How setting SMART goals can help your business?

How setting SMART goals can help your business?

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How to set a goal that will be specific, measurable and focus the company on certain tasks?

One of the most effective goal setting approaches is the SMART method. In this article, we will analyze what SMART goals are and how to use them to improve business (or any process) performance.

What are SMART goals

SMART is a goal setting method. The SMART framework allows you to formulate a specific and measurable goal at the goal-setting stage, determine the time frame and the necessary resources to achieve it. SMART goals are realistic and specific goals with a deadline. An example of a personal SMART goal is to improve your English level to C1 by November.

A SMART goal should be:

S – Specific;

M – Measurable;

A – Achievable;

R – Relevant;

T -Time bound;


SMART goal is specific and unambiguous, it cannot be interpreted in different ways. The goal should focus and set the direction of work. If the goal is not formulated specifically, the likelihood that when completing tasks, everyone will run in different directions, increases significantly. SMART-goal is equally understood and interpreted.

Things to remember:

SMART goal answers the question: “What to do?”: increase the average number of views for videos on the Youtube channel, increase traffic to the site, open 3 new offices. One SMART goal – one result. A company may have several priority development areas, in which case there is one goal for each priority.

Questions for setting a specific SMART goal:

  • What result do you want to achieve with the chosen goal?
  • Why this particular goal will help achieve the desired result?
  • Does the chosen goal fit the company’s strategy?


A SMART goal is measured in quantitative terms, by which we determine how close the company is to the result. If the goal is not expressed in a quantitative indicator, it will be impossible to determine at what stage the entire process to achieve the result. SMART goals have specific evaluation criteria.

Things to remember:

A SMART goal is measured in quantitative terms – increase website traffic by 10%, open 2 new points of sale, increase the number of new users to 100,000 per day.

Questions for setting a measurable SMART goal:

  • How to understand that the goal has been achieved?
  • What indicator needs to be worked on to achieve the goal?

Achievable or Attainable:

Achievable Goal Achievable or Attainable means that the SMART goal is realistic. Goals should open up new opportunities. When setting a goal, it is necessary to rely on past experience and company resources: data on growth over the past months, the level of skills in the team, and the volume of future investments. If the goal is too ambitious and there are no resources to achieve it, it can demotivate the team and harm the business.

Things to remember:

The SMART goal is formulated based on the company’s capabilities: the experience and knowledge of employees, the volume of investments, and the market situation.

Unattainable goals demotivate the team. The feeling that the goal is unattainable, makes employees uninvolved.

The goal must be ambitious. Understated performance does not motivate the team to achieve results and will not take the company to a new level of development.

It is better to meet an ambitious goal by 80% than to exceed an ordinary one.

Questions for setting an achievable SMART goal:

  • Is it realistic to achieve this goal in a timely manner?
  • What can hinder the achievement of the result?
  • Is the experience and knowledge of the team sufficient to achieve the goal?

When formulating a SMART goal, it is necessary to strike a balance between unrealistic expectations and at the same time not underestimate the result. The goal should be both ambitious and achievable.


Meaningful goal The SMART framework goal should be in line with current market trends and company needs. A meaningful goal brings us closer to achieving global strategic objectives.

Things to remember:

A meaningful SMART goal is consistent with the company’s strategic stakes and does not conflict with other goals. Achieving a significant goal should take the company to a new level of development.

Questions for setting a meaningful SMART goal:

  • What benefits will the company get after achieving the goal?
  • Does the chosen goal fit the company’s strategy?
  • What happens if the goal is not achieved?

When you set meaningful goals, achieving them is followed by real benefits for the company.

Time bound:

The SMART goal is limited in time. The optimal time to achieve the goal is three months, six months or a year. Longer timeframes can defocus the team. If a goal is set for three years, there is a high probability that some employees will forget about it, another part will already leave the company, and the goal itself will lose its relevance.

Things to remember:

Decompose long-term goals – if the goal is more than three months old, define intermediate stages. They help to control the movement towards the result. Goals with deadlines longer than a year may be forgotten. The maximum acceptable period is one year.

Questions for setting a time-limited SMART goal:

  • How long will it take to reach the goal?
  • Into what intermediate stages will the goal be broken down?
  • A goal with a specific end date helps to determine the progress of teams and plan tasks for a set period.

SMART method:

  • Focuses teams on specific tasks. A specific and realistic goal is easier to break down into tasks to achieve it.
  • Allows you to evaluate how close we are to the goal. It is convenient for teams to track the result when the goal is measurable.
  • Simplifies team communication. All team members know what result the company is striving for, no time is wasted on explanations.
  • Increases the chances of success. The SMART method simplifies the goal-setting process and the probability of setting the right goal increases markedly.

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