Business Goals 101: How to Set, Track, and Achieve Your Organization’s Goals with Examples

By Kate Eby | November 7, 2022

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Learning how to set concrete, achievable business goals is critical to your organization’s success. We’ve consulted seasoned experts on how to successfully set and achieve short- and long-term business goals, with examples to help you get started.

Included on this page, you’ll find a list of the different types of business goals , the benefits and challenges of business goal-setting, and examples of short-term and long-term business goals. Plus, find expert tips and compare and contrast business goal-setting frameworks.

What Are Business Goals?

Business goals are the outcomes an organization aims to achieve. They can be broad and long term or specific and short term. Business leaders set goals in order to motivate teams, measure progress, and improve performance.

David Bitton

“Business goals are those that represent a company's overarching mission,” says David Bitton, Co-founder and CMO of DoorLoop . “These goals typically cover the entire business and are vast in scope. They are established so that employees may work toward a common goal. In essence, business goals specify the ‘what’ of a company's purpose and provide teams with a general course to pursue.”

For more resources and information on setting goals, try one of these free goal tracking and setting templates .

Business Goals vs. Business Objectives

Many professionals use the terms business goal and business objective interchangeably. Generally, a business goal is a broad, long-term outcome an organization works toward, while a business objective is a specific and measurable task, project, or initiative. 

Think of business objectives as the steps an organization takes toward their broader, long-term goals. In some cases, a business objective might simply be a short-term goal. In most cases, business goals refer to outcomes, while business objectives refer to actionable tasks. 

“Business objectives are clear and precise,” says Bitton. “When businesses set out to achieve their business goals, they do so by establishing quantifiable, simply defined, and trackable objectives. Business objectives lay out the ‘how’ in clear, doable steps that lead to the desired result.”

For more information and resources, see this article on the key differences between goals and objectives.

Common Frameworks for Writing Business Goals

Goal-setting frameworks can help you get the most out of your business goals. Common frameworks include SMART, OKR, MBO, BHAG, and KRA. Learning about these goal-setting tools can help you choose the right one for your company.

Here are the common frameworks for writing business goals with examples:

  • SMART: SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This is probably the most popular method for setting goals. Ensuring that your goals meet SMART goal criteria is a tried and true way to increase your chances of success and make progress on even your most ambitious goals. Example SMART Goal: We will increase the revenue from our online store by 5 percent in three months by increasing our sign-up discount from 25 to 30 percent.
  • OKR: Another popular approach is to set OKRs, or objectives and key results. In order to use OKRs , a team or individual selects an objective they would like to work toward. Then they select key results , or standardized measurements of success or progress. Example Objective: We aim to increase the sales revenue of our online store. Example Key Result: Make $200,000 in sales revenue from the online store in June. 
  • MBO: MBO, or management by objectives , is a collaborative goal-setting framework and management technique. When using MBO, managers work with employees to create specific, agreed-upon objectives and develop a plan to achieve them. This framework is excellent for ensuring that everyone is aligned on their goals. Example MBO: This quarter, we aim to decrease patient waiting times by 30 percent.
  • BHAG: A BHAG, or a big hairy audacious goal , is an ambitious, possibly unattainable goal. While the idea of setting a BHAG might run contrary to a lot of advice about goal-setting, a BHAG can energize the team by giving everyone a shared purpose. These are best for long-term, visionary business goals. Example BHAG: We want to be the leading digital music service provider globally by 2030. 
  • KRA: KRAs, or key result areas , refer to a short list of goals that an individual, department, or organization can work toward. KRAs function like a rubric for general progress and to help ensure that the team’s efforts have an optimal impact on the overall health of the business. Example KRA: Increase high-quality sales leads per sales representative. 

Use the table below to compare the pros and cons of each goal-setting framework to help you decide which framework will be most useful for your business goals.

Types of Business Goals

A business goal is any goal that helps move an organization toward a desired result. There are many types of business goals, including process goals, development goals, innovation goals, and profitability goals.

