Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 1 – Specific

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This article breaks down the 1st part of a SMART goal setting, along with tips to help complete the section and applying it to your business planning.

Most business owners are aware of how important a business plan is for the success of their businesses. It lays out the different goals that the business aims to achieve, along with the plan for achieving those specific goals. However, do we truly understand what should be included in setting a business goal? Both in our personal lives and in business, it is essential to have clear objectives!

Without goals we are not truly in charge of the direction we are heading, and usually end up drifting haphazardly hoping not to run into any problems that will set us back from success – which it’s also hard to measure success without having set goals to accomplish! So, what is one of the best ways to set a business goal, you may be asking? Well, we think it’s a smart idea to set SMART goals! These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Let’s take a look at what the 1st part of SMART goal setting is, along with Specific tips to help.


The first part of setting a goal is to be specific about what you are wanting to accomplish. The more specific you are about a goal, the more likely you will think of what needs to be planned around achieving this goal, which ultimately means you are more likely to attain that goal! This part can be broken down into 6 “W” questions to help specify your goals:

    • Who: Who needs to be involved for this goal to be realized? This is especially important when the goal involves a group project with numerous moving parts that will need many minds engaged.
    • What: What are you wanting to accomplish? Don’t be afraid to get VERY detailed with this question. Details are your best friend when it comes to planning!
    • Where: What locations will be involved for this goal to be accomplished? While this question may not apply to all goals you are setting, think if there is a specific location or event that will need to be used in order to complete this goal.
    • When: When do you need to accomplish this goal by? While you will get more detailed with this question in the “T” section of SMART goal setting, it is still important to set a time frame in order to make sure you are on track with your goal.
    • Why: What is the reason behind this goal? This question is vital to answer and will act as a guiding light when you lose motivation to achieve the goal or run into obstacles that seem insurmountable. Answering this question should leave you feeling motivated to tackle your goal and achieve success.
    • Which: Which obstacles and requirements are currently present to reach this goal, and which could occur in the future? Many goal-setting tips don’t include this question; however, we find it vital for planning ahead. Answering this question will help greatly in the “R” section of SMART goals, as seeing the obstacles ahead will help you decide how realistic your goal is.


It is easy to think up and say a goal such as “We are going to increase our revenue this year”. That is a great goal, what business owners don’t want to increase their revenue! However, how will you know when you have achieved that goal? To start off with a more specific goal, you could say something along the lines of “We are going to increase our revenue by 15% in the year 2021”, or “We are going to hit our sales revenue goal of $200,000 by December 2021”. By starting out with a more precise goal, you are then able to break it down into the above 6 “W” questions to further specify. For the people you need to involve, being able to articulate a specific goal with details will also be more meaningful. Context and details can be very effective in getting your team motivated and working towards achieving success together!

Are Your Business Goals SMART?

Goal setting can be fun! With the right understanding of what you are working towards, along with the specific details of how you plan on achieving it, you will have set a road map to achieve your business goals. Having a plan set out will also empower you to keep moving forward and seek resolution when you run into the bumps in the road – which will happen! Now that you have a better understanding of the Specifics of SMART goal setting, the question left to ask is: “Are your business goals Specific?”

As this is only the 1st step of 6 in SMART goal setting, we think it would be a smart idea to check out the next part in this series: “Tips for Setting SMART Goals for Your Business Plan: Part 2 – Measurable”.

Download the SMART Goal Setting: Specific – Template.

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