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:

  • SMART: SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This is probably the most popular method for setting goals. Ensuring that your goals meet SMART goal criteria is a tried and true way to increase your chances of success and make progress on even your most ambitious goals. Example SMART Goal: We will increase the revenue from our online store by 5 percent in three months by increasing our sign-up discount from 25 to 30 percent.
  • OKR: Another popular approach is to set OKRs, or objectives and key results. In order to use OKRs , a team or individual selects an objective they would like to work toward. Then they select key results , or standardized measurements of success or progress. Example Objective: We aim to increase the sales revenue of our online store. Example Key Result: Make $200,000 in sales revenue from the online store in June. 
  • MBO: MBO, or management by objectives , is a collaborative goal-setting framework and management technique. When using MBO, managers work with employees to create specific, agreed-upon objectives and develop a plan to achieve them. This framework is excellent for ensuring that everyone is aligned on their goals. Example MBO: This quarter, we aim to decrease patient waiting times by 30 percent.
  • BHAG: A BHAG, or a big hairy audacious goal , is an ambitious, possibly unattainable goal. While the idea of setting a BHAG might run contrary to a lot of advice about goal-setting, a BHAG can energize the team by giving everyone a shared purpose. These are best for long-term, visionary business goals. Example BHAG: We want to be the leading digital music service provider globally by 2030. 
  • KRA: KRAs, or key result areas , refer to a short list of goals that an individual, department, or organization can work toward. KRAs function like a rubric for general progress and to help ensure that the team’s efforts have an optimal impact on the overall health of the business. Example KRA: Increase high-quality sales leads per sales representative. 

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:

  • Growth: A growth goal is a goal relating to the size and scope of the company. A growth goal might involve increasing the number of employees, adding new verticals, opening new stores or offices, or generally expanding the impact or market share of a company. 
  • Process: A process goal , also called a day-to-day goal or an efficiency goal , is a goal to improve the everyday effectiveness of a team or company. A process goal might involve establishing or improving workflows or routines, delegating responsibilities, or improving team skills. 
  • Problem-Solving: Problem-solving goals address a specific challenge. Problem-solving goals might involve removing an inefficiency, changing policies to accommodate a new law or regulation, or reorienting after an unsuccessful project or initiative.
  • Development: A development goal , also called an educational goal , is a goal to develop new skills or expertise, either for your team or for yourself. For example, development goals might include developing a new training module, learning a new coding language, or taking a continuing education class in your field. 
  • Innovation: An innovation goal is a goal to create new or more reliable products or services. Innovation goals might involve developing a new mobile app, redesigning an existing product, or restructuring to a new business model. 
  • Profitability: A profitability goal , also called a financial goal , is any goal to improve the financial prospects of a company. Profitability goals might involve increasing revenue, decreasing debt, or growing the company’s shareholder value. 
  • Sustainability: A s ustainability goal is a goal to either decrease your company’s negative impact on the environment or actively improve the environment through specific initiatives. For example, a sustainability goal might be to decrease a company’s carbon footprint, reduce energy use, or divest from environmentally irresponsible organizations and reinvest in sustainable ones.
  • Marketing: A marketing goal , also called a brand goal , is a goal to increase a company’s influence and brand awareness in the market. A marketing goal might be to boost engagement across social media platforms or generate more higher-quality leads. 
  • Customer Relations: A customer relations goal is a goal to improve customer satisfaction with and trust in your product or services. A customer relations goal might be to decrease customer service wait times, improve customers’ self-reported satisfaction with your products or services, or increase customer loyalty.
  • Company Culture: A company culture goal , also called a social goal , is a goal to improve the work environment of your company. A company culture goal might be to improve employee benefits; improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across your organization; or create a greater sense of work-life balance among employees. 

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:

  • Increase Your Market Share: When companies increase their market share, they increase the percentage of their target audience who chooses their product or service over competitors. This is a good short-term goal for companies that have long-term expansion goals. For example, a local retail business might want to draw new customers from the local community. The business sets a goal of increasing the average number of customers who enter its store from 500 per week to 600 per week within three months. It can meet this goal by launching a local advertising initiative, reducing prices, or expanding its presence on local social media groups. Small business owners can check out this comprehensive guide to learn more about setting productive goals for their small businesses.
  • Reduce Paper Waste: All businesses produce waste, but company leaders can take actions to reduce or combat excessive waste. Reducing your company’s paper waste is a good short-term goal for companies that have long-term sustainability goals. For example, a large company’s corporate headquarters is currently producing an average of four pounds of paper waste per employee per day. They set a goal of decreasing this number to two pounds by the end of the current quarter. They can meet this goal by incentivizing or requiring electronic reporting and forms whenever possible. 
  • Increase Social Media Engagement: High social media engagement is essential for businesses that want to increase brand awareness or attract new customers. This is a good short-term goal for companies with long-term marketing or brand goals. For example, after reviewing a recent study, a natural cosmetics company learns that its target audience is 30 percent more likely to purchase products recommended to them by TikTok influencers, but the company’s social media team only posts sporadically on its TikTok. The company sets a goal of producing and posting two makeup tutorials on TikTok each week for the next three months.

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:

  • Increase Total Sales: A common growth profitability goal is to increase sales. An up-and-coming software company might set a long-term goal of increasing their product sales by 75 percent over two years. 
  • Increase Employee Retention: Companies with high employee retention enjoy many benefits, such as decreased hiring costs, better brand reputation, and a highly skilled workforce. A large corporation with an employee retention rate of 80 percent might set a long-term goal of increasing that retention rate to 90 percent within five years. 
  • Develop a New Technology: Most companies in the IT sphere rely on innovation goals to stay competitive. A company might set a long-term goal of creating an entirely new AI technology within 10 years.

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: 

  • Having a Narrow Focus: One of the greatest benefits of setting business goals is how doing so can focus your team. That said, this can also be a drawback, as such focus on a single goal can narrow the team’s perspective and make people less able to adapt to change or recognize and seize unexpected opportunities. 
  • Being Overly Ambitious: It’s important to be ambitious, but some goals are simply too lofty. If a goal is impossible to hit, it can be demoralizing. 
  • Not Being Ambitious Enough: The opposite problem is when companies are too modest with their goal-setting. Goals should be realistic but challenging. Teams that prioritize the former while ignoring the latter will have problems with motivation and momentum.
  • Facing Unexpected Obstacles: If something happens that suddenly derails progress toward a goal, it can be a huge blow to a company. Learn about project risk management to better manage uncertainty in your projects. 
  • Having Unclear Objectives: Goals that are vague or unquantifiable will not be as effective as clear, measurable goals. Use frameworks such as SMART goals or OKRs to make sure your goals are clear. 
  • Losing Motivation: Teams can lose sight of their goals over time, especially with long-term goals. Be sure to review and assess progress toward goals regularly to keep your long-term vision front of mind.

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:

  • More Clarity: Business goals ensure that everyone is moving toward a determined end point. Companies with clear business goals have teams that agree on what is important and what everyone should be working toward. 
  • Increased Focus: Business goals encourage focus, which improves performance and increases productivity. 
  • Faster Growth: Business goals help companies expand and thrive. “Setting goals and objectives for your business will help you grow it more quickly,” says Bitton. “Your potential for growth increases as you consistently accomplish your goals and objectives.”
  • Improved Morale: Everyone is happier when they are working toward a tangible goal. Companies with clear business goals have employees that are more motivated and fulfilled at work. Plus, measuring progress toward specific goals makes it easier to notice and acknowledge everyone’s successes. 
  • More Accountability: Having tangible goals means that everyone can see whether or not their work is effective at making progress toward those goals.
  • Better Decision-Making: Business goals help teams prioritize tasks and make tough decisions. “You gain perspective on your entire business, which makes it easier for you to make smart decisions,” says Bitton. “You are forming a clear vision for the direction you want your business to go, which facilitates the efficient distribution of resources, the development of strategies, and the prioritization of tasks.”

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Goals and Objectives for Business Plan with Examples

NOV.05, 2023

Goals and Objectives
 for Business Plan with Examples

Every business needs a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and how it plans to get there. A business plan is a document that outlines the goals and objectives of a business, as well as the strategies and actions to achieve them. A well-written business plan from business plan specialists can help a business attract investors, secure funding, and guide its growth.

Understanding Business Objectives

Business objectives are S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound (SMART) statements that describe what a business wants to accomplish in a given period. They are derived from the overall vision and mission of the business, and they support its strategic direction.

Business plan objectives can be categorized into different types, depending on their purpose and scope. Some common types of business objectives are:

  • Financial objectives
  • Operational objectives
  • Marketing objectives
  • Social objectives

For example, a sample of business goals and objectives for a business plan for a bakery could be:

  • To increase its annual revenue by 20% in the next year.
  • To reduce its production costs by 10% in the next six months.
  • To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.
  • To improve its customer satisfaction rating by 15% in the next month.

The Significance of Business Objectives

Business objectives are important for several reasons. They help to:

  • Clarify and direct the company and stakeholders
  • Align the company’s efforts and resources to a common goal
  • Motivate and inspire employees to perform better
  • Measure and evaluate the company’s progress and performance
  • Communicate the company’s value and advantage to customers and the market

For example, by setting a revenue objective, a bakery can focus on increasing its sales and marketing efforts, monitor its sales data and customer feedback, motivate its staff to deliver quality products and service, communicate its unique selling points and benefits to its customers, and adjust its pricing and product mix according to market demand.

Advantages of Outlining Business Objectives

Outlining business objectives is a crucial step in creating a business plan. It serves as a roadmap for the company’s growth and development. Outlining business objectives has several advantages, such as:

  • Clarifies the company’s vision, direction, scope, and boundaries
  • Break down the company’s goals into smaller tasks and milestones
  • Assigns roles and responsibilities and delegates tasks
  • Establishes standards and criteria for success and performance
  • Anticipates risks and challenges and devises contingency plans

For example, by outlining its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer in its business plan, a bakery can:

  • Attract investors with its viable business plan for investors
  • Secure funding from banks or others with its realistic financial plan
  • Partner with businesses or organizations that complement or enhance its products or services
  • Choose the best marketing, pricing, product, staff, location, etc. for its target market and customers

Setting Goals and Objectives for a Business Plan

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan is not a one-time task. It requires careful planning, research, analysis, and evaluation. To set effective goals and objectives for a business plan, one should follow some best practices, such as:

OPTION 1: Use the SMART framework. A SMART goal or objective is clear, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with the company’s mission and vision, and has a deadline. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – The goal or objective should be clear, concise, and well-defined.
  • Measurable – The goal or objective should be quantifiable or verifiable.
  • Achievable – The goal or objective should be realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant – The goal or objective should be aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Time-bound – The goal or objective should have a deadline or timeframe.

For example, using the SMART criteria, a bakery can refine its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer as follows:

  • Specific – Increase revenue with new products and services from $5 to $5.50.
  • Measurable – Track customer revenue monthly with sales reports.
  • Achievable – Research the market, develop new products and services, and train staff to upsell and cross-sell.
  • Relevant – Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability and cash flow, and market competitiveness.
  • Time-bound – Achieve this objective in six months, from January 1st to June 30th.

OPTION 2: Use the OKR framework. OKR stands for O bjectives and K ey R esults. An OKR is a goal-setting technique that links the company’s objectives with measurable outcomes. An objective is a qualitative statement of what the company wants to achieve. A key result is a quantitative metric that shows how the objective will be achieved.

