Business Plan Development

learning objectives for business plan

This course is designed to help prepare future entrepreneurs to formalize and communicate their business idea to a variety of audiences including potential funders such as banks, other lending institutions, government agencies, and venture capitalists. This course will help ensure that future entrepreneurs understand how to conduct a competitor analysis by asking key questions about their competitors. It will also guide them through the process of profiling customers and determining the target market for their goods or services. With this as a background, and drawing on the other courses in this certificate program, future entrepreneurs will be develop a complete business plan for their business venture including all of the financial components, competitive analyses, and customer profiles.

1. Identify, develop and evaluate a business idea. 2. Acquire the entrepreneurial skills required to gather and analyze industry information, potential markets, assess the impact of competitors and define the needs of potential customers. 3. Analyze the environment or industry in which the proposed business will exist. 4. Conduct a feasibility analysis. 5. Create a customer profile. 6. Analyze the competition and determine their impact on your proposed business venture. 7. Produce strategies to address the competition.

1. Creating a New Business from the Ground‐up 2. Competitor Analysis 3. Customer Profile 4. Business Planning

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Our business graduates are taught:

An entrepreneurial perspective: Students will identify, assess, and shape entrepreneurial opportunities in a variety of contexts.

  • Recognize entrepreneurial opportunities for new business ventures and evaluate their potential for business success.
  • Understand the implementation issues including financial, legal, operational and administrative procedures involved in starting new business ventures

Professional communication and behavioral skills: Students will demonstrate effective communication and professional behavioral skills in business settings.

  • Communicate effectively and professionally in business situations through physical or virtual presence, writing, speaking, listening, and electronic media.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead by using team building skills and facilitating collaborative behaviors in the accomplishment of group goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrate good work habits, time management and self-discipline.

An ethical and social responsibility perspective: Students will understand business ethics and issues of social responsibility.

  • Recognize basic concepts and theories related to business ethics and social responsibility.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical behavior appropriate to specific business situations.

Analytical and problem solving skills: Students will demonstrate problem solving skills supported by appropriate analytical and quantitative techniques.

  • Identify and analyze business problems and opportunities and formulate recommendations for courses of action.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative tools and methodologies to support organizational decision making.

A broad knowledge of the functional areas of business and an understanding of the diverse contexts of business.

  • Demonstrate awareness of the global economic, environmental, political, ethical, legal, and regulatory contexts of business practice.
  • Assess how organizations create value in their global supply chains through the integrated production and distribution of goods, services and information.
  • Describe the concept of competitive advantage and how it may be achieved through strategic and tactical methods.
  • Analyze the information content of organizational processes.
  • Define markets and apply marketing concepts and principles using a customer focus to effectively sell products and services.
  • Recognize and appropriately respond to ethical, legal and strategic concerns relating to human resource and organizational management.
  • Apply accounting concepts and methods to interpret financial statements for evaluating the financial position and performance of organizations.
  • Interpret and analyze accounting information for internal control, planning, performance evaluation, and coordination to continuously improve business processes.
  • Make basic investment and financing decisions for a business using financial management concepts, and methods.

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learning objectives for business plan

Foothill College

Academic Catalog

Busi 95: entrepreneurship-the business plan, foothill college course outline of record, student learning outcomes.

  • Students will demonstrate appropriate use of business terms and concepts in their business plans.
  • Students will critically analyze, evaluate and interpret information by integrating business knowledge in problem-solving and decision-making processes in their business plans.
  • Students will demonstrate their business knowledge and critical thinking in creating their business plans and presentations.


Course objectives.

The student will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the characteristics of entrepreneurs.
  • Describe the problems involved in starting a small business and potential solutions.
  • Develop or enhance an existing business plan.
  • Market and pitch the business venture to target customers and other stakeholders, including potential investors.
  • Understand competitive economic and sociological environments.

Course Content

  • The course provides information about the entrepreneurial strategic process and the skills an entrepreneur needs for real-world business practices
  • Financing, policies and procedures
  • Organization and management
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Problems of administrative planning, management, control, finance, case problems, model-buildings and simulated games information
  • Emphasis on the preparation and presentation/pitching of a business plan to the class for their final grade

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Method(s) of evaluation.

