SMART goals are business goals that, as the word says, are intelligent. These are strategically established so that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely and their main purpose is business growth.
For an objective to be SMART, it must meet the 5 traits that mark its acronym (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and temporary):
- Specific: a specific objective is one that its goal is circumscribed in a specific situation. The key question here is "What do you want to achieve?"
- Measurable: a measurable objective is one that is quantifiable and that its performance can be measured using metrics. In this case the key question is "What KPI or indicator will measure its effectiveness and efficiency?"
- Achievable:An achievable goal is a realistic goal based on the circumstances, the context, and the market. The key question is: Is it a reasonable objective taking into account the internal and external situation of the company? ”.
- Relevant: A relevant objective is one that is important to the business and whose fulfillment significantly affects the company. For an objective to be relevant, it must be related to the overall business development objectives. The question in this situation is "Why or what is this objective interesting for?"
- Timely: A temporary objective is one that must be met in a previously established time. The question here is “When should this goal be met?
SMART objectives allow the business to be fully focused on its growth in an effective and efficient way thanks to the following characteristics.
- SMART objectives must be established through a global vision of the business. In other words, when the objectives are set using this methodology, a greater business vision is achieved and the value increases. SMART should be a framework to determine whether a goal makes sense from a business perspective or not.
- Setting and achieving SMART goals requires a strong focus on planning. This is necessary because it is important to anticipate situations and verify all processes to ensure that they actually respond to global strategical goals.
- As SMART goal must be related to business development objectives, they promote strategic actions.
- Planning SMART goals helps improve time management, making the company work more efficiently.
- As SMART objectives must be measurable and temporary, you have greater control of the situation.
Thanks to all of the above, SMART objectives help to make profitable and optimize business operations.
To set SMART goals, you only need to follow 5 steps:
- Global vision of the business (WHAT). Think about what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term for the business. Is it increasing sales? Is it internationalize? Is it incrementing the average ticket?
- Strategy (HOW). Establish the actions by which such goals will be achieved. Here it is all about making it as tangible as possible to see what is going to be done to achieve it. How are we going to increase sales? Through a lead generation campaign, through an offline marketing action, through the creation of an event... How are we going to internationalize? We are going to open our own stores abroad, we are going to make partnerships with wholesalers, we are going to launch campaigns in the main countries? How will we raise the average ticket? Through an offer, through loyalty, with a points card, raising prices...
- Planning (EXECUTION) Divide the main action into smaller ones. If we are going to increase sales through a lead generation campaign, we must first establish the strategy, then we must design the campaign, then we will have to launch it, then follow it and finally analyze its results.
- Temporality and quantification (DATES AND NUMBERS) Establish a calendar where we will track the time that we are going to dedicate to each of the sub-actions that make up the main action and mark the dates on which each action must begin and end. In addition, we are going to specify not only the time, but also the growth that we pursue. How much do we want to increase sales? 10%, 15%? And if we are going to do it with a lead generation campaign, how many leads do we want to get? 500, 1000, 2000 ... That is, how many leads do we want to get, to increase sales by what percentage, and in how long are we going to do it?
- Establish the metrics (MEASUREMENT) See with which metrics and / or KPIs we are going to monitor the objectives and sub-objectives established so far. That is, choose the metrics with which we will analyze how many leads we are getting, how long we get them, with what profitability, how many of these convert to sales and what growth we achieve with it.