OPTION 3: Use the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats. A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that helps the company assess the internal and external factors that affect its goals and objectives.

  • Strengths – Internal factors that give the company an advantage over others. 
  • Weaknesses – Internal factors that limit the company’s performance or growth. 
  • Opportunities – External factors that allow the company to improve or expand. 
  • Threats – External factors that pose a risk or challenge to the company.

For example, using these frameworks, a bakery might set the following goals and objectives for its SBA business plan :

Objective – To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.

Key Results:

  • Research gluten-free cake market demand and preferences by month-end.
  • Create and test 10 gluten-free cake recipes by next month-end.
  • Make and sell 100 gluten-free cakes weekly online or in-store by quarter-end.

SWOT Analysis:

  • Expertise and experience in baking and cake decorating.
  • Loyal and satisfied customer base.
  • Strong online presence and reputation.


  • Limited production capacity and equipment.
  • High production costs and low-profit margins.
  • Lack of knowledge and skills in gluten-free baking.


  • Growing demand and awareness for gluten-free products.
  • Competitive advantage and differentiation in the market.
  • Potential partnerships and collaborations with health-conscious customers and organizations.
  • Increasing competition from other bakeries and gluten-free brands.
  • Changing customer tastes and preferences.
  • Regulatory and legal issues related to gluten-free labeling and certification.

Examples of Business Goals and Objectives

To illustrate how to write business goals and objectives for a business plan, let’s use a hypothetical example of a bakery business called Sweet Treats. Sweet Treats is a small bakery specializing in custom-made cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods for various occasions.

Here are some examples of possible startup business goals and objectives for Sweet Treats:

Earning and Preserving Profitability

Profitability is the ability of a company to generate more revenue than expenses. It indicates the financial health and performance of the company. Profitability is essential for a business to sustain its operations, grow its market share, and reward its stakeholders.

Some possible objectives for earning and preserving profitability for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase the gross profit margin by 5% in the next quarter by reducing the cost of goods sold
  • To achieve a net income of $100,000 in the current fiscal year by increasing sales and reducing overhead costs

Ensuring Consistent Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of money that flows in and out of a company. A company needs to have enough cash to cover its operating expenses, pay its debts, invest in its growth, and reward its shareholders.

Some possible objectives for ensuring consistent cash flow for Sweet Treats are:

  • Increase monthly operating cash inflow by 15% by the end of the year by improving the efficiency and productivity of the business processes
  • Increase the cash flow from investing activities by selling or disposing of non-performing or obsolete assets

Creating and Maintaining Efficiency

Efficiency is the ratio of output to input. It measures how well a company uses its resources to produce its products or services. Efficiency can help a business improve its quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

Some possible objectives for creating and maintaining efficiency for Sweet Treats are:

  • To reduce the production time by 10% in the next month by implementing lean manufacturing techniques
  • To increase the customer service response rate by 20% in the next week by using chatbots or automated systems

Winning and Keeping Clients

Clients are the people or organizations that buy or use the products or services of a company. They are the source of revenue and growth for a company. Therefore, winning and keeping clients is vital to generating steady revenue, increasing customer loyalty, and enhancing word-of-mouth marketing.

Some possible objectives for winning and keeping clients for Sweet Treats are:

  • To acquire 100 new clients in the next quarter by launching a referral program or a promotional campaign
  • To retain 90% of existing clients in the current year by offering loyalty rewards or satisfaction guarantees

Building a Recognizable Brand

A brand is the name, logo, design, or other features distinguishing a company from its competitors. It represents the identity, reputation, and value proposition of a company. Building a recognizable brand is crucial for attracting and retaining clients and creating a loyal fan base.

Some possible objectives for building a recognizable brand for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase brand awareness by 50% in the next six months by creating and distributing engaging content on social media platforms
  • To improve brand image by 30% in the next year by participating in social causes or sponsoring events that align with the company’s values

Expanding and Nurturing an Audience with Marketing

An audience is a group of people interested in or following a company’s products or services. They can be potential or existing clients, fans, influencers, or partners. Expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing is essential for increasing a company’s visibility, reach, and engagement.

Some possible objectives for expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing for Sweet Treats are:

  • To grow the email list by 1,000 subscribers in the next month by offering a free ebook or a webinar
  • To nurture leads by sending them relevant and valuable information through email newsletters or blog posts

Strategizing for Expansion

Expansion is the process of increasing a company’s size, scope, or scale. It can involve entering new markets, launching new products or services, opening new locations, or forming new alliances. Strategizing for expansion is important for diversifying revenue streams, reaching new audiences, and gaining competitive advantages.

Some possible objectives for strategizing for expansion for Sweet Treats are:

  • To launch a new product or service line by developing and testing prototypes
  • To open a new branch or franchise by securing funding and hiring staff

Template for Business Objectives

A template for writing business objectives is a format or structure that can be used as a guide or reference for creating your objectives. A template for writing business objectives can help you to ensure that your objectives are SMART, clear, concise, and consistent.

To use this template, fill in the blanks with your information. Here is an example of how you can use this template:

Example of Business Objectives

Our business is a _____________ (type of business) that provides _____________ (products or services) to _____________ (target market). Our vision is to _____________ (vision statement) and our mission is to _____________ (mission statement).

Our long-term business goals and objectives for the next _____________ (time period) are:

S pecific: We want to _____________ (specific goal) by _____________ (specific action).

M easurable: We will measure our progress by _____________ (quantifiable indicator).

A chievable: We have _____________ (resources, capabilities, constraints) that will enable us to achieve this goal.

R elevant: This goal supports our vision and mission by _____________ (benefit or impact).

T ime-bound: We will complete this goal by _____________ (deadline).

Repeat this process for each goal and objective for your business plan.

How to Monitor Your Business Objectives?

After setting goals and objectives for your business plan, you should check them regularly to see if you are achieving them. Monitoring your business objectives can help you to:

  • Track your progress and performance
  • Identify and overcome any challenges
  • Adjust your actions and strategies as needed

Some of the tools and methods that you can use to monitor your business objectives are:

  • Dashboards – Show key data and metrics for your objectives with tools like Google Data Studio, Databox, or DashThis.
  • Reports – Get detailed information and analysis for your objectives with tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or SEMrush.
  • Feedback – Learn from your customers and their needs and expectations with tools like SurveyMonkey, Typeform, or Google Forms.

Strategies for Realizing Business Objectives

To achieve your business objectives, you need more than setting and monitoring them. You need strategies and actions that support them. Strategies are the general methods to reach your objectives. Actions are the specific steps to implement your strategies.

Different objectives require different strategies and actions. Some common types are:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Operational strategies
  • Financial strategies
  • Human resource strategies
  • Growth strategies

To implement effective strategies and actions, consider these factors:

  • Alignment – They should match your vision, mission, values, goals, and objectives
  • Feasibility – They should be possible with your capabilities, resources, and constraints
  • Suitability – They should fit the context and needs of your business

How OGSCapital Can Help You Achieve Your Business Objectives?

We at OGSCapital can help you with your business plan and related documents. We have over 15 years of experience writing high-quality business plans for various industries and regions. We have a team of business plan experts who can assist you with market research, financial analysis, strategy formulation, and presentation design. We can customize your business plan to suit your needs and objectives, whether you need funding, launching, expanding, or entering a new market. We can also help you with pitch decks, executive summaries, feasibility studies, and grant proposals. Contact us today for a free quote and start working on your business plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals and objectives in business.

Goals and objectives in a business plan are the desired outcomes that a company works toward. To describe company goals and objectives for a business plan, start with your mission statement and then identify your strategic and operational objectives. To write company objectives, you must brainstorm, organize, prioritize, assign, track, and review them using the SMART framework and KPIs.

What are the examples of goals and objectives in a business plan?

Examples of goals and objectives in a business plan are: Goal: To increase revenue by 10% each year for the next five years. Objective: To launch a new product line and create a marketing campaign to reach new customers.

What are the 4 main objectives of a business?

The 4 main objectives of a business are economic, social, human, and organic. Economic objectives deal with financial performance, social objectives deal with social responsibility, human objectives deal with employee welfare, and organic objectives deal with business growth and development.

What are goals and objectives examples?

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan describes what a business or a team wants to achieve and how they will do it. For example: Goal: To provide excellent customer service. Objective: To increase customer satisfaction scores by 20% by the end of the quarter. 

At OGSCapital, our business planning services offer expert guidance and support to create a realistic and actionable plan that aligns with your vision and mission. Get in touch to discuss further!

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Setting Business Goals & Objectives: 4 Considerations

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  • 31 Oct 2023

Setting business goals and objectives is important to your company’s success. They create a roadmap to help you identify and manage risk , gain employee buy-in, boost team performance , and execute strategy . They’re also an excellent marker to measure your business’s performance.

Yet, meeting those goals can be difficult. According to an Economist study , 90 percent of senior executives from companies with annual revenues of one billion dollars or more admitted they failed to reach all their strategic goals because of poor implementation. In order to execute strategy, it’s important to first understand what’s attainable when developing organizational goals and objectives.

If you’re struggling to establish realistic benchmarks for your business, here’s an overview of what business goals and objectives are, how to set them, and what you should consider during the process.

Access your free e-book today.

What Are Business Goals and Objectives?

Business objectives dictate how your company plans to achieve its goals and address the business’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. While your business goals may shift, your objectives won’t until there’s an organizational change .

Business goals describe where your company wants to end up and define your business strategy’s expected achievements.

According to the Harvard Business School Online course Strategy Execution , there are different types of strategic goals . Some may even push you and your team out of your comfort zone, yet are important to implement.

For example, David Rodriguez, global chief human resources officer at Marriott, describes in Strategy Execution the importance of stretch goals and “pushing people to not accept today's level of success as a final destination but as a starting point for what might be possible in the future.”

It’s important to strike a balance between bold and unrealistic, however. To do this, you must understand how to responsibly set your business goals and objectives.

Related: A Manager’s Guide To Successful Strategy Implementation

How to Set Business Goals and Objectives

While setting your company’s business goals and objectives might seem like a simple task, it’s important to remember that these goals shouldn’t be based solely on what you hope to achieve. There should be a correlation between your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs)—quantifiable success measures—and your business strategy to justify why the goal should, and needs to, be achieved.

This is often illustrated through a strategy map —an illustration of the cause-and-effect relationships that underpin your strategy. This valuable tool can help you identify and align your business goals and objectives.

“A strategy map gives everyone in your business a road map to understand the relationship between goals and measures and how they build on each other to create value,” says HBS Professor Robert Simons in Strategy Execution .

While this roadmap can be incredibly helpful in creating the right business goals and objectives, a balanced scorecard —a tool to help you track and assess non-financial measures—ensures they’re achievable through your current business strategy.

“Ask yourself, if I picked up a scorecard and examined the measures on that scorecard, could I infer what the business's strategy was,” Simon says. “If you've designed measures well, the answer should be yes.”

According to Strategy Execution , these measures are necessary to ensure your performance goals are achieved. When used in tandem, a balanced scorecard and strategy map can also tell you whether your goals and objectives will create value for you and your customers.

“The balanced scorecard combines the traditional financial perspective with additional perspectives that focus on customers, internal business processes, and learning and development,” Simons says.

