I recently set some SMART goals for SturdyBusiness.com. It had a magical impact on my brain. After setting SMART goals for my business, I realized the importance of SMART goals in business. And that’s what I have decided to share with you.
Though I believed that I had a complete plan for the blog in my mind, I was even following it. I was spending much time learning, experiencing, and writing.
So why do I need to write SMART goals?
This is what most people think. Don’t you think so?
It’s because people haven’t tasted the impact of writing SMART goals for their businesses.
No matter how great we are, we might regret it someday if we didn’t set the SMART goals.
Here is the finest example to acquaint with the impact and significance of SMART goals.
Neil Patel recently told many times in his videos that though he is getting 9m traffic on his blog, he is still not satisfied with what he has done with his business.
He explains that though he is getting 9m traffic, his services’ conversion rate is pretty low – much lower than average.
Why does this happen with such a matchless guy?
I strongly believe that he had not clearly set his business goals, which led him to attract the wrong traffic. He tried to attract every person on the earth who has the intention to learn digital marketing. He succeeded, but still, it became a regret.
So even if you are sure that you want to grow your business by 100% in the following year, you still need to be even more clear about the goals. That you become while setting SMART goals.
So before I tell you the importance of setting SMART goals in business, let’s briefly discuss what exactly SMART goals are?
What are SMART goals in a business?
SMART goals mean setting goals that are specific (S) about the target you want to achieve, and that goal is measurable (M) somehow. The goals are achievable (A) under your circumstances within a specific time.
Here is a digestible explanation of SMART goals.
Let’s understand this term with some examples.
- I want to get rich in the following year.
- I want to improve my performance in the company
- I want my employees to complete this project efficiently
- I want to increase my website traffic
- I want to make more revenue in the following year.
- I want to improve my sales in the next year.
These examples seem like perfect yearly goals. Right?
But these are not the SMART goals.
And you can hardly achieve them.
These goals are neither specific nor measurable.
To set a specific goal, you are clear about what exactly you shall achieve. You know about How, When, Where, and What you shall achieve in your plan.
Now let’s see if these are the right SMART goals. Then how can you set perfectly fine SMART goals?
Let me explain it with one of the Sturdy Business SMART goals.
It can be any of your goals to increase your profits, sales, CTR, performance or reduce expenses, or bounce rate. You can keep anything in mind to analyze your goals with this one.
Goal: I want to increase my website traffic
In SMART goals, you are clear about what, when, where (if essential), and how to achieve that goal.
Let’s see if I say I want to increase my website traffic. I am neither sure how much traffic I want to grow in how much time and how can I reach that target? Who will be involved, and all other small details. And why it’s important to increase the traffic?
It means it’s not a SMART goal.
Now look at, how it could be the SMART goal?
- I want to increase the website traffic by 30000 in the following six months.
- If every web page gets 500 pageviews (on average) for keywords I choose, I need 60 articles on the website by January 2022.
- Suppose there are 60 articles on this website by January 2022. Those can easily rank on Google’s first page in the next three months (average ranking time for low KD keywords).
- As there are 41 articles already, I need 19 more by the deadline. So I shall find 19 more keywords and write articles by the end of January 2022.
- That means I need to write one piece every 4th day to reach my goal easily. Is that feasible and achievable for me? Yes, for sure. I have already done it many times.
Let me take things out to explain.
What: 25000 visitors a month
How: With writing 19 more articles.
When: Writing an article on each 4th day with a deadline of 6 months.
Who: I shall write the content while spending the other three days on research (say reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, meeting with business owners, involved in discussions, etc).
Did this help you?
Now let’s understand how and why goals should be measurable.
The next big thing is it should be measurable by any means.
For instance, the above-given examples are not measurable by any means. If someone says, I want to get rich, that’s my goal.
No one is sure how much money can make him rich, and I am pretty sure he himself won’t be sure about it.
He can only dream of it because he is never going to get it.
So to make the goal measurable, it should be like I want to make 10m dollars in the next five or ten years.
Understanding how a goal is measurable isn’t easy all the time.
Many times, it’s pretty hard for employees and managers to find some data by which they will measure the goal.
Let’s say if the goal of an employee or manager is about a presentation that they have to deliver after a specific period.
In that case, it’s not the employee or manager who has to measure it.
Isn’t it so?
It’s still measurable for an employee.
In such cases, when you can’t answer how much? You rely on the results you want to achieve.
For instance, if it was a presentation, and your goal is to convince your boss to implement your idea, or at least like it for the next project, all this can help you measure it.
The other important factor is if the goal is achievable for you or not.
For instance, your business goal for the next six months is to offer consulting services to small businesses, but you don’t have a consultant. Is that goal worthwhile?
So in your SMART goals, you also define if the goal is achievable under your circumstances. You have realized the importance of external consultancy, and if you want to offer services, you can either learn it or hire the relevant consultants depending on your business needs.
In short, whatever your goals are, those should be achievable under your circumstances. It shouldn’t be like if your competitor is offering a new product or a service, you should also provide the same services, but you don’t have the resources.
Only set goals that you can achieve, and you have all the resources, or at least you can arrange them on time.
The next big thing is thinking about the relevance. Why is that goal important to you? Does that goal belong to your broader plan?
For instance, if you want to improve your performance, why is that important to you? You might be looking for a promotion in the long run.
Here are some other examples that will make you understand.
- I want to keep this blog growing, and I have set plans for it. The bigger goal could be I want to make it a passive income for me. Right?