Class discussions Written critical analysis of text, handouts (newspaper and periodical publishing) and case studies Oral reports, individual and group projects Quizzes, mid-term and final Term project: business plan and presentation Extensive project in an area of special interest to students

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture (the primary method of delivery is lecture combined with demonstrations and guest lectures) Discussion Cooperative learning exercises Field work Oral presentations Electronic discussions/chat Demonstration

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Barringer, Bruce R.. Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures, 6th ed. . 2019.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  • Weekly reading assignments from text and outside sources, ranging from 50-100 pages per week.


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A PDF of the entire 2023-2024 catalog.

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Business Core Learning Goals and Objectives

This page contains the Program Competencies, Goals and Objectives for the Business Core, applicable to Accounting, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing majors.

  • Program Competencies represent the overarching skills, capabilities, and knowledge students are to acquire at the completion of the program
  • Program Goals represent our conceptual definition of what we want our students to be or to have at the completion of the program.
  • Program Learning Objectives represent our operational description of what we want our students to do as evidence of goal attainment.

Competency 1: Business Communication Skills

Program goal.

Students will deliver effective written and oral business communications.

Program Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Prepare a written business report that is clear, logical, concise, grammatically correct, and clear to the target audience.
  • Present an oral argument that is logical, compelling, and clear to the target audience.

Competency 2: Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness

Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize the underlying ethical, legal and sustainability implications inherent in business situations and apply that knowledge to make responsible decisions.

  • Recognize the ethical dilemmas in a business situation and recommend courses of actions to address the issues.
  • Identify legal issues in a business situation and evaluate the interrelationship between regulatory requirements and strategic decision making.
  • Recognize the environmental and social impacts of business decisions and recommend appropriate sustainable practices.

Competency 3: Diversity Awareness

Students will exhibit an understanding of the value of various forms of diversity in the business environment.

  • Recognize how demographic and personality differences affect the business environment.
  • Identify ways to incorporate diversity as a value-added component for business success.

Competency 4: Global Orientation

Students will understand the complexities of the cultural, economic, regulatory, and social environments as they impact business in a global economy.

  • Identify the challenges of operating in a global environment
  • Exhibit knowledge of the major cultural, economic, social, and legal environment faced by multinational organizations
  • Demonstrate appropriate responses to cultural differences in a global economy

Competency 5: Decision Making Skills

Students will have the skills and abilities to make sound business decisions.

  • Employ technology to efficiently address business problems.
  • Utilize appropriate quantitative techniques to analyze business issues.
  • Demonstrate reflective, strategic, and analytical skills in making business decisions.

Competency 6: Functional Business Knowledge

Students will have an understanding of functional business knowledge.

Program Learning Objective

  • Demonstrate working knowledge of the core concepts with each of the foundational business disciplines; accounting, business law, economics, finance, marketing, management and operations.

6 examples of objectives for a small business plan

Table of Contents

1) Becoming and staying profitable

2) maintaining cash flow , 3) establishing and sustaining productivity , 4) attracting and retaining customers , 5) developing a memorable brand and marketing strategy, 6) planning for growth , track your business objectives and more with countingup.

Your new company’s business plan is a crucial part of your success, as it helps you set up your business and secure the necessary funding. A major part of this plan is your objectives or the outcomes you aim to reach. If you’re unsure where to start, this list of business objective examples can help.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Becoming and staying profitable 
  • Maintaining cash flow 
  • Establishing and sustaining productivity 
  • Attracting and retaining customers 
  • Developing a memorable brand 
  • Reaching and growing an audience through marketing 
  • Planning for growth

One of the key objectives you may consider is establishing and maintaining profitability . In short, you’ll aim to earn more than you spend and pay off your startup costs. To do this, you’ll need to consider your business’s starting budget and how you’ll stick to it. 

To create an objective around profitability, you’ll need to calculate how much you spend to start your business and how much you’ll have to spend regularly to run it. Knowing these numbers will help you determine the earnings you’ll need to become profitable. From there, you can factor in the pricing of your products or services and create sales goals . 

