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Last week on our blog we posted a framework for business that would help you develop your social media strategy. Part of that framework included setting goals so your business can achieve its overall business objective.

How should you set goals for your business?

The secret to effective goal setting is to write down your goals and I would recommend using the SMART approach. A study into setting goals at Harvard found that individuals with clear, written goals are significantly more likely to achieve their goals than those without clearly defined goals.

What is the SMART approach?

Everytime you set yourself a goal, in business or in any area of your life, you should ask yourself does this goal meet the SMART criteria to make it a SMART goal? SMART approach is defined as:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Specific – Is your goal specific? Goals should be clearly written and defined. I am going to achieve what by when, how and why. For example, if I work in life assurance sales and I have a weekly target of €1500 in sales commission per week.  I know that for every 5 clients I meet I will sell to 3 of them and the average sale commission per client is €500. My specific goal could be:

By 3 pm every Friday, I will have arranged at least 5 client meetings for next week (what by when) by contacting existing customers to review their existing business and by contacting new client referrals from my office (how) because for every 5 clients I meet, I will sell to 3 at an average commission of €500 generating my weekly target of €1500 (Why).


Measurable – Can you measure the goal/results?   Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal. By 3pm every Friday, I will know whether or not I achieved my goal of 5 client meetings for the coming week.


Attainable – Every goal should be attainable!  Every goal should stretch you so you feel challenged, but each goal should be defined well enough so that each is attainable, e.g If I ensure I have 5 meetings I will generate my 3 sales to my target. As Henry Ford said “nothing is particularly hard if you break it into small jobs”.

Every goal should be attainable within the set time frame otherwise the goal will be unrealistic and may serve to de-motivate.


Realistic & Results Orientated – Goals should be realistic to achieve and goals should measure outcomes. For example, the result of this goal should be to generate €1500 in weekly sales.


Timely – A time frame should be set for each goal. By setting a time-frame for each goal it creates a sense of urgency to deliver that goal. Without setting a time frame, the goal is unlikely to produce a relevant outcome.


I hope this guide helps you when setting your goals for your business. Most importantly, when you have set your SMART goals and written them down, as an individual you should review your goals on a daily basis and as a team they should be reviewed at least once a week. Best of luck!

Cathal Quinn