- If I choose X, Y, Z topics for the following year, then I plan to sell courses or relevant services in the longer run. The X, Y, Z are money keywords for those topics. As the courses are ready, the keywords will be yielding their full potential. Right?
A goal must be time-bound. You must know when you shall complete the project? What’s the deadline for your task?
If you don’t have a time frame to complete, it’s our psychological effect that you will keep it hanging.
Keep your goals short-term. Even if the project will take time, turn it into parts to measure with time. The reason is that with every achievement, you are satisfied and happy with what you have completed.
Also, according to research, if we don’t have deadlines or a longer period to complete a task, we procrastinate.
Importance of setting SMART goals
The following research-based opinion will make you understand the importance of SMART goals in business.
- Study Shows that people tend to perform well 90% of the time when they set SMART goals. So when you set SMART goals, you are clear about everything you are going to do and why you need to do that.
- Many new businesses fail when the results are in the far future. That’s why while setting SMART goals, we prefer setting short goals and keeping an eye on the (usually non-monetary) results.
- For instance, if I ask you to start a blog, it can bring you some handsome money in the longer run. You might give up like most others do because you won’t see any results in the first six or eight months. Your business actually starts after 12 months’ hard work, dedication, and patience. Isn’t it hectic? Wouldn’t you give up if you were not clear about the process and results?
- Study Shows that people tend to procrastinate more when they don’t set SMART goals. Here SMART goals mean setting pretty clear and achievable goals within a shorter period.
- When I wrote SMART goals (that I have added at the end), I realized how powerful the impact is. It makes me feel much more comfortable and gives me motivation. It seems like I have felt the process, and I can see the huge benefits.
- By setting SMART goals, you don’t play the game blindly. You are pretty clear about what you are doing, what exactly you want to achieve, and how you shall do that.
For instance, one of my friends started a clothing business. I told him not to begin without a business plan or without setting SMART goals. He didn’t listen to me because he had goals in mind – every plan in mind. He had not the right guy for purchase.
He wasted a lot of money on buying the wrong stuff and ended up with a failure. That’s why in SMART goals, you define each and everything about getting some specific results.
- When you set SMART goals, you visualize them. Research shows that when you visualize and manifest something. You will eventually get that thing. It has a long theory of how our brains work and how conscious and unconscious brains control our lives. It’s pretty long, so I can’t discuss everything here, but it makes things happen eventually by the law of attraction.
Once you visualize the results, you find a strong reason to work on them. You start believing in the project and want to accomplish the goals because you have actually done it through your mind. It will become much easier and more fun.
- By setting SMART goals, you analyze yourself if you are working the right way as you should.
For instance, after setting SMART goals, short-term, and long-term, I realized that I should focus more on what will be more effective in the long-term goals.
Examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals (SB’s Goals)
Here are examples of SMART goals. These are the goals that I have for SturdyBusiness.com. These goals will make you clear on how you can do that for your business.
- I want to publish 82 articles on the site by the end of July 2022 because I want to increase the site’s trust and make it closer to the long-term goals.
It’s Nov 2021. There are 6.5 months. I need 40 more articles to publish. To accomplish this goal, I shall write a blog post each 5th day. I can study the other days.
- I want to increase the traffic of the website by 30k in the following six months. That means there should be 60 articles by January 2022 because, on average, every webpage gets 500 views. There are about 78 days. And 18 articles remain. It requires one piece in 4.3 days. It’s pretty easy to write one article for each 4th to 5th day.
- I want to increase the revenue of SB by $1000 by July 2022. If I set $30 RPM, then I need 33000 pageviews a month to achieve that target. And writing an article on the 5th day is enough to reach the goal. To make the process quick to increase traffic, I shall rather focus on link-building strategies. And also, keep backlinks goals along with me!
- I want to build 200 backlinks in the next six months to increase website authority so that the average time of four months to rank a webpage will become even lesser. I shall give five unique links to each webpage.
To do that, I need to create at least one link a day. I shall focus more on the web pages, which are under 20 positions. It will let Google decide, and I could see some quick results from the pages. I shall not go for a guest posting strategy to completely focus on my site content rather than writing for others.
- I want to reduce the website bounce rate by 20% in the following eight months. That’s possible by updating those pages to get most of the traffic for the keywords which belong to them. Creating more curiosity and making them more engaging by updating each article. To do that, I shall update one article in a week.
- I shall get 1000 subscribers by July 2022. By providing them with high-quality content, I shall give them a reason to subscribe to it. Even though 13 visitors subscribe to the blog, it’s 1000 subscribers by the end of July 2022. If it didn’t work in the first four months, I should offer something even more valuable (a free course) in return to subscribe and love the blog.
Long term goal
After two years, I want to see sturdybusiness.com start helping people run websites, our unique problem-solving courses, offering businesses content writing and digital marketing services, and independent business consultancy.
So how can I achieve that?
To achieve the goal, I need to focus on the keywords that could bring conversions to my chosen services. So that once I have built the team for the mentioned services, I don’t find it hard to sell.
It should be as easy as advertising on Google Ads for the right keywords. Those right keywords are my keywords. I shall find keywords in all the relevant categories so that I can reach the right audiences.
What’s that team?
A couple of days ago, I was telling my friend. Until you don’t go to the gym, you can’t imagine how valuable that is. If you want to see the impact of going to the gym, go for a week or a month. You will feel the difference.
The same I am saying to you. Until you don’t set SMART goals for your business or project, you can’t taste the magical impact of SMART goals on your brain.
To taste that significance, you need to set SMART goals at least once.
It should not be for fun. If you want to feel the importance of SMART goals in business or your targets, try it for something you want to achieve shortly.