Here are some common types of business goals:

  • Growth: A growth goal is a goal relating to the size and scope of the company. A growth goal might involve increasing the number of employees, adding new verticals, opening new stores or offices, or generally expanding the impact or market share of a company. 
  • Process: A process goal , also called a day-to-day goal or an efficiency goal , is a goal to improve the everyday effectiveness of a team or company. A process goal might involve establishing or improving workflows or routines, delegating responsibilities, or improving team skills. 
  • Problem-Solving: Problem-solving goals address a specific challenge. Problem-solving goals might involve removing an inefficiency, changing policies to accommodate a new law or regulation, or reorienting after an unsuccessful project or initiative.
  • Development: A development goal , also called an educational goal , is a goal to develop new skills or expertise, either for your team or for yourself. For example, development goals might include developing a new training module, learning a new coding language, or taking a continuing education class in your field. 
  • Innovation: An innovation goal is a goal to create new or more reliable products or services. Innovation goals might involve developing a new mobile app, redesigning an existing product, or restructuring to a new business model. 
  • Profitability: A profitability goal , also called a financial goal , is any goal to improve the financial prospects of a company. Profitability goals might involve increasing revenue, decreasing debt, or growing the company’s shareholder value. 
  • Sustainability: A s ustainability goal is a goal to either decrease your company’s negative impact on the environment or actively improve the environment through specific initiatives. For example, a sustainability goal might be to decrease a company’s carbon footprint, reduce energy use, or divest from environmentally irresponsible organizations and reinvest in sustainable ones.
  • Marketing: A marketing goal , also called a brand goal , is a goal to increase a company’s influence and brand awareness in the market. A marketing goal might be to boost engagement across social media platforms or generate more higher-quality leads. 
  • Customer Relations: A customer relations goal is a goal to improve customer satisfaction with and trust in your product or services. A customer relations goal might be to decrease customer service wait times, improve customers’ self-reported satisfaction with your products or services, or increase customer loyalty.
  • Company Culture: A company culture goal , also called a social goal , is a goal to improve the work environment of your company. A company culture goal might be to improve employee benefits; improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across your organization; or create a greater sense of work-life balance among employees. 

What Are Business Goal Examples?

Business goal examples are real or hypothetical business goal statements. A business goal example can use any goal-setting framework, such as SMART, OKR, or KRA. Teams and individuals use these examples to guide them in the goal-setting process. 

For a comprehensive list of examples by industry and type, check out this collection of business goal examples.

What Are Short-Term Business Goals?

Short-term business goals are measurable objectives that can be completed within hours, days, weeks, or months. Many short-term business goals are smaller objectives that help a company make progress on a longer-term goal.

The first step in setting a short-term business goal is to clarify your long-term goals. 

Morgan Roth

“My practice is to start with an aspirational vision that is the framework for my long-term goals and to compare that ‘better tomorrow’ with the realities of today,” says Morgan Roth, Chief Communication Strategy Officer at EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases . “Once that framework of three to five major goals is drafted and I have buy-in, I can think about how we get there. Those will be my short-term goals.”

Bitton recommends using the SMART framework for setting short-term business goals to ensure that your team has structure and that their goals are achievable. “Determine which objectives can be attained in a reasonable amount of time,” she adds. “This will help you stay motivated. Your organization may suffer if you try to squeeze years-long ambitions into a month-long project.”

Short-Term Business Goal Examples

Companies can use short-term business goals to increase profits, implement new policies or initiatives, or improve company culture. We’ve gathered some examples of short-term business goals to help you brainstorm your own goal ideas. 

Here are three sample short-term business goals:

  • Increase Your Market Share: When companies increase their market share, they increase the percentage of their target audience who chooses their product or service over competitors. This is a good short-term goal for companies that have long-term expansion goals. For example, a local retail business might want to draw new customers from the local community. The business sets a goal of increasing the average number of customers who enter its store from 500 per week to 600 per week within three months. It can meet this goal by launching a local advertising initiative, reducing prices, or expanding its presence on local social media groups. Small business owners can check out this comprehensive guide to learn more about setting productive goals for their small businesses.
  • Reduce Paper Waste: All businesses produce waste, but company leaders can take actions to reduce or combat excessive waste. Reducing your company’s paper waste is a good short-term goal for companies that have long-term sustainability goals. For example, a large company’s corporate headquarters is currently producing an average of four pounds of paper waste per employee per day. They set a goal of decreasing this number to two pounds by the end of the current quarter. They can meet this goal by incentivizing or requiring electronic reporting and forms whenever possible. 
  • Increase Social Media Engagement: High social media engagement is essential for businesses that want to increase brand awareness or attract new customers. This is a good short-term goal for companies with long-term marketing or brand goals. For example, after reviewing a recent study, a natural cosmetics company learns that its target audience is 30 percent more likely to purchase products recommended to them by TikTok influencers, but the company’s social media team only posts sporadically on its TikTok. The company sets a goal of producing and posting two makeup tutorials on TikTok each week for the next three months.

What Are Long-Term Business Goals?

A l ong-term business goal is an ambitious desired outcome for your company that is broad in scope. Long-term business goals might be harder to measure or achieve. They provide a shared direction and motivation for team members. 