For example, say you spend £2,000 on startup costs and expect to spend about £200 monthly to cover business expenses. To earn a profit, you’ll first need to earn back that £2,000 then make more than £200 monthly. 

Once you know what you’ll need to earn to become profitable, you can create a realistic timeline to achieve it. If demand and sales forecasts suggest you could earn about £700 monthly, you may create a timeline of 5 months to become profitable. 

Maintaining cash flow is another financial objective you could include in your business plan. While profitability means you’ll make more money than you spend, cash flow is the cash running in and out of your business over a given time. This flow is crucial to your company’s success because you need available cash to cover business expenses . 

When you complete services, clients may not pay out an invoice right away, meaning you won’t see the cash until they do. If you make enough sales but have low cash flow, you’ll struggle to run your business. So, create an achievable and measurable plan for how you’ll maintain the cash flow you need. 

For example, if you spend £500 monthly, you’ll need to ensure you have at least that much available cash. On top of that, anticipate and save for unexpected or emergency expenses, such as broken equipment. To maintain your cash flow, you may want to prioritise cash payments, introduce a realistic deadline for invoices, or create a system to turn your profit to cash. 

Aside from financial objectives, another example of objectives for a business plan is sustaining productivity . When you run a business, it can be overwhelming and challenging to stay on top of all the tasks you have to get done. But, if you aim to remain productive and create a clear plan as to how, you can better manage your to-do list. 

For example, you may find project management tools that can help you track what you need to do and how to organise your priorities. You may also plan to outsource some aspects of your business eventually, such as investing in an accountant. 

Other than planning how you’ll get things done, you may want to create an objective for developing and retaining a customer base. Here, you may outline your efforts to find leads and recruit customers. So, establish goals for how many customers you want to find in your business’s first month, quarter, or year. Your market research can help you understand demand and create realistic sales goals. 

If you start a business that customers regularly need, like hairdressing, you may also want to create a strategy for how you’ll retain customers you earn. For example, you could introduce a loyalty program or prioritise customer service to build strong relationships. 

Another example of objectives for a business plan is to develop a memorable brand and overall marketing strategy . Your brand is how you present your business to the public, including its unique tone and design. So, here you might research how to make a brand memorable and consider what colour scheme and style will best reach your target audience. 

To measure your brand’s progress, you could hold focus groups on understanding what people think of your overall look. Then, surveys can help you grasp the reach of your reputation over time.

Aside from tracking the success of your brand strategy, you may want to consider your business’s marketing approach. For example, you might invest in paid advertising and use social media. You can measure the progress of this over time by using tools like Google Analytics to track your following and reach. 

Finally, creating an objective for your company’s growth will help you understand and plan for where you want to go. For example, you may want to expand your services or open a second location for a shop. Whatever ideas you have for the future of your business, try to create a clear, measurable way of getting there, including a timeline. You may also want to include steps towards this goal and savings goals for growth. 

To achieve and track your business plan objectives, you’ll need to organise your finances well. But, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With the cash flow insights feature, you can confidently keep on top of your finances wherever you are. Plus, the app lets you track and manage what you spend on your business with automatic expense categorisation. This way, you can stick to your budget and plan to accomplish your objectives.


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Course Contents

Learning outcomes.

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The content, assignments, and assessments for Introduction to Business are aligned to the following learning outcomes. For a complete list of topics covered in the course, see the Detailed Learning Outcomes. 

Module 1: Role of Business

Discuss the role of business in society, the primary functions within a business, and external forces that affect business activities.

  • Explain the concept of business
  • Distinguish between for-profit and nonprofit businesses
  • List and explain the four factors of production required to sustain a business
  • Identify the primary functional areas within a business and describe their contribution to the organization
  • Identify business stakeholders and describe their relationship with business organizations
  • Identify the external forces that shape the business environment

Module 2: Economic Environment

Explain fundamental economic principles and describe how they shape the business environment.

