Successful businesses are based on both goals and objectives. They clarify the purpose of the business and help identify necessary actions Goals are general statements of the desired achievement. 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.
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 four new accounts each month. Expense objectives could involve finding a new operating facility that decreases your rent by $300 a month or cutting monthly utility bills by 10 percent.
Customer service goals could include reducing complaints by 60 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.
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 to build rapport and find out what’s on their minds.
Another goal could be to become more efficient in your business operation 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.
Perhaps your goal is to grow your business operation. Your goal might be to open three more markets within a five-year period. If this was the case, your objectives could include scouting a new city once each quarter, or new markets.