“Long-term planning is increasingly difficult in our very complex and interconnected world,” says Roth. “Economically, politically, and culturally, we’re seeing sea changes in the way we live and work. Accordingly, it’s important to be thoughtful about long-term goal-setting, but not to the point where concerns stifle creativity and your ‘Big Ideas.’ A helpful strategy I employ is to avoid assumptions. Long-term planning should be based on what you know, not on what you assume will be true in some future state.”

Tip: You can turn most short-term goals into long-term goals by increasing their scope. For example, to turn the “increase market share” goal described above into a long-term goal, you might increase the target weekly customers from 600 to 2,000. This will likely take longer than a few months and might require expanding the store or opening new locations.

Long-Term Business Goal Examples

An organization can use long-term business goals to unify their vision, motivate workers, and prioritize short-term goals. We’ve gathered some examples of long-term business goals to guide you in setting goals for your business. 

Here are three sample long-term business goals:

  • Increase Total Sales: A common growth profitability goal is to increase sales. An up-and-coming software company might set a long-term goal of increasing their product sales by 75 percent over two years. 
  • Increase Employee Retention: Companies with high employee retention enjoy many benefits, such as decreased hiring costs, better brand reputation, and a highly skilled workforce. A large corporation with an employee retention rate of 80 percent might set a long-term goal of increasing that retention rate to 90 percent within five years. 
  • Develop a New Technology: Most companies in the IT sphere rely on innovation goals to stay competitive. A company might set a long-term goal of creating an entirely new AI technology within 10 years.

Challenges of Setting Business Goals 

Although setting business goals has few downsides, teams can run into problems. For example, setting business goals that are too ambitious, inflexible, or not in line with the company vision can end up being counterproductive. 

Here are some common challenges teams face when setting business goals: 

  • Having a Narrow Focus: One of the greatest benefits of setting business goals is how doing so can focus your team. That said, this can also be a drawback, as such focus on a single goal can narrow the team’s perspective and make people less able to adapt to change or recognize and seize unexpected opportunities. 
  • Being Overly Ambitious: It’s important to be ambitious, but some goals are simply too lofty. If a goal is impossible to hit, it can be demoralizing. 
  • Not Being Ambitious Enough: The opposite problem is when companies are too modest with their goal-setting. Goals should be realistic but challenging. Teams that prioritize the former while ignoring the latter will have problems with motivation and momentum.
  • Facing Unexpected Obstacles: If something happens that suddenly derails progress toward a goal, it can be a huge blow to a company. Learn about project risk management to better manage uncertainty in your projects. 
  • Having Unclear Objectives: Goals that are vague or unquantifiable will not be as effective as clear, measurable goals. Use frameworks such as SMART goals or OKRs to make sure your goals are clear. 
  • Losing Motivation: Teams can lose sight of their goals over time, especially with long-term goals. Be sure to review and assess progress toward goals regularly to keep your long-term vision front of mind.

Why You Need Business Goals

Every business needs to set clear goals in order to succeed. Business goals provide direction, encourage focus, improve morale, and spur growth. We’ve gathered some common benefits of goal-setting for your business. 

Here are some benefits you can expect from setting business goals:

  • More Clarity: Business goals ensure that everyone is moving toward a determined end point. Companies with clear business goals have teams that agree on what is important and what everyone should be working toward. 
  • Increased Focus: Business goals encourage focus, which improves performance and increases productivity. 
  • Faster Growth: Business goals help companies expand and thrive. “Setting goals and objectives for your business will help you grow it more quickly,” says Bitton. “Your potential for growth increases as you consistently accomplish your goals and objectives.”
  • Improved Morale: Everyone is happier when they are working toward a tangible goal. Companies with clear business goals have employees that are more motivated and fulfilled at work. Plus, measuring progress toward specific goals makes it easier to notice and acknowledge everyone’s successes. 
  • More Accountability: Having tangible goals means that everyone can see whether or not their work is effective at making progress toward those goals.
  • Better Decision-Making: Business goals help teams prioritize tasks and make tough decisions. “You gain perspective on your entire business, which makes it easier for you to make smart decisions,” says Bitton. “You are forming a clear vision for the direction you want your business to go, which facilitates the efficient distribution of resources, the development of strategies, and the prioritization of tasks.”

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Setting and Achieving Realistic Business Development Goals

Ron Sela / Last updated: September 9, 2022

Setting business development goals gives you a clear target to aim for, and the satisfaction of achieving them can provide a much-needed boost when times are tough. But you need to make your goals achievable.

Unrealistic goals can set you up for setbacks and ultimately lead to demotivation.

This blog post is about setting practical business development goals. We provide a step-by-step guide on creating achievable goals to help you achieve your desired results.

