SMART Goals for Entrepreneurs: How to Achieve Them?

Utilizing the SMART goals strategy, many entrepreneurs and small businesses set up their objectives and successfully achieve them. 

SMART is a planning strategy for setting up goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, also making up for its abbreviation. 

You might have set goals earlier as well but failed to deliver on them for all kinds of reasons but by setting up SMART goals, you eliminate most of the primary obstacles that stop to meeting the goal in the first place 

Well, the only question that pops up in your head is how to set up SMART goals for your small business or as an entrepreneur. 

Here are some common but primary SMART goals that you need to focus on this year s a business or solopreneur. 

smart goals for entrepreneurs

Ideas for SMART Goals

Increase Sales 

For any entrepreneur or small business, increasing sales is an obvious goal. But that’s still won’t be a SMART goal. 

To set a smart goal for increasing sales, you need to set a reasonable growth rate for it. That also depends upon the usual standards or average as per your industry or set norms by leaders or experts. 

For example, some experts say that a meager 15% increase in sales per year is celebratory for businesses or entrepreneurs. 

In fact, if you have an annual growth rate of 15%, it means that you have doubled the size of your company in a year only. 

However, it might not be reasonable or just too ambitious of setting up an ideal, the ‘best case scenario’ growth rate. 

Rather set up a more humble growth rate but surely a steady one will allow you to grow with the business yourself.  

Make sure you set a specific growth rate with a deadline ( annually, perhaps) with a set strategy to grow. 

Create A New Website 

Re-designing, updating, or even creating one official website for the business is crucial for entrepreneurs in today’s age of digital entrepreneurship. 

But still, it tends to be pushed around or postponed because you are usually busy with projects or selling products. 

This certainly can be your SMART goal for the month or week to improve, create or update your website. 

Setting it up with a specific target and vision in mind, along with skilled people you need to involve in a given time, can help you accomplish it without getting too overwhelmed with it. 

Another benefit of setting it as a smart goal is it can be strategically organized and pulled off in a way that it won’t hinder your day-to-day business. 

Hiring A New Team or Employee 

For large businesses or corporations, hiring is a key part of their operation which is either outsourced or handled by their internal HR department. 

But for entrepreneurs or even for very small businesses, it is a big leap, especially if you haven’t done it before or it is simply just a first step towards it. 

If you are an entrepreneur, more likely a one-man show, hiring is a challenge. So it needs to be done with the best planning and preparation in mind. 

Start with setting a SMART goal with your hiring process. 

Define within the goal what you exactly looking for, what the process entails, how much your budget is, and other key points. 

You need to set up sub-goals or tasks list under this SMART goal with dedicated individual deadlines. 

For example, to hire a full-time digital marketer for your business, you first would like to ask the people around, in your circle, for a recommendation. 

So that can be one task, another can be to put your requirement on job boards, and so on. 

You need to assess how much time it can take and put a time restraint on it, like a month or two months, tops. 

Launching Your First Product 

So, suppose you are an entrepreneur but more of a service provider, so far, basically trading money for your time. 

But now you want to productize your skill or business and want to make some passive income while you deal with only selected top clients. 

So, it can be anything ranging from an online video course to an ebook. You may have been a content creator with a significant amount of audience who will be your potential buyers. 

So, launching your first product isn’t a piece of cake, especially if you are starting out. But then, with the right goal-setting, planning, and utilizing the resources, you will be able to pull it off. 

This definitely calls for setting a SMART goal for this year or so, Since SMART goals are about being specific, reasonable, and time-restrain, you need to be : 

  • Specific with the type of product you want to sell 
  • Being reasonable with your goal, perhaps aim to sell only 100 ebooks at first 
  • Take a humble deadline for creating and selling the product 

Create A Marketing Plan For Your New Business 

You may be just starting out your business or an aspiring entrepreneur; in that case, setting up SMART goals right from your first years makes all the difference. 

Creating your goals on the SMART parameters that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Time-Bound will increase the chances of achieving them. 

One of the crucial aspects of a business in the first year is marketing. So creating an active, sustainable, and consistent marketing plan can help you reach out to a more targeted audience.

Your marketing plan must stand tall on the parameters of SMART goals, such as : 

How To Make It Specific? 

Your marketing plan must have a specific outline. 

For example, do not focus too much on every social media or marketing channel, rather than aim specifically for one, 

So, that means, for the first year, you will be focusing on one social media channel like Instagram or Youtube. 

This will redirect your marketing efforts towards one particular direction to penetrate a market or an audience and then perhaps expand later. 

