Business Goals 101: How to Set, Track, and Achieve Your Organization’s Goals with Examples

By Kate Eby | November 7, 2022

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Learning how to set concrete, achievable business goals is critical to your organization’s success. We’ve consulted seasoned experts on how to successfully set and achieve short- and long-term business goals, with examples to help you get started.

Included on this page, you’ll find a list of the different types of business goals , the benefits and challenges of business goal-setting, and examples of short-term and long-term business goals. Plus, find expert tips and compare and contrast business goal-setting frameworks.

What Are Business Goals?

Business goals are the outcomes an organization aims to achieve. They can be broad and long term or specific and short term. Business leaders set goals in order to motivate teams, measure progress, and improve performance.

David Bitton

“Business goals are those that represent a company's overarching mission,” says David Bitton, Co-founder and CMO of DoorLoop . “These goals typically cover the entire business and are vast in scope. They are established so that employees may work toward a common goal. In essence, business goals specify the ‘what’ of a company's purpose and provide teams with a general course to pursue.”

For more resources and information on setting goals, try one of these free goal tracking and setting templates .

Business Goals vs. Business Objectives

Many professionals use the terms business goal and business objective interchangeably. Generally, a business goal is a broad, long-term outcome an organization works toward, while a business objective is a specific and measurable task, project, or initiative. 

Think of business objectives as the steps an organization takes toward their broader, long-term goals. In some cases, a business objective might simply be a short-term goal. In most cases, business goals refer to outcomes, while business objectives refer to actionable tasks. 

“Business objectives are clear and precise,” says Bitton. “When businesses set out to achieve their business goals, they do so by establishing quantifiable, simply defined, and trackable objectives. Business objectives lay out the ‘how’ in clear, doable steps that lead to the desired result.”

For more information and resources, see this article on the key differences between goals and objectives.

Common Frameworks for Writing Business Goals

Goal-setting frameworks can help you get the most out of your business goals. Common frameworks include SMART, OKR, MBO, BHAG, and KRA. Learning about these goal-setting tools can help you choose the right one for your company.

Here are the common frameworks for writing business goals with examples:

Use the table below to compare the pros and cons of each goal-setting framework to help you decide which framework will be most useful for your business goals.

Types of Business Goals

A business goal is any goal that helps move an organization toward a desired result. There are many types of business goals, including process goals, development goals, innovation goals, and profitability goals.

Here are some common types of business goals:

What Are Business Goal Examples?

Business goal examples are real or hypothetical business goal statements. A business goal example can use any goal-setting framework, such as SMART, OKR, or KRA. Teams and individuals use these examples to guide them in the goal-setting process. 

For a comprehensive list of examples by industry and type, check out this collection of business goal examples.

What Are Short-Term Business Goals?

Short-term business goals are measurable objectives that can be completed within hours, days, weeks, or months. Many short-term business goals are smaller objectives that help a company make progress on a longer-term goal.

The first step in setting a short-term business goal is to clarify your long-term goals. 

Morgan Roth

“My practice is to start with an aspirational vision that is the framework for my long-term goals and to compare that ‘better tomorrow’ with the realities of today,” says Morgan Roth, Chief Communication Strategy Officer at EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases . “Once that framework of three to five major goals is drafted and I have buy-in, I can think about how we get there. Those will be my short-term goals.”

Bitton recommends using the SMART framework for setting short-term business goals to ensure that your team has structure and that their goals are achievable. “Determine which objectives can be attained in a reasonable amount of time,” she adds. “This will help you stay motivated. Your organization may suffer if you try to squeeze years-long ambitions into a month-long project.”

Short-Term Business Goal Examples

Companies can use short-term business goals to increase profits, implement new policies or initiatives, or improve company culture. We’ve gathered some examples of short-term business goals to help you brainstorm your own goal ideas. 

Here are three sample short-term business goals:

What Are Long-Term Business Goals?

A l ong-term business goal is an ambitious desired outcome for your company that is broad in scope. Long-term business goals might be harder to measure or achieve. They provide a shared direction and motivation for team members. 

“Long-term planning is increasingly difficult in our very complex and interconnected world,” says Roth. “Economically, politically, and culturally, we’re seeing sea changes in the way we live and work. Accordingly, it’s important to be thoughtful about long-term goal-setting, but not to the point where concerns stifle creativity and your ‘Big Ideas.’ A helpful strategy I employ is to avoid assumptions. Long-term planning should be based on what you know, not on what you assume will be true in some future state.”

Tip: You can turn most short-term goals into long-term goals by increasing their scope. For example, to turn the “increase market share” goal described above into a long-term goal, you might increase the target weekly customers from 600 to 2,000. This will likely take longer than a few months and might require expanding the store or opening new locations.

Long-Term Business Goal Examples

An organization can use long-term business goals to unify their vision, motivate workers, and prioritize short-term goals. We’ve gathered some examples of long-term business goals to guide you in setting goals for your business. 

Here are three sample long-term business goals:

Challenges of Setting Business Goals 

Although setting business goals has few downsides, teams can run into problems. For example, setting business goals that are too ambitious, inflexible, or not in line with the company vision can end up being counterproductive. 

Here are some common challenges teams face when setting business goals: 

Why You Need Business Goals

Every business needs to set clear goals in order to succeed. Business goals provide direction, encourage focus, improve morale, and spur growth. We’ve gathered some common benefits of goal-setting for your business. 

Here are some benefits you can expect from setting business goals:

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41 Business Goals Examples to Set in 2023 and Beyond

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What Are Business Goals?

4 goal frameworks with examples, manage business goals in weekdone.

Business Goals with Target and leaders

Organizations invest time and resources in determining where to target their collective efforts. Whether your business goals and objectives center on strategic planning, expansion, or sustainability, they are a pivotal point in the expansion of any organization. They assist in several ways, from enhancing customer service to boosting revenues. In the end, they contribute to establishing the company's main goal.

You may have come across many long-term and short-term goal-setting methodologies or frameworks in the business sector, such as Objectives and Key Results (OKR) , Balance Score Card (BSC), SMART goals, and so on. 

It's time to advance with a proactive, strategic strategy that prioritizes pressing problems and helps us avoid making snap judgments in the future. Let's go through the ultimate strategies for setting great business goals for 2023 and beyond.

Business goals are the aims that a company expects to achieve within a specific time frame. You may define business goals for your entire organization as well as specific departments, staff, management, and/or clientele.

Goals often indicate the wider purpose of a firm and seek to set an ultimate goal for staff to strive toward. The time period you set your goal for will determine whether it's considered short-term or long term.

Short term goals are usually those which can be achieved in one or two working quarters (3-6 months) sometimes maybe a year, depending on how committed the organization is.

Further, when thinking of a long term goal - it's typically one set with a date to accomplish within one year or more.

📚 What's the difference between goals and objectives ?

A goal framework is a systematic way of defining goals. Although these frameworks vary in terms of precise rules and methods, they are all intended to simplify the goal management process to maximize the probability of achievement. This generally entails breaking down larger and more complicated goals into smaller steps and activities that should be completed within a specific period.

The 4 goal-setting frameworks listed below are among the most widely used and successful frameworks available today.

4 goal setting frameworks - OKR, MBO, SMART, and BHAG

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

OKR stands for "Objective and Key Results." This popular goal management framework focuses on development and progress by setting proper quarterly goals - leveraging the ability of your teams to achieve results.

Using OKRs is critical for attaining collaborative success and fulfilling the organization's bigger vision. This framework helps businesses to keep alignment and engagement on the quantifiable metrics that actually matter!

OKR methodology entails defining objectives, involving individuals in the goal-setting exercise, and fostering an open and transparent culture. Maintaining this culture requires persistent and regular OKR check-ins to keep you on track and ensure you never lose sight of your priorities. OKRs have been embraced by many big corporations and charitable groups, including Netflix and Code for America.

Learn more about the best practices for tracking OKRs , why it is important, and how to use OKRs effectively throughout the company.

14-day full-feature trial for unlimited users. Invite your teams and set better business goals with OKRs

How to Write Good OKRs

Writing OKRs at the Company or Team level lets you clearly view your core challenges and improvement possibilities and separate them from day-to-day activities. Good objectives bring teams together, foster long-term growth habits, and propel you to success.

To create OKRs, you must first understand how to do them correctly. OKRs are composed of one main goal at the top and 3-5 accompanying key results. They may be expressed in the form of a statement.

Questions to help guide you in writing good OKRs - Weekdone Blog

Crafting Company Objectives

To begin, you need to create a corporate objective. The corporate goal should be wide enough to allow all teams to develop the most successful team goals. On the other hand, it should be detailed, so everyone understands the company's direction.

Ultimately, the company objective helps to establish a quarterly focus for the entire organization. Team objectives are then developed based on this high-level focus.

Developing Team Objectives

Once the company's Objective(s) is established, individual teams should work together to discuss their relative objectives. These motivating goals should be consistent with the general direction of the firm. They should create focus, a sense of urgency, and a sense of collective purpose. Furthermore, they are intended to represent challenges to be solved or possibilities for progress to be pursued during the quarter.

Pro Tip: In Weekdone , we recommend linking your team objectives to the company objective - creating the company OKR. This goal alignment tactic ensures that everything is moving as one cohesive organism.

Creating Key Results for Your Objectives

Objectives on all levels are subdivided into quantifiable key results used to track your success and progress toward the "O". As a result, key results they must be time-bound, detailed, attainable, and quantifiable. While the goal is to fix or enhance the problem, crucial findings indicate whether the problem was successfully solved.

Keep in mind: Efficient Key results are lofty but attainable metrics -they are not KPIs or projects. KR's are always tied to both the quarter and the objectives.

OKR Examples

By identifying some OKR examples to model and practice with, it will be much simpler to adopt the framework in your business effectively. Here are some example Objectives and their Key Results for different business departments:

Sales & Marketing Departmental OKR Examples

Example okr #1:.

Objective: Improve our overall sales performance. Key Result 1: Maintain a sales pipeline of quality leads worth at least $400K each quarter. Key Result 2: Increase the closure rate from 20% to 23%. Key Result 3: Increase the number of planned calls per sales rep from three to six per week. Key Result 4: Increase the average contract size from $12,000 to $124,000.

Example OKR #2:

Objective: Build a netbook of business recurring revenue to stabilize the firm. Key Result 1: Achieve $300,000 in monthly recurring revenue ($MRR) before the end of Q1. Key Result 2: Increase the proportion of subscription services sold against one-time contracts to 60%. Key Result 3: Increase the average paid subscription value to at least $400. Key Result 4: Increase the percentage of yearly renewals to 70%.

Example OKR #3:

Objective: Bring in as many high-quality leads to assist the sales team. Key Result 1: Develop three new case studies aimed at new consumer categories. Key Result 2:  Update the normal sales deck and discussion track with new products/offers. Key Result 3:  Try to double the number of online form leads. Key Result 4:  Organize two sales training sessions.

Example OKR #4:

Objective: Improve the quality of our outbound sales strategy. Key Result 1: Ensure that at least 75% of prospective parties are contacted directly within three working days. Key Result 2:   Consult with productive team members to determine what works in the sales process and develop a sales cheat sheet. Key Result 3: Publish a best practices sales process document with the lowest permitted service levels

Example OKR #5:

Objective: Generate sales leads of greater quality. Key Result 1: Create a set of lead metrics and prepare queries for CRM collection. Key Result 2:   Ensure that at least 75% of leads performed mandatory questions/answers. Key Result 3: Streamline the gathering of data from our database to CRM. Key Result 4: Redesign the user interaction form by adding three additional mandatory structured questionnaires.

Example OKR #6:

Objective : Extend our reach and brand recognition beyond our present geographic boundaries. Key Result 1:  Improve signups from transformational change leadership articles by 3% Key Result 2:  Boost publication subscriptions by 300 Key Result 3: Enhance web traffic from additional target areas by 12%.

Example OKR #7

Objective : Improve our SEO. Key Result 1: Get 20 fresh backlinks from relevant sites each quarter if your domain score exceeds 50. Key Result 2: Optimize our on-page optimization and improve ten pages every quarter. Key Result 3:  Increase the speed of our website to improve our speed score. Key Result 4:   Write one new blog article weekly optimized for our list of targeted search terms.

Example OKR #8

Objective : Foster a sense of community among our clients. Key Result 1:  Develop a best-practices-based customer community approach. Key Result 2:  During the first half of the year, produce 20 articles showing client satisfaction. Key Result 3:  We get 25% of our clients to engage in the community using discount opportunities. Key Result 4:  Earn five favorable PR mentions for our consumers this quarter.

Example OKR #9

Objective : Increase brand exposure and reputation. Key Result 1:  Roll out a new weekly magazine with valuable material and thought leadership. Key Result 2: Deliver five new value-added posts with over 250 words of content every month. Key Result 3: This quarter, obtain two favorable media exposure PR spots in our community. Key Result 4: Amass 10 reviews with five stars on Google and Yelp this quarter.

Example OKR #10

Objective : Deliberately and consistently enhance the competencies of our staff. Key Result 1:   Every member of the team has a personal growth plan. Key Result 2:  All workers have received 360-degree feedback. Key Result 3: Every manager has a one-on-one at least every other week. Key Result 4: Create a strategy for effective intervention opportunities to address capacity shortfalls.

SMART Goals for Business

SMART goals for business

SMART business goals give you the blueprint to make your overarching business aspirations a reality.

