10 Most Important Business Objectives
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Your business objectives are the results you hope to achieve as you run and grow your business. As an entrepreneur, you are concerned with every aspect of your business and need to have clear goals in mind for your company if you are to stay on track. Having a comprehensive list of business objectives creates the guidelines that become the foundation for your business planning.
1. Getting and Staying Profitable
Maintaining profitability means making sure that revenue stays ahead of the costs of doing business. Focus on controlling costs in both production and operations while maintaining the profit margin on products sold.
2. Productivity of People and Resources
Employee training, equipment maintenance and new equipment purchases all go into company productivity. Your objective should be to provide all of the resources your employees need to remain as productive as possible.
3. Excellent Customer Service
Good customer service helps you retain clients and generate repeat revenue. Keeping your customers happy should be a primary objective of your organization.
4. Employee Attraction and Retention
Employee turnover costs you money in lost productivity and the costs associated with recruiting, which include employment advertising and paying placement agencies. Maintaining a productive and positive employee environment improves retention.
5. Mission-driven Core Values
Your company mission statement is a description of the core values of your company. It is a summary of the beliefs your company holds in regard to customer interaction, responsibility to the community and employee satisfaction. The company's core values become the objectives necessary to create a positive corporate culture.
6. Sustainable Growth
Growth is planned based on historical data and future projections. Growth requires the careful use of company resources such as finances and personnel.
7. Maintaining a Healthy Cash Flow
Even a company with good cash flow needs financing contacts in the event that capital is needed to expand the organization. Maintaining your ability to finance operations means that you can prepare for long-term projects and address short-term needs such as payroll and accounts payable.
8. Dealing with Change
Change management is the process of preparing your organization for growth and creating processes that effectively deal with a developing marketplace. The objective of change management is to create a dynamic organization that is prepared to meet the challenges of your industry.
9. Reaching the Right Customers
Marketing is more than creating advertising and getting customer input on product changes. It is understanding consumer buying trends, being able to anticipate product distribution needs and developing business partnerships that help your organization to improve market share.
10. Staying Ahead of the Competition
A comprehensive analysis of the activities of the competition should be an ongoing business objective for your organization. Understanding where your products rank in the marketplace helps you to better determine how to improve your standing among consumers and improve your revenue.
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George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.
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6 examples of objectives for a small business plan
Table of Contents
1) Becoming and staying profitable
2) maintaining cash flow , 3) establishing and sustaining productivity , 4) attracting and retaining customers , 5) developing a memorable brand and marketing strategy, 6) planning for growth , track your business objectives and more with countingup.
Your new company’s business plan is a crucial part of your success, as it helps you set up your business and secure the necessary funding. A major part of this plan is your objectives or the outcomes you aim to reach. If you’re unsure where to start, this list of business objective examples can help.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Becoming and staying profitable
- Maintaining cash flow
- Establishing and sustaining productivity
- Attracting and retaining customers
- Developing a memorable brand
- Reaching and growing an audience through marketing
- Planning for growth
One of the key objectives you may consider is establishing and maintaining profitability . In short, you’ll aim to earn more than you spend and pay off your startup costs. To do this, you’ll need to consider your business’s starting budget and how you’ll stick to it.
To create an objective around profitability, you’ll need to calculate how much you spend to start your business and how much you’ll have to spend regularly to run it. Knowing these numbers will help you determine the earnings you’ll need to become profitable. From there, you can factor in the pricing of your products or services and create sales goals .
For example, say you spend £2,000 on startup costs and expect to spend about £200 monthly to cover business expenses. To earn a profit, you’ll first need to earn back that £2,000 then make more than £200 monthly.
Once you know what you’ll need to earn to become profitable, you can create a realistic timeline to achieve it. If demand and sales forecasts suggest you could earn about £700 monthly, you may create a timeline of 5 months to become profitable.
Maintaining cash flow is another financial objective you could include in your business plan. While profitability means you’ll make more money than you spend, cash flow is the cash running in and out of your business over a given time. This flow is crucial to your company’s success because you need available cash to cover business expenses .
When you complete services, clients may not pay out an invoice right away, meaning you won’t see the cash until they do. If you make enough sales but have low cash flow, you’ll struggle to run your business. So, create an achievable and measurable plan for how you’ll maintain the cash flow you need.