Table of Contents

Why Do You Need to Set Goals?

Goals give your company direction and purpose by creating an overarching vision that teams can work toward achieving . When a company strategically sets specific , measurable , achievable , realistic , and time-bound (SMART) objectives, it creates an actionable plan for success.

Without set goals, measuring progress and making data-driven decisions about allocating resources for optimal growth is difficult.

Let’s begin with the types of business goals.

Types of Business Development Goals

Types of Business Development Goals

Any business development goal worth achieving will likely fall into one of four major categories:

  • Expanding the reach of your offering
  • Deepening your relationship with existing customers
  • Improving your operational efficiency
  • Developing new products or services

Let’s talk about the ten most common goals.

Sales Goals

These are financial business goals that focus on revenue operations . They usually revolve around increasing the number of sales you make or the average sale size.

If your business is new, your sales department will probably focus on increasing the number of sales. Once you have a few customers and are starting to establish yourself in the market, you can focus more on increasing the value of each sale.

Sales goals are usually written as a percentage of some number. For example, increase sales by 10 percent over last year’s sales volume. The challenge with this type of goal is that it doesn’t consider what’s happening in the marketplace or the competition.

Market Penetration Goals

Market penetration goals are about increasing the number of people who buy your products or use your services. Businesses do this by selling to new markets or finding new ways to reach existing ones.

For example, if you sell winter coats, a market penetration goal might be to increase sales to college students by setting up pop-up shops on campus.

Or, if you provide accounting services, a market penetration goal might be to increase sales to small businesses by setting up a booth at a local business expo.

Profit Margin Goals

Profit margin means determining how much profit you want on each sale and setting prices accordingly. The goals are designed to increase the amount of money your business makes after expenses. It can be done by either increasing revenue or decreasing expenses (or both).

For example, if you target a 20% profit margin on each sale , you would need to charge $12 for a product that costs you $10 to produce. Once you have determined your profit margin goals, tracking your progress and adjusting your prices as necessary is important.

Customer Acquisition Goals

customer acquisition business goal

A company’s customer acquisition goals are its objective to increase the number of new customers.

The targets may be short-term, such as aiming to acquire ten new customers in the next month, or long-term, such as acquiring 1,000 new customers over the next year. The company’s marketing strategy will be focused on achieving these targets.

The basic elements of a customer acquisition strategy include identifying the target market, generating leads, converting leads into customers, and retaining customers.

The company must also track its progress toward its goals and adjust its strategy if necessary.

Brand Awareness and Loyalty Goals

Brand awareness and loyalty are important goals for any business development process. Businesses cannot hope to survive without a solid connection with their customers.

Brand awareness goals aim to increase the number of people aware of a company and its products or services.

On the other hand, loyalty goals focus on increasing the number of repeat customers or customers who make referrals. Brand awareness can be improved through marketing and advertising campaigns, while loyalty can be increased through excellent customer service and valuable rewards programs.

Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Goals

Employee engagement and satisfaction are important goals for any organization. Engaged employees are more productive, creative, and committed to their work. They also have lower turnover and absenteeism rates.

Satisfied employees are more likely to stay with an organization and provide high-quality service to customers. Employee engagement and satisfaction improve when employees feel valued and supported by their employer.

Employee engagement and satisfaction goals aim to increase the number of employees actively engaged in their work and committed to the company’s success.

The goals focus on increasing the number of employees who are happy with their jobs and working conditions. Employee engagement can be increased through training and development programs, while satisfaction can be increased through fair wages and benefits.

Product Innovation Goals

Product innovation aims to create new products or services that offer customers more value than existing ones. You can do this by improving existing products or services or developing entirely new offerings.

To be successful, product innovation must focus on creating customer value rather than simply adding features. You must execute it well to avoid costly mistakes often occurring during innovation.

Process Improvement Goals

Process improvement goals aim to streamline and improve the efficiency of strategic business decisions. Achieving these goals usually requires changes to the current process.

Below are three process improvement goals that every business strategy should target.

  • Reduce waste . This includes excess inventory and wasted time on tasks that don’t add value. Not only is this economical, but it also helps to streamline your operations.
  • Increase efficiency . It involves automating repetitive tasks or finding new ways to complete existing tasks. By doing so, you’ll be able to get more done in less time, freeing up your team to focus on higher-value activities.
  • Strive for continuous improvement. Rather than making a one-time change and moving on, you should always find ways to fine-tune your processes.

Sustainability Goals

All business initiatives should have sustainability goals. Sustainability is the ability to resolve the problems of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

It’s a holistic approach that regards environmental , social, and economic factors.