James Cunningham, Arthur Miller, and George Doran initially presented this method for defining goals in 1981. Setting SMART goals allows you to articulate your thoughts, organize your efforts, use your time and resources better, and enhance the odds of reaching your goal. Questions to ask when setting SMART goals:

SMART goals do not have a certain cadence or use case; they are suggestions and a descriptive set of criteria to use while considering what you want to accomplish. You may establish them for certain periods, departments, individuals, or tasks.

How to Write SMART Goals

Consider using the SMART steps to help you reach your goals:

SMART goals can be implemented in any section of a business. If you're unsure whether it's worthwhile to plan it out for your organization, consider using free online goal-setting tools.

SMART Business Goals Examples

1. i want to boost my revenue.

2. Set Up a Virtual Sales Communication Link

3. I Want To Improve My Business Operations Efficiency

4. I Want To Expand My Business Operations

5. My goal is to increase employee retention

OKR Goals vs. SMART Goals

OKRs and SMART goals may appear to be very comparable on the surface. However, they have entirely different use cases. OKR is regarded as a more advanced method for creating corporate-wide goals.

OKRs are intended to propel firms to growth and long-term progress. They operate best with a quarterly goal-setting cycle and regular weekly check-ins to keep track of progress and stay on target. SMART goals are one-time objectives created for smaller initiatives without a direct or established link to higher-level objectives.

Management by Objectives (MBO)

Document review in performance management MBO

Management by Objectives, abbreviated "MBO," is a management concept created by Peter Drucker in the late 1960s as he began to propose better methods for managing skilled workers over agricultural and industrial employees who came before them.

Staff objectives are set using the main business goals, with this framework. MBO enables everyone in the firm to evaluate what they have done concerning the company's key objectives and priorities while completing duties. This demonstrates how action and outcome are linked and how they may significantly boost productivity.

MBO Examples

MBO can be used and possibly benefit a variety of sectors. Here are some real-world applications for MBO:

Human Resources: MBO may improve employee happiness, hold workplace events, and increase staff participation.

Company Performance: Using MBO to boost gross margins, minimize carbon footprints, enhance sales, and so on.

Marketing: MBO may help you reach goals like boosting email subscriptions, expanding social media followers, and tripling online traffic.

Customer Service: Minimizing incident rates, boosting associate accessibility to assist in customer disagreements, and speeding up a dispute resolution.

Sales: Reduce the sales cycle from six to three months, boost average revenues to $10,000, and acquire 15 new clients over a certain period.

In reality, a clear objective setting in areas where the organization may now fall short may assist all facets of a company, from human resources to marketing to sales to information technology and everything in between.

OKR vs. MBO 

The most notable difference between these two frameworks is that OKR is about outcomes, rather than outputs. OKR has been known to foster more important cross-departmental and team discussions to get to the greater problem or big picture ideas. Management by Objectives has been linked to performance management and is driven by outputs - both of which are very different from the Objectives and Key Results goal management framework.

Read more on the difference between OKR and MBO . 

Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG)

Business goal type - Big Hairy Audacious Goul

BHAG stands for 'big, hairy, audacious goals' and refers to lofty ambitions that may appear impossible in the short term but give a crucial feeling of aspiration and emotional energy to propel the business to the top.

The concept, coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, often defines long-term strategies tied to your company's fundamental beliefs and ideals. BHAGs are long-term in nature, with a time frame of 10 to 25 years optimal. They should be based on the goal and guiding principles of your company.

Tips for Developing Your BHAG

Here are some helpful hints for developing a BHAG for your company:

BHAG Examples

More Business Goals Examples

Without rhyme or reason, implementing a new framework or not - you can always begin with some statement areas for improvement. We’ve created a list of example goals you can work with immediately in your organization. 

1. Increase Market Share

This goal is customer driven. The idea is to sell more of your product to your target consumers, thus, increasing overall market share for your product for investors. For example, if you operate a B2B company, your goal should be to reach out to more company heads or HR departments. If you operate a small business that focuses on building computers, you’ll want more of the local population to come to you for your services.

2. Increase Community Outreach

Becoming part of the community is a fantastic way to connect from the B2C side. Whether you are a large company contributing to community efforts through sponsorship or a small company that volunteers to help for Little League Baseball, community outreach is an excellent goal for new and established organizations alike. Increasing community outreach is especially important if your company or organization doesn’t have a good reputation with a particular group (I.E.: environmentalists).

Likewise, community outreach is essential if you are providing human necessities. For example, if you run a small scale grocery store, community outreach is what’s gonna keep you above water when competing with larger corporations. 

3. Maintain Profits

Financial goals are one of the most useful top-level objectives you can have. By nature, they are both aspirational and measurable, which equally makes financial-driven objectives essential for getting the goal setting process started for young businesses.

Maintaining profits (as opposed to increasing revenue) calls for a balance between profitability and investments. Investments are necessary to test out changes in the market and expand the business, so by establishing a balanced goal, you can reason how much money can go into growth and new projects/tools/campaigns while still reaching a paired profit goal. 

4. Reduce Energy or Decrease Unnecessary Use of Resources

This is a double-sided issue. If you are providing a service or product that requires being PHYSICALLY, cutting back on using that energy to save money means you can put that money to things that are more useful and productive (such as expanding or improving the product). This can be as minimal as cutting down on electricity. 

If your product isn’t physical, this goal equally applies to cutting out company tools by trying to find software or systems that maximize your company’s alignment and productivity. Aiming for 1-2 communication tools, for example, cuts out company miscommunication by having conversations spread out over several apps, messaging programs, and document sharing platforms. 

5. Grow Shareholder Value

Increasing shareholder value is an extension of increasing profit for consumers. Increasing the overall value of your organization can refer to reputation, profit, or any other classification of “value.” The most important aspect of this goal is to specify what that value is and structure your Key Results, projects, KPIs, etc. around this. 

6. Increase Percentage of Sales Made with New Product Features

When developing new products or features, promoting them so sales can close more deals/sell more of the new product should be one of your main priorities for increasing profit. This justifies the expenses from investing in the new product or feature in the first place and aims to ensure that the investment was worth it and will turn a profit. 

7. Invest in Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) is all about continuing to reduce manufacturing error and streamlining a supply chain with physical products. It equally applies to both when dealing with improving customer experience and training staff. Improving quality across a wide variety of areas is a great company level goal that’s easy to align since each team or department can be held accountable for their own work. 

8. Focus on Leadership Skills for Team Members

Training employees is one thing, making them comfortable so they can speak for themselves and encouraging creative, out-of-the box behavior is another. If your company wants more input from lower levels, then this is important.

9. Maintain or Decrease Debt

Easily measurable, this category falls under finances as well. Maintaining a certain amount of financial debt is important… especially for businesses that are just getting started and may not have the profits to cover debt costs.

10. Balance Budget for X Period

Balancing a budget is a great top level goal for non-profits. Likewise, this goal is a great for teams who may get a set amount to invest in campaigns or projects quarterly or annually. 

11. Calculate and Create the Best Value of Product for Cost

This is on marketing and sales, so is a better team goal example than a company goal. The idea is to focus on selling customers that they are getting the best deal. Whether you’re selling something top of the line for high cost or a cheap, low-cost alternative that doesn’t have the polish of a different brand, you need to highlight to your customers why your product balances value and cost.

12. Make Product More Reliable/Create a Reliable Product

Making your product more reliable is a great way to gain customers while maintaining pre existing ones. This short term goal can be worked on quarter after quarter - split up the tasks by first reviewing existing value points, competitors and current positioning - then continue forward as you learn and explore more to prepare for development.

13. Cross-Sell to Long Term Customers

So, you have people buying a product of yours. A good goal for sales is to sell them on more products. This builds brand loyalty.

14. Best Customer Service

Dealing with the external face of your company, offering the best customer service means that consumers are happier with the overall experience of buying or using your product.

15. Team Building/Diversity Training Goals

A classic in HR teams, team building and diversity training focuses on employee satisfaction to prevent turnover and allow environments where everyone is comfortable enough to share their ideas.

The first step is to set up a goal for your firm or team. Each goal you establish has an impact on the next. As a result, ensure that your business goals and objectives are adaptable. Whether you are a small firm or an expert in your profession, consistently analyzing your work, raising your work standards, and expanding your goal list is the way to progress.

Efficient goal alignment promotes a greater sense of participation and direction among employees in a firm. The OKR process is at the forefront of assisting companies in aligning their aims through important results and activities.

Weekdone is your leading OKR software for status reporting, aligning team OKRs with business goals, and visualizing weekly and quarterly achievements. The fundamental concepts of appropriate alignment, structure, and connectivity are important to us. From the ground up, we can make your organization feel more connected by achieving business goals together!

14 day free trial - invite your team and start setting better business goals!

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Business Goals Examples, Definition & Importance | Full Guide 2023

Published: 12 March, 2023

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Stefan F.Dieffenbacher


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On the surface, Business Goals are simple: make enough money to run the business, expand as necessary, and provide for the people who own and operate the organization. Like a living organism, a business’s main goal is to survive and thrive.

But how do we achieve that? The broader goal of surviving is built upon smaller and more specific Business Goals that direct your strategy over a period of time as part of the strategic planning process.

In this article, we discuss the variety of Business Goals you might choose to target to help secure your business’s survival and growth as part of the strategic planning process . You should be able to identify some goals that are specifically helpful for your business and begin the process of developing strategies to reach them as part of the strategic planning process

What are Business Goals?

A Business Goal is a target an organization wants to hit either in the short term or in the long term. You can think of a Business Goal as an endpoint or accomplishment the organization sets for itself in a given timeframe.

As we’ll see throughout this article, most Business Goals focus on advances like revenue, market penetration, growth, or shareholder value creation. But every business will have its own specific business goals.

Business Goals are written to be aspirational, without any indication of the specific strategies that the company will enact. Those plans are called Business Strategies and are developed after the company chooses its larger goals.

Business Strategy —the actual activities that an organization undertakes in order to meet its goals—is the topic of another Digital Leadership article that you might find helpful.

How to Develop your Business Strategy - Business Strategy Development

Business Goals vs. Business Objectives

Understanding how experts differentiate Business Goals from Business Objectives will be helpful as you define your business strategy.

A Business Goal is a long-range outcome that your teams use to help define strategies. A Business Objective is a short-term action you’ll take to help reach an overall goal.

Goals and Objectives combine to form your overall Business Strategy, or in other words, the map of what your company will do in the future in the hopes of achieving success in the priorities you’ve identified.

Many times, Business Goals and Business Objectives are terms used simultaneously and interchangeably. Understanding the distinction makes it easier to visualize the entirety of your business strategy.

Why Setting Business Goals is Important to Every Company?

Strong Business Goals are an important element of the overall package of documents that direct a company’s activities and priorities. Other pieces of that package include a Business Strategy , a Mission Statement and Vision, and the company’s Massively Transformational Purpose .

Business Goals give your organization a target. They articulate priorities and motivate employees. Business Goals make your company’s purpose clear.

Let’s look a little more closely at the power of Business Goals in motion.

(1) Goals Give your Business a Direction

Getting Business Goals onto the page or screen gives your organization a sense of direction. It facilitates the entire operation pulling for the same goals.

Coupled with a clear Business Strategy , Business Goals let every member of your organization know their role in the business’s overall purpose.

(2) Goals Give you a Way to Track and Measure Progress

Business Goals give defined metrics that you can track so you can measure your success and progress. They allow you to recognize failure so you can fail fast; a major element of innovation is making many iterations quickly so you increase the odds of success.

Related:  How to measure Innovation? Innovation Metrics for Companies

Because your Business Goals give clear, measurable touchstones, the entire organization, at every level, know how their efforts are contributing to the business’s purpose.

(3) Goals Help you Stay Motivated

Who runs a race without a finish line? Business Goals are that finish line. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you know what you’re working toward. Since a business works as one unified organism, the goals work the same way for the combined organization.

Incidentally, this is why a series of smaller goals can be more effective than one larger goal. The energy we feel in reaching a goal powers us onto the next.

(4) Goals Help you Achieve Quicker Growth

Business Goals help you achieve quicker growth because they focus your efforts. Our experience indicates that commitment is an indicator of success. Since articulating Business Goals encourages deeper commitment, it follows that businesses making use of them would experience more positive outcomes.

Goals keep your team accountable. They force consideration of priorities and practices, which in turn help achieve quicker growth.

Types of Business Goals

Depending on where your business is currently, and where you want it to be heading, you will choose your Business Goals from a set of four types.

Each type of Business Goals has its own advantages, and some of each of their characteristics overlap. Each of these types of goals can also vary in scope quite a lot—how you choose to articulate them will, again, depend on the specifics of your business’s current situation.

Business Goals Types

(1) Time-Based Goals

Every goal needs an endpoint. Deadlines focus the work your organization is doing and make reaching the goal much more likely. We believe that every Business Goal needs a target date, articulated within the context of the goal itself.

For a Time-Based Goal, the deadline takes center stage. Often, the accomplishment set forth in your goal has a deadline impressed upon it by outside forces: some presentation, governmental requirement, or new product roll-out, for example. The length of time you’re giving to complete the goal determines what sort of specific Time-Based goal you’ve built.

Short-Term Business Goals

Short-Term goals are often used in conjunction with longer-term goals. They give the opportunity to celebrate reaching the endpoint more frequently, which makes short-term goals an excellent tool for motivation.

Long-Term Business Goals

Long-Term goals let you tackle large projects. These goals can last months, or even years, which is why short-term goals remain useful. Don’t lose sight of the finish line with these long-term goals. Find opportunity to celebrate success incrementally.

(2) Goals Based on Performance

Goals based on performance are short-term targets identified as important for ongoing success.

