The former top-flight rivals will begin their bid for the second tier title at Ibrox, with Hibernian also set to be in the mix in the coming months.
After two straightforward title wins, the Championship will provide Ally McCoist's side with the sternest test of the 'The Journey' so far and Smith is relishing the challenge.
"When we played [Dundee] United back in April, I was sitting with the boys on the bus and it felt like we were off to a big game," he told rangers.co.uk
"It was the first time in a while it was like that where we were about to play in a proper match. It was the way it used to be and the way it should be. When you're playing the likes of Hearts and Hibs and you're playing the other teams that are in the division, it's going to be really good.
"We played Queen of the South in the Ramsdens Cup last season and they gave us a tough game. It was the same against Raith and against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup.
"Last year we gave everyone the respect they deserved and next year we'll do the same because we know what a hard campaign it will be. Everything will be dictated by what we do. We'll work hard and every time we play we'll try to win. That will always be our main objective."