For example, if you spend £500 monthly, you’ll need to ensure you have at least that much available cash. On top of that, anticipate and save for unexpected or emergency expenses, such as broken equipment. To maintain your cash flow, you may want to prioritise cash payments, introduce a realistic deadline for invoices, or create a system to turn your profit to cash.
Aside from financial objectives, another example of objectives for a business plan is sustaining productivity . When you run a business, it can be overwhelming and challenging to stay on top of all the tasks you have to get done. But, if you aim to remain productive and create a clear plan as to how, you can better manage your to-do list.
For example, you may find project management tools that can help you track what you need to do and how to organise your priorities. You may also plan to outsource some aspects of your business eventually, such as investing in an accountant.
Other than planning how you’ll get things done, you may want to create an objective for developing and retaining a customer base. Here, you may outline your efforts to find leads and recruit customers. So, establish goals for how many customers you want to find in your business’s first month, quarter, or year. Your market research can help you understand demand and create realistic sales goals.
If you start a business that customers regularly need, like hairdressing, you may also want to create a strategy for how you’ll retain customers you earn. For example, you could introduce a loyalty program or prioritise customer service to build strong relationships.
Another example of objectives for a business plan is to develop a memorable brand and overall marketing strategy . Your brand is how you present your business to the public, including its unique tone and design. So, here you might research how to make a brand memorable and consider what colour scheme and style will best reach your target audience.
To measure your brand’s progress, you could hold focus groups on understanding what people think of your overall look. Then, surveys can help you grasp the reach of your reputation over time.
Aside from tracking the success of your brand strategy, you may want to consider your business’s marketing approach. For example, you might invest in paid advertising and use social media. You can measure the progress of this over time by using tools like Google Analytics to track your following and reach.
Finally, creating an objective for your company’s growth will help you understand and plan for where you want to go. For example, you may want to expand your services or open a second location for a shop. Whatever ideas you have for the future of your business, try to create a clear, measurable way of getting there, including a timeline. You may also want to include steps towards this goal and savings goals for growth.
To achieve and track your business plan objectives, you’ll need to organise your finances well. But, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With the cash flow insights feature, you can confidently keep on top of your finances wherever you are. Plus, the app lets you track and manage what you spend on your business with automatic expense categorisation. This way, you can stick to your budget and plan to accomplish your objectives.
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Business objectives: How to set them (with 5 examples and a template)
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.
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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 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.
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.
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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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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Top 15 Business Objectives to Grow Your Business
Category: OKR University , BLOG .
Business objectives are vital to achieving goals, regardless of the size of your business. They form the road map towards your ultimate business goals.
Clear, concise objectives outline what you want your business to accomplish within a specific time frame. They are an essential part of your business plan and require input from all team members to ensure success.
Let’s explore a good objective, why it’s essential, and the top 15 goals you need to grow your business.
What is a Good Business Objective?
Essentially, business objectives are clear targets that direct business owners and the management team to grow the business. For instance, increasing profit margins is a broad corporate goal. The business objective, in this case, can be summarized as “grow revenue by 20% over the following six months.”
Good objectives for business should follow the SMART criteria, that is:
SMART objectives ensure a better-structured approach when developing a work plan. It helps you devise a systematic method of monitoring and evaluating your progress. Such objectives clearly define how to achieve your business goals and identify the opportunities to grow and improve. Attaining your business objectives gives you confidence as it’s a sign that you’re on the right path towards your overall business goals.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs
Why is it Important?
Good objectives for the business are an effective way to harmonize your business’ vision and business processes. Other outstanding benefits of business objectives include:
Business objectives motivate your team by outlining what you or the business expects from them. Clear goals ensure everyone remains driven and enhance productivity. Setting up a reward system is an excellent way to motivate your team to exceed the objectives.
Your business objectives are the benchmarks to determine the overall success of your business. When paired with proper metrics, these objectives help you make more informed decisions to propel your success. It’s also an effective way to identify areas where you’re failing and what needs improvement.
Clear business objectives help you determine the best way to allocate funds in your budget. Since you’ll know what steps to take to achieve your goals, it’s easier to streamline your budget and financial plan.
Types of Business Objectives
Every business has unique business objectives depending on the specific circumstances. Goals fall under four primary categories, including:
Economic or Financial Business Objectives
1. reducing business costs.
Good objectives for business addressing costs assist with managing operational and production costs. They help you attain profitability and increase your revenue.
2. Increasing and Sustaining Profitability
Profitability is an essential business objective, especially if you partner with other investors. Maintaining profitability is the best way to ensure a promising future and progress towards your ultimate goals.