These four perspectives are key considerations when setting your business goals and objectives. Here’s an overview of what those perspectives are and how they can help you set the right goals for your business.

4 Things to Consider When Setting Business Goals and Objectives

1. financial measures.

It’s important to ensure your plans and processes lead to desired levels of economic value. Therefore, some of your business goals and objectives should be financial.

Some examples of financial performance goals include:

  • Cutting costs
  • Increasing revenue
  • Improving cash flow management

“Businesses set financial goals by building profit plans—one of the primary diagnostic control systems managers use to execute strategy,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “They’re budgets drawn up for business units that have both revenues and expenses, and summarize the anticipated revenue inflows and expense outflows for a specified accounting period.”

Profit plans are essential when setting your business goals and objectives because they provide a critical link between your business strategy and economic value creation.

According to Simons, it’s important to ask three questions when profit planning:

  • Does my business strategy generate enough profit to cover costs and reinvest in the business?
  • Does my business generate enough cash to remain solvent through the year?
  • Does my business create sufficient financial returns for investors?

By mapping out monetary value, you can weigh the cost of different strategies and how likely it is you’ll meet your company and investors’ financial expectations.

2. Customer Satisfaction

To ensure your business goals and objectives aid in your company’s long-term success, you need to think critically about your customers’ satisfaction. This is especially important in a world where customer reviews and testimonials are crucial to your organization’s success.

“Everything that's important to the business, we have a KPI and we measure it,” says Tom Siebel, founder, chairman, and CEO of, in Strategy Execution . “And what could be more important than customer satisfaction?”

Unlike your company’s reputation, measuring customer satisfaction has a far more personal touch in identifying what customers love and how to capitalize on it through future strategic initiatives .

“We do anonymous customer satisfaction surveys every quarter to see how we're measuring up to our customer expectations,” Siebel says.

While this is one example, your customer satisfaction measures should reflect your desired market position and focus on creating additional value for your audience.

Related: 3 Effective Methods for Assessing Customer Needs

3. Internal Business Processes

Internal business processes is another perspective that should factor into your goal setting. It refers to several aspects of your business that aren’t directly affected by outside forces. Since many goals and objectives are driven by factors such as business competition and market shifts, considering internal processes can create a balanced business strategy.

“Our goals are balanced to make sure we’re holistically managing the business from a financial performance, quality assurance, innovation, and human talent perspective,” says Tom Polen, CEO and president of Becton Dickinson, in Strategy Execution .

According to Strategy Execution , internal business operations are broken down into the following processes:

  • Operations management
  • Customer management

While improvements to internal processes aren’t driven by economic value, these types of goals can still reap a positive return on investment.

“We end up spending much more time on internal business process goals versus financial goals,” Polen says. “Because if we take care of them, the financial goals will follow at the end of the day.”

4. Learning and Growth Opportunities

Another consideration while setting business goals and objectives is learning and growth opportunities for your team. These are designed to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

According to Strategy Execution , learning and growth opportunities touch on three types of capital:

  • Human: Your employees and the skills and knowledge required for them to meet your company’s goals
  • Information: The databases, networks, and IT systems needed to support your long-term growth
  • Organization: Ensuring your company’s leadership and culture provide people with purpose and clear objectives

Employee development is a common focus for learning and growth goals. Through professional development opportunities , your team will build valuable business skills and feel empowered to take more risks and innovate.

To create a culture of innovation , it’s important to ensure there’s a safe space for your team to make mistakes—and even fail.

“We ask that people learn from their mistakes,” Rodriguez says in Strategy Execution . “It's really important to us that people feel it’s safe to try new things. And all we ask is people extract their learnings and apply it to the next situation.”

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Achieve Your Business Goals

Business goals aren’t all about your organization’s possible successes. It’s also about your potential failures.

“When we set goals, we like to imagine a bright future with our business succeeding,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “But to identify your critical performance variables, you need to engage in an uncomfortable exercise and consider what can cause your strategy to fail.”

Anticipating potential failures isn’t easy. Enrolling in an online course—like HBS Online’s Strategy Execution —can immerse you in real-world case studies of past strategy successes and failures to help you better understand where these companies went wrong and how to avoid it in your business.

Do you need help setting your business goals and objectives? Explore Strategy Execution —one of our online strategy courses —and download our free strategy e-book to gain the insights to create a successful strategy.

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

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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 6,000+ 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 objectives and goals examples

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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Setting business goals: The first step to a successful business

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Business goals are a predetermined target that a business or individual plans to achieve in a set period of time. This article discusses the importance of business goals and reasons why you should set them for your team.

These are just a few benefits the goal setting process provides. Whether you're looking at the big picture or looking for small stepping stones, we'll explain everything you need to know to set goals for your business.

What are business goals?

Business goals are a predetermined target that a business or individual plans to achieve in a set period of time. These goals are often split into short-term goals and long-term goals . Business goals can be general and high level, or they can focus on specific measurable actions. 

A good example of a general business goal is a mission statement. Missions statements are a general goal because they don't have one metric that defines their success. They’re more often used as a guiding North Star—something your team can strive for as opposed to hitting hard numbers.

Alternatively, you can set specific goals—measurable goals that are easy to track as your team progresses towards them. When someone talks about "setting goals" or the "goal setting process," they're talking about specific goals. A common goal setting process to use is the SMART goals process .

Short-term goals

Short-term goals are often bound by a set period of time, usually ranging from a few hours to a full year. Long-term goals can also be time-bound, but if they are, they’re typically set further into the future. 

Short-term goals are often used as building blocks towards larger goals. A common strategy in business is to set multiple short-term goals to make the long-term goals more achievable.

Examples of short-term business goals:

Increase net promoter score by 10 points this quarter.

Hire 12 new support representatives by the end of the year.

Increase employee satisfaction by 20%.

Long-term goals

Long-term goals are bigger visions—goals you want to achieve further into the future. A common long-term goal is a 10-year goal. Think about where you want your business to be 10 years from now. What business objectives do you want to have achieved by then? What new businesses do you want to break into, if any? 

Long-term goals are often used as vision or mission statements —these goals serve as a compass for your business to help you move in the right direction. Think of your goals as a map to get you where you want to go. Long-term goals may not tell you how to get there exactly, but they point you in the right direction. Short-term goals are like a GPS. They provide step-by-step directions on how to get where you want to go. 

Examples of long-term business goals:

Nike : To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Patagonia : We're in business to save our home planet.

Google : To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Why are business goals important?

Setting business goals is a best practice for a reason—goals help drive businesses in the right direction. Here are a few more reasons why companies take the time to establish strong goals. 

Confidently define success

One of the easiest ways to know if your team is successful is by clearly outlining what success looks like. When you set your goals, take into consideration what you know your team is capable of, and push them slightly farther than expected.

There are a few common frameworks used to define goals. One of the most common ones used to create measurable and actionable goals is the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework.

Connect work to goals

A good business strategy to get into the habit of doing is connecting your business goals to the work your team is already doing. When you connect daily work to short- and long-term goals, individual team members have a clear sense of what they need to do, when they need to complete it, and the strategies they're doing to achieve those goals. 

Not only are team members more confident in what they need to do, but it gives them a sense of pride and ownership over their work. Team members are confident in how the work they’re doing impacts your business and how they’ve contributed to that success.

Keep teams aligned

A key benefit of using business goals is to align teams towards a common goal. Establishing clear business objectives allows team leaders to define which tactics their individual teams should use to achieve these goals. 

For example, imagine your company's overall business goal is to increase profitability by 10%. This is an overarching goal, but there are many different ways your company can achieve this. By establishing smaller, more tailored goals, business leaders can define the specific strategy you plan to take to achieve this goal. Your sales team may increase their sales quota, and your marketing team may implement a new outreach strategy. These are two different tactics that can be implemented to ultimately reach the same goal.

Maintain accountability

Once you set business goals, you can then break them down to the individual level. Using a technique like this can help maintain accountability from the leadership level all the way down to individual team members. When individual team members are responsible for their individual goals, it's easy for managers to gauge how they're performing and when they might need more support. 

Inform decision-making

If your company regularly tracks its business goals, you can use past goals as a way to inform your decision making process. For example, if your team sets up a new marketing strategy to track your goals and progress, you can use that information to set your business strategy for the next year based on performance.

Tips for setting clear business goals

Now that you know the reasons why business goals are important, here are a few tips on how to establish them.

Use a framework to set goals

If you're on the path to setting your first business goal, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. You want to make sure that your goal is achievable, but not so easy to achieve that it's not a challenge.  Goal setting frameworks like SMART goals or OKRs are a good way to establish your first set of business goals.

Co-create with other business leaders

Your team doesn't work in a bubble. The work that your team does can affect other teams in your company and your business strategy as a whole. This is why co-creating with stakeholders is important. By working together, your team can utilize their unique knowledge and experience to set goals and create a sound business plan.

Start with the big picture

When you're establishing your goals, choosing numbers and tactics can feel overwhelming. To prevent that, start with the big picture first. Focus on answering the questions:

What do you want your company to stand for? 

Why was your company created? 

Where do you want to be in 10 years? What about 25 years? 

Once you’ve defined a big picture mission, break it down into smaller, more actionable goals. What steps can you take to get there? What new products can you introduce to help achieve that overall, big picture mission? 

With goal setting, there is no right or wrong answer. It's all about finding the strategies and methodologies that work best for your team.

Manage goals using software

There's no use in setting goals if you set them and forget them in a document somewhere, only to be opened again at the end of a quarter. Using software to regularly track goal progress is important, and what better way to do that than to use software that connects your goals to the work that needs to be done? 

Connecting the work you’re doing to goals is easy. Guru aligns their company OKRs to their projects with Asana. The Guru team uses Asana as a source of truth for clarity and accountability company-wide.

Start setting—and achieving—business goals today

All businesses start small, and setting goals is how they grow into successful companies. If you're interested in learning more about different goal strategies, how to measure them, or where to start with planning, visit the Asana goals resource page for more information.

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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:

  • How determined am I to see this succeed?
  • Am I willing to invest my own money and work long hours for no pay, sacrificing personal time and lifestyle, maybe for years?
  • What's going to happen to me if this venture doesn't work out?
  • If it does succeed, how many employees will this company eventually have?
  • What will be its annual revenues in a year? Five years?
  • What will be its market share in that time frame?
  • Will it be a niche marketer, or will it sell a broad spectrum of good and services?
  • What are my plans for geographic expansion? Local? National? Global?
  • Am I going to be a hands-on manager, or will I delegate a large proportion of tasks to others?
  • If I delegate, what sorts of tasks will I share? Sales? Technical? Others?
  • How comfortable am I taking direction from others? Could I work with partners or investors who demand input into the company's management?
  • Is it going to remain independent and privately owned, or will it eventually be acquired or go public?

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:

  • First, there's the amount of control you'll have to surrender. An equal partner may, quite naturally, demand approximately equal control. Venture capitalists often demand significant input into management decisions by, for instance, placing one or more people on your board of directors. Angel investors may be very involved or not involved at all, depending on their personal style. Bankers, at the other end of the scale, are likely to offer no advice whatsoever as long as you make payments of principal and interest on time and are not in violation of any other terms of your loan.
  • You should also consider the amount of money you're likely to need. Any amount less than several million dollars is too small to be considered for a standard initial public offering of stock, for example. Venture capital investors are most likely to invest amounts of $250,000 to $3 million. On the other hand, only the richest angel investor will be able to provide more than a few hundred thousand dollars, if that.

