Setting business goals is more important than you think. They guide every successful business, so it's essential to have realistic and measurable goals to hold you accountable.
When you create them, they should also have reasonable timeframes, so you have a real chance of achieving them.
This article will cover what they are and how to set them, plus some examples and helpful tips.
What Are Business Goals?
Business goals are short or long-term targets for a company or individual to achieve within a time limit. Setting a specific business goal sets your company's direction.
Business goal examples include earning a particular market share in a quarter, acquiring a certain number of customers in a month, or creating a customer retention strategy.
Ideally, these goals should be objectively measurable and practically beneficial.
For example, a revenue goal is practical and objectively measurable, as income will keep your business afloat, and you can measure success by the amount of income you earn.
Learn how to make a strategic plan for your business.
Why is it important to have business goals?
Starting a goal-setting process is beneficial for the following reasons:
Provides a framework for business success
Business goals give a way to measure your company's performance.
A clear business goal effectively outlines what your business should achieve in a specific time. You could even set multiple goals simultaneously to set what growth you want your company to accomplish in a certain period.
Bridges the gap between work and goals
Setting your team's short and long-term business goals helps motivate and clarify their work strategies.
You can connect your team's regular activities to their goals, contextualizing their work.
The more your team members learn about your goals and set their own individual goals, the better they'll perform because of the increased clarity.
Having objectively measurable and achievable goals helps increase employee satisfaction because their work motivates and interests them more. This increased confidence positively affects your workplace and contributes to your business.
Keeps teams aligned
Setting common goals strengthens your team member's unity and improves their morale.
Shared business goals also help team leaders develop workplace strategies for individual members and spread a plan among team members.
For example, you could break a business goal of increasing profits by 10% into smaller goals for multiple team members. You could even customize the smaller goals for each team member.
Also, you can split the goal of a 10% increase in profits between the sales and marketing teams. Both teams would create their own unique strategies for achieving the overall goal.
Helps with accountability
Team leaders can easily monitor individual performance once there is an objective business goal. The increased supervision helps team leaders objectively understand which team members perform better and which have below acceptable performance.
Leaders can then use this information to help lower-performing team members improve. Hence, in this case, financial goals are great for maintaining top-to-bottom accountability.
Helps with decision making
Business leaders can make more informed decisions if they have established goals with measurable progress.
For example, for a small business, a goal may be to increase total sales by 30% in a quarter, with this goal after a month you might reveal that one of your products outsells the other.
You can use this information to make an informed business decision to increase marketing
for that product because of its higher popularity.
Steps for Setting Business Goals
These tips will help you set the perfect goals for your company.
Be clear about what you want to prioritize
Your business has numerous simultaneous demands.
For example, you want to reach new clients while ensuring that your current clients are satisfied. To set the right business goals, you need to clarify which of these activities is more important and set your goals accordingly.
One way to prioritize activities is by using a SWOT analysis. In a SWOT analysis, you'll list your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and costs, to decide what area you need to focus on.
Establish and think about different types of goals
Think about the different aspects of your business plan
, like finance, market share, or production. Come up with goals for each business aspect and compare them.
For example, you could set a finance goal of increasing revenue by $5000 a month, increasing marketing share by 10% a month, and a production goal of increasing monthly production by 50 units.
Next, compare these different goals and select the one with the most benefit. The goal you choose should be specific to your business.
For example, if you have a textile company, you'd probably benefit the most from increasing monthly production by 50 units.
That doesn't mean that the other goals are unimportant; they're secondary.
Set achievable goals
Your business goals should be ambitious and a bit difficult, yet realistic. Don't set goals you know you can't achieve.
For example, a goal to become the world's largest textile producer in a year is probably unrealistic. A more achievable goal would be to become the largest textile producer in your local area.
Setting unrealistic goals defeats the purpose of setting goals because they demotivate you and your company.
Set realistic timelines for each goal
Set a timeframe for each business goal to track its progress.
Initially, set a timeline for the overall goal, then break it down into multiple smaller goals with individual schedules. Decide your timelines using realistic assessments of the time and resources needed to complete them.
Let's say you want to develop a solid online presence for your business. You can divide that goal into several smaller goals like website development, online ads, social media marketing, etc.
Make sure all members of your team are aware of your goals and their role
Your employees' cooperation is essential for achieving your business goals.
So, it would help if you clarified both that goal and their intended contributions.
For instance, one of your startup business
goals examples could be to increase your overall market share by 30%, you should inform the entire company of that goal.
Next, you should assign an easily understood business goal to each department.
For example, you might assign the sales department a business goal of increasing sales by 20%. You could set a plan for the production area to increase production by 100 units, and so on.
Each department needs to know its goals to work with other departments to achieve these goals.
Adjust your goals as necessary to stay on track
Your business goals will likely change over time, and you may have to adjust them.