So, make sure you include all the information regarding your marketing plan, required steps, and overall soft vision for the year. 

How To Make It Measurable? 

Your marketing plan won’t be a smart goal if you cannot measure it. 

For example, if your goal is as specific as focusing on Instagram to grow your audience but not as measurable as achieving 10,000 followers in a year or six months, then it won’t work. 

So, you need to have a goal that can be measured, so you must have a way to find out whether you are successful in it or not. 

Also, measurable goals allow you to track progress so you would know how well you are doing and which areas to work on. 

How To Make It Achievable?

Your marketing goals must be something that you can achieve considering your resources, skills, past experiences, given deadlines, and other factors.

For example, you need to give yourself a generous deadline for achieving a goal. 

Also, it is essential to spend a lot of time in market research and analysis to create a good marketing plan so it is achievable.  

How To Make It Relevant?

You can’t make your marketing goals on the basis of temporary vision, something so short-timer that it might not work long-term. 

You need to have a solid marketing plan which serves your business in the long run. Your current set goals must be relevant to the overall vision for the business. 

Not to forget, your marketing efforts must also be aligned to your brand identity and your target prospects. 

How To Make It Time-Bound?

This is certainly the most important aspect of setting a SMART goal, where you need to make it a deadline or time frame for it. 

So your marketing goals and all the tasks or sub-goals must have individual deadlines moving towards the final one. 

Pay Off $10,000 Business Debt Within 24 Months 

One of the essential goals of a business is gaining control of your business finance to gain complete freedom for further investments. 

And it won’t be possible without paying off your debts. It is also one of the challenging parts of the business. 

After all, until you pay off your business debts, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the profits of the business. 

So, paying off a gigantic amount of your business debt in a certain time frame can be a great SMART goal to set. 

Since it needs to be SMART and stands on the following parameters 

How To Make It Specific?

Make your goal specific. In this case, you have to decide on a set amount you want to pay off in the given time. 

Ideally, paying off $10,000 of your debts can be a great relief. 

However, depending upon how much debt you have, you can set it accordingly, but it certainly needs to be a little ambitious on your side.  

How To Make It Measurable? 

By deciding the exact amount you want to be paid off and the time duration for it, you can measure how much so far you have been given. 

Also, the better way to measure the progress of your goal is to break it down into sub-goals. 

Such as, you can decide to pay at least $400 per month, so as you move forward, you can measure how much money you have paid off so far. 

How To Make It Achievable?

You can definitely go for paying $10,000 in 24 months, but it is essential to evaluate the situation and its practicality of it. 

If you have to see how it will be possible to achieve this, what things you can do. Maybe stop spending excessively, or encourage vendors to pay on time and in full. 

And in case you see there is no way you can do it or it just impacts other aspects, it is better to go for a more generous ambition. 

How To Make It Relevant?

You need to highlight what opportunities and development you will gain after fulfilling this debt in a given time. 

How it helps you in the long run or the overall vision of the business? You need to reassure the relevance of this goal to the bigger picture. 

How To Make It Time-Bound? 

Set a time limit to your goal, which must be reasonable and achievable for you considering the given scenario. 

As for this example, you will be completing this goal in 24 months. 

Increase New Customer Reviews/ Testimonials By 30% Every Year 

One of the key components of a company’s growth or personal brand’s growth is about their brand awareness in the market. 

Whether you are an entrepreneur providing services or a small business with few products, you need to spread your brand awareness to increase sales. 

So, one of your SMART goals must be to achieve this for your business. And that can very well be increasing your new customer reviews by 30% every year over a year. 

Now, let’s see how you can make it a SMART goal : 

How To Make It Specific? 

You have already decided that you will increase the customer reviews by 30 percent every year and achieve it in a year. So that’s quite specific. 

It can be customized even more depending upon how more you can define it for yourself and your marketing plan. 

How To Make It Measurable? 

To measure it, it is essential to break it down into monthly targets. It can be calculated towards your primary yearly goal and then break it down for the month. 

Or you can go for a specific number of reviews to get every month. 

So, you need to make sure that at least over 30 percent of your total new customer for the month must submit their reviews. 

And tracking that in the monthly report, you can measure its progress. 

How To Make It Achievable? 

If you have achieved something earlier in the year, you can most likely believe that it is totally achievable. 

The percentage you set just is not something very far from what you have ever achieved. 

So rather than going for an industry-standard or ideal average, go for a bigger number around your previous success or previous best so far. 

You can first achieve that, build consistency, and then set another SMART goal next year of achieving a 40 percent hike. 

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