3. Sustainable Growth
Business growth is essential, but it’s most beneficial if the development is sustainable. Setting objectives for sustainable growth enables you to project finances and operational costs.
4. Increasing Revenue
Business objectives that focus on revenue ensure your operational costs and income balance. Your objective can be a specific revenue goal or increasing the income by a particular percentage within a certain period.
5. Developing a Solid Brand and Effective Marketing Strategies
Another business objective to grow your business is creating a solid brand image and marketing strategies. You can measure your progress by conducting surveys to help you understand your reputation. Focus groups can also help you identify areas of improvement. It’s also essential to evaluate your marketing strategies. For instance, your objectives can include social media and paid advertisements. Tools such as Google Analytics are handy when measuring your progress.
Customer-centric Business Objectives
1. reducing churn.
The churn rate can affect your business since it’s the number of customers you lose within a particular period. Creating objectives addressing the churn rate increases your revenue and customer satisfaction.
2. Gaining a Competitive Edge
As part of your business strategy, it’s essential to consider how you measure against the competition. Developing business objectives for competition ensures your products or services meet market expectations.
3. Generating More Sales
Sales-related business objectives focus on enhancing the sales cycle. The goals should cover various aspects, such as;
- Lowering the customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Adopting better lead tracking methods
4. Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Your business’s success relies significantly on happy customers. Designing good objectives for business around customer satisfaction helps you provide better services. Ensure you understand your clients, what they desire, the challenges they face, and how they behave. It’s also essential to provide omnichannel service so customers can reach out through the most convenient means.
Profit.co’s OKR Management software enables you and your team to track progress and objectives from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re a remote team or all in the same office, everyone can stay aligned to the top-priority objectives with Profit.co. Try it for free today!
1. quality control.
Adopting quality control measures as a business objective is an excellent way to maintain high quality. Inferior quality drives away customers, which significantly affects your business’s future. Your prices should match your quality, and your products or services should be available when needed. It helps nurture customer relationships and increases your overall revenue.
2. Waste Reduction
You can set objectives to minimize waste to increase your business’s sustainability. Showing you’re conscious of the environment can help you attract specific target audiences.
3. Reaching Out more to the Community.
If your business is relatively new, you should consider having objectives that focus on the local community. Engaging the community and remaining active connects you with potential customers. It also builds stronger relationships, increases brand awareness, and builds trust.
Precise objectives are vital to ensure your business runs smoothly and grows sustainably. You can start by outlining your business’s challenges and matching them with business objectives. Remember that your goals only serve their purpose when executed successfully. The best way to ensure this success is by using intuitive objectives and key results (OKR) software. With Profit.co OKR Software , you can easily manage your strategy and team while monitoring processes, performance, and OKRs on a single platform.
Schedule a free demo today and unlock success beyond your imagination.
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A business plan is used to help manage an organisation by stating ambitions, how they will be achieved, and exactly when. The plan will also help summarise what the business is about, why it exists, and where it will get to.
Your business plan will serve as a key point of reference for investors, partners, employees and management to gauge progress against objectives.
Provide a road map
A detailed plan will help you as the owner and founder to manage your business effectively. Writing down and illustrating both your ideas and tactics will establish a path and course of action, akin to a road map. This will give you something concrete by which to monitor and assess the progress you make.
It may seem like an odd suggestion but you should look to work with your accountant on this task even at an early stage. Why? Well, a quality professional advisor will have helped many early stage businesses. Given how close a good accountant is to the operations and strategic direction of a company, they’ll be able to draw upon their experience of what’s worked and what hasn’t with other clients.
This means they’ll be well placed to help you test your assumptions. Remember you want your business concept to be as well thought through as possible. Having a fresh set of eyes reviewing your ideas from a different perspective could make all the difference as to the viability of your business model . An accountant will know what success looks like along with what’s required and when to achieve it.
In charting a potential course of action you may find your business is faced with multiple different potential paths. It would therefore be wise to plot the most likely scenarios and strategies for these different circumstances. If, for example, your business is heavily reliant upon exporting then you may need to consider potential global and political events. How would that impact on currencies in your chosen markets in the near future?
What does a 10% currency appreciation or depreciation mean for sales, revenues, profits and cashflow? Working through this with your accountant will ensure you can ascertain the impact of such events from a financial perspective. You’ll then be able to craft solutions accordingly to deal with such events.