Sometimes, you have to change your goals because they're no longer realistic, like attracting new members to your gym when there's a global pandemic.
In other situations, your goals are too ambitious for your team, like achieving a 30% market share in a market with a new corporate player.
You need to tweak just your goals when they become impossible. Otherwise, you'll end up demotivated and feel like a failure for not achieving them when it wasn't anything you could do.
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Tips to Set Business Goals
Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting business goals
- Create a task list or action plan to help you achieve these goals
- Break down each goal into smaller, more manageable steps
- Set realistic milestones for each goal
- Hold yourself and others accountable for meeting deadlines
- Celebrate each accomplishment along the way, no matter how small it seems
Differences Between Business Goals and Objectives in a Business
Business goals are overall strategic targets you want for your company.
In contrast, your business objectives are the routes for achieving your business goals.
Generally, a business objective is more specific than a goal. Business goals usually consist of multiple business objectives.
For example, your business goal could be increasing monthly revenue. You could achieve that business goal with numerous objectives like increasing sales for a particular product, acquiring five new customers weekly, or decreasing costs by 10%.
Examples of Business Goals You Can Apply
You can use these examples of business goals as inspiration for making your own goals for a business.
- Increase product prices by 3% over the next three months.
- Hire three new marketing employees over the next five months.
- Increase traffic on your company's blog.
- Increase revenue by 30% in the next two months.
- Improve production capacity by 25% in the next year.
- Hire 50 new employees nationwide.
- Acquire 30,000 Instagram new followers in a month.
- Develop and launch three new products.
Types of Business Goals
There are four main types of business
goals: growth, profitability, sustainability, and process.
Growth goals are about increasing sales, expanding into new markets, or launching new products or services.
While each company's goals will be unique to its own situation, achieving growth is often essential for companies to remain competitive and thrive long-term by driving their business forward.
Profitability goals focus on improving your bottom line by reducing expenses or increasing revenues.
The most common type of profitability goal is setting targets for sales or revenue. This could involve increasing overall sales by a certain percentage, hitting specific monthly or quarterly targets, or developing new products or services to drive more revenue.
focus on ensuring the business's long-term viability, and scale goals focus on increasing operational efficiency.
Common sustainability goals include reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, and increasing recycling rates. Setting these goals can help your business save money while reducing its environmental impact.
In addition, achieving sustainability goals can help your business build goodwill with customers and stakeholders interested in supporting responsible companies.
Process goals are a specific type of business goal that focuses on improving the efficiency or effectiveness of a company's operations.
Common process goals include reducing cycle time, increasing throughput, improving quality, and lowering costs.
Process goals are essential because they help companies improve their performance over time and become more competitive in the marketplace.
Time-Period Type of Business Goals
Three business goals depend on the goal's intended time frame.
- Short-Term Goals: intended to be achieved within 2 to 3 months.
- Medium-Term Goals: designed to be completed between several months and 5 years.
- Long-Term Goals: intended to be performed in five or more years.
Using the SMART method to build business goals
A SMART template is an analytic tool for setting business goals. It helps you create smart business plan goals for your strategic business plan.
You use it by making sure your goals have the following qualities:
Benefits of having a plan and strategic objectives for your business
- Specific: Your goal should be easily definable, like increasing revenue by 30% in 2 months.
- Measurable: Your goal should be objectively measurable. For example, you can measure a revenue goal in terms of revenue earned.
- Achievable: Your goal should be realistically possible. For instance, a 30% increase in revenue is possible if you have high market demand.
- Relevant: Your goal should contribute to your business's overall aims. For example, a 30% increase in revenue could provide your textile company with the investment it needs to expand and achieve its overall goal of being the largest textile company in your area.
- Time-Bound: Your goals should have a stated period for completion, like two months for a 30% increase in revenue.
FAQs On Business Goals
What is a good business goal?
A good business goal identifies your business’s priorities and sets a productive direction for your company. It is achievable and pushes you to improve.
What is the primary goal of business continuity planning?
Business continuity planning prepares your business for potential crises. It helps you plan to prevent and recover from an unplanned interruption caused by threats, disasters, or disruptions.
What are key business goals?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the key business goals will vary depending on the industry and market in which it operates.
However, companies’ common goals include increasing market share, increasing profits, expanding into new markets, and improving customer satisfaction.
How to set business goals?
You can set smart goals by evaluating different aspects of your business. Then try to come up with other purposes that would help you grow. Finally, decide which of them would provide the most benefits.
How do you write a professional goal?
Using the SMART framework, where you write down goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
How can google ads help you advance your business goals?
Google Ads can help you advance your business goals by targeting people who are already interested in what you have to offer.
Through keyword-targeted ads, you can reach potential customers when they’re actively searching for information related to your products or services.