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.

  • The third consideration is cost. This can be measured in terms of interest rates and shares of ownership as well as in time, paperwork and plain old hassle.

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.

  • What initial investment will the business require?
  • How much control are you willing to relinquish to investors?
  • When will the business turn a profit?
  • When can investors, including you, expect a return on their money?
  • What are the projected profits of the business over time?
  • Will you be able to devote yourself full time to the business, financially?
  • What kind of salary or profit distribution can you expect to take home?
  • What are the chances the business will fail?
  • What will happen if it does?
  • Where are you going to live?
  • What kind of work are you going to be doing?
  • How many hours will you be working?
  • Will you be able to take vacations?
  • What happens if you get sick?
  • Will you earn enough to maintain your lifestyle?
  • Does your family understand and agree with the sacrifices you envision?

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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24 Best Sample Business Plans & Examples to Help You Write Your Own

Clifford Chi

Published: August 17, 2023

Free Business Plan Template

business plan objectives and goals examples

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

Thank you for downloading the offer.

Reading sample business plans is essential when you’re writing your own. As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, you’ll learn how to write one that gets your business off on the right foot, convinces investors to provide funding, and confirms your venture is sustainable for the long term.

sample business plans and examples

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But what does a business plan look like? And how do you write one that is viable and convincing? Let's review the ideal business plan formally, then take a look at business plan templates and samples you can use to inspire your own.

Business Plan Format

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. The same logic applies to business. If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. Referencing one will keep you on the path toward success. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, you might be wondering, "Where do I start? How should I format this?"

Typically, a business plan is a document that will detail how a company will achieve its goals.

business plan objectives and goals examples

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

Most business plans include the following sections:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is arguably the most important section of the entire business plan. Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

Most executive summaries include:

  • Mission statement
  • Company history and leadership
  • Competitive advantage overview
  • Financial projections
  • Company goals

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, including only the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

And the executive summary below tells potential investors a short story that covers all the most important details this business plan will cover in a succinct and interesting way.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market. Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will your product fill that gap?

In this section, you might include:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry. You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

This example uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Speaking of market share, you'll need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are. After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another. Performing a competitive analysis can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

The competitive landscape section of the business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are. It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

This section will describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Ask yourself:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

It can be helpful to build a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

The example below uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. You might consider including information on:

  • The brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

It can help to already have a marketing plan built out to help you with this part of your business plan.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler. It offers a comprehensive picture of how it plans to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services. Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use . It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

The example below outlines products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. For this reason, you might outline:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

This business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

This section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more. According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details you'll want to include.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet example shows the level of detail you will need to include in the financials section of your business plan:

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

Business Plan Types

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. So, we’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business. You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. Internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Sample Business Plan Templates

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow. Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why We Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it. There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders. It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis. The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made. Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly. It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (We always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

We absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service. You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of our favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business. Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you. It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things we love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, we especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan. Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

Top Business Plan Examples

Here are some completed business plan samples to get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business. We’ve chosen different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue. We included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives. This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best. For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Outdoor clothing retailer, Patagonia, has one of the most compelling mission statements we’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University . While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more. Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission. The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s also essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. You can also use this template as a guide while you're gathering important details. After looking at this sample, you'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do for your own business plan.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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How to set achievable business goals

The importance of setting business goals, types of business goals, choosing the right goals is a process.

Vector of an arrow hitting a bullseye. Represents setting effective business goals.

How to Set Small Business Goals

Kody Wirth | Oct 29, 2023

How happy are you with your business’s performance? Are you patting yourself on the back, having nailed every goal? 

If the answer is no, you’re like many business owners who struggle to hit business targets. You know exactly what you want—a bigger business, larger per-customer sales, more leads, higher profits—but you struggle to meet your goals.

In this article, we’ll show you how to set clear and actionable business goals to help you reach your full potential as an entrepreneur. 

There is always so much to do when you’re a business owner. You need to find new clients, keep your existing clients happy, manage your finances, streamline your processes, and motivate your employees—all at the same time. Here’s how you sort through all that clutter and set goals to move the needle.

1. Clarify the goals you’ll prioritize

To ensure you don’t waste time and money—you must know your top priorities when setting company goals for the year. These should be clear opportunities or issues that show the most significant potential to grow your business.

So, how do you identify them?

A SWOT analysis provides a simple but effective framework. You’ll look at your business and competitors to identify potential advantages and shortcomings that can set you apart. 

If you’re an up-and-running business, you’ll find additional value by reviewing your financial statements and forecasts . 

  • Where did you over or underperform?
  • Is your cash on hand what you expected?
  • Are you overspending in any areas?

Answering questions like these will help you understand your current financial position. From there, you can dig deeper into specific departments, initiatives, line items, etc., and uncover what opportunities are worth tackling in the next year.  

Example: You run a local salon, and during your review, there was an immediate red flag—revenue is down. Exploring a bit further, you found that the average order value of each customer had decreased and that the number of new customers was far lower than the previous year. 

Considering those issues, you develop the following business goals:

  • Introduce new product offerings and add-ons to increase revenue from existing clients.
  • Increase client base by targeting local office workers.

Please note: These aren’t goals yet! They are your key areas to focus on. After you’ve discussed them with your team—which we’ll cover next—you’ll turn them into SMART goals (specific, measurable goals) to ensure that you’ll take action on them.

2. Review these goals with your team

Your team is out there every day, working on your products or talking to clients. They are the people who can tell you what’s working and what’s not, what’s holding your business back, and where you should be focusing your efforts and setting your business goals for the year ahead.

So, once you’ve selected what you think should be the top goals for your business, sit down with your employees, and get their feedback. They may agree or have valuable insights that you haven’t considered.

By involving your employees in the goal-setting process, you make them feel valued and engaged while at the same time ensuring your goals are realistic and achievable.

Dig deeper:

How to set team goals that actually work

Part of getting your team involved in the goal-setting process is breaking down company objectives into team goals. Here are some tips to make these individual goals just as effective.

3. Make your goals SMART

You have two to three business goals. Now, it’s time to make them actionable. While you can use several different goal-setting frameworks to do this, we recommend SMART goals:

  • Specific: What exactly are you going to do?
  • Measurable: How will you know if you are succeeding?
  • Achievable: How will you implement the goal?
  • Relevant: Does the goal connect to your overall objectives?
  • Timely: When will you achieve the goal by?

Let’s take one of our business goals and turn it into a SMART goal.

Original idea: Increase client base by targeting local office workers.

  • Specific: Gain 20 new customers from the surrounding office buildings.
  • Measurable: Measure progress by tracking the number of new customers won and profits made while maintaining our existing customer base.
  • Achievable: We will create a customized sales promotion, which we will publicize via leaflets and flyers in the office building.
  • Relevant: This will help us increase the number of new customers, thus growing the salon business and profits.
  • Timely: We will achieve this by the end of Q2 2024.

How to set SMART business goals

Walk through a more detailed example of the SMART goal framework and learn how to use it with your own business goals.

4. Set key performance indicators (KPIs)

The SMART goal format should give you an idea of your timeline and what it will take to achieve your goal. However, you need to establish how you’ll measure your progress. One of the most common ways to do this is by adopting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) .

These numerical values, like the number of new clients from a specific campaign or monthly sales targets, indicate whether the goal is within reach. While creating SMART goals, you’ll define relevant KPIs, ensuring they align with company and individual objectives. 

For example, a salon might have overall KPIs related to customer acquisition from a campaign, while a stylist might focus on customer satisfaction and spending KPIs.

12 tips to help you choose effective KPIs

Learn how to choose the right metrics to measure your progress with these tips from experienced entrepreneurs

5. Set a structure to review and revise

If you want to make something happen, you need to create a schedule and build good habits around it.

If you want to get healthier, you need to add exercise to your schedule, plan time to cook healthy meals, and so on. You should treat your business goals the same way. You need to schedule the actions you’ll take to reach your KPIs.

It’s a great idea to put regular (possibly monthly) business plan review meetings on your company calendar now This will help you set, revisit and revise specific short-and-long-term business goals and objectives.

To make these meetings less overwhelming, try and automate as much as possible. Use a calendar for both you and your staff, and add reminders and online task management software to organize tasks, set deadlines, and prompt you for repeat actions. 

How to develop an action plan

Learn how to adapt every step in the goal-setting process into an actionable plan that keeps you and your team members on task.

Why are goals important? Here are a few reasons:

Goals provide clarity

There are plenty of things that you want to accomplish as a business owner. But what tasks are most important? How do you know if you’re making progress? 

Setting well-structured goals will help you prioritize work, establish a direction, and provide a framework to measure success. No more random assignments or distractions—just a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there.

Goals motivate and align your team

Aimlessly taking on work does not lead to success. Without a set goal, there’s no shining beacon ahead that you’re trying to reach. And no milestones on the way there to celebrate and keep you going.

Having company and team goals provides greater motivation. It also makes it far easier to set individual goals that connect each employee’s work to that larger objective. 

Goals provide a structure to measure success 

Setting goals requires you to consider what metrics you’ll use to measure success. Doing this upfront makes tracking your progress much more manageable and lets you know if you’re still on track.

Skipping the goal-setting process means your ideas of success will remain vague and aimless. You’ll be more likely to run down unproductive rabbit holes and may never actually realize your aspirations.

Goals help your business grow

Much like writing a business plan increases your chances of successfully launching a business —setting goals increases your chances of achieving regular business growth. You’ll have well-structured ideas of where you want to go, how to get there, and if you’re progressing. 

And by continuing to set, review, and revise your goals—you’ll speed up the process and avoid costly mistakes.  

The goal-setting process in this article focused primarily on long-term business performance goals—the kind you’ll set once a year. These broader goals may focus on any of the following:

Financial goals

Whether it’s achieving a specific net profit margin or finding ways to cut back on certain expenses—these goals focus on growing or maintaining financial health.

Customer-related goals

These goals are all about better serving your target customer. This may include improving customer service, increasing repeat purchases, or expanding your clientele.

Operational goals

Sometimes, you’ll find savings by optimizing current workflows. This could mean reducing product production times, eliminating error rates, or streamlining your supply chain.

Marketing and sales goals

Marketing and sales goals can be broad, like boosting brand awareness, or very specific, like improving specific channel sales or launching a new marketing campaign.

Employee and team goals

These are goals focused on reducing employee turnover, boosting team spirit, or furthering education to keep everyone at the top of their game.

Sustainability and social responsibility goals

These are goals that may not directly impact your bottom line. Instead, they focus on accomplishing an altruistic mission such as shrinking your carbon footprint or giving back to the community.

Innovation and development goals

Far more opportunistic and research-based goals that could include launching a new product, embracing the latest tech, or venturing into new markets.

Compliance and risk management goals

Goals to ensure your operations meet all legal requirements and have strategies in place to dodge financial and operational pitfalls.

Selecting goals and creating a plan to reach them takes time. Even by following the steps in this article, there’s no guarantee that you’ll select the best opportunity and be able to efficiently pursue it. 

That’s why the review process is so crucial. Rather than pursuing a goal that won’t make an impact, you can quickly pivot if you realize something isn’t working. 

Goal setting is just the start, and plenty of other ways to better manage and grow your business. 

  • Create a business strategy
  • Manage during a crisis
  • Selling your business

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Business goals FAQ

What are business goals?