Developing a clear plan and strategy will focus your mind. What resources will you need and when to achieve each of your goals? This provides you with clarity as to how much needs to be invested at each stage of the business lifecycle . You'll then know when you're going to need cash injections based on likely cashflow.
Understand what to focus on
As an entrepreneur, where should your efforts and concentrations be centred on? It’s a common issue. The early days of starting out can be very chaotic. There’s so much to set up, think about, implement and develop. It’s an emotional roller coaster of mass excitement and sharp shots of anxiety. Amid all this and with an ever mounting in-tray of to do’s, you can fast lose track of what’s important.
When writing a business plan you’re defining exactly what your organisation is today and then intends to become tomorrow. This coherence concerning the purpose of your business and direction in which you’re heading is invaluable. Doing this means you’ll understand what needs to be implemented to move forward.
As an example, your plan should describe your ideal customer and include their needs and wants. Then you’d expand on this as to how your products or services address their requirements. How are you going to market to these potential customers? How will you get your name out there? What approach will you adopt to make sales and generate revenue?
These are vital matters to address early on. Growth primarily comes through new customers and achieving repeat custom. This then determines your progress towards profitability. By mapping this all out on paper you’re giving yourself yardsticks to work towards. This means all tasks that you as the entrepreneur should focus on should be geared towards achieving your next goal. In a nutshell that’s where your focus should be.
Projections and the need for an accountant
The likelihood is to support your growth will require an injection of funding. That's unless you have an extremely cash generative business model. More often than not you probably won’t have enough customers and thus free cash flow to finance the next opportunity. You'll have a working capital requirement and thus need investment beyond the reach of your business.
You’ll likely have to approach potential sources of finance and they’ll want to assess the your income statements/profit and loss statements, and business plan. If you’re still at concept stage, or haven’t begun making sales, then their decision will rest solely on the strength of you and your business plan.
The statements help prospective lenders and investors understand the history of the organisation to date. The business plan provides them with a view of your future direction. They’ll look for many things in your plan. Ultimately their interest will focus on whether the expansion or development of your business will generate sufficient cash to both operate effectively while also fulfilling debt obligations.
This means you’re going to need to detail both profit and cashflow projections. Good forecasting and planning is seen as a way of understanding income and expenditure. This is particularly useful as a means to prevent payment issues over things like suppliers and staff wages. Many businesses close when such issues arise.
The likelihood is unless you’ve done this before, and know what you’re doing, then you’re going to need the help of an accountant. They’ll work with you to model the probable amount of cash in the business over time. This will then act as evidence to potential investors and financiers. They'll see if sufficient money will be generated by the activities of the business, to both fund future growth, while meeting financial commitments.
Manage your business effectively
The usefulness of a cashflow forecast doesn’t end there though. Managing your cash position , as you may have already gathered, is fundamental to the long term future of your business. There’s a common quote that “most businesses fail because they run out of money”. This means they’re no longer able to pay their debts when they’re due.
You should reference your cashflow projections in your business plan regularly. When you invest in your business, there will be significant out flows of money before any cash comes in. The timing of your investments thus needs to be considered against your projections and statements. Consider trading patterns, seasonal variations and the likely impact on cash flows.
If, for example, you sell through a credit extension then you’re going to receive payment in the future. That means after the goods or services have changed hands. The likelihood then is you’ll have to make payments in relation to the usual operations of your business before that income comes in from your customer.
So you can then see how poor cash management creates real issues. Make sure you work with your accountant, in the creation of your business plan and monitoring performance in relation to it. The documentation of well thought through ideas, combined with a shrewd strategy, and carefully planned projections will markedly improve your chances of long term survival and growth.
This post was created on 03/11/2016 and updated on 24/02/2022.
Please be aware that information provided by this blog is subject to regular legal and regulatory change. We recommend that you do not take any information held within our website or guides (eBooks) as a definitive guide to the law on the relevant matter being discussed. We suggest your course of action should be to seek legal or professional advice where necessary rather than relying on the content supplied by the author(s) of this blog.
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9 Main Objectives of Business Plan
April 16, 2019 By Hitesh Bhasin Filed Under: Business
A recent study has shown that a vast majority of businesses fail due to the lack of a proper business plan. The business plan can you help arrive at the proper objectives for your business. Of course, having a complete overview of the business may be a difficult task, especially when you are still planning your business.
So what is a business plan and what objectives of an organization does it serve? We will attempt in helping you understand the concept better.
Table of Contents
What is a Business Plan?