Key to Performance-Based goals are reachable targets within appropriate timeframes. The metrics being used must also be clearly defined and easy to evaluate.

(3) Quantitative & Qualitative Goals

The difference between a Qualitative and a Quantitative goal is the type of data you’re collecting when you measure your success.

Quantitative Goals require collecting factual data. Typically, we think of quantitative data as originating in numbers or statistics, but all data can be used in statistics eventually. You can think of quantitative data as provable measurements, often very tangible.

On the other hand, Qualitative Goals are built around impressions and degrees, usually how someone feels about something or how they might describe an experience. Because these measurements can be harder to collect and the goals harder to define, managers must be careful with using them to determine employee evaluation results.

We recommend focusing on quantitative goals with a small dash of qualitative to help gauge consumer response and team member attitudes.

(4) Outcome & Process-Oriented Goals

The success of Outcome-Oriented Goals is determined by how and when and if your team reached a certain goal. Outcome Goals are a pass/fail situation. Either you reach the desired outcome, or you don’t.

The success of a Process-Oriented Outcome is less specific. Instead of a desired targeted endpoint, a Process-Oriented goal requires the completion of a set of steps regardless of outcome.

One way to think about the differences here is classic line “It’s the journey, not the destination that matters.” A Process-Oriented goal favors the journey. For an Outcome-Oriented goal, the destination is everything.

Short-Term Business Goals Examples

Long-Term Business Goals Examples

Performance-Based Goals Examples

Qualitative Goals Examples

Quantitative Goals Examples

Business Goals Examples

As we said previously, Business Goals will always be specific to the organization’s priorities, situation, and business model. There are some examples of common Business Goals that we can review, however, because it’s productive to review what successful businesses have done in the past.

Below, we provide a short description of each Business Goal example, as well as some thoughts on how it would look in practice for your business.

In each description, we mention how the goal is most likely to be positioned within your organization.

(1) Improve Your Company and Brand Reputation

Typically a long-term goal, improving your standing in the marketplace requires a qualitative approach to collecting responses from your customers and potential customers to understand their feelings toward your organization.

(2) Develop a Business Plan

This a short-term Business Goal that should be addressed early in your business’s lifespan.

We have several articles about Business Model Canvas that you may find helpful, and our book, How to Create Innovation , has guidance on developing your business plan to drive exponential growth. You can register for your own free copy.

(3) Improve Product or Service Quality

This is most likely a goal that will have short- and long-term steps on the way toward an overall improvement.

There is an aspect of qualitative data in this Business Goal, obviously, but you should try to quantify improvement in quality as much as possible by comparing customer responses over time to track growth and highlight where there’s work still to be done.

(4) Achieve Higher On-Time Delivery

For this goal, you’ll need to decide a time frame based on your specific needs. Perhaps, for example, you want to improve delivery during the holiday season. That would be a short-term Business Goal.

If you’re looking to improve delivery over time, your goal might be focused on Outcomes, hitting certain percentage benchmarks.

(5) Increase Customer Satisfaction

Another example of a Business Goal that requires collection of qualitative data, you can choose to make this a short- or long-term goal depending on your business’s needs.

We tend to think that customer satisfaction should always have a role in what your measure to track business success.

(6) Improve Customer Retention

A mid to long-term Business Goal, this is usually measured through Outcomes, hitting certain metrics of returning customers or converting them into long-term contracts.

(7) Increase Sales Volumes

Another mid- to long-term Business Goal, increasing sales values uses quantitative measurements to determine if the business hit target Outcomes goals.

Instead of overall Sales Volumes, some businesses measure overall profit or average profit margins of goods and services sold.

(8) Optimize Product and Service Pricing

This long-term goal requires consistent monitoring of your profit margins and your customers’ perception of the value you’re providing, along with review of competitive pricing.

(9) Increase Market Share

This is clearly a mid to long-term quantitative goal.

Our experience tells us that the more targeted you can be here, the more productive improvements can be. Select a specific segment or product type and focus your efforts there.

(10) Improve Profit Margins

Another finance-based Business Goal, increasing profit margins is long-term, with several targeted earlier deadlines used to measure and promote success.

Improving margins may be a long-term goal that uses several of the other goals listed in this article to help achieve success.

(11) Increase Profits

Increase sales, increase margins, reach into new markets—ultimately, many of these goals are driving a move toward increased profits.

Many businesses make sustainably increasing profits a long-term goal. The exact metrics used to measure this, as well as the target benchmarks they need to reach to be successful, vary greatly from one organization to the next.

(12) Develop New Customers

Measure how many new customers you acquire over a given time. This is likely a mid to long-term goal that requires close measurement of who is buying your product or service.

(13) Expand Into a New Geographic Market

Expansion is a long-term Process-based Business Goal. This goal is clearly very specific to your business because it’s dependent upon so many different factors, including current location, desired expansion, and Business Model.

(14) Market Through a New Channel

Like all Business Goals focused on expansion, finding new channels is a Process-Oriented goal.

The wording of this goal is easily changed to move from Process to Outcome once you advance from merely wanting to market through a new channel to actually quantitatively measuring your sales.

(15) Develop A New Product or Service

A mid to long-term goal of developing a new product or service is Outcome-Oriented, but there will be a number of smaller Process-Oriented goals along the way, most likely.

You’re also likely to transition to other quantitative goals that measure the success of your new products and services. They need to exist first, of course!

(16) Implement an Employee Development Program

A simple development program might be implemented fairly quickly, but a rigorous program that tracks how your employees progress is a long-term goal that requires a lot of effort. We believe a development program pays dividends in the long run by making it easier to retain quality employees and grow a pipeline to senior management

(17) Increase Employee Satisfaction

This is a goal that can span any timeframe, depending on the business’s needs, but is more likely to focus on mid- to long-term qualitative measuring. This goal’s metrics can slide into the quantitative when you collect data about employee longevity and retention.

(18) Decrease Expenses

An Outcome-Oriented goal, decreasing expenses can occur over any amount of time you choose. You may consider being more targeted and aim to decrease certain expenses by a given date.

(19) Implement Productivity Improvements

For this goal, you’ll need to select quantitative metrics for productivity. Since every business is different, you’ll decide what measurements work for you.

For example, you may be holding your productivity to a very high-quality standard. LEGO , for instance, has famously rigorous quality standards.

Productivity improvements are usually long-term goals, with several medium- and short-term goals used to motivate and track changes.

(20) Migrate To a New Technology Platform

The adoption of new technology can be a challenging, frustrating goal because so many departments with different priorities are involved. In order to successfully reach this goal, you’ll rely on a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics.

A deadline will be important, along with the functionality of the new technology. In some instances, the aesthetics of the technology will play an important role in the measuring of success.

Is a partial roll-out all right? A soft opening? Do you need complete functionality on day one? How compatible must the new technology be with the previous tech?

These are all important elements that should be articulated as part of your overall Business Goal.

(21) Make Investments for the Future

How big will your investments be? What will they look like? How far into the future are you aiming for?

We see investment as a mid-to-long-term goal. Consider if you’re collecting cash to have on hand, acquiring the latest equipment, or performing routine maintenance on your building. These activities, and far more, would count as sensible investments for the future.

(22) Increase Shareholder Value

Publicly traded companies are required to grow their shareholder value. Privately held companies may still have stockholders in other capacities, and so improving their standing is always a long-term goal.

Outcome-Oriented, the goal of increasing shareholder value should have a benchmark target with a clearly articulated deadline. How much increase, and by when?

How do you Choose your Business Goals?

When it comes to setting business goals, having a structured approach is crucial to ensure that your goals are realistic, in line with your overall strategy, and can be measured to track progress. The balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool that can assist in achieving these objectives.

The Balanced Scorecard

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The balanced scorecard connects different aspects of a company’s strategy in a cause-and-effect relationship. This approach enables businesses to ensure that their goals are consistent with their overall strategy and that they are measuring the right elements to achieve success.

Using the balanced scorecard to determine business goals involves several key considerations:

SMART Business goals

S – each goal must be as SPECIFIC as possible

M – each goal must be MEASURABLE , even if you’re aiming for qualitative targets

A – each goal must be realistically ACHIEVABLE

R – each goal must be RELEVANT to your overall business model

T – each goal must be TIME BOUND to a realistic deadline

The SMART Goals Framework prevents the selection of goals that are counter-productive, wasteful, or impossible to achieve. Choosing the wrong goals is worse than having no goals at all: improper goals suck time, motivation, and resources from the areas of the business where they could be better utilized.

Once you have established your business goals using the balanced scorecard, it becomes easier to track progress and make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and improve performance. By using the SMART framework in conjunction with the balanced scorecard, businesses can establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that are both attainable and consistent with their overall business strategy.

How do you Reach your Business Goals?

There’s no one-size-fits-all guaranteed plan for reaching your business goals, but our experts agree the following strategies give you the best odds for success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are business goals examples.

Some common business goals include Develop a Business Plan, Improve Product or Service Quality, Market Through a New Channel, Achieve Higher On-Time Delivery, and Increase Shareholder Value.

What is the most important goal of a company?

The most important goal of a business is to sustainably provide value to its customers in a way that secures the business’s long-term future.

What are SMART business goals?

SMART is an acronym for choosing quality business goals. It means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound

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Home » Business Plans

How to Write a Business Plan Goals & Objectives [Sample Template]

Having answered the “what” and “why” questions about your business, it’s time to answer the “how.” Are you in the process of writing a business plan for your small business? Do you need help writing your business plan goals and objectives? Then below is an in-depth guide on how to write a business plan goals and objectives.

Without a business plan, your business would be like a rudderless ship drifting aimlessly on a vast, stormy sea. A business plan is the compass that guides your business through its journey to growth and success. The most important components of your business plans are your business goals and objectives. Without these, your business plan is simply empty. Well-chosen goals and objectives keep a new business on track.

The business objectives section reveals how you are going to execute your vision and mission and bring them to reality. This is where setting goals and objectives come into play. As a rule of thumb, your business goals and objectives must be SMART. That is, they must be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based.

Before we dig deeper into how you can plan your business goals and objectives, let me explain what both terms mean and how they are different. (Many people think both terms can be used interchangeably, but they have different meanings).

What are business goals?

Goals tend to be more qualitative, while objectives are usually quantitative. Also, goals usually revolve around achieving big picture business intentions that are centered around market position, customer service, growth, and company culture among other key things. Goals are the ultimate successes that you plan to achieve after some activity or practice.

For example, one of your business goals could be “to expand your business from small scale to medium scale by the next 5 years.” Business goals outline the destination you are heading for and the time you plan to reach those destinations. Goals also help you improve the overall effectiveness of your business. The more carefully you define them, the more likely you are to achieve them in the long run.

What are business objectives?

Objectives, on the other hand, focus more on practical, day-in day-out metrics that revolve around revenue, number of customers, and product-related metrics. Objectives are specific procedures for achieving a goal. They are the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your desired goals. For instance, if your goal is to expand your business from small scale to medium scale in the next 5 years, you are likely to have the following as your objectives:

In short, your objectives specify what steps to take and when you should take them. Now, let’s briefly define the timelines for an entrepreneurial venture. “Short-term” ”means the next 9 – 12 months, while “long-term” means the next 1 – 5 years. With the above in mind, let’s now look at how goals and objectives work together to propel a business to success.

Having well-defined goals and objectives for your business means forming a road map for your company’s future. Without them, you are very likely to make wrong decisions and waste precious resources. After having discussed their importance, let’s now discuss how to develop or outline perfect goals and objectives for your business.

Writing your Business Plan Goals and Objectives

Firstly, when establishing your goals and objectives, try to involve everyone who has roles to play in the achievement of those goals and objectives after you outline them. Secondly, start with as few goals as possible. Anything between 5 and 8 is a good number to start with. If your goals are too many, you may have a hard time accomplishing them. But be sure to outline enough goals that you will need to drive your success. Here’s a checklist for defining your goals and objectives:

Finally, before incorporating your goals and objectives into your business plan, you must fine-tune them to ensure that they are clear, specific, realistic, and in line with your pattern of business.

More on Business Plans

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Business tips

Business objectives: How to set them (with 5 examples and a template)

An icon representing tasks in a list in a white square on a light orange background.

As anyone who played rec league sports in the '90s might remember, being on a team for some reason required you to sell knockoff candy bars to raise funds. Every season, my biggest customer was always me. Some kids went door-to-door, some set up outside local businesses, some sent boxes to their parents' jobs—I just used my allowance to buy a few for myself.

Aside from initiative, what my approach lacked was a plan, a goal, and accountability. A lot to ask of an unmotivated nine-year-old, I know, but 100% required for anyone who runs an actual business.

Business objectives help companies avoid my pitfalls by laying the groundwork for all the above so they can pursue achievable growth.

Table of contents:

The benefits of setting business objectives

How to set business objectives, examples of business objectives and goals, business objective template, tips for achieving business objectives.

Zapier is the leader in no-code automation—integrating with 5,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more .

What are business objectives?

Business objectives are specific, written steps that guide company growth in measurable terms. A good business objective is concise, actionable, and assigned definite metrics for tracking progress and measuring success. Coming up with effective objectives requires a strong understanding of:

What you want the company to achieve

How you can measure success

Which players are involved in driving success

The timelines needed to plan, initiate, and implement steps

How you can improve or better support business processes , personnel, logistics, and management 

How, if successful, these actions can be integrated sustainably going forward

business plan company goals

Business objectives vs. goals

Where a business objective is an actionable step taken to make improvements toward growth, a business goal is the specific high-level growth an objective helps a company reach. Business objectives are often used interchangeably with business goals, but an objective is in service of a goal. 

