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Inbound Marketing Blog

Time to Get Real – Start Setting SMART Goals

Time to Get Real – Start Setting SMART Goals

By Jordan Staugler May 08 2015 Business Strategy

Goal setting is probably one of the hardest things marketers in the manufacturing industry have to do. You must choose a goal that's lofty, but not too lofty. And it's possible you have no idea what "lofty" is anyway -- for marketers implementing brand new activities, picking the right goals (and then tackling them) can feel like a guessing game. The same goes for every industry.

To help you eliminate the “pulling numbers out of your ass” feeling and actually setting the right goals for your company, I’ve written this incredible blog that will help you set yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even daily goals that are realistic, measurable and help you figure out how to actually hit those goals with….what do you call it? Oh, yes, a strategic plan!

SMART Goals

Specific: Be clear, concise & specific. Refer to actual facts and concrete figures.

  • Amazing goals are well-defined and focused. For example, “Obtain 5 new out-of-state clients in the Midwest manufacturing market” is more meaningful to motivate your team than “Get more business.” Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy, eloquently states, "Focus creates a powerful force: goal power. The moment you focus on a goal, your goal becomes a magnet, pulling you and your resources toward it. The more focused your energies, the more power you generate."

Measurable: The goal must be able to be measured in units or in any other metric.

  • A goal without a measurable outcome is like playing tee-ball in the 3rd grade, and while your team clearly has more runs because of your grand slam, the coaches call it a “tie” because they “weren’t keeping score.” Sorry, I digress. Numbers are an essential part of business. By putting concrete numbers in your goals, it allows you to know if you’re on track. A goal board (white board, chalk board, tack board) posted in your office can help be a daily reminder to keep yourself and your employees focused on the results you want to achieve.

Attainable: The goal must be attainable or achievable. It must not be something out of reach or too ambitious (my childhood goal, to beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, is a good example). If the goal is too ambitious and never achieved, employee morale may suffer (I suffered).

  • On a regular basis, organizations set goals beyond that are clearly out of reach. No one has ever built a billion dollar business overnight. Dream big—the sky's the limit—but remember to keep one foot firmly based in reality. If you haven’t already, check with your industry association or colleagues in your field to get a handle on realistic growth to set your SMART goals.

Realistic: The goal should be realistic in what it sets out to achieve with the available resources and time frame.

  • Realistic business goals are based on the company’s current conditions and realities of the industry climate and trends. You may want to have your best year in business or increase net revenue by 40%, but if a recession is looming and 4 new competitors opened in your market, then your goals aren’t relevant to the realities of the market.

Time Bound: Lock your goals into a doable time frame. The time line or due dates you set must also be realistic and achievable. None of this “Increase net revenue by 50% this quarter.”

  • Business goals and objectives either don’t get done or keep getting pushed down the priority list when there's no time frame established. Whether your business goal is to increase quarter two’s revenue by 20% or find 10 new clients in 2015, be sure to determine a realistic time-frame to accomplish your goal(s).

SMART Goal Sample

So what does one of these SMART goals look like? Based on the acronym, our example would state:

““Obtain 3 new million-dollar clients in the Ohio manufacturing market by the end of this fiscal year through networking and inbound marketing strategies.”

Once your company’s goals are SMART, take some time and break down each goal into a specific set of tasks and activities to accomplish your goals. It’s crucial to not forget these goals and to periodically review them, making adjustments as needed. Goal setting for your manufacturing business is an essential tool for success. Don’t be dumb, be SMART!

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About the Author

Jordan Staugler

Jordan spices up our mix with his love for analytics. He is a social media expert and can strategize campaigns to increase your ROI. He came to our company bringing his film and magazine background he gained from working in the Cincinnati market. He spends his free time on Twitter or consulting his pug, Bailey!