Having a strong clientele and a motivated, competent team is a solid foundation for a business, but for a business to grow, it's important to have clear objectives. When you set business objectives, you demonstrate your commitment to developing a company in specific ways. If you serve in a leadership role, it's important to set objectives for your team to give them clear goals and areas of improvement to work on.
In this article, we define business objectives, discuss why they're important and provide 13 example objectives to help you set your own.
What is a business objective?
A business objective is a measurable result an organization is aiming to accomplish. Many business professionals form objectives using the SMART goal method, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
As the organization grows, it's important to regularly form new business objectives to effectively track employees' performance and ensure the business is progressing and improving.
Business objectives are also a great way for you and your team members' employees to identify your strengths and areas of improvement. Once you determine these, you can implement new strategies to help enhance your own performance, which contributes to improving the organization's efficiencies overall.
Why are business objectives important?
Creating a strong business objective is important for your organization because it:
- Keeps employees focused on growth
- Strengthens key elements of the business
- Motivates you and/or team toward a goal
- Helps structure tasks and responsibilities
- Can increase your market share
- Drives team cooperation and collaboration
- Builds better working relationships
Can promote better cost control and budgeting
The four main objectives of a business
While every business might have specific goals according to their specific industry, team, product, financial standing, business objectives often fall into four main categories:
1. Economic objectives
Most businesses cite financial growth as an overarching goal or business objective, but depending on your business’s unique financial needs, your economic objective could be:
- Survival: While the ultimate goal is to make enough money to pay for all overhead costs and also make a profit, small businesses or new businesses might be focused on simply making enough revenue to cover the costs so that they can stay in business.
- Profit earning: Beyond business survival, owners want to earn enough to have a salary and/or be able to grow the business.
Growth: Most business owners consider growth: how they will grow, what actions they will take when demand outpaces production and how short- and long-term growth will affect their business.
2. Human or individual objectives
The motivation of human objectives in a business is to find ways to meet the needs of your employees, so that they feel valued and supported. Common examples of human or individual objectives include:
- To pay competitive salaries
- To offer employee perks, like unlimited vacation or team appreciation events
- To provide safer and more health-conscious working environments
- To provide personal growth and development opportunities
To provide incentives to motivate employees
3. Organic objectives
Organic business objectives are goals that incorporate all aspects of the business: its development, survival, progress and outlook. Common examples include:
- To use profits to raise capital or strengthen the business
- To use growth models to contribute to business’s success
- To drive innovative ideas through focused activities
- To improve brand and reputation
To grow production size to meet demand
4. Social objectives
Social business objectives are created to help or give back to society in some way. Businesses often set social goals:
- To ensure better quality products for customers
- To ensure fair prices for customers
- To ensure fair trade practices
- To ensure fair employment practices (anti-discriminatory)
- To protect the environment by taking reasonable steps to limit corporate carbon footprint
To serve the community (schools, charities, social programs etc)
Related: 15 Ethical Principles in Business
13 most common types business objectives
As you establish your business objectives, try to work with your team to determine strengths and opportunities for improvement. Determine what kind of time, commitment and resources your short- and long-term objectives will require, and start formulating how you meet them. To help brainstorm, we’ve included some of the more popular objectives business’s use to succeed:
1. Increase your product or service's market share
Improving the number of products or services you sell to customers involves increasing overall market share. Create and use your list of clients and contacts to find even more prospective customers. The more customers using the products, the higher your market share.
If the sales team targets other businesses, have them extend their reach by asking them who they might know who could benefit from this product. If you work for smaller businesses, consider reaching out to community members or other nearby organizations that could potentially find the product valuable.
2. Provide opportunities for teams to improve their leadership skills
Strong leaders motivate and encourage their teams to improve. Whether leadership training opportunities are offered to lower-level employees or executive staff members, an organization can greatly benefit from these skills.
Read more: A Guide To Training Managers
3. Reduce employee turnover and increase satisfaction
Employees are typically more likely to contribute valuable projects and ideas if they enjoy working at a company. So, to reduce employee turnover, your business objective should focus on improving employee satisfaction. Consider offering team members value through competitive salaries, growth opportunities, education reimbursement programs, unique perks or flexible work schedules.
4. Reach out to more community members
Being active and engaged in the community is a great way to connect with potential local customers and can help you establish stronger relationships, build trust and boost brand recognition. with potential customers. This is especially effective for newer businesses, as it's a great way for them to get to know community members and build lasting connections.
5. Maintain or increase profits
Especially with start-up businesses, maintaining a steady profit can be challenging over the first few years. Setting an objective with supporting goals for maintaining profits is an effective way to ensure a business remains financially stable.
If your business is already established, consider having a comprehensive objective for increasing profits by brainstorming and implementing new methods and strategies to sell more products and keep building revenue.
6. Strengthen customer service
To ensure customers and clients have a positive experience with your team, create an objective that motivates by offering incentives to both your employees and your customers.
Also, communicate how important an outstanding customer experience is every time you interact with customers. Doing so will inspire your team to meet those challenges and your customers to value your company for it.
7. Install tools and systems to increase productivity
Several tools are available to help improve productivity for your business.. For instance, you might use human resources tools to help your HR and management teams complete basic tasks like recruitment and hiring, time management, onboarding and training and learning and development. Productivity tools can streamline many tasks to allow you and your team to focus on larger-scale goals.
8. Grow the organization
There are several ways to set objectives to grow an organization, including expanding the number of current customers, working in a larger office area or hiring more employees. If a company is growing, this typically means it's seeing more success and is performing well.
9. Establish the brand message and voice
A company's brand is what customers often associate its product or service with and differentiates one company from its competitors. To create a new brand or strengthen an existing one, consider collaborating with the sales or leadership teams to brainstorm. Work to keep brand voice and messaging consistent in all of your sales and marketing materials.
10. Improve company value
Reputation and profits are important factors that can classify the overall value of a company. As the business’s value grows, shareholders' interest and commitment to the company will increase. This can often guarantee that a business remains more financially stable and supported by its shareholders.
11. Enhance the quality of a business's product or service
When a business increases the quality of its products or services, it should experience fewer complaints and more positive feedback from customers and clients. This can also drive customers to recommend your product, which leads to a strong business reputation, an increase in customer retention and better brand awareness.
12. Become a thought-leader in the industry
A great way to meet larger business objectives is to become a thought-leader in your industry. Regularly crafting content like blog posts, white papers or eBooks with topics related to the industry adds value to your customer experience by educating them. The more quality content you create, the more trust you'll build and more potential customers you’ll acquire.
13. Sell a more reliable product
A great objective for managers and leadership teams is to increase product reliability. Start with your product development team. Initiate quality and troubleshooting goals to catch opportunities for improvement. With this information, you’ll be able to consistently provide enhancements and updates according to customers' needs.