A great team and solid product make the foundation of a successful company, but for a business to thrive, it’s crucial to set clear business objectives.
In this material, we’ll discuss the definition of business objectives, why they’re important, and concrete examples of objectives you can use for your business.
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Table of Contents
What Is a Business Objective?
Every entrepreneur or leader will have goals or objectives that they want to achieve for their business. To put it simply, objectives are the results you want to see as you continue to grow and they play an important role in the strategic planning process.
There can be short-term business objectives, which can be set monthly or even weekly, and long-term business goals, which usually involve more significant changes. Short-term goals are the ones that businesses work towards achieving their long-term goals.
Good business objectives should be concrete, measurable, and have a set timeline. These types of objectives serve towards improving the company’s strategic activities.
Why Are Business Objectives Important?
Business objectives can help you make informed decisions and strategies for all aspects of your company: whether you want to hire new people, increase employee satisfaction, boost profile margins or achieve profitability.
For example, if a local bakery’s long-term goal is to be the number one bakery in the city, its business objectives can look like this: increasing its month-on-month sales by 20%, getting 10% more followers on its social media pages, and getting more foot traffic to its store.
Having set business objectives, the business owner can now form a strategy that can help their team contribute towards accomplishing each business objective. These concrete goals can also help you monitor and determine your progress and overall success.
Top Business Objectives You Need to Set for Your Brand
Each business plan is different, therefore, each organization has to set specific goals in order to achieve the desired outcomes, whether we are talking about increasing short-term profits, improving change management, or of a large-scale organizational change. That is why hiring freelance financial modeling consultants is always helpful in the long run.
These are the most common types of business objectives your company should focus on:
- Marketing business objectives
- Social media business objectives
- Revenue business objectives
- Operational business objectives
- Productivity and performance business objectives
- Customer satisfaction business objectives
- Growth business objectives
1. Marketing Business Objectives
Marketing objectives are the results you want to see after running your marketing campaigns.
Without marketing objectives to guide you, your efforts will end up with no clear direction and a confused audience. Setting marketing objectives can also help your team decide which tactics and techniques they can use to get results.
One of the most iconic marketing campaigns of all time is the “Got Milk?” campaign by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board. The objective was to boost the declining milk sales in California.
Guided by the business objective, the team was able to conduct research about their target audience and found out that most milk drinkers thought of milk as an accompaniment to certain food.
Research findings helped the creative team come up with a simple but highly effective campaign, depicting all kinds of people and characters placed in situations where they needed to wash something down with milk, but they didn’t have enough.
Without a clear marketing objective, the agency behind the successful “Got Milk?” slogan probably wouldn’t have been able to target the right audience or come up with such a memorable campaign.
To be able to set clear objectives, it is important to schedule your marketing business activities accordingly. Most companies use a marketing calendar in order to understand the needed resources and the time frame of their marketing plan.
Download the Marketing Calendar Template!
2. Social Media Business Objectives
While marketing objectives and social media objectives may sometimes be the same thing, social media objectives are specific to the metrics you can find per platform.
For example, if your objective is to grow your follower count on Instagram by 1000 at the end of the month, you’ll know that you have to run follow ads on Instagram and/or partner with an Instagram influencer.
Setting a social media business objective will help you decide on a platform, set the correct goals, and accurately measure results. If you need a helping hand, SocialBee can be used to see how close you are to achieving your goals.
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You can also hire a virtual assistant to help you manage your social media objectives. They will help you run campaigns and execute your social media strategy.
Monitor Your Social Media Objectives with SocialBee's Analytics!
3. Revenue Business Objectives
Setting revenue business goals is perhaps one of the most intimidating objectives to set as a business owner.
But as you already know, you can’t run a business without making money. A revenue business objective will depend on the way the specific organization grows. For example, if you just set up a shop, your objective might be to break even by a certain date.
Most business owners will base their revenue business objective on their most recent revenue number. They take this number and set a reasonable target based on how the business is performing.
These are some useful questions to ask yourself while trying to figure out which revenue business objective your business needs:
- How many customers do we have now, and how much is each of them spending?
- Should we increase the spending value per client, or should we try to attract more customers?
- What are the profit margins for each purchase?
4. Operational Business Objectives
Operational business objectives are goals set for specific departments in a company, meaning a company can have multiple operational objectives with different targets. Operational goals can help a company achieve efficiency, improved productivity, and more.
Operational business goals are usually tied to other long-term objectives. For example, if your long-term objective is to reduce production costs, your operational objective can be to find lower-priced raw materials. Similarly, if your goal is to attract more employees, your operational objectives can be to increase the number of interviews held by the HR department by 10%.
5. Productivity and Performance Business Objectives
Productivity and performance business objectives are goals assigned to individuals or entire teams. These objectives are set to help employees become more efficient and, in turn, help the business accomplish its long-term goals. However, they are also one of the basic tools companies can use to increase employee satisfaction.
Productivity and employee performance goals and objectives are usually set during the start of a quarter and then used as a reference for employee evaluation. They can be either team or individual objectives.
For example, a marketer can be assigned an objective, such as “increase average cold emails sent by 20% per month”. While the whole sales team could have an objective that targets developing stronger relationships with existing customers. By utilizing business process automation, organizations can conveniently create, modify, and enforce productivity goals while also increasing employee engagement throughout the entire organization.