  • Define economics and explain the difference between macroeconomics and microeconomics
  • Identify the forces that drive supply and demand within an economic system
  • Illustrate the relationship between supply and demand using supply and demand curves
  • Compare and contrast different economic systems (capitalist, planned, and mixed)
  • Describe the methods economists use to evaluate the health of an economy, such as GDP, unemployment rate, and CPI
  • Explain the effect that the four stages of an economy (expansion, peak, contraction and trough) have on business operations
  • Identify and explain the four stages of an economy (expansion, peak, contraction, and trough), and describe their impact on business operations

Module 3: Global Environment

Describe the characteristics, opportunities, and challenges of the global business environment.

  • Explain why nations and U.S. firms engage in global business
  • Describe how nations measure global trade
  • Evaluate common strategies used to reach global markets
  • Identify and describe forces that affect global trade
  • Describe global trade agreements and economic organizations that regulate and promote global trade
  • Describe ethical challenges that businesses face in a global environment

Module 4: Financial Markets and Systems

Explain the institutions and markets that comprise the financial system, and explain how they impact the economy and the money supply.

  • Explain what money is and what makes it useful
  • Explain the role of banks in the U.S. monetary system
  • Describe common ways in which businesses obtain financial capital (money) to fund operations

Module 5: Legal Environment

Summarize the role of the legal system in governing and shaping the climate for business.

  • Explain the meaning and purpose of law
  • Differentiate between statutory and common law
  • Define tort law, and explain the role of product liability in tort law
  • Explain the purpose and characteristics of intellectual property law
  • Describe warranties
  • List and describe the elements of a legally enforceable contract, and explain the consequences of breach of contract
  • Summarize consumer protection and antitrust laws

Module 6: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Explain the importance of business ethics and corporate social responsibility.

  • Differentiate between ethical and legal behavior
  • Explain the concept of business ethics, and outline the steps companies take to encourage ethical behavior
  • Identify common ethical challenges faced by organizations
  • Explain the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Module 7: Business Ownership

Distinguish among the forms of business ownership.

  • List and explain the important factors in choosing an organizational type
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietorships
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of partnerships
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of corporations
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid forms of business ownership
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of franchises
  • Describe the two types of mergers and acquisitions

Module 8: Entrepreneurship

Discuss the role of entrepreneurship in small business.

  • Discuss the contributions of small business to the U.S. economy
  • Identify the common traits of successful entrepreneurs
  • Discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and important considerations of starting a small business
  • Describe the steps to starting a business
  • List and describe the key components of a business plan

Module 9: Management

Describe the primary functions, responsibilities, and skills of effective leadership and management.

  • Describe the three levels of management and the key skills needed by managers
  • Summarize the development of management theory and the key functions of management today
  • Identify the types of planning and decision making managers engage in, and explain how these help organizations reach their goals
  • Describe the organizing function of management and common types of organizational structure
  • Describe common management and leadership styles, and identify the circumstances under which they are most effective
  • Explain why control is an essential part of effective management, and outline the steps of the control process

Module 10: Motivating Employees

Explain common motivational theories and apply them to business.

  • Describe the Hawthorne effect, and explain its significance in management
  • Explain need-based theories of worker motivation
  • Explain process-based theories of motivation
  • Differentiate between Theory X, Theory Y, and Theory Z managers
  • Explain how managers can use job characteristics and goal-setting theory to motivate employees

Module 11: Teamwork and Communication

Explain the importance of teamwork and effective communication in a business environment.

  • Differentiate between groups and teams, and describe the characteristics of different types of teams
  • Explain the stages of team development and the factors that contribute to team success
  • Explain the importance of, and barriers to, effective communication within an organization
  • Describe typical communication flows, channels, and networks within an organization, and explain when different channels are appropriate
  • Describe the ethical issues, risks, and challenges associated with electronic communication in business

Module 12: Managing Processes

Explain how operations management contributes to organizational success.

  • Define operations management in manufacturing and production businesses
  • Describe four major types of facility layouts: process, product, cellular, and fixed position
  • Identify existing and emerging technologies that are changing the way goods are produced and delivered
  • Define operations management in service businesses
  • Explain the scheduling tools (Gantt and PERT) used to increase operations efficiency
  • Explain the importance of logistics and supply-chain management
  • Identify the techniques that are available to ensure high-quality goods and services (Six Sigma, TQM, SPC) and describe the costs of poor quality

Module 13: Marketing Function

Explain the key components of the marketing function.