What are business objectives?

How are business goals and objectives different?

What is an example of a set goal?

What is a common business goal?

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business plan objectives and goals examples

business plan objectives and goals examples

Work Life is Atlassian’s flagship publication dedicated to unleashing the potential of every team through real-life advice, inspiring stories, and thoughtful perspectives from leaders around the world.

Kelli María Korducki

Contributing Writer

Dominic Price

Work Futurist

Dr. Mahreen Khan

Senior Quantitative Researcher, People Insights

Kat Boogaard

Principal Writer

SMART goals

How to write SMART goals

It’s easier to succeed when you have clearly defined objectives that are based in reality.

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5-second summary

  • Teams often fall short of meeting their goals due to a lack of consensus on the definition of success.
  • SMART goals use a specific set of criteria to help ensure that objectives are clearly defined and attainable within a certain timeframe.
  • Working through each step of creating a SMART goal can reveal instances where priorities and resources are out of alignment.

Meet Jane. She’s a product manager at a mid-sized tech company – let’s call it Techfirm, Inc. Jane has been tasked with increasing usage of Techfirm’s mobile app.

She knows she’ll need all hands on deck to make this happen, but there’s a problem. When Jane has set team-wide goals in the past, they’ve quickly fallen off track. Nobody seemed to have a clear understanding of what success should look like. Progress wasn’t monitored closely enough. And inevitably, that important objective slipped to the back burner (before toppling off the stove entirely).

That’s why, this time around, Jane plans to leverage SMART goals for setting an action plan and staying the course.

Want to get started right now?

Use our template to define the different components of your SMART goal.

5 diagrams that show how context switching saps your productivity

5 diagrams that show how context switching saps your productivity

What are smart goals.

The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Defining these parameters as they pertain to your goal helps ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. This approach eliminates generalities and guesswork, sets a clear timeline, and makes it easier to track progress and identify missed milestones.

An example of a SMART-goal statement might look like this: Our goal is to [quantifiable objective] by [timeframe or deadline]. [Key players or teams] will accomplish this goal by [what steps you’ll take to achieve the goal]. Accomplishing this goal will [result or benefit].

Let’s use Jane’s objective to work through each component.

S: Specific

In order for a goal to be effective, it needs to be specific. A specific goal answers questions like:

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Who’s responsible for it?
  • What steps need to be taken to achieve it?

Thinking through these questions helps get to the heart of what you’re aiming for. Here’s an example of a specific goal Jane might come up with:

Grow the number of monthly users of Techfirm’s mobile app by optimizing our app-store listing and creating targeted social media campaigns.

M: Measurable

Don’t underestimate the outsized impact of short-term goals

Don’t underestimate the outsized impact of short-term goals

Specificity is a solid start, but quantifying your goals (that is, making sure they’re measurable) makes it easier to track progress and know when you’ve reached the finish line.

Jane and her product team want to grow the number of their mobile app users – but by how much? If they get even one new signup, that’s technically positive growth – so does that mean they’re done? Same goes for their strategy; how many platforms will they advertise on? 

To make this SMART objective more impactful, Jane should incorporate measurable, trackable benchmarks.

Increase the number of monthly users of Techfirm’s mobile app by 1,000 by optimizing our app-store listing and creating targeted social media campaigns for four social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

A: Achievable

This is the point in the process when you give yourself a serious reality check. Goals should be realistic —  not  pedestals from which you inevitably tumble. Ask yourself: is your objective something your team can reasonably accomplish?

Jane might look at her goal and realize that, given her small team and their heavy workload, creating ad campaigns for four social platforms might be biting off more than they can chew. She decides to scale back to the three social networks where she’s most likely to find new clients.

Increase the number of monthly users of Techfirm’s mobile app by 1,000 by optimizing our app-store listing and creating targeted social media campaigns for three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Safeguarding the achievability of your goal is much easier when you’re the one setting it. However, that’s not always the case. When goals are handed down from elsewhere, make sure to communicate any restraints you may be working under. Even if you can’t shift the end goal, at least you can make your position (and any potential roadblocks) known up-front.

How to write the perfect 90-day plan

How to write the perfect 90-day plan

R: relevant.

Here’s where you need to think about the big picture. Why are you setting the goal that you’re setting? Jane knows that the app is a huge driver of customer loyalty, and that an uptick in their app usage could mean big things for the company’s bottom-line revenue goals. Now she revises her statement to reflect that context.

Grow the number of monthly users of Techfirm’s mobile app by 1,000 by optimizing our app-store listing and creating targeted social media campaigns for three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because mobile users tend to use our product longer, growing our app usage will ultimately increase profitability.

T: Time-bound

To properly measure success, you and your team need to be on the same page about when a goal has been reached. What’s your time horizon? When will the team start creating and implementing the tasks they’ve identified? When will they finish?

SMART goals should have time-related parameters built in, so everybody knows how to stay on track within a designated time frame.

When Jane incorporates those dates, her SMART goal is complete.

Grow the number of monthly users of Techfirm’s mobile app by 1,000 within Q1 of 2022. This will be accomplished by optimizing our app-store listing and creating targeted social media campaigns, which will begin running in February 2022, on three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Since mobile is our primary point of conversion for paid-customer signups, growing our app usage will ultimately increase sales.

Knowing how to set goals using the SMART framework can help you succeed in setting and attaining goals, no matter how large or small.

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What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, 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 objectives and goals examples

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

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

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

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

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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The Thriving Small Business

The Thriving Small Business

Tips And Tools For Small Business Owners

Do You Know How To Write Business Goals?

January 12, 2022 By Patricia Lotich

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Businesses need to plan to be successful. An important part of the business planning process is determining business objectives that are translated into actionable business goals.

Goals should support the  strategic plan  – a written document that articulates an organization’s strategy for achieving its mission and vision .

The goal development process looks at this strategy and determines the necessary steps to get there.

You can determine the steps by asking who, what, when, and how.

For instance, let’s say your flower business has a goal of expanding its products by adding memorial gifts for loved ones . This goal would require a plan that determines what needs to be done, steps ( how) to get it done, who will do it, and when it should be completed.

Goal writing does not have to be overly complicated.

But, it does require commitment and the discipline to follow through and complete the required action steps.

Spend time to think through your goals so that you can have enough detail to achieve your desired results.

To do this, many organizations use the SMART goal model  to articulate their goals.

SMART Goals are:

S pecific – Is the goal specific enough for clarity?

M easurable – Is there a way to measure the goal? In other words, how do you know you achieved the goal?

A ttainable – Is the goal truly attainable? Or is it such an outlandish goal that it looks good on paper but is nearly impossible to complete.

R ealistic – Did you write the goal realistically? For example, did you address all the challenges of completing the goal and provide the necessary resources?

T imely – Is there a timeline associated with the goal to ensure a completion date?

“If you can’t measure and monitor your goals, chances are that your employees will never achieve them and you won’t know the difference…” Managing for Dummies

business plan objectives and goals examples

A company’s goals should be written to support activities that contribute to the organization’s ability to move forward – increasing revenues, decreasing costs, and improving the customer experience.

Examples of SMART Business Goals

1. Reduce overall budget costs by 10% by 20xx

2. Increase market share by 5% by 20xx

3. Increase revenues by 20% by 20xx

4. Increase customer satisfaction by 5 pts by 20xx

Let’s look at the goal of reducing overall budget costs by 10% by 20xx and flush out the details of that goal.

If you take one aspect of budget costs, which could be supply costs, you can write SMART goals to reduce them.

How Do I Write A Business Goal?

The goal development process includes a discussion with the appropriate people (those closest to the process) and should answer the questions:  w ho, what, when, and  how .

These four questions help to facilitate a discussion and thought process that flushes out the details needed for writing effective goals.

Okay, now let’s brainstorm steps to reduce the office supply budget (what), and this is what we might find:

  • Audit supply costs for the last 24 months – How Who – Jack When – March 15
  • Audit supply usage for the last 24 months – How Who – Diane When – March 15
  • Identify the person(s) or departments with the highest supply usage – How Who – Diane When – April 1
  • Identify potential wasteful usage – How Who – Jack/Diane When – April 30
  • Evaluate supplier agreements – How Who – Jack When – April 30
  • Shop suppliers – How Who – Jack When – May 15
  • Negotiate new supply rates – How Who – Jack When – June 30
  • Create a standard of supply list and utilization control – How Who – Jack/Diane When – July 15

Once the questions are answered, a goal-setting worksheet can be created as an easy visual of the goal plan.

Now, let’s look at a couple of these goals and put them in a goal document.

business plan objectives and goals examples

Follow Through Is The Most Important Step

One of the most important things when writing goals is the follow-up and completion of goals.

A goal document is no more than a piece of paper if there is not a person held accountable for achieving those goals. Assign responsible people to each task and hold them accountable.

One tip I have is to ask the person when a reasonable time would be to get the task done and hold them to it.

When an employee determines their own deadlines, they will be less likely to claim unrealistic expectations.

Use the document as a tool to help  manage the performance of the employees assigned to complete the action steps and also include these goals in the annual performance appraisal process.

Managers should use this goal sheet as a guide throughout the year and reinforce the deadlines outlined in the document.

Why Is it Important To Manage Employee Performance?

Employees go to work with the intention of doing a good job. It is the manager’s responsibility to set expectations for performance, provide the resources to do their job, and then hold them accountable for those expectations.

A structured performance management process is critical to ensuring goal completion. The process should also include rewards and recognition for employees.

Use incentives to engage employees and reward them for their labor.

An organization’s ability to write and accomplish annual goals is critical to achieving corporate objectives.

Take the time to think about what needs to be done and create a document that assigns responsibility. You will find that achieving your objectives is more realistic than you might think!

If you would like an editable copy of this  example of a business goal document – click here .

Does your organization write annual goals?

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41 Business Goals Examples to Set in 2023 and Beyond

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  • Goal Management

What Are Business Goals?

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

Business Goals with Target and leaders

For more than 10 years Weekdone has provided tens of thousands of teams from startups to Fortune 500 with world leading goal-setting software called Weekdone . These are our lessons learned.

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) , Balanced Scorecard (BSC), SMART goals, and so on. 

  • OKRs - Objectives and Key Results - as implemented in products like Weekdone are today's de-facto standard for goal-setting in teams and companies
  • SMART goals can help you handle the bumps on the road. 
  • Business model and vision statement provide a big picture view of your firm and what you want to achieve, 
  • Short-term and long-term business objectives describe the exact techniques you'll employ to get there.

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 " Objectives 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. Weekdone is a tool to implement OKRs in your team.

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.

Get 14-day trial of Weekdone . Invite your teams and set better business goals with OKRs. Try it now .

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. If you start using Weekdone , you can take advantage of the OKR examples in the software .

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:

  • What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  • What are your numeric priorities or restrictions regarding effort, expense, and time?
  • How realistic is it? See committed or aspirational goals
  • Does the goal apply to you and your company?
  • What are your timeframes, deadlines, and quantifiable constraints?

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:

  • Specify your goal.
  • Create a measurable goal.
  • Set attainable goals.
  • Ensure that it is relevant.
  • Develop a time-bound plan.

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.