6. Customer Satisfaction Business Objectives
One of the telltale signs of success is customer satisfaction. Setting customer satisfaction objectives will help you create a solid customer support strategy that will help you retain customers and turn them into loyal followers.
One example of a customer satisfaction business objective is to reduce chat response time by 45 minutes. If you are offering customer education, that would mean calculating the customer engagement or customer churn rates.
7. Growth Business Objectives
Growth business objectives are usually long-term goals that encompass an entire business. Each “small” goal should contribute to achieving a business’ overall long-term growth objective. Growth objectives are your most important objectives because these will help you determine the future of your business.
For example, a food stall’s growth business objective can be to open X number of stalls across X cities by the end of the coming year.
How to Set Clear Business Objectives
Now that you know which type of objectives your business can set, it is time to take a look at the steps you need to take in order to set and achieve them.
In order to set clear business objectives, you have to:
- Evaluate your current business strategy and run a SWOT analysis
- Research the market
- Keep an eye on the competition
- Follow the SMART objectives formula
- Monitor your progress constantly
1. Evaluate Your Current Business Strategy and Run a SWOT Analysis
Any business will know that company planning is one of the most difficult parts of running a business. Both corporations and small businesses run a SWOT analysis to help them understand what they’re doing right, and what aspects of the business they need to improve.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. To run an effective SWOT analysis, you can create a simple grid that you can fill in.
After conducting the SWOT analysis, leaders can then plan each business objective that will help address the listed weaknesses and threats. Identifying your strengths and opportunities can help ensure that you continue what you’re doing to give your business an edge over competitors.
2. Research the Market
Market research is a crucial step you must take before you write business objectives. Taking the “Got Milk” example, research showed that 70% of Californians claimed to be milk drinkers.
If no research was conducted, the agency might’ve made the mistake of targeting non-milk drinkers—everyone knows that it’s easier to engage existing customers than to convert new users.
Without researched-backed knowledge, it’s easy to create the wrong messaging and run campaigns that simply don’t work. Without understanding the market, you can make expensive mistakes that could easily be avoided.
3. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Knowing what your competition is doing and how its audience is responding to it can help you determine your next steps as a business. Keeping tabs on your industry can also help you gauge where you stand in the market and effectively develop strategies that will get you ahead.
Therefore, when you set objectives for your organization, it is important to focus on what other players are doing and measure performance in accordance with your role on the market.
Audit Your Competition with This Competitive Analysis Template
Stay ahead of the competition by constantly monitoring their online presence.
4. Follow the SMART Objectives Formula
The next step in the process is to define business objectives. To set clear strategic objectives, it is recommended to follow the SMART Formula.
SMART business objectives will help you craft, track, and accomplish both short-term and long-term objectives.
But what actually is a SMART business objective? SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
To have a deeper understanding of what SMART goals consist of, this is their step-by-step explanation:
- Specific: A business objective must be specific, so both your employees and you have a clear understanding of what to do in order to accomplish it. Every business can set general statements, but successful business activities require specificity. For example, instead of saying “improve social media performance,” you say “increase Instagram follower count by 500 new followers every month.” Setting clear business objectives will give your team an idea of what target to hit by a specific time. Otherwise, vague statements can have multiple interpretations.
- Measurable: Having measurable goals and objectives is crucial because this is the only way to determine if the objective has been met. These are some examples of measurable objectives:
- Increase the market share with 20%
- Improve the employee retention rate with 10%
- Increase profit by 5%
- Attainable: While it is important to have a challenging objective to encourage better performance, goals should always be achievable and attainable. To help you, you can use competitors as benchmarks or previous performances. Ask yourself: “Using all our basic tools, can my team/company achieve that goal?”.
- Relevant: Objectives should never be set for the sake of challenging yourself. Even if you choose an only objective, it has to be relevant. Every primary objective you set for your team or business should contribute to achieving your long-term goals.
- Timely: When defining objectives, they should be time bound, meaning they should have a start and expected finish date. Without time constraints, there will be no motivation or reason to start working immediately. Having a set schedule will also keep management and employees aligned.
5. Monitor Your Progress Constantly
After setting your business objectives, don’t just return to it when the results are ready. Business objectives function only when you are monitoring them accordingly. Tracking your progress will not only keep you motivated, but it will also help you pivot and adjust your objective if needed.
You can use various tools to track your progress in each type of objective: social objectives, economic objectives, human objectives, etc. For example, to track your social media objectives, you can use SocialBee’s analytics. You will see how far you are from the desired engagement or reach, and you will be able to adapt your social media strategy accordingly.
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It’s Time to Start Setting Business Objectives!
Setting goals and objectives will give your company something to work towards. After all, without directions, how do you know where your business plan is going?
While long-term goals and visions may be obvious, it’s essential to lay out various short-term objectives. This will help you understand what actions each team member has to take to contribute towards achieving your ultimate goal—success.
From revenue to marketing and social media objectives, it’s time to focus on setting clear goals that can make your organization bloom. And then measure their performance accordingly! With SocialBee, you can keep track of your social media objectives. Start your 14-day free trial now!
About the author: Nick Brogden is the founder of Earned Media. Television presenter David Koch “Kochie” calls him a digital growth expert. Nick has lectured on SEO and content marketing at the University of Technology Sydney.
Nick is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur and Flying Solo. He is a recurring expert guest on Kochie’s Business Builders on Channel 7 network TV. Nick specializes in SEO and he has been working in the SEO industry for over ten years.