When I was 14 I volunteered at a local triathlon and was absolutely inspired.

So starting at zero base to start from, for the next almost decade countless hours were spent in the pool doing drills, on the bike logging miles, and on the road building endurance. I wasn’t just messing around, I was training with purpose. 

That’s the magic of a clear goal.

Whether you reach it or not, a goal does make your actions more purposeful. 

So, that’s where we start with a marketing plan. We need a solid goal to chase. Something to give our actions purpose. 

Our business goals need to be the same way – with purpose and smart (sorry, I also hate this overused term).

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Aggressive

  • Realistic

  • Time-Bound 

Yes, I know, you’ve heard it before, but don’t get too caught up on the acronym and business jargon. There’s a simple path to creating SMART goals. Here’s how it works…

First, you need to get above the hassles of today and look into the future. One of the questions we ask every client in our process is to paint a picture of the business they want to exist exactly two years from that day.

This is called future-setting. Two years is the sweet spot because it’s far enough out that you can separate from the emergencies of today, but it’s also close enough to feel real and attainable.

Give it a whirl – Imagine it’s 2 years from whenever you are reading this, complete the prompts below to paint a picture of the business you want to exist. Be aggressive, but not ridiculous with your vision.

  • What is your total revenue? 
  • How does it break down between products/services? 
  • Who are your customers? 
  • What are you known for as an organization?

Answering the above questions gives us a snapshot of the business we’re going to make a reality. Now we just need to translate everything into a SMART goal.

Let’s walk through an example to show how this process works.

Let’s say we’re a web design company that’s introducing a new product offering and want that particular service to generate $15,000 in MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) and $200,000 in annual revenue within 24 months. In our future-setting exercise it is determined that the signature service will be Zero Initial Cost Site Builds for Restaurant/Food Cart websites with monthly hosting and changes at $100 per month.

Now let’s refocus our answers from above into a SMART goal that looks something like this….

Acquire an average of 8 restaurant/food cart clients per month for new zero-down websites at $100 per client (per month) to reach $15,000 of MRR and $200,000 in annual revenue by October 28, 2022 (2 years from original publication date).

This gives us a sizeable target for our new service as well as an immediate action (8 new restaurant clients in November) and a clear path to achieving that goal as indicated by this chart:

Month New Websites Revenue (Monthly) Revenue (Gross)
November 8 $800 $800
December 16 $1,600 $2,400
January 24 $2,400 $4,800
February 32 $3,200 $8,000
March 40 $4,000 $12,000
April 48 $4,800 $16,800
May 56 $5,600 $22,400
June 64 $6,400 $28,800
July 72 $7,200 $36,000
August 80 $8,000 $44,000
September 88 $8,800 $52,800
October 96 $9,600 $62,400
November 104 $10,400 $72,800
December 112 $11,200 $84,000
January 120 $12,000 $96,000
February 128 $12,800 $108,800
March 136 $13,600 $122,400
April 144 $14,400 $136,800
May 152 $15,200 $152,000
June 160 $16,000 $168,000
July 168 $16,800 $184,800
August 176 $17,600 $202,400
September 184 $18,400 $220,800
October 192 $19,200 $240,000


You’ll note that we didn’t include any churn rate for this exercise which is something that you may want to consider. Normally we would do that. With the simplified approach above we merely added extra time in the model to counteract any churn.

We now have a specific, measurable, aggressive (but realistic), and time-bound goal to chase. We have milestones every month to see if we’re staying on track and we can easily pivot, if necessary, to maintain momentum toward our bigger goal. 

I used a service business for example, but remember that this approach works for any type of business. 

Your Assignment

  1. In your Google Drive folder titled “Marketing Plan” where your Brand Positioning Planner should be living create a document titled “Goal” and complete the future-setting exercise above along with the conversion to your SMART goal. 
  2. Email me for help if you’re struggling with your goals. I’ll help you work through everything. Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need to get where you need to be. 

Next post is all about strategy…It’s like playing the game Risk but way more fun, and productive.