Here's what that breakdown could have looked like for nine-year-old me selling candy for my little league team: 

Business objective: I will increase my sales output by learning and implementing point-of-sale conversion frameworks. I'll measure success by comparing week-over-week sales growth to median sales across players on my baseball team.

Business goal: I will sell more candy bars than anyone on my team and earn the grand prize: a team party at Pizza Hut.

You might think it's good enough to continue working status quo toward your goals, but as the cliche goes, good enough usually isn't. Establishing and following defined, actionable steps through business objectives can:

Help establish clear roadmaps: You can translate your objectives into time-sensitive sequences to chart your path toward growth.

Set groundwork for culture: Clear objectives should reflect the culture you envision, and, in turn, they should help guide your team to foster it.

Influence talent acquisition: Once you know your objectives, you can use them to find the people with the specific skills and experiences needed to actualize them.

Encourage teamwork: People work together better when they know what they're working toward.

Promote sound leadership: Clear objectives give leaders opportunities to get the resources they need.

Establish accountability: By measuring progress, you can see where errors and inefficiencies come from.

Drive productivity: The endgame of an objective is to make individual team members and processes more effective.

Setting business objectives takes a thoughtful, top-to-bottom approach. At every level of your business—whether you're a massive candy corporation or one kid selling chocolate almond bars door-to-door—there are improvements to make, steps to take, and players with stakes (or in my case, bats) in the game.

Illustration of a clipboard listing the six steps to setting business objectives

1. Establish clear goals

You can't hit a home run without a fence, and you can't reach a goal without setting it. Before you start brainstorming your objectives, you need to know what your objectives will help you work toward.

Analytical tactics like a SWOT analysis and goal-setting frameworks like SMART can be extremely useful at this stage, as you'll need to be specific about what you want to achieve and honest about what is achievable. Here are a few example goals:

Increase total revenue by 25% over the next two years

Reduce production costs by 10% by the end of the year

Provide health insurance for employees by next fiscal year

Grow design department to 10+ employees this year

Reach 100k Instagram followers ahead of new product launch

Implement full rebrand before new partnership announcement

Once you have these goals in place, you can establish individual objectives that position your company to reach them.

2. Set a baseline

Like a field manager before a game, you've got to set your baselines. (Very niche pun, I know.) With a definite goal in mind, the only way to know your progress is to know where you're starting from. 

If you want to increase conversions on a specific link by X percent, look beyond current conversion percentage to the myriad factors going into it. Log the page traffic, clicks, ad performance, time on page, bounce rate, and other engagement metrics historically to this point. Your objectives will dig deeper into that one outcome to address deficiencies in the sales funnel , so every figure is important.

Analyzing your baselines could also help you recalibrate your goals. You may have decided abstractly that you want conversion rates to double in six months, but is that really possible? If your measurables show there's potentially a heavier lift involved than you expected, you can always roll back the goal performance or expand the timeline.

3. Involve players at all levels in the conversation

Too often, the most important people are left out of conversations about goals and objectives. The more levels of complexity and oversight, the more important it is to hear from everyone—yet the more likely it is that some will be excluded.

Let's say you want to reduce overhead by 5% over the next two years for your sporting goods manufacturing outfit. At a high level, your team finds you can reduce production costs by using cheaper materials for baseball gloves. A member of your sales team points out that the reduction in quality, which your brand is famous for, could lead to losses that offset those savings. Meanwhile, a factory representative points out that replacing outdated machines would be expensive initially but would increase efficiency, reduce defects, and cut maintenance costs, breaking even in four years.

By involving various teams at multiple levels, you find it's worth it to extend timelines from two to four years. Your overhead reduction may be lower than 5% by year two but should be much higher than that by year four based on these changes.

The takeaway from this pretty crude example is that it's helpful to make sure every team that touches anything related to your objective gets consulted. They should give valuable, practical input thanks to their boots- (or cleats-) on-the-ground experience.

4. Define measurable outcomes

An objective should be exactly that. Using KPIs (key performance indicators) to apply a level of objectivity to your action steps allows you to measure their progress and success over time and either adapt as you go along or stay the course.

How do you know if your specific objectives are leading to increased web traffic, or if that's just natural (or even incidental) growth? How do you know if your recruiting efforts lead to better candidates, or whether your employees are actually more satisfied? Here are a few examples of measurable outcomes to show proof:

Percentage change (15% overall increase in revenue)

Goal number (10,000 subscribers)

Success range (five to 10 new clients)

Clear change (new company name)

Executable action (weekly newsletter launch)

Your objectives should have specific, measurable outcomes. It's not enough to have a better product, be more efficient, or have more brand awareness . Your objective should be provable and grounded in data.

5. Outline a roadmap with a schedule

You've got your organizational goals defined, logged your baselines, sourced objectives from across your company, and know your metrics for defining success. Now it's time to set an actionable plan you can execute.

Your objectives roadmap should include all involved team members and departments and clear timelines for reaching milestones. Within your objectives, set action items with deadlines to stay on track, along with corresponding progress markers. For the objective of "increase lead conversion efficiency by 10%," that could look like:

May 15: Begin time logging 

June 1: Register team members for productivity seminar

June 15: Integrate Trello for managing processes

June 15: Audit time log

July 1: Implement lead automation

August 1: Audit time log—goal efficiency increase of 5%

6. Integrate successful changes

You've successfully achieved your objectives—great! But as Yogi Berra famously said, "It ain't over till it's over," and it ain't over yet. 

Don't let this win be a one-off accomplishment. Berra also said "You can observe a lot by just watching," and applying what you observed from this process will help you continue growing your company. Take what worked, and integrate it into your business processes for sustainable improvement. Then create new objectives, so you can continue the cycle.

Business objectives aren't collated plans or complicated flowcharts—they're short, impactful statements that are easy to memorize and communicate. There are four basic components every business objective should have: 

A growth-oriented intention (improve efficiency)

One or more actions (implement monthly training sessions)

A measurement for success (20% increase)

A timeline to reach success (by end of year)

For this year's summer swimwear line, we will increase sales by 15% over last year's line through customer relationship marketing. We will execute distinct email campaigns by segmenting last year's summer swimwear customers and this year's spring casualwear customers and offering season-long discount codes.

Our SaaS product's implementation team will grow to five during the next fiscal year. This will require us to submit a budget proposal by the end of the quarter and look into restructured growth tracks, new job posting templates, and revised role descriptions by the start of next fiscal year.

We will increase customer satisfaction for our mobile app product demonstrably by the end of the year by integrating a new AI chatbot feature. To measure the change in customer satisfaction, we will monitor ratings in the app store, specifically looking for decreases in rates of negative reviews by 5%-10%  as well as increases in overall positive reviews by 5%-10%.

Each of our water filtration systems will achieve NSF certification ahead of the launch of our rebranding campaign. Our product team will establish a checklist of changes necessary for meeting certification requirements and communicate timelines to the marketing team.

HR will implement bi-annual performance reviews starting next year. Review timelines will be built into scheduling software, and HR will automate email reminders to managers to communicate to their teams.

Business objectives can be as simple as one action or as complex as a multi-year roadmap—but they should be able to fall into a clear, actionable framework.

Mockup of a business objective statement worksheet

Calling your shot to the left centerfield wall and hitting a ball over that wall are two different things—the same goes for setting an objective and actualizing it.

Start with clear, attainable goals: Objectives should position your business to reach broader growth goals, so start by establishing those.

Align decisions with objectives: Once you set objectives, they should inform other decisions. Decision-makers should think about how changes they make along the way affect their objectives' timelines and execution.

Stick to the schedule or adjust it: Schedules should propel change, not rush it. Work toward meeting milestones and deadlines, but understand that they can always be moved if complications or new priorities arise. Remember, it's ok to fall short on goals .

Listen to team members at all levels: Those most affected by organizational changes can be the ones with the least say in the matter. Great ideas and insights can come from any level—even if they're only tangentially related to an outcome.

Implement automation: Automation keeps systems running smoothly—business objectives are no exception. Make a plan to bring no-code automation into workflows with Zapier to move your work forward, faster.

What makes business objectives so useful is that they can help you build a plan with defined steps to reach obtainable growth goals. As (one more time) Yogi Berra also once said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." 

As you outline your objectives, here are some guides that can help you find KPIs and improvement opportunities:

How to conduct your own market research survey

6 customer satisfaction metrics to start measuring

Streamline work across departments with automation

Measuring SaaS success: 5 essential product-led growth metrics to track

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Bryce Emley

Currently based in Albuquerque, NM, Bryce Emley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NC State and nearly a decade of writing and editing experience. His work has been published in magazines including The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, and Modern Farmer and has received a regional Emmy and awards from venues including Narrative, Wesleyan University, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Pablo Neruda Prize. When he isn’t writing content, poetry, or creative nonfiction, he enjoys traveling, baking, playing music, reliving his barista days in his own kitchen, camping, and being bad at carpentry.

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22 types of business objectives to measure success

Julia Martins contributor headshot

Clear business objectives help you achieve your mission statement and long-term company vision. These objectives can range from financial objectives to organization specific objectives. Take a look at 22 types of business objectives you can set—plus, learn when to use business objectives vs. 14 other goal frameworks. 

Whether you work at a small business, a start up, or as a team lead at a larger enterprise, as a key business owner, you’re responsible for identifying the business objectives that will help your organization hit its long-term goals. Setting goals and strategic objectives is the best way to know where you’re going and how to get there. 

In this article, learn about 22 different types of business objectives and how to make them achievable. Then, take a look at the 15 different types of goals you can set, depending on why you’re setting those goals.

What is a business objective? 

Business objectives are the results you are aiming to achieve in order to accomplish your longer-term company vision. Think of business objectives as metrics to measure your overall business success.

Hitting your business objectives means you’re on the path towards achieving larger company goals. As such, business objectives should focus on large-scale organizational impact. Good business objectives are measurable, specific, and time-bound. 

22 types of business objectives

Set business objectives based on factors that measure and impact your organization’s success. For example, you might set the following business objectives:

Financial business objectives

1. Profitability: A profitability-focused business objective is important if your company is relying on outside investors. Achieving—and maintaining—profitability ensures your long-term success so you can make progress towards your overall company mission. 

2. Revenue: Revenue-focused business objectives help you balance your income with your costs in order to stay in business. You might set business objectives to achieve a certain annual revenue goal, or to increase revenue by a certain percentage over a period of time. 

3. Costs: Costs refer to how much money you’re spending on your business. Reducing costs can help you increase revenue and achieve profitability. Business objectives related to cost can help you control production or operations cost to improve your business’s financial performance. 

4. Cash flow: Cash flow refers to the money moving into and out of your business. Cash flow can be positive—when you’re making more than you’re spending—or negative—when you’re spending more than you’re making. Similar to profitability, a cash flow-oriented business objective can help set you up for long term financial success. 

5. Sustainable growth: In order to grow as a business, you need to grow sustainably. Setting business objectives around sustainable growth can help you plan your financial projections, employee costs, and other financial considerations. 

Customer-centric business objectives

6. Competitive positioning: A big element of your business strategy is thinking about how your product or service compares to others in the same market. By setting a business objective focused on competitive positioning, you can ensure your product or service reaches parity with what’s expected in the market, or use competitive positioning to outdo your competitors in a key area. 

8. Customer satisfaction: In order to succeed as a business, you need happy customers. Focusing on a customer satisfaction-based business objective can help you better serve your customers. Depending on the business objective, this might focus on a customer advocacy program, a better help desk, or something similarly customer-facing. 

9. Brand awareness: Your brand is what makes your organization stand out from the crowd. Brand awareness is an important way to understand how your customers think of your brand, and how aware they are of your distinct brand vs. your competitors. Understanding—and increasing—brand awareness is a key part of your long-term marketing strategy .

10. Sales: You’ll often find business objectives related to improving or refining the sales cycle. This could include anything from reducing customer acquisition cost (CAC), developing better lead tracking, increasing cross-selling, or something else.

11. Churn: In business, your churn rate refers to how many customers you lose over a set period of time. Reducing churn is a great way to increase your revenue and ensure your customers are satisfied with the product or service you provide. 

Internal business objectives

12. Employee satisfaction and engagement: Part of your business is how your employees feel about working there, too. Increasing employee satisfaction and engagement leads to happier employees, reduced burnout , and more effective teams. 

13. Employee retention: A key internal business objective is how long your employees spend at your company. Increasing tenure and reducing turnover can help you achieve more complex projects with knowledgeable employees. 

14. Company growth: In order to grow your business, you also need to grow the number of people you employ. Growing your company sustainably can be difficult—which is why businesses often set company growth as a key business objective. 

15. Organizational culture: Organizational culture is the ideals, values, and group norms that shape how team members interact within your company. Good culture drives employee engagement and increases retention, which is one of the key reasons so many companies set organizational culture-focused business objectives. 

16. Change management: Smoothly implement large-scale organizational change with change management . Though you typically won’t see organizations set this type of business objective year after year, it can be a helpful objective to set if you have large changes on the horizon. 

17. Productivity: At Asana, we don’t think of productivity as “doing the most you can,” but rather as a way to optimize your time and get your best work done. Increasing employee productivity can help your teams achieve their high-impact work more efficiently. 

18. Employee effectiveness: Teams don’t just need to be efficient—they also need to know the right things to work on. The best companies aim for efficiency and effectiveness—which is where an effectiveness-based business objective comes into play. To learn more, read our article about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness . 