Any business plan has two purposes to serve. To begin with, it helps you run your business with a cohesive vision based on where you would want to see the business in a year from now. It serves as a roadmap to achieve the business goals you have set for yourself.
Another purpose that you need to have a business plan is to show to the financial institutions and banks that you have access to the business roadmap. Banks want to make sure that you have a clear vision for developing your business ahead so that their risk factors are mitigated to a greater extent.
Objectives of Business Plan
The major objectives that a business Plan looks to achieve include the following elements.
1) Dedicating enough time for planning
A workable business plan cannot be created overnight. It is bound to take its own time to develop. So, a perfect business plan will attempt to spend enough time and hard work to achieve successful implementation. This should be one of the crucial stages in a business plan.
A complete analysis of the current situation is the key to evolving plans. Review the situation through brainstorming and other techniques to define the goals.
2) Create goals and objectives
An organization depends heavily on the business plan to arrive at the description of business it performs. There are several areas that a company will focus on if it wants to realize its objectives, understand the market that it is planned to operate in and the strategy to achieve the goals.
Lack of a business plan will leave the management without any means to check out the theories on how to operate the business. In essence, a business plan will help a company to test different methods in reaching the best standards and policies.
3) Evaluating performance
A business needs proper planning and control over the activities for enhanced performance. It will be an essential step towards achieving the long term survival of the organization as a whole. The business plan also comes with a financial part to it and used for comparing the actual performance with the estimated one.
The ability and provision for such a control and evaluation procedure are what offers you a great advantage in checking the success of the operations. This way, you will be able to detect issues like production or delivery delays, or even increasing production costs.
4) Gauging business strategy and applying due correction
A Business plan is what would assist you in assessing the efficiency of your strategies for achieving business goals. In an ideal condition, a business needs to have the planned results with which the actual results can be compared, and the way forward is decided.
If any of the strategies are found to be unsuccessful in achieving the relevant results, it may be a perfect idea to ditch the strategy or take corrective actions. It is wise to have a good business plan so that the management does have a reference with which it can have a healthy comparison of the actual result achieved.
5) Arranging financial resources
A business plan can be much helpful and instrumental in acquiring adequate business financing. Like we stated already, banks and lenders look for a proper business plan before lending you any sort of finance.
A business plan should be prepared in such a manner that the banks will have a clear understanding of the business perspective that the owner has. The lenders will be able to get to the root of the actual vision shared by the promoters and the methods of operation that will be employed.
Being financially viable is one of the prime objectives of a good business plan.
6) Stay consistent
This should be yet another objective that a business plan needs to be focussed with is being consistent. A good business plan should place proper value on the exact process and its adherence to the planned goals.
Sticking to a consistent schedule will work wonders in achieving the planned goals effectively. This will also help the employees and other staff to fall into a proper routine. This will help the concept of planning to be a part of your business culture.
7) Keep your goals ’SMART’
No, we are not referring to SMART as in the word intelligent. We mean your goals in the business plan should be S-M-A-R-R-T ( Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) to achieve success.
This will help you achieve the business goals as laid out in the business plan effectively and efficiently. It would be practical to have your team member analyze the goals set so that you will get back to a realistic approach.
8) Performing SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis is one of the best options you would want to go with when it comes to focus on an effective business plan. Having perfect knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your organization helps you come up with a better insight into the realistic goals.
The SWOT analysis also takes into account the opportunities and threats that the organization can come to face to face. This will assist you to focus on the positive factor and take corrective actions against the negatives.
9) Marketing Analysis
Marketing forms an integral part of a business and so does with the business plan. This part of the business plan should be focussed on determining the potential of your product or service while letting the business owners know more about future customers.
The marketing analysis part of the business plan should ideally provide you with a means of understanding your industry as a whole.
In essence, a perfect business plan is what would help you configure your business in a more positive manner. It would help you foresee the unforeseen circumstances and take corrective action even before you face the situation in actual.
It takes into account the strategy on how to run the business along with the possible risk factors associated and the marketing avenues available in the long run.
If you liked this article, we bet that you will love the Marketing91 Academy , which provides you free access to 10+ marketing courses and 100s of Case studies.
About Hitesh Bhasin
Hi, I am an MBA and the CEO of Marketing91. I am a Digital Marketer and an Entrepreneur with 12 Years of experience in Business and Marketing. Business is my passion and i have established myself in multiple industries with a focus on sustainable growth.
