For many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic quashed any goals set at the beginning of the year. Instead of worrying if your business is going to make it or not, take a deep breath, step back and look at your situation objectively. (If you need a business coach, let me know. I’ve got a guy.)
One of the challenges depends on your business. Some local retail stores and restaurants can open under the social distancing guidelines. But if you depend on the leisure or business travel industries, it may be a while. That “not knowing” makes it difficult for the “time-bound” part of SMART goal setting.
When setting goals for your marketing and everything else in your business, it’s important to make them SMART goals. Here’s why:
- You set them in small bites that you can handle.
- They’re doable.
- You know if you hit (or missed) the mark.
What use is setting a goal if you can’t know if you’ve reached it or not?
No matter what is going on, the good, old-fashioned marketing principles still apply:
- Know your target market and do your research
- Have a unique selling proposition
- Have consistent brand messaging
What’s changed is the media and the many marketing choices you have to reach your target.
Here’s how to make your marketing goals SMART:
Specific: “Making more money” is not specific enough. Start with how much you want to make in the next year, then divide it by 12. Based on that number, how many new clients, repeat clients, sales (whatever) do you need to reach that monetary goal each month. Here’s a sample of a specific goal:
2 new clients each month
Measurable: Give your goal a set number. Continuing with the above goal, the question is: what do we have to do get 2 new clients per month? Let’s say you need to start with 10 hot leads. Given a 1% acquisition or conversion rate from your website, you need to have…
1000 visitors to your website each month.
Attainable: Is 1000 visitors to your website each month attainable? Sure, but you have to put in a little sweat equity. The more you blog, the more visitors you attract. That’s 250 visitors per week. If every time you post a blog post and share it on social media, you generate 100 visits to your site, then you need to do…
2-3 blog posts a week.
Realistic: OK. Now let’s get real. Can you manage to put out 2-3 blog posts a week? Yes. However, that takes time. But it’s time well spent if it’s going to attract the new clients you need to reach that monetary goal!
Time-bound: Now, you’ve got 30 days in which to reach your goal. Going month-to-month is way easier to handle than a whole year at a time. At the end of the month, look at your analytics.
- How many posts did you write?
- How many people visited the site?
- How many converted (signed-up, downloaded, etc.)?
- How many new clients did you get?
- Where did the visitors come from? Social media? Google?
- Which blog posts were most popular? Do more of those.
You have to check your analytics at the end of each month to know what’s working or not working.
Did you reach your goals?
Yes? Then keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working! Set the goals a little higher for next month.
No? Then why?
- Did you not blog enough? Well, this one is simple. Blog more.
- Did you blog, but the visitors didn’t convert? Ah, were they turned off by your website? Did they get lost? Was there no clear call-to-action?
- Did you not share the content on social media? It all works together, you know.