  • Specific: I plan to boost revenue while decreasing spending. Shifting to a more affordable location, which would reduce my rent by 7%, will lower my operational expenditures.
  • Measurable: I plan to increase sales over the following five months by signing up three additional potential clients.
  • Attainable: I plan to strengthen my current client connections and develop the company through recommendations, networking, and social media. This will assist me in generating more leads, resulting in a rise in income for the company.
  • Relevant: Moving to a less expensive location will lower my company's operational costs, allowing for profit growth.
  • Time-bound: By the end of the next three months, I will have doubled my profit.

2. Set Up a Virtual Sales Communication Link

  • Specific: Our remote sales crew should have connectivity across the board and be fully functional.
  • Measurable: The mission is fully functional when running the routing protocol, and our remote employees can start working.
  • Achievable: This goal may be lofty, but we may bring it to the top of the list of priorities and briefly divert assets from longer-term initiatives to finish it.
  • Relevant: Even if there is no epidemic, remote work is an excellent option. Remote networking assists people in being productive and organizations in achieving goals in a post-COVID environment.
  • Time-bound: This objective has a time constraint of seven days.

3. I Want To Improve My Business Operations Efficiency

  • Specific: I'll strengthen the effectiveness of my daily operations by putting pressure on my sales team to raise their closing ratio from 30% to at least 40%.
  • Measurable: Salespeople are expected to enhance their closing ratio from 30% to 40%, and delivery time is expected to be reduced from 72 hours to 12 hours.
  • Attainable: I'll run a poll to determine what the notion means to both clients and the sales staff. I'll put it in place as soon as the concept is approved.
  • Relevant: expanding the number of motorcycles and pickup trucks that will provide delivery services for us will aid the strategy's success.
  • Time-bound: This should take place within a year.

4. I Want To Expand My Business Operations

  • Specific: During the next three years, open three additional branches around the country
  • Measurable: The goal is to boost the company's operations and revenue. This, in turn, will encourage the establishment of three additional branches.
  • Attainable: More manufacturing will increase my present selling space by 25%. This will allow me to save for the projected expansion to four branches around the country.
  • Relevant: Growing production, operations, and income will result in a larger customer base; therefore, opening new branches will not waste time.
  • Time-bound: The establishment of the branches should take place during the next three years.

5. My goal is to increase employee retention

  • Specific: In 90 days, I will reduce staff turnover by 25% by training new workers to let them understand what is expected of them and a strategy to assist them in becoming acquainted with the operational processes.
  • Measurable: the increase in staff turnover is expected to be roughly 25% and should occur within 90 days.
  • Attainable: training courses and one-on-one sessions will guarantee that personnel are ready for what is required of them when they start working in production.
  • Relevant: exceptional personnel will be considered for a reward scheme. There will be motivational training for individuals who are having difficulty.
  • Time-bound: Within 90 days, staff turnover will have improved.

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:

  • Employees are inspired to strive for the final objective since it is so large and inspirational;
  • The BHAG may be broken down into sub-goals, which is a huge motivator;
  • Your objective is specific;
  • Don't forget to set a time limit.

BHAG Examples

  • Make your eatery the go-to choice for royalty and international leaders when they need catering.
  • Establish a nonprofit organization to find a treatment for a serious illness like Parkinson's or arthritis.
  • Make your business more than just a producer of mobility aids by creating the first all-terrain wheelchair that improves the lives of millions of people.
  • Surpass Starbucks and McDonald's in brand recognition. It can also work in other industries by modifying it to become as recognizable a name as McDonald's in your chosen field.
  • Make your art gallery the most well-known in the world. One in which all the greatest artists compete to have their work showcased.
  • Become a billion-dollar corporation in two decades. Some of the world's top corporations began on kitchen tables with a BHAG.

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. These are great to get started in your free Weekdone trial .

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.

It's now time to sign up for your free Weekdone trial and get going.

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. Sign up now .

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

Examples of Business Goals & Objectives

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Copying VMDK to VDI in VirtualBox

Strategic objectives for manufacturing, company goal examples to reduce cost.

  • Startup Costs for Opening a Day Care Center
  • Business Cost Reduction Strategies

Successful businesses are based on both goals and objectives, as they clarify the purpose of the business and help identify necessary actions Goals are general statements of desired achievement, while objectives are the specific steps or actions you take to reach your goal. Both goals and objectives should be specific and measurable. Goals can involve areas such as profitability, growth and customer service, with a range of objectives that can be used to meet those goals.

Business Profitability Objectives

A common business goal is to run a profitable operation, which typically means increasing revenue while limiting expenses. To reach this goal, objectives could consist of increasing annual sales by 10 percent or landing three new accounts each month. Expense objectives could involve finding a new operating facility that decreases your rent by $200 a month or cutting monthly utility bills by 15 percent.

Customer Service Objectives

Customer service goals could include reducing complaints by 50 percent over one year or to improve resolution times to customer complaints to a minimum of one business day. To meet customer service goals, objectives could include increasing your customer service staff from one to three workers by the end of the year or implementing a policy where customers are guaranteed to receive a return phone call before the end of the business day.

Retention of Employees

If you've experienced a problem with employee turnover, your overall goal could be to improve retention. To make this goal specific, you could measure the current turnover rate, like one employee in five leaves after three months, and decide to double this figure to six months. Objectives to meet this goal could include implementing a training program that details new-hire activities for the first 90 days on the job. You also could implement one-on-one bi-weekly meetings with your employees in an effort to build rapport and find out what's on their mind.

Efficiency of Operations

Another goal could be to become more efficient in your business operation as a way to increase productivity. To improve efficiency, you could set a goal of increasing shipping times from three days to two days. Objectives to meet this goal could include finding a new shipper, or improving production times to have units ready to ship before 10 a.m. each morning.

Growth of the Business

Perhaps your goal is to grow your business operation. If you own a franchise unit, for example, your goal might be to open three more units within a five-year period. If this was the case, your objectives could include scouting a new city once each quarter, or reducing your franchise fees by 25 percent for the next six months.

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Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.

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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

Business plan - 2

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

Business plan - 3

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

Business plan - 4

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

Business plan - 5

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 Conclusion

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.

Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Business

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About Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Marketing91 and has over a decade of experience in the marketing field. He is an accomplished author of thousands of insightful articles, including in-depth analyses of brands and companies. Holding an MBA in Marketing, Hitesh manages several offline ventures, where he applies all the concepts of Marketing that he writes about.

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Professional SMART Goal Examples and Techniques to Foster Continuous Improvement

7 November 2023

17 min read

Kelsey Breton

In the often challenging-to-navigate corporate environment, setting and achieving goals is the compass that guides teams towards success. But not all goals are created equal. That’s where SMART goals come in—a structured and strategic approach to goal-setting that has become a cornerstone of effective performance management and continuous improvement. Professional SMART goal examples are a great place to start crafting your goal framework.

SMART, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound , represents a set of criteria that transforms vague aspirations into actionable roadmaps. Each element of SMART contributes to a goal’s clarity, measurability, and feasibility, ensuring that objectives are not just wishful thinking but tangible outcomes waiting to be realized.

Here, we’ll take a look at the art and science of crafting SMART goals, exploring various techniques for harnessing their power and how to leverage them to enhance your organizational performance. We’ll also dive into some professional SMART goal examples for easy reference and a place to start.

Whether you’re a seasoned manager seeking to elevate team accomplishments or an individual striving for personal growth, understanding the nuances of SMART goal setting, and reviewing these professional SMART goal examples, can be your compass to navigate the exciting journey of continuous improvement.

Best Practices for Setting and Tracking SMART Goals

Before diving into specific professional SMART goal examples, let’s first examine some best practices for setting and tracking these goals. In the realm of goal setting, the SMART methodology stands as a guiding light, offering a clear path to achieving measurable success. But how do you effectively harness the power of SMART goals to drive continuous improvement within your organization? Let’s explore some best practices that can elevate your goal-setting game to new heights.

Start with the Big Picture

Before delving into the specifics, take a step back to understand the tapestry of your organization’s mission and vision . Starting with the big picture allows you to anchor your SMART goals within a broader context. As you chart your course for improvement, consider how each goal contributes to the larger mission, fostering a sense of purpose and cohesion across your teams.

Align SMART Goals with Business Objectives

The true potency of SMART goals and our professional SMART goal examples lies in their alignment with your business’s strategic objectives. Each goal should be a puzzle piece that fits seamlessly into the larger organizational framework. By ensuring this alignment, you create a ripple effect of impact — when SMART goals are achieved, they propel your business closer to its ultimate aspirations, fostering a culture where every action is a step toward a shared vision.

Identify Areas for Improvement

Uncover the hidden gems of growth opportunities by strategically identifying areas for improvement. This can be achieved by conducting regular process audits and asking for feedback from team members, who can shed light on areas that require optimization. Collaborative brainstorming sessions focused on efficiency and innovation can also reveal opportunities for improvement. Embrace a mindset of constant enhancement, where each goal targets a specific facet of your operations that can be refined, optimized, or innovated. Through this approach, SMART goals become the catalyst for an ongoing cycle of positive transformation.

Make Goals Specific and Measurable

The essence of a SMART goal—and as evidenced in the professional SMART goal examples—is clarity. By making your goals specific and measurable, you crystallize your intentions and pave the way for tangible results. Each goal becomes a beacon, illuminating a clear path forward and allowing for accurate measurement of progress.

Define Clear and Concrete Objectives

When crafting professional SMART goal examples, precision is paramount. Define objectives that are unmistakable in their intent, leaving no room for ambiguity. This precision acts as a compass, guiding your efforts towards a singular destination.

Establish Quantifiable Metrics for Success

The beauty of a SMART goal lies in its ability to be assessed objectively. To achieve this, establish quantifiable metrics that serve as benchmarks for success. These metrics are not just numbers; they are the markers of your progress, providing tangible evidence of achievement.

Ensure Achievability and Realistic Expectations

A lofty goal is inspiring, but a realistic one is achievable. Striking this balance is crucial for fostering continuous improvement. By anchoring your goals in reality, you set the stage for consistent growth and avoid the pitfalls of overreach.

Consider Available Resources and Constraints

As you mold your professional SMART goal examples, take a panoramic view of the resources at your disposal and the constraints that shape your journey. The art lies in aligning your goals with these factors, maximizing efficiency while remaining adaptable.

Break Down Ambitious Goals into Smaller Milestones

Greatness is more often than not achieved with incremental victories. Break down your ambitious goals into smaller, manageable milestones. These milestones serve as stepping stones, guiding your progress with each surefooted step.

Keep Goals Relevant and Aligned

A SMART goal is not an isolated entity; it is a thread woven into the fabric of your organization’s larger narrative. Take a look at the professional SMART goal examples provided and you will see how important it is to keep your goals relevant by ensuring they are intrinsically tied to the overarching mission and strategic objectives.

Connect SMART Goals to Individual and Team Roles

For goals to flourish, they must find a home within the roles of individuals and teams. Get to know your employees personal and professional goals, and find a way to tie them back to the larger goals of your organization. By fostering this connection, you infuse your goals with purpose, transforming them from abstract ambitions to actionable blueprints. 

Regularly Review and Adjust Goals Based on Changing Needs

Flexibility is the cornerstone of adaptability. Regularly review and adjust your SMART goals based on the evolving needs of your organization. Refer back to our professional SMART goal examples as a helpful touchpoint. This practice ensures that your goals remain dynamic instruments of progress, and help support your employees in their pursuit to achieve them.

