With the first week of the new year officially behind us, you’re probably well on your way to making good on your business’ 2013 resolutions. Perhaps you have vowed to become more active on your social networks. Maybe one of your goals is to increase overall visits to your website. Or you may have resolved to nurture your current clients in a more meaningful and lasting way. Whatever you’re determined to improve for your business in the new year, we’re here to cheer you on!
One important thing to remember, though: setting the right types of goals and establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is paramount to keeping any resolution. You can do this by creating a plan of action for how you’ll keep those resolutions along with some incremental objectives for you to work towards. We often fall prey to the habit of setting goals that aren’t entirely attainable or perhaps are too ambiguous to work towards. So it’s also vital that the goals you’re putting forth are both realistic and attainable for you and your staff.
One great way to ensure that your goals will be reached while propelling you down the path to keeping those resolutions is to make sure you’re setting S.M.A.R.T. goals — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. These goals should always involve completion of certain activities that all lead back to achieving a desirable outcome.
- Specific: Your goals should be as specific and as detailed as possible. The first thing you’ll want to do when evaluating your goals is verify that it’s explicitly clear with expected outcomes that are defined. So begin with a goal in mind and focus on which specific outcomes you want when developing that goal.
- Measurable: Once you’ve determined what you’re trying to achieve and how you plan on achieving it, make sure that the goal is measurable. If you set a goal to have a better, more attractive website, for example, that’s not really something you can measure. Quantitative data/information is key here. So in this particular scenario, one way to transform this subjective goal in to one that’s more concrete and tangible is to set a goal of revamping/reorganizing one page of your site a week.
- Attainable: You’ll also want to make sure that your goal is attainable and within the realm of possibility for you and your staff. While you may have to make changes and stretch to reach a certain goal, those changes shouldn’t be detrimental to your business model and shouldn’t be extreme in nature.
- Realistic: Is the goal you’ve set forth something that you can realistically work towards within in your day-to-day environment given the time and resources you have available? For example, if one of your goals is to send personal hand-written thank you notes to all of your clients by the end of the month as a part of an enhanced client nurturing program, is that something that you can realistically commit the time to while still maintaining the other aspects of your business that need to keep moving?
- Time-sensitive: Goals should always be laid out with time frames and deadlines attached to them. One of the main reasons for this is to prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle as other daily tasks encroach on your schedule. Also, whatever tasks you set aside for you to be able to do today, you should also feasibly be able to do in the days, weeks and months ahead.
By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for your business in 2013, you’re making strides in the right direction down the path to keeping – and maybe even surpassing – all of your new year’s resolutions. Best of luck to you on the journey!
Share what your business’ marketing goals are for 2013 in the comments below!