  • Explain the role of customers in marketing
  • Explain the role of segmentation and targeting in marketing
  • Explain the marketing mix

Module 14: Marketing Mix

Explain how organizations use the marketing mix to market to their target customers.

  • Explain common product marketing strategies and how organizations use them
  • Explain common pricing strategies and how organizations use them
  • Explain common product distribution strategies and how organizations use them
  • Explain how organizations use integrated marketing communication (IMC) to support their marketing strategies

Module 15: Human Resource Management

Recognize the role of human resource management in planning, recruiting, and managing a workforce.

  • Explain how the functions of human resource management contribute to business success
  • Summarize and discuss key laws affecting human resource management
  • Discuss how organizations can effectively recruit and hire employees
  • Discuss effective approaches to training, developing, and rewarding employees
  • Describe the different HR management options for employee termination
  • Discuss the challenges facing today’s HR managers

Module 16: Accounting and Finance

Recognize sound accounting practices, and use financial statements and accounting principles to make informed judgments about an organization’s financial health.

  • Define accounting, and explain its role as a form of business communication
  • Identify key financial statements and their components, and explain the primary use of each type of statement
  • Calculate the break-even point, where profit will be equal to $0, using information from financial statements
  • Use financial statements to calculate basic financial ratios to measure the profitability and health of a business
  • Discuss the importance of ethical practices in accounting and the implications of unethical behavior

Module 17: Using Technology to Manage Business Information

Recognize the roles of data and information technology in supporting business operations.

  • Discuss the role of technology in business
  • Discuss ways in which information is used in business
  • Compare the ways that businesses can manage information
  • Identify security, privacy, and ethical issues affected by information technology


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  • Learning Outcomes. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
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Business growth

Business tips

Business objectives: How to set them (with 5 examples and a template)

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As anyone who played rec league sports in the '90s might remember, being on a team for some reason required you to sell knockoff candy bars to raise funds. Every season, my biggest customer was always me. Some kids went door-to-door, some set up outside local businesses, some sent boxes to their parents' jobs—I just used my allowance to buy a few for myself.

Aside from initiative, what my approach lacked was a plan, a goal, and accountability. A lot to ask of an unmotivated nine-year-old, I know, but 100% required for anyone who runs an actual business.

Business objectives help companies avoid my pitfalls by laying the groundwork for all the above so they can pursue achievable growth.

Table of contents:

The benefits of setting business objectives

How to set business objectives, examples of business objectives and goals, business objective template, tips for achieving business objectives.

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What are business objectives?

Business objectives are specific, written steps that guide company growth in measurable terms. A good business objective is concise, actionable, and assigned definite metrics for tracking progress and measuring success. Coming up with effective objectives requires a strong understanding of:

What you want the company to achieve

How you can measure success

Which players are involved in driving success

The timelines needed to plan, initiate, and implement steps

How you can improve or better support business processes , personnel, logistics, and management 

How, if successful, these actions can be integrated sustainably going forward

learning objectives for business plan

Business objectives vs. goals

Where a business objective is an actionable step taken to make improvements toward growth, a business goal is the specific high-level growth an objective helps a company reach. Business objectives are often used interchangeably with business goals, but an objective is in service of a goal. 

Here's what that breakdown could have looked like for nine-year-old me selling candy for my little league team: 

Business objective: I will increase my sales output by learning and implementing point-of-sale conversion frameworks. I'll measure success by comparing week-over-week sales growth to median sales across players on my baseball team.

Business goal: I will sell more candy bars than anyone on my team and earn the grand prize: a team party at Pizza Hut.

You might think it's good enough to continue working status quo toward your goals, but as the cliche goes, good enough usually isn't. Establishing and following defined, actionable steps through business objectives can:

Help establish clear roadmaps: You can translate your objectives into time-sensitive sequences to chart your path toward growth.

Set groundwork for culture: Clear objectives should reflect the culture you envision, and, in turn, they should help guide your team to foster it.

Influence talent acquisition: Once you know your objectives, you can use them to find the people with the specific skills and experiences needed to actualize them.