Common sustainability goals include reducing energy consumption, improving waste management, and increasing employee productivity.

By implementing sustainability measures, businesses can save money, reduce their environmental impact, and improve their social responsibility.

Social Responsibility Goals

As a businessman, you are accountable to your employees, customers, and community. Social responsibility goals are a business’s actions to ensure that it does its part to improve the world.

It can include reducing environmental impact, supporting employees’ mental health, and giving back to the community.

Of course, social responsibility goals will look different for every business, depending on the company’s values and the needs of its employees and customers.

But no matter their form, you should always align social responsibility goals with your company’s overall mission and goals.

So, how can you guarantee that your business development team works towards propping the right goals?

Keep reading.

How to Set Realistic Business Goals?

How to Set Realistic Business Goals

While setting goals for your business is important, ensuring those goals are realistic is just as important. Here’s a helpful guide to help you set realistic business goals:

Know Your Why

In business, it’s not enough to have goals. You need to have a complete idea of your motivation for pursuing those goals in the first place. This is what it means to “know your why.”

Why are you in business? What are you trying to achieve? When you know your why, you can set goals aligned with your overall mission.

This alignment will make it easier to maintain motivation and stay on track. You’ll be more likely to achieve those goals because you’ll be driven by a sense of purpose.

And when your team knows the company’s why, they’ll be more inspired to work towards the common goal.

The SMART Goal-Setting Process

The SMART goal-setting process is a simple yet effective way to set and achieve your goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Let’s zero in on each of these elements:

Specific : The first step is to be specific about your goal. What exactly do you want to accomplish? This step helps you clarify your objectives and develop a business development plan.

Measurable : Once you know what you want to achieve, you must set measurable goals. It means setting goals that can be quantified to track your progress. For example, rather than “losing weight,” set a goal of “losing 10 pounds in the next six months.”

Achievable : It’s important to set realistic and achievable goals. If your goals are too ambitious, you will be disheartened when you fail. But if they’re too easy, you won’t experience the satisfaction of accomplishing something challenging. Strike a balance by setting goals that are challenging but attainable.

Realistic : Along with being achievable, your goals should also be realistic. It means considering your current circumstances and setting feasible goals given your resources and time constraints.

Timely : Finally, ensure your goals are timely by setting your own deadlines. It will help to keep you motivated and on track. For example, instead of “ save money ,” make it “ save $500 in the next three months .”

Following the SMART goal-setting process can increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Make It a Team Effort

Regardless of your business goals, it’s important to remember that you can’t achieve them all alone. It requires a team effort to make any business successful; delegating tasks, sharing ideas, and working together towards a common goal. 

Of course, it’s also critical to have an efficient leader who can provide direction and inspiration, but even the most effective leaders need the support of a strong business development team. 

So if you’re serious about achieving your business goals, pick the right teams, from sales and marketing, project management, vendor management, financial analysis, and website development to customer service and beyond.

Surround yourself with talented and dedicated people willing to work together towards a shared goal. 

And we won’t stop at setting goals. We shall also talk about reaching them through a successful business development strategy.

How to Achieve Your Business Goals?

Once you’ve set your business goals, it’s time to start working towards them. Here’s how to achieve your goals:

Visualize Your Success

Most people underestimate the power of visualization. When you visualize something, you create a roadmap for your brain to follow.

Here’s how it works :

When you visualize yourself succeeding, your brain starts believing it is possible. This, in turn, leads to you taking the necessary steps to make your vision a reality.

Mental rehearsal is just as effective as a physical rehearsal in improving performance. See yourself taking the necessary actions and reaching your desired destination. The more vividly you picture it, the more likely it is to happen.

Break Down Each Goal Into Smaller Tasks

When you have a large goal, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.

It will make creating a plan of action and tracking your progress easier. It can also help to prevent overwhelm and keep you motivated.

So how do you break down your goals?

First, identify the main goal that you want to achieve. Then, think about all of the smaller steps that need to be taken to reach that goal. For each step, ask yourself what needs to be done to move closer to your goal. Finally, list all tasks that need to be completed.

For example, let’s say your goal is to increase sales by 20% in the next quarter.

Your smaller tasks might include the following:

  • Researching your target market
  • Identifying your ideal customer
  • Developing a marketing strategy
  • Creating a sales deck
  • Training your sales team
  • Launching a new marketing campaign
  • Analyzing your results and making adjustments

It is just an example, but you can see how breaking down your goals into smaller tasks can help you to achieve them.

Create a Plan of Action to Achieve Each Task

Action Plan for Business Development Goals

Now that you have a list of tasks, it’s time to create a plan of action for each. It’s where you’ll decide what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and who will be responsible for doing it.