19. Diversity and inclusion: A big part of a welcoming company culture is making sure your employees feel like they belong. Investing in diversity and inclusion programs can help your business be more welcoming to your current and potential employees. 

Regulation related business objectives

20. Quality control: Implementing quality control measures as a business objective can help you ensure your product or services are at the level you want them to be. This in turn leads to better customer relationships and overall increase in revenue. 

21. Compliance: If your business has any compliance needs to meet in the near future, setting those compliance requirements as a business objective will ensure you hit your targets on time. 

22. Sustainability or waste reduction: Some businesses set business objectives to reduce waste or increase sustainability. While this may not directly impact your business, proving that you’re environmentally minded can help you reach specific audiences you’re targeting. 

Which goal framework is right for you?

Figuring out exactly what type of goal you need to set can be tricky. Each goal framework is slightly different—and implementing the right one can help you achieve success. 

The type of goal you set will depend on the business activities you’re running and the specific goals you have. If your goals have a set time frame, you may want to go with short-term objectives, whereas larger goals have their own unique frameworks. 

If you’re not sure where to start, check out these 15 goal frameworks for different situations: 

1. Business objectives: Set goals based on operating factors that impact your company’s long-term success.

2. Business plan : Also called a business strategy plan. Document your business’ goals and plan out how you’ll get there.

3. Vision statement : Set an organization-wide North Star.

4. Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) : Set organization-sized stretch goals .

5. Company values : Align your team around core principles. 

6. Strategic plan : Clarify your three to five year company goals during the strategic planning process. 

7. Strategic goal : Set the goals you want to achieve by the end of your strategic plan.

8. Critical success factors : Clarify the high-level goals you need to achieve in order to achieve your strategic goals. 

9. Strategic management : Execute against your strategic plan in order to achieve your company goals. 

10. Business goals : Set predetermined targets to achieve in a set period of time.  

11. Objectives and key results (OKRs) : Set and communicate annual company goals.

12. Key performance indicators (KPIs) : Set quantitative goals.

13. Project objectives : Share what you want to achieve by the end of a project.

14. Project deliverables : Identify a project’s output.

15. Project milestones : Mark specific checkpoints along a project’s timeline.

More goal setting resources

Clear goals are critical to keep your organization functioning. In addition to business objectives, check out our goal setting resource hub for tips on setting goals and achieving high-impact results. Then when you’re ready, get started with Asana for goal tracking. With Asana , you can connect your company goals to the work that supports them—all in one place. 

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27 business success metrics you should be tracking

Pencil, calculator, and magnifying glass in toolbox on beige background

10 Company Milestones to Aim for in Your First Year

Getting your new business off the ground is an exciting prospect that takes hard work. Making the right strategic decisions early on can help you avoid the fate of the 50% of new companies that fail within the first five years .

That’s why clear company milestones are crucial to creating a successful business.

The key is to set well-defined goals and evaluate your performance against them to make sure you’re on the right track. When you choose clear company milestones to achieve in your first year, you can create a solid foundation for growth and success.

What are company milestones?

Company milestones are specific outcomes or goals you aim to achieve as part of your business strategy . That is, short-term measurable goals to tick off along the way to your larger goals.

Good business milestones should include the following:

Here’s an example of a milestone that meets those standards:

Goal : Outsource monthly bookkeeping by March 31, 2022 Responsibility : Founder Budget : $500 a month

How can you use company milestones?

Start with a business plan that describes your company’s objectives and how you will achieve them. As part of this planning process, develop a business strategy—an action plan to meet your objectives.

Next, decide on the business tactics you’ll use to carry out your strategy. Here’s an example:

Strategy : Increase sales to working adults. Tactic : Use advertising methods.

Company milestones allow you to implement your business tactics by breaking them into measurable goals. Here are two milestones for the above example:

Here’s how business milestones can help you.

Track your company’s performance

Entrepreneurs are usually overloaded with day-to-day business activities, so you might feel tempted to move progress-tracking to the backseat. But tracking your performance against company milestones is imperative to guide your small business or startup in the right direction.

Aim to review your important milestones once in two weeks during the first three months and monthly thereafter. That way, you can see how the business is performing against your goals and overall strategy and address any issues before they become fatal.

Sometimes, the milestones you’ve set earlier may no longer be realistic, or you may have discovered better goals. If so, you can always update them.

Create accountability within the organization

As discussed earlier, good company milestones need to have a responsible party. Well-defined responsibilities allow you to create accountability within your organization from the start. It will also allow you to delegate tasks instead of overloading yourself.

If a goal isn’t achieved by the due date, you can review it with the person in charge of the milestone and address any issues.

10 company milestones for the first year

Here’s a list of goals growth-oriented entrepreneurs should aim for in their first year of business.

1. Create a monthly budget

Timeline : one month

A monthly budget will help you manage your finances efficiently and remind you of your spending limits. With a plan in place, you can set aside funds for your company milestones and business activities throughout the year.

Budgeting may seem hard in the first year because you don’t have any previous financials for guidance. For now, aim to estimate your income and expenses to the best of your knowledge. You can adjust your budgets once you have more information.

Here are a few items to estimate for your budget:

There are many free templates you can use to create your business budget. If you need more help, see our How-To Guide for Creating a Business Budget .

2. Execute your marketing strategy

Start by creating a marketing strategy. This is your overall plan to increase sales and achieve your business objectives. Next, implement your marketing strategy starting from the first month to generate revenue as soon as possible.

To carry out your marketing strategy, you can create a marketing plan with specific goals, such as:

3. Make your first sale

The next milestone is to make that important (and exciting) first sale!

Sales are important to make money. But the first sale will also boost your confidence because you’ll know people are willing to pay for your goods or services. Remember not to count sales to your family and friends trying to support you.

To build a successful business, you must sell to your target audience beyond your close circle.

4. Start bookkeeping and accounting

Timeline : from the first month

Establishing a clear bookkeeping system from the start can save you a lot of work down the road. With reliable financials, you can avoid unpleasant surprises, such as realizing you don’t have money to pay your upcoming bills.

By staying on top of your numbers, you can also avoid the stress of catch-up bookkeeping during tax time.

Here are a few things you must do:

If you want to do it yourself, good bookkeeping software can help, but if you aren’t excited about numbers, you can outsource your bookkeeping to professionals like Bench (that’s us).

Similarly, hire an accountant from the start. A CPA can analyze your monthly numbers and help you make good financial decisions. They can also prepare your taxes and help you get the maximum tax benefits.

Suggested reading :

5. Hire your first team members

Timeline : one to three months

A skilled team will help you lead your company to success. Hire a team that aligns with your vision, and develop your own company culture.

How many team members you must hire will depend on your business and budget. At a minimum, hire the critical personnel you need for now.

Here are some ways to find potential team members:

Learn more : How to Hire Employees: 11 Tips for a Great Hiring Process

6. Outsource skills you don’t have in-house

As a new company, you may not have the capacity to hire employees for every service you need. Nowadays, you can outsource many tasks to professional organizations or hire freelancers.

Outsourcing can also save you money because you don’t have to spend on employee benefits, infrastructure, training programs, or equipment. Other benefits include the flexibility to find skilled professionals when you need them and the advantages of time differences.

Here are a few areas you can get outsourced support:

Depending on your business model, you may be able to outsource most of your tasks.

7. Get repeat customers

Timeline : three months

Finding new customers is costly and can take time, so it often makes sense to hang on tight to the ones you’ve got. Prioritizing repeat customers is an important business milestone because they will save you money.

Repeat customers are also a great source of referrals. If they like your products and services, they will be loyal customers and free promoters of your business.

Here are a few ways to make sure your customers return:

8. Grow your brand

Timeline : six months

It’s important to establish your brand in your industry to increase revenue. With a solid marketing strategy and marketing plan, you can grow your brand from the first year.

Here are some ideas to help you grow your brand:

9. Increase your sales

Timeline : eight to 12 months

Revenue is an important metric for small business growth and success. To become profitable and cash-rich, you must first generate revenue.

Typically, your sales numbers will be relatively small early on, so increasing your sales by a large number is a key goal for later in the first year.

Have a specific number you want to increase your sales by, depending on your business. For example, you may decide that you want sales to increase by 50% after eight months.

Make sure your marketing strategy and marketing plan cover tactics to help you achieve this significant increase in sales. You may decide to increase your advertising budget or launch a new product or service.

Note: while revenue is an important metric of success, it’s not the only one. Check out our blog on revenue vs. profit to learn more!

10. Analyze the performance of the year

Timeline : 12 months

It’s time to analyze the results of your hard work. That way, you can see your successes and take corrective action to fix any issues. Evaluating the year gone by will help you determine company milestones for the next year.

Here are a few ways to see how you fared:

How Bench can help

Monitoring and analyzing your financials is a key business goal to making sure you are on the path to success. But what if you’re not a fan of numbers or you don’t have the time?

Bench provides monthly bookkeeping services to small business owners like you. Your dedicated bookkeeper provides you with the accurate financials you need to make better strategic decisions for your business. If tax isn’t your favorite subject, we can handle that too. Learn more about our team of experts .

Implementing your company milestones

A well-planned list of company milestones can be a roadmap for your first year in business.

Here are a few next steps to get started on your goals:

By creating well-defined goals and tracking your performance against them, you can grow your company into a profitable business.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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Plan Your Business Plan Before you put pen to paper, find out how to assess your business's goals and objectives.

Mar 2, 2001

You've decided to write a business plan, and you're ready to get started. Congratulations. You've just greatly increased the chances that your business venture will succeed. But before you start drafting your plan, you need to--you guessed it--plan your draft.

One of the most important reasons to plan your plan is that you may be held accountable for the projections and proposals it contains. That's especially true if you use your plan to raise money to finance your company. Let's say you forecast opening four new locations in the second year of your retail operation. An investor may have a beef if, due to circumstances you could have foreseen, you only open two. A business plan can take on a life of its own, so thinking a little about what you want to include in your plan is no more than common prudence.

Second, as you'll soon learn if you haven't already, business plans can be complicated documents. As you draft your plan, you'll be making lots of decisions on serious matters, such as what strategy you'll pursue, as well as less important ones, like what color paper to print it on. Thinking about these decisions in advance is an important way to minimize the time you spend planning your business and maximize the time you spend generating income.

To sum up, planning your plan will help control your degree of accountability and reduce time-wasting indecision. To plan your plan, you'll first need to decide what your goals and objectives in business are. As part of that, you'll assess the business you've chosen to start, or are already running, to see what the chances are that it will actually achieve those ends. Finally, you'll take a look at common elements of most plans to get an idea of which ones you want to include and how each will be treated.

Determine Your Objectives Close your eyes. Imagine that the date is five years from now. Where do you want to be? Will you be running a business that hasn't increased significantly in size? Will you command a rapidly growing empire? Will you have already cashed out and be relaxing on a beach somewhere, enjoying your hard-won gains?

Answering these questions is an important part of building a successful business plan. In fact, without knowing where you're going, it's not really possible to plan at all.

Now is a good time to free-associate a little bit--to let your mind roam, exploring every avenue that you'd like your business to go down. Try writing a personal essay on your business goals. It could take the form of a letter to yourself, written from five years in the future, describing all you have accomplished and how it came about.

As you read such a document, you may make a surprising discovery, such as that you don't really want to own a large, fast-growing enterprise but would be content with a stable small business. Even if you don't learn anything new, though, getting a firm handle on your goals and objectives is a big help in deciding how you'll plan your business.

Goals and Objectives Checklist If you're having trouble deciding what your goals and objectives are, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Your Financing Goals

It doesn't necessarily take a lot of money to make a lot of money, but it does take some. That's especially true if, as part of examining your goals and objectives, you envision very rapid growth.

Energetic, optimistic entrepreneurs often tend to believe that sales growth will take care of everything, that they'll be able to fund their own growth by generating profits. However, this is rarely the case, for one simple reason: You usually have to pay your own suppliers before your customers pay you. This cash flow conundrum is the reason so many fast-growing companies have to seek bank financing or equity sales to finance their growth. They are literally growing faster than they can afford.

Start by asking yourself what kinds of financing you're likely to need--and what you'd be willing to accept. It's easy when you're short of cash, or expect to be short of cash, to take the attitude that almost any source of funding is just fine. But each kind of financing has different characteristics that you should take into consideration when planning your plan. These characteristics take three primary forms:

Almost any source of funds, from a bank to a factor, has some guidelines about the size of financing it prefers. Anticipating the size of your needs now will guide you in preparing your plan.

How Will You Use Your Plan

Believe it or not, part of planning your plan is planning what you'll do with it. No, we haven't gone crazy--at least not yet. A business plan can be used for several things, from monitoring your company's progress toward goals to enticing key employees to join your firm. Deciding how you intend to use yours is an important part of preparing to write it.

Do you intend to use your plan to help you raise money? In that case, you'll have to focus very carefully on the executive summary, the management, and marketing and financial aspects. You'll need to have a clearly focused vision of how your company is going to make money. If you're looking for a bank loan, you'll need to stress your ability to generate sufficient cash flow to service loans. Equity investors, especially venture capitalists, must be shown how they can cash out of your company and generate a rate of return they'll find acceptable.

Do you intend to use your plan to attract talented employees? Then you'll want to emphasize such things as stock options and other aspects of compensation as well as location, work environment, corporate culture and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Do you anticipate showing your plan to suppliers to demonstrate that you're a worthy customer? A solid business plan may convince a supplier of some precious commodity to favor you over your rivals. It may also help you arrange supplier credit. You may want to stress your blue-ribbon customer list and spotless record of repaying trade debts in this plan.