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- What is the Importance of Business Plan?
- What are the Objectives of Business? Major Business Objectives Explained
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- Business Impact Analysis – Definition, Importance and Types
- Succession Planning – Definition, Steps and Principles
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- 6 Types of Business Plans most Commonly used for Funding or Planning
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Set Goals and Objectives in Your Business Plan
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Well-chosen goals and objectives point a new business in the right direction and keep an established company on the right track. Just think about what football would be without end zones or what the Indianapolis 500 would be without a finish line.
When establishing goals and objectives, try to involve everyone who will have the responsibility of achieving those goals and objectives after you lay them out.
To help you better understand how you can set goals and objectives, you first need a good foundation for what the two are.
Goals establish where you intend to go and tell you when you get there. They help improve your overall effectiveness as a company — whether you want to increase your share of the market, for example, or improve your customer service. The more carefully you define your goals, the more likely you are to do the right things and achieve what you wanted to accomplish in the first place.
Objectives are the specific steps you and your company need to take in order to reach each of your goals. They specify what you must do — and when.
Think of goals and objectives this way:
Goals tell you where you want to go; objectives tell you exactly how to get there.
Goals can increase your effectiveness; objectives back your goals and make you more efficient.
Goals are typically described in words; objectives often come with numbers and specific dates.
Suppose that your goal is to double the number of people using your web-conferencing service. Your objectives may be as follows:
Gain awareness by placing print ads in four regional markets and by airing radio ads in two major markets (by June 10)
Attract first-time customers by offering an online giveaway of $1,000 (by June 1)
Cultivate prospects by implementing a permission-based weekly e-mail to 2,500 targeted contacts (by July 10)
Convert 10 percent of prospects to clients, using e-mail reminders (beginning July 25)
Together, goals and objectives form the road map for your company’s future. Without them, you risk making wrong turns and wasting precious energy.
Approach #1: Tie goals to your mission
The first approach to specifying goals and objectives begins with a review of your company’s mission statement. Using key phrases from your mission statement to define your major goals leads into a series of specific business objectives.
The connections between goals and your mission are easy to visualize if you use a flowchart. Key phrases in the mission statement lead to major goals, which lead to specific business objectives.
If your mission statement doesn’t suggest a list of goals, you may want to reevaluate it to see whether it really captures what your business is all about.
Make sure your goals are always measurable. By establishing metrics goals, you can gauge your progress and recognize immediately when your efforts are going off track.
Approach #2: Use goal-setting ACES
Most goals define positive outcomes that you want your business to achieve, but sometimes you also want to set goals to avoid pitfalls and to eliminate a few weaknesses. To help develop goals that cover all the bases, use the acronym ACES as you tick through the following key questions:
A chieve: What do you want to attain in the future?
C onserve: What do you want to hang on to?
E liminate: What do you want to get rid of?
S teer clear: What do you want to avoid?
Approach #3: Cover all the bases
One more way to think about business goals is to consider each of the four categories into which most goals fall:
Day-to-day work goals are directed at increasing your company’s everyday effectiveness. They may involve things like order tracking, office management, or customer follow-up. As a start, name at least one change that you can make in your day-to-day operations that will make a difference in your overall effectiveness. Write it down in the form of a business goal.
Problem-solving goals address specific challenges that confront your business, such as low employee morale or quality of service issues. List the two biggest problems that face your company, and then write goals that can solve them.
Development goals encourage the acquisition of new skills and expertise, whether for your employees or for yourself, and whether you run a large company or operate as a freelancer or an independent contractor. So, how about formulating at least one development goal for yourself or your company?
Innovation goals help you find new ways to improve the following: the products or services that your company offers, how you market your company, and how you distribute and deliver what your company sells. Can you identify any innovative approaches that could make your business more effective in the future? If so, formulate an appropriate goal.
Profitability goals set your sights on where you want your bottom line to be. When all is said and done, profit is the No. 1 goal for profit-making companies. For nonprofit companies, this goal may take the form of how many dollars in contributions you plan to raise or a goal for increasing the company’s endowment.
Make final choices
The three goal-setting approaches lead to a respectable list of goals — maybe more goals than is practical for one business plan. Select the five goals that you think are absolutely, positively essential to your business success.
After you decide on your list, fine-tune each goal, using these guidelines:
Keep each goal clear and simple.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself and think big.
Make sure that your goals are in sync with your mission.