Business planning will help you to stay organized and on schedule. It will also make delegating tasks and holding team members accountable easier.

To create a plan of action, start by listing out all of the tasks that need to be completed. Then, for each task, answer the following questions:

  • Who will be responsible for completing the task?
  • When does the task need to be completed?
  • What steps need to be taken to complete the task?

Again, using our example goal of increasing sales by 20% in the next quarter, your plan of action might look something like this:

  • Research target market: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Identify the ideal customer: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Develop marketing strategy: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Create a sales deck: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Train sales team: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Launch marketing campaign: responsible person, due date, steps to take
  • Analyze results and make adjustments: responsible person, due date, steps to take

As you can see, a plan of action helps to bring clarity and structure to your goal-setting process. It also makes delegation and accountability simpler.

Set a Deadline

One of the most important aspects of setting a deadline for business goals is ensuring the timeline is realistic. It can be challenging, as it is often difficult to accurately gauge how long a task will take. Your deadline must make sense for your business.

If you set a deadline too soon, you may be scrambling to meet it. On the other hand, if you set a deadline that’s too far in the future, you may lose focus and motivation.

The best way to find the right balance is to consider your timeline, resources, and capabilities.

Measure Your Progress

As you work towards your goal, measuring your progress is important. It will help you track your progress and ensure you are on track to reach your goal.

There are different ways your business development team assesses your progress. One way is to set milestones. For each task on your list, identify a milestone to be reached for the task to be considered complete.

For example, if your goal is to develop a new marketing campaign, your milestone might be to create the campaign materials.

Another way to measure your progress is to set KPIs . Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that help you to track your progress toward a goal.

For example, if your goal is to increase sales, your KPIs might include the number of sales made, the conversion rate , or the average order value.

Which method you use to measure your progress will depend on your goal and what is most important to track. However, milestones and KPIs are a good way to get a well-rounded view of your progress.

Celebrate Your Successes

Whether you’ve landed a big client or reached personal sales targets, taking the time to celebrate your accomplishments can help to motivate and inspire you to keep pushing for more.

Celebrating your successes helps to keep you motivated and focused on achieving your goals. It also helps to build team spirit and reinforces that you are doing something right.

When you take the time to celebrate your successes, you are sending a strong message to yourself and your team that you are committed to achieving your goals.

So, take a few moments to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be. It will make a big difference in the long run.

Achieving ambitious plans for your business is possible if you set realistic goals. However, it is also important to remember that things don’t always go as planned. Therefore, be prepared to make adjustments along the way. It is also important to enjoy the journey and take the time to celebrate your (and your team’s) successes along the way.

Here are other frequently asked questions about business development goals that we have not discussed in the article.

The key to setting challenging yet achievable goals is to identify what you realistically want to achieve and then set steps and performance benchmarks to help you get there. Here are practical ideas to help you do just that: 1. Clearly define your goals. Vague or general goals are more difficult to measure progress towards and achieve than specific, detailed ones. Make your objectives SMART. 2. Do your research. Before setting any goals, ensure you have a good understanding of your current situation and the opportunities and constraints that come with it. 3. Set measurable benchmarks. To track your progress, you need to have specific performance indicators that you can measure. 4. Make a plan. Once you determine what you want to achieve and understand your current situation well, you must develop a plan of action. It should include specific steps and deadlines for each task. 5. Be prepared to adjust. While having a plan is important, you must also be ready to make adjustments along the way.

When writing your goal statement, be sure to include the following: 1. Your overall desired outcome 2. The specific steps you’ll take to get there 3. Why is this goal important to you and your business 4. When you hope to achieve this goal by 5. How you’ll know if you’re successful

The first is to try and do too much at once. When you’re trying to accomplish too many things, you can quickly become overwhelmed, and no progress is made on your goals. Focus on a few business growth goals you can realistically accomplish within your set timeframe. Another common pitfall is not being specific enough with your goals. Vague goals are hard to measure progress against and can therefore be discouraging. Be precise when setting your business development goals to know what should be done to achieve them. Finally, another mistake people make is not seeking help from others. Trying to accomplish everything on your own can be difficult. You must delegate tasks and get input from others to achieve your goals.

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About Ron Sela

Ron is a marketing advisor to technology-driven businesses. He has 15 years of digital marketing experience and an MBA from the University of Florida. Ron helps companies grow their revenue by developing and executing integrated marketing plans that align with their business goals. He has a proven track record of success in helping companies achieve their growth objectives.