Assessing Your Company's Potential

For most of us, unfortunately, our desires about where we would like to go aren't as important as our businesses' ability to take us there. Put another way, if you choose the wrong business, you're going nowhere.

Luckily, one of the most valuable uses of a business plan is to help you decide whether the venture you have your heart set on is really likely to fulfill your dreams. Many, many business ideas never make it past the planning stage because their would-be founders, as part of a logical and coherent planning process, test their assumptions and find them wanting.

Test your idea against at least two variables. First, financial, to make sure this business makes economic sense. Second, lifestyle, because who wants a successful business that they hate?

Answer the following questions to help you outline your company's potential. There are no wrong answers. The objective is simply to help you decide how well your proposed venture is likely to match up with your goals and objectives.

Sources: The Small Business Encyclopedia , Business Plans Made Easy, Start Your Own Business and Entrepreneur magazine.

Continue on to the next section of our Business Plan How-To >> Elements of a Business Plan

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The Ultimate Guide to Product Strategy

What is a Product Strategy?

How to craft your product strategy.

How to tie product metrics to a product strategy?

How to stay accountable with your product strategy

A product strategy is a high-level plan that defines your product goals throughout its life cycle and how it will support the organization’s goals.  The product strategy will also answer who the product will serve and how it will benefit them. These plans are then brought to life on the roadmap.

There’s no single blueprint for a product strategy, but the good ones have a handful of things in common.

1. They have a purpose. Building a product just for the sake of creating and maintaining something isn’t a strategy; that’s busywork. Products should have a raison d‘être and exist for something beyond themselves. Figuring out what that is and getting the entire organization to buy into that is step one.

2. Understand customer needs and how they’re evolving. All products need customers, so any product strategy should be based on meeting their requirements. Since customers don’t always know exactly what they want, the product strategy must bridge the gap between what customers say and what they need. Just as importantly, customer needs aren’t static. They change over time, and the product must adapt to match.

3. Understand your value chain and how it’s evolving. Products don’t exist in a vacuum. Neither do its users. The product strategy must incorporate how it fits into the larger ecosystem, determining where it adds value and where friction points remain. As that ecosystem changes, the product’s role within it may also evolve.

4. Determine what change is likely to happen. Although strategic thinkers don’t possess psychic powers, they should cast an eye toward the future and anticipate likely disruptive forces that limit or expand the product’s opportunities for growth and usage.

5. Define actions against those changes. With a view on the horizon, what must be included in the product strategy to mitigate those disruptions or seize upcoming opportunities?

Download The Product Strategy Playbook ➜

The Power of Product Strategy

Your product strategy is the key to connecting business objectives with the product. Companies have many different types of strategies, all built on one another to align the team properly. Making a great product strategy requires understanding where it sits in the middle of the high-level corporate vision and roadmap initiatives.

product strategy pyramid

Starting from the top, most companies create a corporate vision. It is the entire outfit’s reason for being. In a company’s early stages, the company and the product may be viewed synonymously. But that should rapidly change as the product rolls out and the business becomes more complex and diversified.

A corporate vision is the highest-level view of what the company wants to be. LinkedIn wants to “create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” IKEA’s vision “is to create a better everyday life for many people.” Nike wants to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)”

These visions are fuzzy on the details and big on inspiration. They intend to motivate employees, excite consumers, and boil down their philosophy into an extremely brief sentence or two.

A product vision statement is a static, aspirational statement about what the product aims to achieve. It’s who we are today and where we want to be.

Product visions are short and sweet. They don’t need ongoing updates because they’re also (relatively) timeless. Google wants “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Just beneath the corporate vision is the company mission. Now we start getting into tactics, albeit at an extremely high level. The mission talks about how the company will make that vision a reality.

These aren’t exactly actionable business plans, but they at least give some sense of how a vision might be realized. From a mission statement, you can then create a strategy, and that is where the product comes into play.

Product missions are also extremely brief. Think StubHub’s “Where fans buy and sell tickets.” Everyone reading it understands the big idea behind the product, but it isn’t limiting how to fulfill that mission.

Missions spell out the product’s overall purpose and what you want to do with your team. It can come before in-depth customer research and persona development , as it’s still not specifying implementation.

With a defined product vision and mission, a product strategy can then take shape. The product strategy is the art of finding and exploiting leverage in the competitive landscape to achieve your purpose (as defined in the product vision/mission).

Ambition is not a strategy; it must be more tactical. Strategies need a sense of realism, representing accomplishable outcomes.

However, product strategies also seldom include numbers or metrics because those make it too specific. Being No. 1 isn’t a strategy, either. That’s fodder for a mission or vision.

In the webinar below, we discuss how to treat your strategy as a product.

Product plans or initiatives

Residing one level below a strategy are plans for the product. Far more granular and specific, these are where the rubber meets the road, resources get allocated, budgets are defined, and schedules set. Project plans are all about actual execution, with no wiggle room for intent and targets.

With this hierarchy now defined, it’s time to get into what this means for products.

Product strategies aren’t easy to create… if they were, every entrepreneur would be a smashing success, and all startups would turn into unicorns. But following a simple playbook ensures you haven’t forgotten anything.

Here are five steps to a winning product strategy :

Create a Product Strategy in 5 Steps

Factor in the rest of the field

Just like a product manager shouldn’t devise an entire product strategy all by themselves, a product strategy can’t ignore what else is out there. Rare is the case where a product doesn’t face direct competitors or viable alternatives for the services and functions it provides.

Conducting a competitive analysis takes a disciplined approach to evaluating the other players vying for potential customers. This exercise should cast a wide net in terms of what solutions prospects are using or considering.

Each alternative’s attributes must be assessed, along with which features and capabilities resonate with the target market. Not every checkbox on the feature matrix matters the same to actual buyers and users, as organizations want to avoid becoming feature factories in their quest to “catch up.”

feature factory

Pricing strategies must also take competitors into account. The product strategy may entail a premium price point or undercutting the competition, but it’s hard to come up with a price tag without knowing what the rest of the market charges.

Additionally, product managers shouldn’t be fooled or talked out of playing a role in the pricing strategy. Despite what sales or business development might say, product management has the best understanding of a product’s COGS (cost of goods sold), and its real value to different customers.

Instead, product management should play an active part in the product’s pricing strategy , collaborating with other parts of the business to devise a model that drives growth and hits the company’s revenue and profitability goals.

Read the Power of SaaS Pricing Experiments ➜

From a product’s conception until its final sunset, product management’s role must adapt to the different lifecycle stages . Strategy never goes away, but it does have two distinct phases.

Product management throughout the product lifecycle

There is the initial strategy development, which begins with ideation. The strategy goes through rapid evolutions as research rolls in, MVPs are designed and built, feedback is collected, and the product morphs and changes while trying to find product-market fit.

Download the Product-Market Fit Book ➜

Product managers spend far more of their time developing and refining the strategy during this stage than at any other time. There is just so much learning occurring and unknown variables to define.

Once the product gets traction, product managers take on a different set of responsibilities. Attention shifts to growth and retention, usually followed by managing a decline or reinvention. Here the product strategy itself shouldn’t see as many significant shifts, although there’s never a time when the topic isn’t part of a product manager’s portfolio.

Staffing up

These lifecycle stages also influence the makeup of the product team itself. Different phases require varying skills, not to mention the volume of work to be done. With this in mind, product management must take a strategic approach to staffing.

Hiring product managers isn’t as straightforward as some other disciplines. There’s no ideal resume or degree for product management, and the role requires a unique combination of soft skills, creativity, and technical acumen.

Because these demands differ throughout the product lifecycle, product managers must carefully consider when is the right time to scale their team . The ideal team size is also highly dependent on the complexity of the products, the number of products in the overall portfolio, and which areas deserve more dedicated attention.

Download From Product Manager to Product Leader ➜

Collaborating with other teams

Despite building out a product team, product strategy meetings must involve other parts of the organization. No matter how many great ideas and talented individuals comprise the product management ranks, input from other departments is crucial.

Keeping these product strategy meetings from going off the rails is yet another challenge product managers face. Everyone brings their biases, pet projects, favorite shiny objects, and anecdotal evidence to the table.

Download IMPACT ➜

While a viable product strategy must encompass more than a series of measurable targets, metrics play a vital role in defining and executing the product strategy.

Product managers don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to defining product metrics. There’s an existing set of well-understood and valuable metrics at their disposal, assuming the instrumentation and reporting are in place. The fun/tricky part is deciding which ones to concentrate on .

The product’s maturity will also dictate which metrics are most relevant to that phase of the product strategy. Once a product is getting used and the analytics are rolling in, product managers can use metrics to adjust and enhance the product strategy . The data provides a valuable feedback loop and can quantify the anecdotal observations.

SaaS Metrics Pyramid Example

The product roadmap is the primary vehicle for transforming product strategy from theory to reality. It lays out how the product will evolve to achieve its key goals and communicate to everyone the priorities.

But translating a strategy and aligning the roadmap underneath it isn’t a trivial undertaking. It requires a lot of work in advance to identify what matters most to key organizational stakeholders and extensive planning and prioritization .

Download the Product Manager's Guide to Prioritization  ➜

One of the biggest mistakes product managers can make in this area is thinking they can—or should—do it alone. Failing to conduct critical strategic conversations ahead of time can spell doom for a product roadmap and tarnish product management’s reputation.

Incorporate stakeholder concerns into the process and product managers shouldn’t assume they know what each person cares about until they’ve discussed it personally with everyone. Not only is this a fact-finding opportunity for the roadmap makers, but it also provides another opportunity to reinforce the details of the product strategy with those stakeholders.

Building the roadmap

Much like a product strategy can only come after its vision and mission have been defined, it’s also logical to adopt a top-down strategy for the roadmap itself. This process intrinsically links everything in the roadmap to the high-level goals the organization established for the product. The strategy becomes a common, universal thread running through everything on the roadmap.

Strategy-based roadmapping also makes for a better team experience. It clears up any “why” questions and uncertainties. It allows the team to focus on what will have the most significant impact on executing the strategy everyone’s on board with.

Download Your Free Guide to Product Roadmaps ➜

Playing the numbers game.

One method is letting the numbers call the shots. In this case, that means adopting a data-driven approach to roadmapping by prioritizing projects that improve specific key metrics.

Data-driven product roadmaps embrace this quantifiable attitude by basing every decision on how it will influence particular measures of success. This tactic is great for building consensus since it’s hard to argue with data. But the “art” of a data-driven product roadmap is figuring out which metrics matter with regards to the product strategy .

Narrowing the field down to just a handful of measures of progress and success keeps the organization focused. Without a select few metrics—or a single North Star metric —to guide the way, the picture can get cloudy.

Vanity metrics can obscure the numbers that matter, as can metrics that were once critical but are now less relevant and meaningful. And if the obsession with specific measures goes too far, decision-making can ignore the customer experience itself, not to mention product managers’ sanity and happiness.

Results While a data-driven roadmap intends to move the needle on KPIs, sometimes the desired results are a little less measurable. Here’s where outcome-riven roadmapping can play a rol

Results-oriented roadmapping

Instead of saying the goal is improving a specific KPI, these product roadmaps value what will be possible after each initiative is complete. It gets out of the feature-specific mindset, leaving the implementation details intentionally fuzzy as the focus shifts toward the result. It could be anything from saving customers time when completing a task to unlocking an entirely new market for the product by adding additional functionality.

Outcome-driven roadmaps don’t ignore metrics, but they continually reevaluate which measurements are most important to track success against specific objectives. Outcomes determine the KPIs, not the other way around.

Forgoing features for themes

Product roadmaps have long been synonymous with features and delivery dates. Here’s what we’re building. Here’s when it will be ready. Things were sometimes grouped, but in general, it’s typically just a laundry list of what’s next on the docket.

But product roadmaps can and should be so much more than high-level project plans. A product roadmap is a unifying artifact that can get an entire organization excited about how the product vision and mission will unfurl. But the more specific a product roadmap gets, the less useful it becomes.

Instead of telling a story, it spells out a schedule. And that schedule is full of things for people to question, debate, and complain about. Plus, they’re outdated almost as soon as they’re exported, causing additional drama when false expectations are set and not met.

Moving to feature-less roadmaps spares everyone in the organization from drowning in details and nitpicking over dates and specifics. By basing product roadmaps on themes , the focus stays on strategy, goals, and outcomes. It’s far easier to align stakeholders and keep coworkers motivated and excited about the future this way than with a chronological litany of enhancements.

Theme-based roadmaps also require fewer updates and revisions. Since they’re less granular by definition, minor adjustments to dates and specific implementation details don’t warrant a modification.

Doownload Feature-less Roadmaps: Unlock Your Product's Strategic Potential➜

A product strategy’s viability and performance reflect directly back on product management and its credibility . If it seems out-of-step with reality or isn’t delivering results, the blame and finger-pointing will always land on product managers.

With this in mind, product managers should be fully confident in their product strategy. If there’s anything shaky in its foundation, they have to immediately investigate and mitigate any shortcomings, errors, or oversights.

Inherited product strategies

Not everyone is there from Day One, so some product teams find themselves managing products where someone else created the initial strategy. However, this doesn’t mean it should be scrapped, and everyone should start from scratch.

The team should unpack for themselves, ensuring any misunderstandings aren’t personal. The current strategy’s meaning to stakeholders should be determined, as historical drivers and beliefs fuel it.

