2020 is off to a roaring start as everything in marketing hits the accelerator and we move quickly into new initiatives. It’s no different over here as we set goals for 2020 and make our plans to achieve them. We’re going to tackle how W3 Affinity makes goals and the steps to reach them.
Make your goals SMART
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-Sensitive
Make goals Specific
Making goals specific helps narrow the focus on what you’re going to do. “I’m going to grow my business” is more of a dream than a goal. How much are you going to grow this year? Setting a specific amount, number, figure or task to achieve sets the stage for whether the rest of the letters in SMART can be applied to it. A goal of “I’m going to grow my business 50%” is specific and can be measured, possibly achievable, and can have a deadline applied to it.
Make goals Measurable
If your goal isn’t measurable, how do you know if you’re trending towards obtaining it? If you want to grow your business 50% because you’ve set that specific goal, how do you measure the success over the time frame you’ve set to achieve your goal? With this specific goal, using a round number of $1,000,000 in revenue becomes a goal of $1,500,000. Now you can set incremental goals to help you achieve this. If your year is steady, it might be that by June you’ve reached 1,250,000 so that you know you’re on pace to reach your goal. If you’re seasonal and know that a certain time of year provides a rise in business or based on monthly retainers and know that to hit your goal, it must be done at a prime time (for instance, a retainer in January is 12x revenue vs one in July is 6x and so on). These goals have to be watched more carefully or the measure of success moves too quickly to hit the mark.
Make goals Achievable
This is a major part of goal setting. Make it achievable! There is no harm in setting a goal of 50% and nailing it in 2nd quarter and raising that goal to 100% because of this, great work! Making goals something you can reach is a mental state that can help you accelerate or stop everything. Ever felt “Well, we missed it, oh well” and then never reset the bar? That is where growth goes to die.
Do not make goals so easy to achieve you can kick your feet up and it happens. Goals should stretch you as a human and as a company. Make sure they require energy.
Make goals Relevant
Quite possibly the hardest to qualify is the “make it relevant” goal. As an individual, making a goal for yourself, that is something that YOU want to achieve, is easy. As a company, having a mutual goal among the entire team is something that can be difficult. This is why hiring a true team with a shared vision couldn’t be more important. How can you expect the entire organization to trek towards a goal if they don’t believe in it as well? Make goals that everyone can get behind and make everyone a stakeholder in that goal.
Make goals time-sensitive
Setting a timeline for this goal is more than a date on the calendar. It sets the pace towards completion, allows you to plan the stages of how/when to achieve portions of the goal and puts a clock on the wall to get things done.
If you have a year to get your goal completed, you know there are items every month, week, day that you need to do to make this goal reachable. If you’re not completing your monthly duties, you’re not going to hit your mark, the same with the weekly/daily items. If you start reducing phone calls, emails, advertising because things are going well, then you’ll quickly find out that the requirements for the remaining portion of that year are more burdensome.
Be held accountable
This is often left out when planning goals. You get your SMART goals written down and off to work you go. The trouble is, you get inundated with more tasks every day in personal and business life and often you reach a point where items that seem more important take your eye off the prize. Have someone, or a team of people, who stand there holding those responsible for the goal accountable. Whether it is a daily check-in or weekly status check, have some way of being held accountable to reaching your goals.
Check back often
This is your chance to make adjustments, reset the playing field and possibly move the goal post further out. We check in every month at a minimum to see how goals are going. Growth goals are often being broken here at W3, so when we see that it’d be easy to pull across the finish line for our annual goal, we move the goal post and increase the challenge. Take this time to look at the trend toward your goal, is it up or down? If it’s down, try to identify the cause and work towards improvements. The cause could be motivation, loss of clarity, or schedules that just simply don’t accommodate the goals. Clean the plates, slate time for the goal and get everyone back on task.