How To Write Business Objectives (With Examples)
Setting goals is often an important part of a business's development toward success. Writing business objectives can help you not only articulate the ultimate objectives for an organization but also create a strategy for reaching them. They often indicate a specific period of time and a way of measuring how successfully you are working toward achieving those objectives. In this article, we explore the definition of business objectives, why business objectives are important and how to write business objectives, including examples.
What are business objectives?
Business objectives are a written explanation of your goals as a business. Business objectives usually have to do with the most important operating factors of a company's success, such as revenue, operations, productivity and growth. To be most successful, some companies find that a business objective needs to be specific, measurable, attainable and time-based. Large and small businesses alike might find value in developing written business objectives.
Business objectives are sometimes sorted into two categories: strategic objectives and operational objectives. When someone uses the phrase strategic objectives, they are often referring to long-term goals that relate directly to the company's mission statement and drive large-scale organizational change. When someone uses the phrase operational objectives, they are probably referring to shorter-term goals that might support a company's strategic objectives. You might see these phrases used interchangeably, depending on the context.
Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples
Why are business objectives important?
Business objectives can be an important way to unify a company's intentions and vision. Business objectives might vary significantly between one industry or department and the next, or they might be very similar. In addition to providing a framework for innovation at every level of a company's operations, business objectives can help:
Recruit and retain high-quality employees
Enhance customer satisfaction
Improve company culture
Maximize workplace safety
Increase product quality
When drafted carefully and revisited often, business objectives can structure many key business improvements.
Read more: What Are Strategic Objectives? (With Examples)
How to write a business objective
Writing business objectives may be an in-depth process, depending on the age and stage of the company's operations. You can maximize the value of business objectives by thinking strategically about the following steps:
Think creatively about the challenges you face as a company. Consider making a list of potential goals to incorporate into your business objectives. It is fine to eventually discard some of the ideas you generate at this stage of the process. Generating many ideas for potential positive outcomes will provide you with a wider array of goals to choose from. You may also want to combine or break up specific goals based on patterns you notice in the brainstorming process.
Related: How to Run an Effective Brainstorming Session
Leaders who ask their employees to contribute ideas for business objectives may find they generate more ideas than they would think of by themselves. Consider asking your employees at all levels what kinds of challenges and solutions they notice in their daily work. You might choose to use a digital tool, such as survey software, to get information from your employees and help develop business objectives. You may also use personal strategies, such as focus groups or targeted conversations.
Related: 26 of the Best Survey Software
Noticing patterns in the information you brainstorm and gather from employees can help you write meaningful business objectives. For example, if many of your ideas relate to revenue, it might reveal that you prioritize profits. Similarly, if many employees remark on training gaps, you may wish to write a business objective emphasizing employee learning opportunities. You may also wish to categorize multiple business objectives in groups to help find a specific piece of language at a later time.
Some common categories for business objectives include:
Research and development
Diversity and inclusion
Recruitment and retention
Sales and marketing
4. Choose your wording
When you are writing your business objectives, you can use the acronym SMART to help guide your thinking. In setting goals, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. For example, if you notice a need for improving teamwork in your organization, you might specifically note the type of team you want to improve, measurable outcomes a team could achieve, reasons why improvement is within reach, ways team improvement will benefit the company overall and a period of time after which you expect to see results.
Read more: How To Write A SMART Goal (And How They Work)
Well-written business objectives are unlikely to change frequently for many companies because they often address perennial challenges and goals. However, it can still be valuable to periodically revisit your business objectives to make sure they serve the company's best interests. For example, a specific business objective related to technology might evolve as new tools become available and best practices change. When you reflect on a business objective, try to balance the company's short- and long-term goals.
Example business objectives
Here are some examples of business objectives that can help you shape your own:
Our company will prioritize employee training to minimize errors and maximize productivity. We will assess employee performance using standard metrics at monthly, yearly and five-year intervals.
Our business will implement a new communication system by the end of the year, using a proprietary messaging system developed by our engineering team. We will know this communication system is successful if we can increase our customer interactions by 25%.
Our production floor will maximize profit by emphasizing quality work conditions and appropriate supports for our employees. At the end of the year, we will gauge success by comparing production metrics with an employee satisfaction survey.
Our market research team will support maximum profits by finding increasingly efficient ways to measure the competition. They will report their results bi-monthly.
By providing new and exciting incentive programs, we will increase employee retention by 50% by the end of the second year.
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