Example Business Goals and Objectives

by Patricia Lotich on November 12, 2013

Part of the business planning process is writing business objectives that are translated into actionable goals.

Goals should be tied to the strategic plan which is 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.

Goal writing does not have to be overly complicated, but it does require commitment and discipline to follow through and complete the required action steps.  Business goals need to be thought through and detailed enough to achieve desired results. Many organizations use the SMART goal model to do this.

SMART Goals are:

Specific – Is the goal specific enough for clarity?

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

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

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

Timely – 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

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

Setting Business GoalsExamples 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

If you take one aspect of budget costs, which could be supply costs, you can write SMART goals to reduce them.  The goal development process includes a discussion with the appropriate people and should answer the questions:  who, 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.

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.

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.

This makes it so important to use the document as a tool to help manage the performance of the employees assigned to complete the action steps and should also be part of the annual performance appraisal process.  Managers should use this as a guide throughout the year and reinforce deadlines outlined in the document.

A structured performance management process, which includes rewards and recognition for employees, is critical to ensuring goal completion.  An organizations’ ability to write and accomplish annual goals is critical to achieving corporate objectives.

For a link to an editable copy of this document, click here.

Does your organization write annual goals?

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photo by:  Flicker

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

abdullahi November 20, 2010 at 6:18 am

i really like the the great but simple way you made me understand here

thank you


CBD November 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The good thing about a business plan is that it can be changed if it needs. For example the business goals and marketing strategies, the two will change frequently. The business plan is flexible and can be adjust anytime for the wellbeing of the business. Great information here, thanks for sharing.

Best of luck,
God bless


Patricia November 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

I agree, it is always good to have the flexibility to change things because the business climate moves at such a faced pace. Thanks for the comment!



Vijay June 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Are Objectives broader than goals. What would be the difference. Could you please give some examples for objectives?


Patricia Lotich June 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

Hi Vijay. Objectives are the action/tactical steps for achieving a goal. In the example document in this article, if you replace the word tactical with objective you will see the example you are looking for. I hope this helps!



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