Set Time-Bound Deadlines

A SMART goal is a destination for your aspirations, and a timeline is the road you walk to get there. By setting time-bound deadlines, you give your goals a sense of urgency and ensure that your journey unfolds with purpose and momentum.

Establish Realistic Timelines for Goal Completion

Establish realistic timelines for goal completion that take into account the difficulty of the task at hand, as well as the tools and bandwidth available to your employees. This approach fosters a sense of accomplishment while maintaining a pace that allows for sustainable growth. You’ll notice time-bound deadlines throughout our professional SMART goal examples.

Use Regular Checkpoints to Monitor Progress

A journey without checkpoints is bound to go off the rails. Implement regular checkpoints to monitor your progress, allowing you to course-correct, celebrate victories, and recalibrate when needed.

Tips for Implementing SMART Goals Effectively

Setting the stage for success requires not only crafting SMART goals and reviewing professional SMART goal examples but also integrating them seamlessly into your organization’s way of doing things. The following tips serve as your compass, guiding you towards effective implementation and a culture of continuous improvement.

Create a Collaborative Goal-Setting Process

Forge a sense of ownership by involving stakeholders across your organization in the goal-setting process. This collaborative approach taps into the collective wisdom, ensuring that goals are aligned with the broader vision and mission. You can begin this journey by sharing these professional SMART goal examples with your team.

Involve Employees in Goal Development

Empower your employees by allowing them to contribute to the creation of SMART goals. This involvement cultivates a sense of responsibility and investment, sparking an intrinsic motivation to see these goals through.

Encourage Feedback and Input

SMART goals become most effective when paired with open dialogue. Encourage employees to provide feedback and insights, fostering an environment of active engagement and refinement, to ensure goals are aligned with not only your organizations goals but also employees professional goals as well.

Communicate Goals Clearly and Transparently

Transparency is the bedrock upon which trust is built. Clearly communicate SMART goals, ensuring that they are accessible to all and easily understood. This clarity encourages commitment and a shared sense of purpose. You can begin my sharing professional SMART goal examples to your team to get a sense of their reception and comprehension of goals.

Explain the Purpose and Impact of Each SMART Goal

Illuminate the “why” behind each SMART goal. When employees understand the purpose and impact of their efforts, they are more likely to channel their energies towards meaningful contributions.

Ensure Everyone Understands Their Roles in Achieving the Goals

Ensure that everyone understands their role in achieving the SMART goals, nurturing a sense of unity and collective responsibility. Using professional SMART goal examples to illustrate how various goals can apply to specific roles helps illustrate how goal setting can foster employee buy-in. In doing so, you avoid any confusion or overlap in efforts, and keep all parties accountable through transparency.

Provide Support and Resources

SMART goals aren’t achieved alone. Offer the support and resources necessary for goal achievement, whether it’s through training, tools, applicable samples such as professional SMART goal examples, or mentorship. Booking 1-on-1 meetings are a good place to start checking in on goal progress.

Offer Training and Skill Development Opportunities

Invest in your workforce by offering training and skill development opportunities that align with SMART goals. This investment pays dividends, as employees become equipped to tackle challenges with confidence.

Allocate Adequate Budget and Tools for Goal Achievement

Your team needs the right tools to bring SMART goals to life. Allocate a portion of your budget to provide the necessary resources for goal attainment such as goal setting software or HRIS , it’ll pay off in the long run.

Foster a Motivating Work Environment

Cultivate a work environment that nurtures intrinsic motivation. When employees are inspired by their surroundings, they are more likely to pour their energies into achieving SMART goals.

Recognize and Celebrate Achievements

A little recognition can go a long way when it comes to engaging and motivating employees. A key takeaway from these professional SMART goal examples should be to recognize and celebrate achievements, both big and small. Reinforcing the importance of SMART goals and fostering a culture of accomplishment will ensure your employees remain committed to the task at hand.

Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork

The benefit of teamwork is in the shared knowledge and various perspectives that are contributed to the end result. You’ll find that these professional SMART goal examples encourage teamwork and cross-functional collaboration, allowing diverse talents to interweave towards a common goal, and help deepen your company culture while you’re at it.

Provide Incentives and Rewards for Goal Attainment

Incentives are the sparks that ignite passion. Provide rewards for goal attainment, be it through recognition, promotions, or other tangible incentives that signify the value of hard work.

Motivating Your Employees to Pursue SMART Goals

To ensure motivation drives goal-setting, nurture an environment where your employees are not just inspired, but also empowered, to wholeheartedly pursue their goals.

Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Cultivate a growth mindset that thrives on challenges and sees effort as the path to success. Encourage employees to embrace opportunities to learn and grow as an opportunity to strengthen their skills, igniting a passion for achieving their goals such as these professional SMART goal examples.

Emphasize the Importance of Continuous Improvement

Adopting a mindset of constant optimization helps ensure progress. Stress the importance of continuous improvement, showing how each SMART goal contributes to the larger narrative of growth and advancement.

Encourage Learning from Failures and Mistakes

Every stumble is a stepping stone to success. Reframe failures and mistakes as valuable lessons and opportunities for growth, inspiring resilience and a determination to persist in the pursuit of SMART goals.

Offer Opportunities for Professional Development

Tap into your team’s full potential by offering a roadmap for professional development. When employees see a clear trajectory of growth, they’re more motivated to set and reach ambitious SMART goals. These professional SMART goal examples are a great place to start.

Provide Training and Workshops

Empower your employees with the tools they need through training and workshops. This investment sharpens their skills and equips them to confidently embark on their SMART goal journey, while illustrating your commitment to their learning and development.

Support Employee Growth and Skill Enhancement

Promote a culture that champions employee growth. Providing avenues for skill enhancement demonstrates your commitment to helping them reach their SMART goals and larger professional goals, which is a major driver in employee satisfaction and ultimately, retention. Refer to the various professional SMART goal examples provided below to guide your journey.

Foster a Positive and Supportive Company Culture

Create a culture where positivity and support thrive. When employees feel valued and encouraged, they’re more likely to be highly motivated in their roles, which can translate to higher performance and attractive business outcomes.

Promote Open Communication and Feedback

An atmosphere of open communication is the bedrock of motivation. Encourage employees to share their progress, challenges, and insights, fostering a collaborative ecosystem where SMART goals can flourish.

Create a Sense of Belonging and Purpose

Instill a sense of belonging by showcasing how each employee’s contribution aligns with the greater purpose of the organization. Goals apply to every facet of an organization, as illustrated in our professional SMART goal examples. When employees feel integral to the company’s mission, they’re motivated to propel SMART goals forward. 

Implement Performance Recognition Programs

Recognition is a powerful catalyst for motivation. Implement performance recognition programs that shine a spotlight on those who actively pursue and achieve their SMART goals. 

Acknowledge and Reward Outstanding Achievements

Celebrate the leaders who surpass their goals, demonstrating that their dedication does not go unnoticed. These accolades inspire others to strive for their own SMART goals. This can be as simple as a shout out in your team’s Slack channel, or a more formal recognition such as a bonus or award.

Use Recognition to Encourage Goal-Oriented Behavior

Recognition acts as a compass, guiding employees towards goal-oriented behavior. When they see the correlation between their efforts and recognition, motivation becomes an intrinsic force that propels performance.

8 Practical and Professional SMART Goal Examples

Setting effective SMART goals is a craft that requires precision and foresight. Here are eight practical and professional SMART goal examples across different business functions, each embodying the SMART criteria while serving as a catalyst for growth and improvement.

Sales: Increase Monthly Sales by 15% in the Next Quarter

SMART breakdown: Starting off our professional SMART goal examples strong, this goal is Specific as it pinpoints the exact metric – a 15% increase in monthly sales. It’s Measurable, as success is quantified by the rise in sales percentage. Achievability is evident by analyzing past performance trends. The goal is Relevant as higher sales contribute to revenue growth, and it’s Time-bound with a clear quarter-end deadline.

Why it’s effective: This SMART goal drives the sales team to target a specific growth percentage, setting a clear benchmark for performance improvement and revenue increase.

Sales: Attain a 20% Conversion Rate in the Online Sales Channel by Year-End

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific, focusing on the conversion rate in the online sales channel. It’s Measurable through tracking conversions. Achievability is evident through historical data analysis. The goal is Relevant as it enhances the effectiveness of the online sales channel, and it’s Time-bound with a year-end deadline.

Why it’s effective: By aiming for a higher conversion rate, the sales team is motivated to optimize their strategies, leading to more efficient sales processes and increased revenue.

Marketing: Increase Website Traffic by 30% through SEO Optimization by the End of the Year

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific as it targets website traffic improvement. It’s Measurable through website analytics. Achievability is backed by SEO expertise. The goal is Relevant as enhanced traffic aids brand exposure, and it’s Time-bound, closing with a year-end.

Why it’s effective: Aiming for increased website traffic drives the marketing team to implement impactful SEO strategies, boosting online visibility and engagement.

Marketing: Achieve a 25% Growth in Social Media Followers in 6 Months

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific, targeting social media follower growth. It’s Measurable through follower count. Achievability is substantiated by past growth rates. The goal is Relevant as a larger social media following enhances brand reach, and it’s Time-bound with a 6-month window.

Why it’s effective: By focusing on follower growth, the marketing team is inspired to craft engaging content, fostering stronger brand-customer connections.

Operations: Reduce Manufacturing Waste by 20% Within the Next 6 Months

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific, honing in on manufacturing waste reduction. It’s Measurable through waste quantity reduction. Achievability is supported by process improvement initiatives. The goal is Relevant as waste reduction improves operational efficiency, and it’s Time-bound within a 6-month frame.

Why it’s effective: Targeting waste reduction motivates the operations team to innovate processes, minimizing costs and environmental impact.

Operations: Improve Customer Support Response Time to Less Than 24 Hours on Average

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific, focusing on response time improvement. It’s Measurable through tracking response times. Achievability is supported by process streamlining. The goal is Relevant as faster response times enhance customer satisfaction, and it’s Time-bound without exceeding a 24-hour window.

Why it’s effective: Striving for quicker response times encourages the operations team to enhance communication channels, boosting customer experience.

Human Resources: Reduce Employee Turnover Rate to 10% or Less Annually

SMART breakdown: This goal is Specific, targeting employee turnover reduction. It’s Measurable through turnover percentage. Achievability is established by historical data analysis. The goal is Relevant as lower turnover enhances workforce stability, and it’s Time-bound on an annual basis.

Why it’s effective: Focusing on turnover reduction compels HR to invest in employee engagement strategies, fostering loyalty and retention.

Human Resources: Implement a Leadership Development Program for Managers by Year-End

SMART breakdown: Among our professional SMART goal examples, this goal is Specific, focusing on a leadership development program. It’s Measurable through program completion. Achievability is supported by program design. The goal is Relevant as leadership development boosts organizational effectiveness, and it’s Time-bound, wrapping up by year-end.

Why it’s effective: Aiming for leadership development enhances HR’s commitment to grooming capable managers, enhancing overall leadership and organizational performance.

Empower Your Path to Success with SMART Goals

The implementation of SMART goals—and the use of professional SMART goal examples—stands as a cornerstone of effective organizational development and growth. These structured and focused objectives empower teams and individuals to navigate their professional journeys with precision, clarity, and purpose. By adhering to the SMART criteria, businesses can establish a culture of accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement.