Encourage teamwork: People work together better when they know what they're working toward.

Promote sound leadership: Clear objectives give leaders opportunities to get the resources they need.

Establish accountability: By measuring progress, you can see where errors and inefficiencies come from.

Drive productivity: The endgame of an objective is to make individual team members and processes more effective.

Setting business objectives takes a thoughtful, top-to-bottom approach. At every level of your business—whether you're a massive candy corporation or one kid selling chocolate almond bars door-to-door—there are improvements to make, steps to take, and players with stakes (or in my case, bats) in the game.

Illustration of a clipboard listing the six steps to setting business objectives

1. Establish clear goals

You can't hit a home run without a fence, and you can't reach a goal without setting it. Before you start brainstorming your objectives, you need to know what your objectives will help you work toward.

Analytical tactics like a SWOT analysis and goal-setting frameworks like SMART can be extremely useful at this stage, as you'll need to be specific about what you want to achieve and honest about what is achievable. Here are a few example goals:

Increase total revenue by 25% over the next two years

Reduce production costs by 10% by the end of the year

Provide health insurance for employees by next fiscal year

Grow design department to 10+ employees this year

Reach 100k Instagram followers ahead of new product launch

Implement full rebrand before new partnership announcement

Once you have these goals in place, you can establish individual objectives that position your company to reach them.

2. Set a baseline

Like a field manager before a game, you've got to set your baselines. (Very niche pun, I know.) With a definite goal in mind, the only way to know your progress is to know where you're starting from. 

If you want to increase conversions on a specific link by X percent, look beyond current conversion percentage to the myriad factors going into it. Log the page traffic, clicks, ad performance, time on page, bounce rate, and other engagement metrics historically to this point. Your objectives will dig deeper into that one outcome to address deficiencies in the sales funnel , so every figure is important.

Analyzing your baselines could also help you recalibrate your goals. You may have decided abstractly that you want conversion rates to double in six months, but is that really possible? If your measurables show there's potentially a heavier lift involved than you expected, you can always roll back the goal performance or expand the timeline.

3. Involve players at all levels in the conversation

Too often, the most important people are left out of conversations about goals and objectives. The more levels of complexity and oversight, the more important it is to hear from everyone—yet the more likely it is that some will be excluded.

Let's say you want to reduce overhead by 5% over the next two years for your sporting goods manufacturing outfit. At a high level, your team finds you can reduce production costs by using cheaper materials for baseball gloves. A member of your sales team points out that the reduction in quality, which your brand is famous for, could lead to losses that offset those savings. Meanwhile, a factory representative points out that replacing outdated machines would be expensive initially but would increase efficiency, reduce defects, and cut maintenance costs, breaking even in four years.

By involving various teams at multiple levels, you find it's worth it to extend timelines from two to four years. Your overhead reduction may be lower than 5% by year two but should be much higher than that by year four based on these changes.

The takeaway from this pretty crude example is that it's helpful to make sure every team that touches anything related to your objective gets consulted. They should give valuable, practical input thanks to their boots- (or cleats-) on-the-ground experience.

4. Define measurable outcomes

An objective should be exactly that. Using KPIs (key performance indicators) to apply a level of objectivity to your action steps allows you to measure their progress and success over time and either adapt as you go along or stay the course.

How do you know if your specific objectives are leading to increased web traffic, or if that's just natural (or even incidental) growth? How do you know if your recruiting efforts lead to better candidates, or whether your employees are actually more satisfied? Here are a few examples of measurable outcomes to show proof:

Percentage change (15% overall increase in revenue)

Goal number (10,000 subscribers)

Success range (five to 10 new clients)

Clear change (new company name)

Executable action (weekly newsletter launch)

Your objectives should have specific, measurable outcomes. It's not enough to have a better product, be more efficient, or have more brand awareness . Your objective should be provable and grounded in data.

5. Outline a roadmap with a schedule

You've got your organizational goals defined, logged your baselines, sourced objectives from across your company, and know your metrics for defining success. Now it's time to set an actionable plan you can execute.