About This Article
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Part 1 of 7 in the Smart Business Planning series
Setting business objectives
Business objectives are the specific, measurable results that companies hope to maintain as their organisation grows. When you create a set of business objectives, you focus on specifics. This means analysing, assessing, and understanding where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
Get instant value from an objective-setting exercise
You will always reap the benefits of time spent in self-reflection. It’s a lot like getting ready to paint a masterpiece in carefully-mixed oils on a well-stretched canvas: the more time you spend in preparation – examining your work today, identifying what you’d like to achieve tomorrow – the smoother the outcomes should be all round. However, this exercise does take time. As you define your purpose though, the motivation for doing it should become clearer not only to you but also to people you’re working with, your employees, backers or investors. Clear business objectives are a set of signposts, pointing the way forwards to a successful return on everybody’s investments. Commercially, clear business objectives can help you to outperform your competitors and explain your proposition better to the market. Operationally, they’re a powerful means of direct communication with your team: what you’re doing, why, and how.
Business objectives in three parts
Part 1 – what you’re trying to achieve.
Firstly, what are your actual objectives for the business? It’s useful to note that goals and objectives aren’t necessarily the same. A goal is an outcome, while a business objective is a measurable step that you take to achieve your goals. For example: you might say, “We want to become the UK’s most popular choice for getting flowers delivered to the workplace”. That’s a goal. It sets a target but doesn’t explain what you want to achieve in a way that can be measured. Business objectives, on the other hand, look like this: “This year, we want to see online orders of our business-bouquet flowers increase by 23%. We will expand our packaging range to include seven new options. We will develop relationships with new tulip suppliers to bring down the cost of our bulbs by 10%.” Objectives give you something to work towards. They focus your attention and make sure your resources are directed to appropriate actions. That said, some business objectives might seem to conflict with each other. Long-term growth and expectations about short-term profits may be hard to reconcile, for example. Objectives can be and should be set at every level in your business, no matter how long you’ve been trading or how large (or small) your organisation is. Business objectives include overall company targets, team objectives, and individual objectives. When they’re created in a way that makes them easy to measure, they become an excellent framework against which to check your progress. By defining objectives clearly, you’ll be in a better position to understand what’s working – what’s not – and what you need to change as time goes on.
Part 2 – why you’re trying to achieve those objectives
Why do you want your business to succeed, overall? There could be several reasons. Some are likely to be obvious – such as attaining financial stability for you and your family, or meeting the expectations of your employees and creditors or investors – while others may combine to have a complex influence on the way you set your business objectives. Personal goals, for example, might include having the opportunity to leave a legacy for your family. You may want to ‘make a difference’ to a good cause, whether through direct action or a contribution of your business’s profits. Or you may want to just ‘grow the business, because it feels like the right thing to do’, making it more about personal job satisfaction. On a day-to-day level, clearly-stated business objectives provide clarity and structure for your employees. They are the crucial link for many people between the focused purpose of what they’re doing as an individual, and the outcomes for the company. Measurable and meaningful.
Part 3 – what makes a good business objective?
It’s worth re-stating that goals are general but objectives are specific. When you’re setting business objectives for your company, even if you’re doing it informally rather than through a series of scheduled meetings with colleagues, it pays dividends to ensure your business objectives are all SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
You may be an owner-operator of a local, small company. Or you may be part of an expanding team, running a business with international aspirations. This ‘Business Bouquets’ example should help to explain the benefits of SMART business objectives.
S – Specific
As a first step in qualifying your business objectives, being specific about what you want to achieve is essential. Quite simply, your business objective must be precise. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish, overall? Who will be responsible for this happening, and what steps will we take to achieve this objective?”
“We want to sell more bouquets to people who work at businesses in our area.”
“We want to increase the number of ‘business bouquets’ we sell locally by 10%.”
M – Measurable
Time. Quantity. Weights, measures, and profit margins. Up and down, more and less. You may want to increase the sales of a specific product line, or you might want to reduce the amount of waste being created in the manufacturing process. Both of those outcomes are easy to measure. What’s important is that, as you decide on a suitable measure, you take into account how (and who) will be measuring the outcomes and how often they’ll be measured.
“We want to reduce the carbon footprint of our van-based, flower delivery service.”
“We want 100% of our delivery vans to be powered by renewable energy by 2022.”