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Setting Business Goals & Objectives: 4 Considerations

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  • 31 Oct 2023

Setting business goals and objectives is important to your company’s success. They create a roadmap to help you identify and manage risk , gain employee buy-in, boost team performance , and execute strategy . They’re also an excellent marker to measure your business’s performance.

Yet, meeting those goals can be difficult. According to an Economist study , 90 percent of senior executives from companies with annual revenues of one billion dollars or more admitted they failed to reach all their strategic goals because of poor implementation. In order to execute strategy, it’s important to first understand what’s attainable when developing organizational goals and objectives.

If you’re struggling to establish realistic benchmarks for your business, here’s an overview of what business goals and objectives are, how to set them, and what you should consider during the process.

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What Are Business Goals and Objectives?

Business objectives dictate how your company plans to achieve its goals and address the business’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. While your business goals may shift, your objectives won’t until there’s an organizational change .

Business goals describe where your company wants to end up and define your business strategy’s expected achievements.

According to the Harvard Business School Online course Strategy Execution , there are different types of strategic goals . Some may even push you and your team out of your comfort zone, yet are important to implement.

For example, David Rodriguez, global chief human resources officer at Marriott, describes in Strategy Execution the importance of stretch goals and “pushing people to not accept today's level of success as a final destination but as a starting point for what might be possible in the future.”

It’s important to strike a balance between bold and unrealistic, however. To do this, you must understand how to responsibly set your business goals and objectives.

Related: A Manager’s Guide To Successful Strategy Implementation

How to Set Business Goals and Objectives

While setting your company’s business goals and objectives might seem like a simple task, it’s important to remember that these goals shouldn’t be based solely on what you hope to achieve. There should be a correlation between your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs)—quantifiable success measures—and your business strategy to justify why the goal should, and needs to, be achieved.

This is often illustrated through a strategy map —an illustration of the cause-and-effect relationships that underpin your strategy. This valuable tool can help you identify and align your business goals and objectives.

“A strategy map gives everyone in your business a road map to understand the relationship between goals and measures and how they build on each other to create value,” says HBS Professor Robert Simons in Strategy Execution .

While this roadmap can be incredibly helpful in creating the right business goals and objectives, a balanced scorecard —a tool to help you track and assess non-financial measures—ensures they’re achievable through your current business strategy.

“Ask yourself, if I picked up a scorecard and examined the measures on that scorecard, could I infer what the business's strategy was,” Simon says. “If you've designed measures well, the answer should be yes.”

According to Strategy Execution , these measures are necessary to ensure your performance goals are achieved. When used in tandem, a balanced scorecard and strategy map can also tell you whether your goals and objectives will create value for you and your customers.

“The balanced scorecard combines the traditional financial perspective with additional perspectives that focus on customers, internal business processes, and learning and development,” Simons says.

These four perspectives are key considerations when setting your business goals and objectives. Here’s an overview of what those perspectives are and how they can help you set the right goals for your business.

4 Things to Consider When Setting Business Goals and Objectives

1. financial measures.

It’s important to ensure your plans and processes lead to desired levels of economic value. Therefore, some of your business goals and objectives should be financial.

Some examples of financial performance goals include:

  • Cutting costs
  • Increasing revenue
  • Improving cash flow management

“Businesses set financial goals by building profit plans—one of the primary diagnostic control systems managers use to execute strategy,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “They’re budgets drawn up for business units that have both revenues and expenses, and summarize the anticipated revenue inflows and expense outflows for a specified accounting period.”

Profit plans are essential when setting your business goals and objectives because they provide a critical link between your business strategy and economic value creation.

According to Simons, it’s important to ask three questions when profit planning:

  • Does my business strategy generate enough profit to cover costs and reinvest in the business?
  • Does my business generate enough cash to remain solvent through the year?
  • Does my business create sufficient financial returns for investors?

By mapping out monetary value, you can weigh the cost of different strategies and how likely it is you’ll meet your company and investors’ financial expectations.

2. Customer Satisfaction

To ensure your business goals and objectives aid in your company’s long-term success, you need to think critically about your customers’ satisfaction. This is especially important in a world where customer reviews and testimonials are crucial to your organization’s success.

“Everything that's important to the business, we have a KPI and we measure it,” says Tom Siebel, founder, chairman, and CEO of, in Strategy Execution . “And what could be more important than customer satisfaction?”

Unlike your company’s reputation, measuring customer satisfaction has a far more personal touch in identifying what customers love and how to capitalize on it through future strategic initiatives .

“We do anonymous customer satisfaction surveys every quarter to see how we're measuring up to our customer expectations,” Siebel says.

While this is one example, your customer satisfaction measures should reflect your desired market position and focus on creating additional value for your audience.