Your objectives roadmap should include all involved team members and departments and clear timelines for reaching milestones. Within your objectives, set action items with deadlines to stay on track, along with corresponding progress markers. For the objective of "increase lead conversion efficiency by 10%," that could look like:

May 15: Begin time logging 

June 1: Register team members for productivity seminar

June 15: Integrate Trello for managing processes

June 15: Audit time log

July 1: Implement lead automation

August 1: Audit time log—goal efficiency increase of 5%

6. Integrate successful changes

You've successfully achieved your objectives—great! But as Yogi Berra famously said, "It ain't over till it's over," and it ain't over yet. 

Don't let this win be a one-off accomplishment. Berra also said "You can observe a lot by just watching," and applying what you observed from this process will help you continue growing your company. Take what worked, and integrate it into your business processes for sustainable improvement. Then create new objectives, so you can continue the cycle.

Business objectives aren't collated plans or complicated flowcharts—they're short, impactful statements that are easy to memorize and communicate. There are four basic components every business objective should have: 

A growth-oriented intention (improve efficiency)

One or more actions (implement monthly training sessions)

A measurement for success (20% increase)

A timeline to reach success (by end of year)

For this year's summer swimwear line, we will increase sales by 15% over last year's line through customer relationship marketing. We will execute distinct email campaigns by segmenting last year's summer swimwear customers and this year's spring casualwear customers and offering season-long discount codes.

Our SaaS product's implementation team will grow to five during the next fiscal year. This will require us to submit a budget proposal by the end of the quarter and look into restructured growth tracks, new job posting templates, and revised role descriptions by the start of next fiscal year.

We will increase customer satisfaction for our mobile app product demonstrably by the end of the year by integrating a new AI chatbot feature. To measure the change in customer satisfaction, we will monitor ratings in the app store, specifically looking for decreases in rates of negative reviews by 5%-10%  as well as increases in overall positive reviews by 5%-10%.

Each of our water filtration systems will achieve NSF certification ahead of the launch of our rebranding campaign. Our product team will establish a checklist of changes necessary for meeting certification requirements and communicate timelines to the marketing team.

HR will implement bi-annual performance reviews starting next year. Review timelines will be built into scheduling software, and HR will automate email reminders to managers to communicate to their teams.

Business objectives can be as simple as one action or as complex as a multi-year roadmap—but they should be able to fall into a clear, actionable framework.

Mockup of a business objective statement worksheet

Calling your shot to the left centerfield wall and hitting a ball over that wall are two different things—the same goes for setting an objective and actualizing it.

Start with clear, attainable goals: Objectives should position your business to reach broader growth goals, so start by establishing those.

Align decisions with objectives: Once you set objectives, they should inform other decisions. Decision-makers should think about how changes they make along the way affect their objectives' timelines and execution.

Stick to the schedule or adjust it: Schedules should propel change, not rush it. Work toward meeting milestones and deadlines, but understand that they can always be moved if complications or new priorities arise. Remember, it's ok to fall short on goals .

Listen to team members at all levels: Those most affected by organizational changes can be the ones with the least say in the matter. Great ideas and insights can come from any level—even if they're only tangentially related to an outcome.

Implement automation: Automation keeps systems running smoothly—business objectives are no exception. Make a plan to bring no-code automation into workflows with Zapier to move your work forward, faster.

What makes business objectives so useful is that they can help you build a plan with defined steps to reach obtainable growth goals. As (one more time) Yogi Berra also once said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." 

As you outline your objectives, here are some guides that can help you find KPIs and improvement opportunities:

How to conduct your own market research survey

6 customer satisfaction metrics to start measuring

Streamline work across departments with automation

Measuring SaaS success: 5 essential product-led growth metrics to track

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Bryce Emley picture

Bryce Emley

Currently based in Albuquerque, NM, Bryce Emley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NC State and nearly a decade of writing and editing experience. His work has been published in magazines including The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, and Modern Farmer and has received a regional Emmy and awards from venues including Narrative, Wesleyan University, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Pablo Neruda Prize. When he isn’t writing content, poetry, or creative nonfiction, he enjoys traveling, baking, playing music, reliving his barista days in his own kitchen, camping, and being bad at carpentry.

  • Small business
  • Sales & business development

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