A – Achievable
Good objectives provide motivation not disappointment. Put simply, ask yourself, “With the resources I have to hand, are these objectives for my business achievable?” Business objectives should be targets that you can accomplish. Think about the factors that would stop you from achieving those objectives. If you realise they’re too large to measure easily (or they’d be hard to measure over a reasonable period of time to make them effective), then it’s a good idea to break your objectives down into multiple steps.
“Our objective is to be the preferred supplier for every business in a 20-mile radius.”
“We want local sales to go up by 70% and represent no less than 40% of our turnover.”
“We’d like everyone in the sales team to increase their sales by 250%.”
“We’d like our team to make 20 extra calls each week, converting at least 50% of them.”
Find the right balance
If you set your objectives too far in advance, or too high, then you run the risk of demotivating and demoralising your workforce. It is better to set SMART objectives you can achieve relatively easily than it is to ‘shoot for the moon’ and decrease your chances of success. That said, it’s good to have objectives that push you to make significant progress – personal and professional.
R – Relevant
Nobody wants to put time and effort into defining business objectives as a paper exercise. There must be a real benefit to actually achieving those specific, measurable, achievable targets. Your business objectives need to be relevant. Plus, to maintain control over your finances, it’s advisable to ensure that all of your business objectives are relevant to your common aims – it’s all too easy to be distracted by ‘nice to have’ or ‘nice to achieve’ rather than ‘necessary’. Altruistic aspirations can be applauded, but to stay in business, your objectives should be focused on outcomes that benefit the company’s bottom line. Successful business people don’t become successful overnight, but they do make progress by identifying the milestones that will matter in the coming months and years.
“We want a viral post that will get 500 new followers on our social media accounts.”
“We want to increase awareness and loyalty by enriching our online relationships.”
T – Timely [time-bound]
When it comes to achieving objectives of any kind, deadlines aren’t usually something we warm to, but they are necessary. Deadlines help us to define success. With that in mind, business objectives do need to be achievable within a reasonable timeframe. They shouldn’t be set years into the future. Defining that timeframe may, in itself, need you to invest energy in researching which objectives are possible and how you’ll go about achieving them.
Timeframes have a direct impact on an objective being achievable or not. It may be useful to set some business objectives for your business by the quarter, rather than by the month or by the year.
“We’ll be selling more roses next year.”
“We’d like our Valentine’s bouquets to all be pre-booked, every year, by January 31st.”
Commercially, setting clear business objectives can help you to outperform your competitors and explain your proposition better to the market. Operationally, they’re a powerful means of direct communication with your team, as they can help employees to focus on what’s important and manage resources more effectively. With well-defined business objectives in place, you may even outperform competitors by being in a position to explain your company’s longer term proposition more clearly.
Every business objective represents an ongoing opportunity to examine your operations and reaffirm your personal investment in the company.
People who work for you may not see the business’ objectives the same way you do. Be mindful of your aspirations and employees’ motivations.
Make your business objectives easy to understand, at a glance. Too much detail (too many facts and figures in your ‘smart equation’) makes it hard to understand the objective itself.
Take measurements when you say you will and make sure people understand their responsibilities in terms of helping you to achieve the desired outcomes.
Have the confidence to see ‘we didn’t meet our objectives’ as a positive outcome – helping you to reassess what’s happening in the business, adjust your actions and use of resources.
Find ways to remind your team – and, if it’s appropriate, your customers and your investors or suppliers and stakeholders – about your SMART objectives. What they are and why they’re so important for your business.
Tools and templates
SMART Business Objectives Worksheet
Setting objectives keeps you on track as you launch and grow your business. The 10 most important business objectives focus on profitability, productivity
Business objectives are a written explanation of your goals as a business. Business objectives usually have to do with the most important
13 most common types business objectives · 1. Increase your product or service's market share · 2. Provide opportunities for teams to improve
1) Becoming and staying profitable · 2) Maintaining cash flow · 3) Establishing and sustaining productivity · 4) Attracting and retaining customers
What you want the company to achieve · How you can measure success · Which players are involved in driving success · The timelines needed to plan
Why is it Important? ... Business objectives motivate your team by outlining what you or the business expects from them. Clear goals ensure everyone remains
A business plan is used to help manage an organisation by stating ambitions, how they will be achieved, and exactly when. The plan will also
A Business plan is what would assist you in assessing the efficiency of your strategies for achieving business goals. In an ideal condition, a
Well-chosen goals and objectives point a new business in the right direction and keep an established company on the right track. Just think about what
Business objectives are the specific, measurable results that companies hope to maintain as their organisation grows. When you create a set of business