Whether in sales, marketing, operations, or Human Resources, SMART goals serve as guideposts, driving not only individual achievement but also collective progress. Referring to the professional SMART goal examples we provided above is a great place to start.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, embracing the power of SMART goals will undoubtedly remain a catalyst for elevating employee engagement, driving innovation, and propelling your organization toward enduring excellence.

Effectively Manage Performance with Automation

Performance goals are an effective tool to drive business success. Even with professional SMART goal examples, crafting and managing goals can be incredibly time consuming for HR and managers.

With Omni’s customizable performance review feature managers can design a SMART goal template to apply to employee performance, track employee submissions, and derive critical insights to drive business decisions all in one centralized platform.

Through leveraging the power of automation, Omni allows HR teams and managers access to performance data that drives targeted approaches to swiftly addressing performance gaps and fostering growth within your organization through goal setting. Our comprehensive and highly customizable performance review capabilities arm your team with the tools necessary to maintain regular performance analysis, and keep employees informed and motivated year round.

To join the 83% of Omni customers who have unlocked new, actionable insights after using our performance management module, book a free demo with our team today.

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60 Self-Performance Review Goals Examples

By Editorial Team on May 27, 2023 — 11 minutes to read

Setting goals during self-performance reviews is crucial to ensure that you continue to grow and develop in your role.

Preparing for Your Self-Performance Review

Conducting a self-assessment.

Before your self-performance review, it is important to conduct a self-assessment. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and set development goals. Start by reviewing your job description, performance goals, and any feedback you have received throughout the year. Reflect on your accomplishments and challenges, and think about how you have contributed to your team and the organization.

Related: Self Evaluation Examples [Complete Guide]

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you have conducted your self-assessment, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your technical skills, communication skills, productivity, and any other areas that are relevant to your job. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses, but also recognize your strengths.

Related: Self Evaluation Sample Answers: Strengths and Weaknesses

Setting Development Goals

Based on your self-assessment and the identification of your strengths and weaknesses, set development goals for yourself. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, if you identified communication skills as an area for improvement, you could set a goal to attend a communication skills training course within the next quarter.

It is important to discuss your development goals with your manager during your self-performance review. This will help ensure that your goals align with the organization’s goals and that you have the resources and support you need to achieve them.

Use open-ended questions to encourage a productive dialogue, and be prepared to discuss your career goals and how you see yourself developing within the organization.

Self-Performance Review Goals Examples

  • Improve my communication skills by attending a public speaking course.
  • Increase my productivity by learning time management techniques.
  • Enhance my leadership skills by taking a leadership course.
  • Improve my teamwork skills by participating in team-building activities.
  • Develop my problem-solving skills by attending a problem-solving workshop.
  • Increase my knowledge and skills in my field by attending industry conferences and seminars.
  • Improve my writing skills by taking a writing course.
  • Enhance my creativity by attending a creativity workshop.
  • Learn a new language to better communicate with international clients.
  • Improve my customer service skills by attending a customer service training course.
  • Increase my sales skills by attending a sales training course.
  • Develop my project management skills by attending a project management course.
  • Improve my computer skills by taking a computer course.
  • Enhance my presentation skills by attending a presentation skills course.
  • Develop my networking skills by attending networking events.
  • Increase my knowledge of the company’s products and services by attending product training sessions.
  • Improve my conflict resolution skills by attending a conflict resolution workshop.
  • Enhance my negotiation skills by attending a negotiation skills course.
  • Increase my attention to detail by implementing a checklist system.
  • Improve my time management skills by setting daily and weekly goals.
  • Develop my mentoring skills by mentoring a junior employee.
  • Increase my knowledge of company policies and procedures by reviewing the employee handbook.
  • Improve my listening skills by actively listening to colleagues and clients.
  • Enhance my emotional intelligence by attending an emotional intelligence workshop.
  • Increase my decision-making skills by practicing making decisions in a timely manner.
  • Develop my coaching skills by coaching a team member.
  • Improve my conflict management skills by practicing active listening and empathy.
  • Enhance my adaptability by taking on new tasks and responsibilities.
  • Increase my resilience by learning stress management techniques.
  • Develop my strategic thinking skills by attending a strategic planning course.

In the upcoming chapters, we will explore an additional approach to defining your goals, namely SMART goals, and provide 30 more examples of self-performance review goals.

The Importance of Setting SMART Goals in Self-Performance Reviews

Defining smart goals.

There is an option to define goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART):

A specific goal is one that is clearly defined and unambiguous. It should answer the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. For instance, instead of saying “I want to improve my communication skills,” a specific goal would be “I want to improve my presentation skills by attending a public speaking course.”

Measurable goals are those that can be quantified. It is essential to have a metric to track progress and determine the success of the goal. For example, instead of saying “I want to increase sales,” a measurable goal would be “I want to increase sales by 20% within the next quarter.”

An achievable goal is one that is realistic and attainable. It is essential to consider the available resources and constraints when setting a goal. For example, instead of saying “I want to become a CEO within a year,” an achievable goal would be “I want to become a team leader within a year.”

A relevant goal is one that aligns with the individual’s overall objectives and the organization’s goals. It should be meaningful and have a positive impact on the individual and the organization. For example, instead of saying “I want to learn a new language,” a relevant goal would be “I want to learn Spanish to better communicate with our Spanish-speaking clients.”

A time-bound goal is one that has a deadline. It helps individuals to stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of saying “I want to learn a new skill,” a time-bound goal would be “I want to learn a new skill within six months.”

Self-Performance Review: Examples of SMART Goals

If you prefer to define your goals as SMART goals, here are 30 examples:

  • Increase my productivity by 20% by the end of the quarter by utilizing time management techniques and prioritizing tasks.
  • Improve my communication skills by attending a public speaking course and delivering a presentation to the team by the end of the month.
  • Learn a new programming language and complete a project using it within six months.
  • Increase customer satisfaction rating by 10% by the end of the year by providing exceptional customer service and resolving issues promptly.
  • Attend at least two industry conferences or workshops within the next year to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
  • Develop a new marketing campaign that increases website traffic by 25% within three months.
  • Improve my leadership skills by mentoring a junior team member and providing constructive feedback on their performance.
  • Complete a professional certification within the next six months to enhance my skills and knowledge in my field.
  • Reduce my error rate by 50% within the next quarter by double-checking my work and seeking feedback from my supervisor.
  • Increase my sales performance by 15% by the end of the year by developing and implementing new sales strategies.
  • Learn a new software program and become proficient in its use within three months.
  • Improve my time management skills by completing all tasks on time and meeting all deadlines for the next quarter.
  • Increase our social media following by 20% within six months by creating engaging content and utilizing social media advertising.
  • Attend at least one networking event per month to expand my professional network and build new relationships.
  • Improve my conflict resolution skills by attending a conflict resolution training course and practicing techniques with team members.
  • Increase customer retention rate by 15% by the end of the year by providing exceptional customer service and developing customer loyalty programs.
  • Develop a new product or service that generates at least $10,000 in revenue within the next year.
  • Improve my writing skills by attending a writing workshop and submitting at least one article for publication within the next six months.
  • Increase my team’s productivity by 10% by providing regular feedback, setting clear expectations, and implementing new processes.
  • Learn a new language and become conversational within six months to improve communication with international clients.
  • Develop a new training program for team members that improves their skills and knowledge within the next quarter.
  • Increase our website’s search engine ranking by 20% within the next six months by optimizing content and implementing SEO strategies.
  • Improve my project management skills by attending a project management course and successfully completing a project within the next quarter.
  • Increase our email open rate by 10% within the next month by improving subject lines and email content.
  • Develop a new company policy that improves employee satisfaction and retention within the next six months.
  • Increase my social media engagement rate by 15% within the next quarter by responding to comments and messages promptly and creating more interactive content.
  • Attend at least one leadership conference or workshop within the next year to enhance my leadership skills and knowledge.
  • Improve my public relations skills by attending a media relations training course and successfully pitching a story to the media within the next six months.
  • Increase our team’s customer service rating by 10% by providing regular training and coaching on customer service skills.
  • Develop a new employee recognition program that improves employee morale and retention within the next three months.

 Self Evaluation: Action Plan Example

  • Improve time management: “To improve my time management skills, I plan to create a schedule and set deadlines for tasks to ensure that I am able to complete them within deadlines. I will also work on breaking down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.”
  • Develop communication skills: “To develop my communication skills, I plan to attend communication training sessions and practice active listening and clear communication in my day-to-day interactions. I will also seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to identify areas where I can improve.”
  • Build a network: “To build my professional network, I plan to attend industry events and connect with other professionals in my field. I will also seek out mentorship opportunities to gain insights from more experienced professionals.”
  • Pursue professional development: “To pursue professional development, I plan to attend training sessions and courses to develop new skills and knowledge. I will also seek out opportunities for job shadowing and cross-training to gain exposure to different areas of my organization.”  
  • Improve project management skills: “To improve my project management skills, I plan to attend project management training sessions and work on identifying and prioritizing tasks based on their impact and urgency. I will also seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to identify areas where I can improve.”
  • Stay up-to-date with emerging technologies: “To stay up-to-date with emerging technologies, I plan to attend industry conferences and read industry publications to stay informed about new tools and trends. I will also work on building a network of technical professionals who can share knowledge and insights with me.”
  • Focus on personal growth: “To focus on personal growth, I plan to prioritize self-care and wellness activities to ensure that I am able to perform at my best. I will also work on setting personal goals and tracking my progress towards achieving them.”

Example 3 (SMART Goal)

Goal : Improve my time management skills

Specific : I will create a daily schedule and prioritize my tasks based on their importance.

Measurable : I will track my progress by recording the time I spend on each task and comparing it to my schedule.

Achievable : I will set aside 30 minutes each morning to plan my day and review my schedule throughout the day to stay on track.

Relevant : Improving my time management skills will help me be more productive and reduce stress.

Time-bound : I will implement this plan for the next 30 days and evaluate my progress at the end of each week.

Best Practices for Conducting a Self-Performance Review

Preparing for the conversation.

Before conducting a self-performance review, it is important to prepare yourself for the conversation by setting aside enough time to reflect on your performance over the past year, gathering feedback from colleagues and supervisors, and setting specific goals for the upcoming year. When reflecting on your performance, it is important to be honest with yourself and acknowledge areas where you could improve. This will help you to set realistic goals and make meaningful progress.

Fostering Career Growth

One of the main goals of a self-performance review is to foster career growth. This can involve setting long-term career goals, identifying areas where you need to develop new skills, and seeking out opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience. For example, if you want to move into a leadership position, you may need to develop your management and communication skills.

Improving Professional Skills

Another important aspect of a self-performance review is identifying areas where you need to improve your professional skills. This can involve developing new technical skills, improving your time management and organizational skills, or enhancing your ability to work collaboratively with others.

Setting Education Goals

Continuing education and professional development are essential for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. A self-performance review can be a valuable opportunity to set specific education goals and seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. This might involve pursuing a new certification or degree, attending industry conferences and events, or seeking out mentorship and coaching from experienced professionals.

Working Towards Promotions

Finally, a self-performance review can be a valuable opportunity to set specific goals for working towards promotions and advancing your career. This might involve identifying areas where you need to develop new skills or gain additional experience, seeking out opportunities to take on new responsibilities, or building relationships with key decision-makers within your organization.

Self Evaluation Sample Answers: Strengths and Weaknesses

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