don't ever want to have a team. You don't want to build a business beyond yourself. You wouldn't want to set a goal that forces you to do that.

This is just a moment again to write yes or no on your sheet of paper.

  • Is this relevant?
  • Is it something your audience wants?
  • Is this make sense with your brand as it is right now?
  • Is this going to create the life and the lifestyle that you want for yourself?

If the answer's no, again, this is a time to make adjustments. 

Maybe you're having an a-ha moment and you realize that you need to scratch this goal entirely and start over. That's fine. Pause, go back to step one, and start over. That's okay. That's why we go through this process. You might need to start from scratch again with your goal. It's totally okay. It's nothing to be ashamed  or embarrassed or feel weird about. This is why we do this. We want to set S.M.A.R.T. goals that will help get you and your business where you want it.


Download the free S.M.A.R.T. Goal-Setting Workbook!

I created this workbook to guide you through the process of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Enter your information below to download it now:


Step #6: Is it time-bound?

Now I want you to ask yourself, is this goal time-bound? It's very important to have a goal that is based with a time frame.

It could be three months, six months, 90 days, which is three months. A year, two years. Whatever makes sense for you and this goal and your business.

You've got to put a time frame on it. Otherwise, it's never really going to happen. These time frames make it actionable. They make you want to make progress on it and they hold you accountable. 

You can write yes, it's time-bound, or if the answer's no, make it time-bound. Give yourself a time limit. When will you accomplish this goal by?

For me, with my goal of hitting 10,000 email subscribers, let's say I want to do that by the end of Q3 in 2017. By the end of September, I would want to hit that milestone. Now, I picked that for various reasons. Pick your goal based on your business and what you're working towards.

Set that time frame right now. 

 

 

Step #7: Re-write your goal.

Okay, it's our last step now. If you've been following through the worksheet that I have or following along yourself on your own sheet of paper, we have some different answers. We have numbers. We have time frames.

Let's put it all together.

I want you to re-write your original goal with all these new specifications that we've gone through. 

At the top of my paper where I wrote "grow my business", this very bottom part of my work sheet, now I'm going to say, grow my email list to 10,000 subscribers by the end of September 2017. 

I mean, what a difference.

Grow my business. So vague, could mean anything. Never know when I'm going to accomplish it. Have no motivation or direction.

Now I have this super actionable goal that's S.M.A.R.T. that I'm going to accomplish. Make sure you go through this right now and re-write your goal to make it S.M.A.R.T..

 

BONUS Step #8: Surround yourself with this goal!

Now that you have your S.M.A.R.T. goal, I want to give you one extra tip to help you stay motivated so you actually achieve this goal. That is to surround yourself with this goal.

Put it everywhere. Write it on sticky notes. Put it on your laptop. Put it on your desk. Put it on your cork board, or your wipe board, or your refrigerator. On your phone, in your calendar.

Anywhere and everywhere that you look on a regular basis.

I want you to see this goal all the time. Not because it's going to make you feel bad, or overwhelmed, or like you're falling behind, but because it's going to keep it on the forefront of your mind. When you're sitting there going through your daily to-do's and everything that life and business entails, you're going to remember that this is what you're working towards. Please do this. Do this favor for me and for you.

Surround yourself with this goal. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes. 

 

Now you know how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your business, but it's time to take action!

To help you create your own S.M.A.R.T. goals, I’ve created the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet.

You won't have to come back to this video to re-watch it. It guides you through the entire process really seamlessly. I encourage you to download it. Print it out. Go through all of your major goals for next year right now. 

You can download the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet for free below:

 

Do you have any S.M.A.R.T. goals you’re working towards?

Leave one of your S.M.A.R.T. goals in the comments below so we can cheer you on!

 

Megan Minns

Business Strategist for Side Hustlers