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Setting SMART Goals for Your Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

May 30, 2024


Did you know that businesses that set specific goals are 10 times more likely to succeed? Setting clear, actionable goals can be the difference between business growth and stagnation. Whether you're a startup looking to establish your market presence or an established business aiming to scale, SMART goals provide a structured approach to achieving your marketing objectives.

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This framework ensures that your goals are clear, focused, and attainable, which is crucial for business growth. Without clear goals, it’s easy to lose direction and motivation. SMART goals provide a roadmap, making it easier to track progress and stay on course.

By setting SMART goals, you’re not just defining what you want to achieve; you’re also outlining how you plan to achieve it and by when. This clarity helps align your team’s efforts, improve productivity, and increase your chances of success.

Breaking Down Each Component


A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general one. For example, instead of saying "increase website traffic," a specific goal would be "increase website traffic by 20% in the next 3 months." Specific goals answer the questions: What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? Which resources or limits are involved?

Being specific helps eliminate ambiguity and provides a clear direction. It’s about pinpointing exactly what you want to achieve so that you can focus your efforts and resources effectively. Specificity also helps communicate your goals clearly to your team and digital agency, ensuring everyone is on the same page.


Measurable goals help you track your progress and stay motivated. Use metrics like sales numbers, website visits, or social media engagement to quantify your goals. When you measure your progress, you stay on track and reach your target dates.

For example, a measurable goal might be "increase sales by 15% over the next quarter." This goal has a clear metric (sales increase) and a specific timeframe (the next quarter), making it easy to track and assess progress. Measurement provides accountability and motivation, and a clear metric to determine success. 


Your goals should be challenging yet attainable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and burnout, so making sure your goals are realistic in terms of your resources and budget constraints is essential. An achievable goal should stretch your abilities but still remain possible.

For example, if your current monthly sales are $10,000, setting a goal to reach $100,000 in the next month may not be realistic. However, aiming for $12,000 may be enough of a change to be noticed, but not so difficult that it’s impossible to reach, encouraging you to put in the effort to attain them.


Goals should be relevant to your overall business strategy, and aligned with other goals consistent with your long-term vision. For instance, a goal to increase social media followers should tie into your broader marketing plan and business objectives, helping your efforts contribute to your overall business direction.

For example, if your business goal is to expand your market presence, setting a relevant goal might be "increase brand awareness through social media campaigns by 25% over the next six months." This goal supports your broader objective of market expansion and ensures your efforts are contributing to the bigger picture.


A goal without a timeline is just a wish. Setting a deadline creates urgency and accountability. For example, "increase email newsletter subscribers by 15% in the next six months." Time-bound goals provide a sense of urgency, helping you to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively.

Having a deadline also allows you to break your goal down into smaller, manageable tasks. For instance, to increase email subscribers by 15% in six months, you might set monthly or weekly targets, making it easier to monitor progress and stay on track. Time-bound goals ensure that your objectives are not left open-ended and provide a clear timeframe for achieving them.

How to Implement SMART Goals in Your Business

Identify Business Objectives: 

Start by identifying your overarching business objectives. What are the main goals you want to achieve this year? These could be related to revenue growth, market expansion, product development, or customer satisfaction.

Break Down Objectives: 

Break these objectives into smaller, SMART goals. For example, if your objective is to increase revenue, a SMART goal might be "increase online sales by 10% in the next quarter."

Write Down Goals: 

Clearly write down each goal, ensuring it meets the SMART criteria. Documenting your goals makes them tangible and provides a reference point for tracking progress.

Assign Responsibilities: 

Determine who will be responsible for achieving each goal. Assigning clear roles ensures accountability and clarifies who is in charge of specific tasks and objectives.

Review Regularly: 

Regularly review and adjust your goals as needed. Business environments change, and it's important to remain flexible. Regular reviews help you stay on track and make necessary adjustments to stay aligned with your overall objectives.

Tools and Resources

Use tools like Google Analytics, project management software, and CRM systems to monitor your progress and stay on track. These tools provide valuable insights and data that help you measure your progress and make informed decisions. For instance, project management tools can help you organise tasks and deadlines, while Google Analytics can track website traffic and user engagement.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid setting vague goals, being overly ambitious, or neglecting to review and adjust your goals regularly. These pitfalls can derail your progress and hinder your success. Setting vague goals like "improve customer service" without specifying how or by when makes it difficult to measure success.

Being overly ambitious can lead to burnout and frustration. It's important to set realistic and attainable goals that motivate rather than overwhelm you. Additionally, failing to review and adjust goals can result in missed opportunities and misaligned efforts. Regular reviews help ensure your goals remain relevant and achievable as circumstances change.

How We Think Digital Can Help

We specialise in helping businesses excel in the digital space. From SEO to website builds, our team is here to support you every step of the way, helping you define clear, actionable goals and develop strategies to achieve them. Whether you need assistance with digital marketing, website development, or data analysis, we provide the tools and expertise to drive your business forward.


Setting SMART goals is a powerful way to drive business success. By being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you can create a roadmap to achieve your business objectives. SMART goals provide clarity, focus, and motivation, making it easier to track progress and stay on course.

Book a discovery call today - we’re here to help you set and achieve your SMART goals, ensuring your business thrives in a competitive market.

Article By
Anna McDonald

Anna is a multi-hyphenate with a background in politics and languages who has spent the last decade working in tourism, marketing and hospitality. She knows her way around the floor of a restaurant, has read more menus than some people have books and currently crafts creative copy and content for businesses and brands.