Most importantly, revisit the assumptions used to craft the existing strategy, challenging them when appropriate. Markets evolve, new research uncovers additional things, and the current strategy’s underlying basis may no longer be valid.

Avoid stale strategies

Product strategies should be revisited regularly (monthly or quarterly is a good cadence). Start with the assumptions and then bounce alternatives and new things against them. If the strategy stands up to this scrutiny, it’s still in good shape. If not, it’s probably time for a refresh.

Frequent strategy revisions and mid-course, minor corrections are more accessible than making a full-scale change after not revisiting it for a while. Persistent reevaluation also protects product management’s trust and reputation as the strategy isn’t drastically changing all the time.

It’s also prudent to revisit user personas. As usage grows, it may turn out the people using the product may not exactly match the initial crop of personas used in earlier strategy development. Plus, there may be entirely new markets finding value in the product that wasn’t part of the original plan.

Home Blog Business How to Set and Present Strategic Goals (With Templates and Examples)

How to Set and Present Strategic Goals (With Templates and Examples)

Cover for Strategic Goals guide by SlideModel

A mountain climber needs a map to navigate the treacherous terrain and, ultimately, triumph over the mountain. This scene illustrates a valuable lesson: just as a climber needs a map to guide their ascent, organizations, too, require a strategic roadmap to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the business world. Strategic goal setting serves as that map, providing a clear direction and framework for success. 

In this article, we explore the significance of strategic goal setting in driving organizational success and discuss key characteristics of an effective one. 

Table of Contents

What is a Strategic Goal?

Strategic goal vs strategic plan: what’s the difference, characteristics of a good strategic goal, strategic goal examples, goal-setting framework to supplement strategic goals, how to pick the best tools to showcase strategic goals, how to present strategic goals.

Strategic goals are the overarching objectives that guide an organization’s actions and decisions. These goals are typically set for a longer time horizon, ranging from three to five years or even more. Strategic goals define what an organization aspires to achieve and provide a clear focus for all stakeholders.

Articulating and presenting strategic goals to every department is crucial for companies due to several reasons:

Strategic goals and strategic plans are different, although they go hand in hand.

As mentioned, strategic goals are the ultimate goal or the ideal that an organization aspires to achieve. On the other hand, a strategic plan is a document that outlines the steps that the organization needs to take to make that vision a reality.

Strategic goals and strategic planning are vital components of organizational success as they provide a sense of direction for every endeavor companies undertake.

Team work in strategic goals

1. Ambitious yet Achievable

Strategic Goals should challenge organizations to strive for excellence while remaining within realistic boundaries. Jim Collins emphasized this in his book, Built to Last, using the concept of “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals” ( BHAGs ). Organizations willing to bet on ambitious targets will unlock untapped potential and achieve extraordinary results. However, it is crucial to balance ambition with realism, considering the challenges that may be faced along the way, like available resources, market conditions, and competitive dynamics.

For instance, a software company might set a strategic goal of becoming the market leader in their industry within five years. While ambitious, this goal is attainable with the right resources and strategy.

2. Specific and Measurable

A strong strategic goal should be measurable, allowing for precise progress tracking and evaluation. This can be done by setting quantifiable targets or identifying key performance metrics. For instance, if the strategic goal is to improve customer satisfaction, the target could be to achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 90% within one year.

By defining specific metrics and targets, organizations gain clarity on what success looks like and can monitor their progress effectively. At the same time, it provides valuable guidance for teams to track their performance and make data-driven adjustments along the way.

3. Aligns With Company Principles

Aligning the strategic goal with the vision and mission of the organization is paramount. The strategic goal should reflect the core purpose and values of the company, reinforcing its unique identity and market positioning.

For instance, a social enterprise with a mission to promote sustainable practices might set a strategic goal of reducing its carbon footprint by a certain percentage.

4. Sets the Vision for the Future

Strategic goals are not limited to short-sighted, immediate objectives but encompass the organization’s broader vision and aspirations for the future (within a year or more). Harvard Business School Online differentiates them from operational goals, which are the smaller milestones towards the bigger goal.

For example, a strategic goal for a renewable energy company might be to transition to 100% clean energy sources within the next decade. On the other hand, their operational goal could be to increase solar energy production capacity by 20% within the next year.

Using the characteristics of a good strategic goal provided, we can create a formula for creating strategic goals.

The formula for setting strategic goals

Let’s see how this formula can be applied in different industries.

Strategic Goal Examples for Marketing

Strategic Goal Examples for Finances

Strategic Goal Examples for Human Resources

Strategic Goal Examples for Productions

The broad nature of strategic goals can sometimes make it challenging for each department to fully appreciate and connect with them. Hence, companies should strive to translate their strategic goals into more specific action plans relevant to each department’s responsibilities. This helps create a clear line of sight between the strategic goals and their day-to-day work.

A goal-setting framework may help in this regard by breaking down the strategic goal into actionable operational objectives. So, what are the available goal-setting tools to utilize?

1. OKR (Objectives and Key Results)

OKR, short for objectives and key results , is a simple goal-setting template popularized by former Intel CEO Andy Grove in the ‘70s. OKRs can be written as a statement:

I will (Objective) as measured by (Key Results).

The first part of the statement (I will) represents the organization’s aspiration, typically qualitative in nature, that expresses the desired outcome. The latter part ( measured by ), on the other hand, outlines the quantifiable results that will provide a tangible way to assess and track the organization’s performance.

Organizations may also utilize an expanded version of the OKR template and include the key activities they must undertake to reach their goal. This will provide a more detailed roadmap of the specific actions and initiatives required from the stakeholders.

Duop Electronics is an e-commerce website specializing in electronic gadgets and accessories. Although the company has a strong online presence, they want to enhance its website traffic further to drive more visibility, increase sales, and expand its customer base.

OKR table slide example

Objective: Increase website traffic for Duop Electronics.

Key Results:


2. SMART Framework

Breaking down strategic goals into SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goals is essential in goal-setting.

As mentioned, strategic goals are broad by nature. The SMART framework helps translate broad strategic objectives into actionable and well-defined targets. This clarity ensures that everyone involved understands what needs to be achieved and can align their efforts accordingly.

GreenLine Bank is a leading financial institution that provides a wide range of banking services to individual and business customers. Although they have a good customer retention rate of 75%, they wanted to reduce customer churn to maximize revenue. GreenLine Bank implements the SMART framework to translate its strategic goal into tangible objectives.

SMART framework for strategic goals

Specific: Increase its customer retention rate by 10% over the next year.

Measurable: Track and measure the customer churn rate monthly or quarterly using a reliable data tracking system.

Attainable: Enhance customer onboarding process, implement customer feedback mechanisms, and develop targeted retention campaigns.

Relevant: Reduced customer churn contributes to increased revenue and a positive brand reputation.

Time-bound: Achieve the target within the next 12 months by monitoring and reviewing progress regularly.

3. Balanced Scorecard

Many factors come into play toward the realization of a strategic goal, such as the financial aspect of the company and the workforce. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) encourages companies to consider these factors to achieve a strategic goal. 

BSC provides a structured framework for measuring and managing performance across different perspectives, including financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth. By incorporating these perspectives into the action plan, organizations can ensure the feasibility and effectiveness of the action plan.

ABC Food Processing specializes in producing packaged food products with multiple manufacturing facilities. However, the company has faced challenges in keeping up with the increasing demand due to production constraints and process inefficiencies in recent years. To stay ahead in the industry, the company wants to achieve a 20% increase in production output within 6 months to meet growing customer demand and improve profitability.

ABC Food Processing adopts the Balanced Scorecard framework to set and achieve its strategic goal.

Balanced Scorecard example for a Food Processing company

Financial Perspective:

Internal Processes:

Learning and growth:

Customer Perspective:

4. 30-60-90 Day Plan

The 30-60-90 Day Plan is often used during employee onboarding that outlines how the employee intends to move forward during the first 90 days on the job. It breaks goals down into 30-, 60- and 90-day increments.

While strategic goals typically encompass longer time frames, organizations can emulate this framework to set short-term objectives that contribute to achieving their overall strategic goal. It balances setting short-term objectives to maintain focus and momentum while keeping the overall strategic direction in mind.

Each period within the plan can represent an implementation phase and focus on specific actions and milestones. As each phase is completed, it sets the foundation for the subsequent phase, leading to the ultimate achievement of the strategic goal.

Blitz Tech Solutions is a software developer that specializes in custom software solutions. To expand its customer base, Blitz Tech Solutions has set a strategic goal of breaking into new markets. The company aims to establish a presence in the healthcare industry within the next year.

Instead of the 30-day increments, Blitz Tech Solutions set its milestones to 4-8-12 months.

30-60-90 day framework applied for strategic goals.

4-Month Plan:

8-Month Plan

12-Month Plan

5. Porter’s Five Forces Framework

Porter’s Five Forces , a framework developed by Michael Porter, can be used to analyze the competitive dynamics of an industry and inform strategic goal-setting. While Porter’s Five Forces are typically used to assess the attractiveness of an industry or evaluate competitive advantage, they can also be employed to identify strategic goals and develop corresponding action plans.

According to this framework, five forces influence a company’s profitability and, in return, shape strategic goals. These are:

SWT Cola is a beverage company to increase its market share globally. It adopts Porter’s Five Forces framework to analyze the industry dynamics and develop an action plan .

Porter's Five Forces Analysis

Threats of New Entrants:

The beverage industry has relatively high barriers to entry due to the need for extensive distribution networks and brand recognition.

Solution: Secure exclusive partnerships with key distributors within the target market. Invest in brand building and marketing campaigns to enhance brand recognition and customer loyalty.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers:

The beverage company relies on suppliers for raw materials and packaging materials.

Solution: Implement effective supplier management practices to ensure competitive pricing, quality control, and timely deliveries. Explore opportunities for backward integration to reduce dependency on external suppliers.

Bargaining Power of Buyers :

Customers have numerous choices and can easily switch brands.

Solution: Collaborate with businesses or influencers in the food and beverage industry to expand brand reach and exposure. Offer rewards, discounts, exclusive promotions, or personalized experiences to customers.

Threat of Substitute Products or Services:

Has several substitute products like bottled water, juices, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Solution: Invest in product research to improve the quality and variety of products.

The Intensity of Competitive Rivalry:

The beverage industry is highly competitive, with numerous established brands.

Solution: Differentiate through product quality, packaging innovation, and effective marketing campaigns. 

When selecting tools to showcase strategic goals during presentations, consider the specific needs of your project. Different tools excel in different areas. Consider the specific objectives you want to emphasize and choose tools that effectively communicate and support those objectives.

For example, a Balanced Scorecard or a 30-60-90 Day Plan template may be appropriate if you want to showcase progress and milestones. The OKR , the other hand, may be useful when you want to set clear, measurable goals and track progress effectively.

By carefully selecting the appropriate framework, you can effectively showcase your strategic goals, action plans, and progress to your audience, ensuring a clear and impactful presentation.

Presenting strategic goals in business meetings or any formal corporate environment is a process that requires, above all things, planning and effective communication techniques. Speakers should hone their presentation skills to deliver their message with success. Follow these steps to prepare for a strategic goals presentation.

Providing Context

The presentation should start with a brief overview of the company’s situation in terms of market position, leading selling products/services, competitors, and developments made during the past period. This introductory information aligns stakeholders on the premises the strategic goals are to be set.

Follow next by exposing the challenges and hidden opportunities found during that same period, as they are the core reason why the strategic goals are being set. Examples of this can be technology upgrades, rapport from customers regarding their journey to acquire goods/services from your company, and reports from HR from continuous evaluation processes. These factors will back up the need to set new strategic goals for the organization and how working towards them is a sign of success.

Using a Framework to Set Strategic Goals

As mentioned before in this article, the strategic goals need to be clearly laid out, with their metrics for success and a follow-up process to apply. Using a roadmap slide that covers the milestones to accomplish each goal is a simple method to help team members comprehend at which stage will their efforts be required. The SMART Goal framework is also quite useful for this purpose, but you can combine techniques for maximum efficiency.

Help yourself with visual aids to express each of the goals to attain, how will they be reached, and when.

Explain the ‘Why’

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.” This fantastic quote by Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” is a good example of the reasoning behind this point. Your team needs alignment to meet its goals, and alignment is usually driven by inspiration, by believing in a greater reason behind a task than just completing it.

Team leaders should work with their teams in the design phase of the strategic goals presentation to cover the reasons why these goals are beneficial for the company. The reasons behind why a goal should be pursued may be different from management to employee perspective, so that’s a valid reason for brainstorming the ‘Why.’ Build a narrative through storytelling techniques that convey the importance of the company’s growth process, its core values, and tradition to drive that “wow factor” to the stakeholders so they also feel connected with the goals.

Action Plan + Challenges

Finally, presenters need to lay out the action plan, the actors involved in each part of the process, and individual/phase deadlines so the team kicks off from the same starting point. Break down complex tasks into actionable mini-steps that build momentum.

Resources, either financial, technological, or workforce, need to be introduced at this point, as the company can have parallel goals that require to use of the same resources simultaneously.

Additionally, it is a good practice to discuss the potential challenges the organization can come across in meeting these strategic goals and how to mitigate them. Giving 5-10 minutes to discuss this point or share a document with guidelines for predictable issues that can arise brings security to your team, so they feel they can work at their best performance.

It is a critical process for organizations to define their long-term vision and direction. Strategic goals provide a clear focus and alignment for all stakeholders, guiding their actions and decisions. That said, companies should be able to present actionable operational objectives to concerned teams for clarity and better implementation.

business plan company goals

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business plan company goals

What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, elements of a business plan, special considerations.

Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How To Write One

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

business plan company goals

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

A business plan is a document that defines in detail a company's objectives and how it plans to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written road map for the firm from marketing , financial, and operational standpoints. Both startups and established companies use business plans.

A business plan is an important document aimed at a company's external and internal audiences. For instance, a business plan is used to attract investment before a company has established a proven track record. It can also help to secure lending from financial institutions.

Furthermore, a business plan can serve to keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and on target for meeting established goals.

Although they're especially useful for new businesses, every company should have a business plan. Ideally, the plan is reviewed and updated periodically to reflect goals that have been met or have changed. Sometimes, a new business plan is created for an established business that has decided to move in a new direction.

Key Takeaways

Want Funding? You Need a Business Plan

A business plan is a fundamental document that any new business should have in place prior to beginning operations. Indeed, banks and venture capital firms often require a viable business plan before considering whether they'll provide capital to new businesses.

Operating without a business plan usually is not a good idea. In fact, very few companies are able to last very long without one. There are benefits to creating (and sticking to) a good business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and working through potential obstacles to success.

A good business plan should outline all the projected costs and possible pitfalls of each decision a company makes. Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they can have the same basic elements, such as an executive summary of the business and detailed descriptions of its operations, products and services, and financial projections. A plan also states how the business intends to achieve its goals.

While it's a good idea to give as much detail as possible, it's also important that a plan be concise to keep a reader's attention to the end.

A well-considered and well-written business plan can be of enormous value to a company. While there are templates that you can use to write a business plan, try to avoid producing a generic result. The plan should include an overview and, if possible, details of the industry of which the business will be a part. It should explain how the business will distinguish itself from its competitors.

Start with the essential structure: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, product or service description, marketing strategy, financial projections, and appendix (which include documents and data that support the main sections). These sections or elements of a business plan are outlined below.

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to strictly follow a particular business plan outline or template. Use only those sections that make the most sense for your particular business and its needs.

Traditional business plans use some combination of the sections below. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making. Regardless, try to keep the main body of your plan to around 15-25 pages.

The length of a business plan varies greatly from business to business. Consider fitting the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Then, other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and included as appendices.

As mentioned above, no two business plans are the same. Nonetheless, they tend to have the same elements. Below are some of the common and key parts of a business plan.

Unique Business Plans Help

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its singularity and potential for success.

Types of Business Plans

Business plans help companies identify their objectives and remain on track to meet goals. They can help companies start, manage themselves, and grow once up and running. They also act as a means to attract lenders and investors.

Although there is no right or wrong business plan, they can fall into two different categories—traditional or lean startup. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the most common. It contains a lot of detail in each section. These tend to be longer than the lean startup plan and require more work.

Lean startup business plans, on the other hand, use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans aren't as common in the business world because they're short—as short as one page—and lack detail. If a company uses this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or lender requests it.

Financial Projections

A complete business plan must include a set of financial projections for the business. These forward-looking financial statements are often called pro-forma financial statements or simply the " pro-formas ." They include an overall budget, current and projected financing needs, a market analysis, and the company's marketing strategy.

Other Considerations for a Business Plan

A major reason for a business plan is to give owners a clear picture of objectives, goals, resources, potential costs, and drawbacks of certain business decisions. A business plan should help them modify their structures before implementing their ideas. It also allows owners to project the type of financing required to get their businesses up and running.

If there are any especially interesting aspects of the business, they should be highlighted and used to attract financing, if needed. For example, Tesla Motors' electric car business essentially began only as a business plan.

Importantly, a business plan shouldn't be a static document. As a business grows and changes, so too should the business plan. An annual review of the company and its plan allows an entrepreneur or group of owners to update the plan, based on successes, setbacks, and other new information. It provides an opportunity to size up the plan's ability to help the company grow.

Think of the business plan as a living document that evolves with your business.

A business plan is a document created by a company that describes the company's goals, operations, industry standing, marketing objectives, and financial projections. The information it contains can be a helpful guide in running the company. What's more, it can be a valuable tool to attract investors and obtain financing from financial institutions.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

Even if you have a good business plan, your company can still fail, especially if you do not stick to the plan! Having strong leadership with a focus on the plan is always a good strategy. Even when following the plan, if you had poor assumptions going into your projections, you can be caught with cash flow shortages and out-of-control budgets. Markets and the economy can also change. Without flexibility built into your business plan, you may be unable to pivot to a new course as needed.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers a quick explanation of its business. The company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide since it's just getting started.

Sections can include: a value proposition, a company's major activities and advantages, resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital, a list of partnerships, customer segments, and revenue sources.

Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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5 Tips for Setting SMART Goals in Your Business Plan

Chad Brooks

Put your goals on the fast track to success.

Goals and dreams have important differences. Dreams are wishes and fantasies; for example, many of us long to be rich, famous, more successful, happier and healthier. Goals put your dreams on a deadline and require actionable steps toward achievement. 

As with personal goals, you have a greater chance of achieving business goals when you work within a structure that sets you up for success. We’ll explore the SMART goals system and how you can apply this goal-achievement method to your business. 

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. The SMART goals framework is a way to stay on target and achieve your goals more systematically. The process includes the following components:

Why use SMART goals?

SMART goals allow you to chart a course and stay organized when reaching personal or professional goals. You’re more likely to succeed because you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and abandon your goal entirely. 

In a business setting particularly, SMART goals provide teams with clarity, structure and guidelines. Business goals can involve cost-cutting measures , marketing initiatives, sales increases and much more. 

With SMART goals, you and your team know what success in each endeavor means and how to measure it within a project’s framework. Everyone knows the steps they must take to reach the goals. With ambiguity gone and a direction mapped, SMART goals set up your team for success.  

Goal-setting and tracking tools and apps can help your team get on the same page and accomplish company objectives.

How to incorporate SMART goals into your business plan

We’ll take a closer look at each SMART goal element and offer implementation examples you can apply to your business. 

1. Make goals specific.

A specific goal clearly states what is to be achieved, by whom , where and when it is to be achieved (and sometimes why ).

For example, let’s say you’re a wedding planner. Here’s how a non-SMART goal compares with a SMART goal in specificity: 

2. Make goals measurable.

Measuring your goal means evaluating the end results and the milestones you’ll need to hit on the way. When you measure, you assess if you’re on the right track toward achieving your goal by asking these questions:

For example, let’s say your goal is to reach sales of $96,000 per year. To measure your goal, you could take the following actions:

Measuring draws your focus, helping you boost your odds of achieving your goal. One good way to measure is to have a dashboard arranged by month. For example, you could use a chart like this:

3. Make goals attainable.

When you set goals, ensure they’re achievable. If you believe you can reach the goal, it’s more likely you’ll get there. It’s a mistake to set unreachable goals, because you’re setting yourself up for failure from the beginning. Additionally, don’t let others set your goals.

Setting attainable goals is also essential for team goal setting and can boost employee engagement . If you set unrealistic goals for your team, your team members won’t fully engage in the project. They need to be fully on board for the project to succeed. Everyone on the team should share in the goal setting so they own the goal and know it’s attainable. 

Consider setting performance goals tied to an incentive so that your team operates with a sense of urgency on a crucial project.

4. Make goals relevant.

Goals tend to fall into two categories: short-term and long-term. It’s essential to understand how both goal types fit your organizational or personal vision, mission and purpose.

It’s tempting to set a goal because it’s easy or sounds great, only to find out later that it has no long-term importance in what you want to achieve as an individual or an organization.

5. Make goals time-based.

Setting a deadline attaches a time frame to your goals. A deadline can be an excellent motivator. For example, let’s say you want to run a marathon in a year. A time-based goal would look something like this:

Time-based goals help you avoid procrastination because your process offers incentives as you meet smaller achievements along the way. 

If you’re interested in tracking employee performance, check out employee performance measuring tools such as Basecamp, DeskTime and Trello.

How to identify and reach your goals

It’s crucial to set a goal that matches your personal or professional vision. After you set the goal, focus on a process that makes your goal achievable. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Identify your goal.

If you are unable to set a SMART goal, it’s usually because you need to clarify exactly what you want to accomplish within a set time period. It’s inadvisable to skip the process of SMART goal setting and just “go for it.” You have a greater chance of success when you analyze your goals and match them to your vision.

To save time, prevent disappointment and avoid costly mistakes, perform the following exercise when implementing SMART goals.

What are your goals? Writing down your goals helps to clarify your thinking. Can you stretch yourself both personally and in your business by setting three goals in each area?

2. Focus on the system.

Once you’ve set a goal, find a way to develop a system to achieve that goal. For example, if you want to write a book in one year and you’re not an author, you may feel overwhelmed. 

Instead, try writing 250 words per day. Don’t agonize over what you are writing – just write. At that rate, if you write five days per week (260 days per year), you will have 65,000 words in a year, or approximately a 250-page paperback.

Business goals work the same way. Set the goal, and then find a system to help you reach that goal. For example, when setting a sales goal, you may want to focus on consistently achieving 10 quotes per month with a 50% success rate. 

Leah Zitter contributed to the writing and research in this article. 

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Market Business News

Ronald A Fossum Jr Shares How To Create A Sustainable Growth Plan

Sustainable cities image green image 4m44

Growing your business doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster of success and failure – it can be an enjoyable, steady journey toward achieving sustainable growth. But how do you create this? A sound, organized plan that develops over time is the best way to ensure your business grows safely and securely for years. Here, expert Ronald A Fossum Jr will discuss the different methods you can use when creating a comprehensive yet achievable growth plan for your business to ensure you’re setting yourself up for long-term sustainability and financial security.

Research The Market And Potential Consumers To Understand The Need

Researching the market and understanding the needs of potential consumers is a crucial step in any business venture. By delving deeper into your target audience, you can gain critical insights into their requirements and how to tailor your product or service to meet their needs. This valuable information can help you make informed decisions on everything from pricing and promotion to product development and design. By conducting thorough research, you can position yourself ahead of your competitors and create a product or service that genuinely resonates with your target audience. So, if you’re looking to start up your own business or introduce a new product to the market, make sure that you do your homework and get to know your potential consumers.

Identify And Prioritize Goals To Create Achievable Steps And Objectives

To turn our dreams into reality, it’s essential to identify and prioritize our goals. We can’t just wish for success and hope that it magically appears- we need to create a plan of action. By breaking down our goals into smaller, achievable steps and objectives, we set ourselves up for success. This approach makes our ambitions feel less overwhelming and gives us a clear roadmap. Whether we’re aiming for personal growth, career advancement, or anything in between, identifying and prioritizing our goals is a crucial first step toward making them a reality.

Analyze Data Collected From Past Performance Of The Company

Analyzing data collected from a company’s past performance can provide valuable insights into its operations, achievements, and shortcomings. Businesses can better understand what has worked well and what areas need improvement by looking closely at financial statements, marketing analyses, customer feedback, and employee reviews. This data can inform decision-making processes , reveal trends, and identify potential risks or opportunities. By leveraging past performance data, companies can make data-driven decisions that improve their overall operations and increase their chances of success moving forward.

Develop A Timeline For Implementation Of Strategies And Tactics

Ronald A Fossum Jr says e ffective management and planning of strategies and tactics require well-structured timelines. Developing a timeline is a crucial aspect of any implementation plan. The timeline allows teams to chart a course of action, organize resources, and improve productivity. Besides, it is a benchmark for measuring progress and identifying performance gaps. A comprehensive timeline should outline key milestones, resource allocation, and dependencies that need consideration. The timeline should be realistic, flexible, and open to changes that may arise during the implementation process. With a well-thought-out timeline, teams can stay focused, work cohesively and achieve objectives within the set timeframe.

Outline Strategies That Are Cost-Effective And Can Be Implemented Quickly

In an age where time and resources are limited, it’s important to find cost-effective strategies to implement swiftly. One such method is to focus on automation, which can handle repetitive tasks with minimal human intervention. Additionally, investing in training and development can improve employee skills and efficiency, leading to better productivity and cost savings over time. Lastly, utilizing cloud technology can provide a more flexible and scalable IT infrastructure, which can adapt quickly to changing business needs. By implementing these strategies, businesses can find ways to save money while also improving efficiency and productivity in the long term.

Monitor Progress And Adapt Plans When Needed To Ensure Sustainability

As we work towards sustainability , monitoring progress is crucial to success. It’s essential to keep a close eye on the results of our efforts and adapt our plans as needed. After all, our goal is to create lasting change – not just a temporary shift. We can ensure that our plans remain relevant, efficient, and effective by staying flexible and responsive. This sort of adaptability is necessary for any long-term project, especially so when it comes to sustainability. So let’s keep an eye on our progress, fine-tune our strategies, and continue moving forward with dedication and creativity. Together, we can build a brighter, greener future.

When effectively used, these main points can serve as powerful tools to guide start-ups and established businesses. By researching the market and potential consumers, you can understand their needs and how your company or product can fulfill them. Prioritizing goals helps create achievable steps that are realistic and appropriate for the timeline you have to work with. Analyzing data collected from past performance is crucial for understanding what you can tweak and what has worked well, allowing your business to capitalize on those successes. Outlining cost-effective, achievable, yet challenging benchmarks that provide significant growth opportunities and finding ways of quickly implementing these tactics should be considered early on. Continuing to monitor progress alongside adapting plans where needed will ensure sustainability. It should now be evident why these main points are integral to successful business planning across all industries.

Interesting Related Article: “ Sustainability in Practice: Incorporating Sustainability in Your Financial Decision-Making “


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