What Are Business Outcomes? (Plus Examples)

Updated March 10, 2023

Business outcomes are fiscal or other results a company sees from the strategies they employ. Desired business outcomes are goals that a company can set for themselves to determine their priorities. If you're a manager or businessperson, you may want to learn more about how business outcomes impact your workplace. In this article, we cover what business outcomes are, the benefits of establishing them, their categories and some business outcome examples.

Related: Calculating Productivity Ratios To Improve Business Outcomes

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What are business outcomes?

A business outcome the result of internal and external company actions. Many times, an organization desires certain business outcomes, meaning they are objectives that the company wishes to fulfill. For example, a business may seek to increase its customer retention, improve profits or shareholder value.

To create effective desired business outcomes, you must define the goal using measurable figures, determine the time frame and consider how the outcome affects both your organization and your client. Depending on the outcomes you establish, you may need to implement various strategies for reaching them. Assessing which processes within your organization most affect your business outcomes is how you can employ strategies for meeting your goals.

Related: 10 Techniques for Effective Business Analysis

Benefits of determining desired business outcomes

When determining your desired business outcomes, you define the goals you and your team are striving to meet. These are some benefits of establishing desired business outcomes:

  • Provide direction: By understanding the business outcomes you're working for, you can make decisions with those outcomes in mind. This provides direction to management and simplifies business choices.

  • Prioritize tasks: In every business, there are some tasks that you prioritize over others. Determining your desired business outcomes allows you to emphasize the importance of tasks that align with those outcomes.

  • Create timeframes: Business outcomes are time-based, which allows you to create a timeframe by which to meet them. For example, a company may want to improve its customer retention rate by 5% by the end of the quarter.

  • Increase productivity: When your teams know what they are trying to improve and why it allows them to understand their work and may increase productivity. Defining your desired business outcomes allows management to encourage teams to meet them.

Related: Essential Business Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Business outcomes categories

When establishing desired business outcomes, companies typically define goals that fall within one of the following categories:

Business adaptability

To compete in transforming markets, many businesses develop agility business outcome goals. Incorporating more technology into daily operations, transferring data to the cloud and offering integrated apps to your clients are some methods of developing business adaptability. A business may also seek to expand its product base to optimize adaptability in a shifting market.

Related: Business Goals: What They Are and How To Set Them

Customer engagement

Customer engagement business outcomes revolve around better understanding your consumer base and the needs of your clients. Surveys and other feedback methods allow organizations to gauge customer expectations and opinions regarding the company. To improve customer engagement, businesses typically gather consumer data and employ strategies based on the information. For example, an organization might implement a reward or loyalty program to improve customer engagement.

Environmental sustainability

To modernize and address environmental issues, many organizations and businesses establish environmental business outcome goals. By reducing emissions, recycling materials and converting to more eco-friendly processes, companies can increase their environmental sustainability. Many organizations commit to eliminating their carbon footprint or reducing the waste they produce.

Finances and profitability

When companies create desired outcomes that focus on finances and profitability, they seek to increase revenue and decrease cost. When the company can successfully do one or both, they increase their overall profits. Fiscal business outcomes are some of the most common for organizations to focus on, as they often help to determine operational success.

Market and global reach

When a company commits to desired business outcomes in the market and global reach category, they are typically expanding their operations and seeking to improve their client range. Increasing your reach within your market can lead to higher profits and visibility. For many organizations, expansion into global operations can also be an important indicator of success.

Performance and reputation

To be successful, companies strive to create value for their clients in the form of effective and reliable products and services. Performance and reputation-related desired business outcomes have to do with improving those products and services to better serve the consumer. When the products continuously deliver on their promises, the company's reputation within the market improves.

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Business outcome examples

These are some examples of environmental, performance and globalization business outcomes:

Example 1

A toilet paper company receives many inquiries into what they're doing to offset their usage of natural resources and transportation emissions. The inquiries help them recognize that they should implement environmental-related tactics to both improve their company's image and help to preserve the planet. They determine that their desired business outcome for the following year is to offset their carbon footprint.

Rather than using plastic packaging for their toilet paper, they switch to recycled paper. They also switch to hybrid vehicles for transportation and commit to planting a tree for each that they use during production. At the end of the year, their public image has improved and their company is far more environmentally friendly.

Example 2

A virtual workplace software company reviews their feedback for the quarter and realizes many of their clients are reporting issues with communication. The company managers meet with executives and determine the desired business outcomes of improving the performance of their software. They want to increase the reliability and value of their product for the consumer.

The company creates a software development team to work on the issue. They begin by implementing several communication features like live chat, videoconferencing and enhanced security through encryption. At the end of the year, they review their client satisfaction and find that the improvements they made improved their product performance.

Related: What are Business Goals? Definition, How To Set Business Goals and Examples

Example 3

A skincare company creates products like moisturizers, serums and sunscreens. Through analyzing their sales data, they realize that a large portion of their sunscreen sales are shipping overseas. They develop a globalization business outcome aim, deciding to expand their operations overseas.

During the next year, they migrate some of their operations to the countries with the highest sales, reducing their shipping costs. They run marketing campaigns to capitalize on their existing influence, increasing their visibility and global client base. By the end of the year, they have successfully implemented profitable operations overseas and broadened their global customer base.

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