Related: 3 Effective Methods for Assessing Customer Needs

3. Internal Business Processes

Internal business processes is another perspective that should factor into your goal setting. It refers to several aspects of your business that aren’t directly affected by outside forces. Since many goals and objectives are driven by factors such as business competition and market shifts, considering internal processes can create a balanced business strategy.

“Our goals are balanced to make sure we’re holistically managing the business from a financial performance, quality assurance, innovation, and human talent perspective,” says Tom Polen, CEO and president of Becton Dickinson, in Strategy Execution .

According to Strategy Execution , internal business operations are broken down into the following processes:

  • Operations management
  • Customer management

While improvements to internal processes aren’t driven by economic value, these types of goals can still reap a positive return on investment.

“We end up spending much more time on internal business process goals versus financial goals,” Polen says. “Because if we take care of them, the financial goals will follow at the end of the day.”

4. Learning and Growth Opportunities

Another consideration while setting business goals and objectives is learning and growth opportunities for your team. These are designed to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

According to Strategy Execution , learning and growth opportunities touch on three types of capital:

  • Human: Your employees and the skills and knowledge required for them to meet your company’s goals
  • Information: The databases, networks, and IT systems needed to support your long-term growth
  • Organization: Ensuring your company’s leadership and culture provide people with purpose and clear objectives

Employee development is a common focus for learning and growth goals. Through professional development opportunities , your team will build valuable business skills and feel empowered to take more risks and innovate.

To create a culture of innovation , it’s important to ensure there’s a safe space for your team to make mistakes—and even fail.

“We ask that people learn from their mistakes,” Rodriguez says in Strategy Execution . “It's really important to us that people feel it’s safe to try new things. And all we ask is people extract their learnings and apply it to the next situation.”

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Achieve Your Business Goals

Business goals aren’t all about your organization’s possible successes. It’s also about your potential failures.

“When we set goals, we like to imagine a bright future with our business succeeding,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “But to identify your critical performance variables, you need to engage in an uncomfortable exercise and consider what can cause your strategy to fail.”

Anticipating potential failures isn’t easy. Enrolling in an online course—like HBS Online’s Strategy Execution —can immerse you in real-world case studies of past strategy successes and failures to help you better understand where these companies went wrong and how to avoid it in your business.

Do you need help setting your business goals and objectives? Explore Strategy Execution —one of our online strategy courses —and download our free strategy e-book to gain the insights to create a successful strategy.

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An Effective Approach to Setting Business Development Goals


Max 8 min read

An Effective Approach to Setting Business Development Goals

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As we approach the end of the year, it’s a natural time to start reflecting on the past 12 months and planning for the future. For businesses and individuals alike, goal setting is an integral part of this process.

But there’s an art to goal setting. You can’t just make wild, ungrounded claims about your future success. When you’re looking to set business development goals, you can’t simply say “I want my startup to be a unicorn in 2 years”. Well, you can say that, but for 99.999% of new companies this “goal” is meaningless.

You want to be ambitious, sure, but your goals need to be achievable. More than that, you need to make sure you’re working towards the most relevant goals—the goals which will take the business where you (and your partners or shareholder) want it to go.

Let’s take a look at a well-rounded approach to setting business development goals which, if done right, can be transformative for your business.

Things to remember before goal setting

Three things to remember before goal setting

Before we dive into applying the SMART method and actually creating your game-changing business development goals, we need to tackle some perceptions and misconceptions about goal setting. These are more subtle points which, in tandem with the SMART methodology, give your company the best possible chance of reaching and exceeding its goals.

#1—Remember your company vision and values

When your business starts going places (and especially when those places are up) it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Your decision making can suffer, you can chase short-term gains (to the detriment of your long-term success) and essentially lose track of your true objectives.

The easiest way to combat this—and set goals which not only set you up for short-term success, but which also take your company a step closer to your grander vision—is to measure every goal against that vision or your company values.

For example, let’s say you started your marketing company to help the little guys (self-employed, cash-poor startups, minority entrepreneurs) and as you’ve grown your reputation, your skillset has caught the interest of some bigger companies. One offers you a big bucks cheque and you do a project for them. It’s a success, and you spot a lucrative market opportunity for yourself.

Before you embark on that, ask yourself: is this the right path for my business? If it is, great! But perhaps you’ll realize that the track you’re headed down doesn’t align with your long-term desires. This simple trick will help you hone and fine-tune your business over time, so that in the long run you don’t only have a business that’s profitable, but one you’re proud of, too.

#2—Failure is relative and goals aren’t everything

Too often we confuse “not meeting a goal” with “failing in our business”. When reviewing how well you’ve achieved your goals, you must remember it’s rarely a pass-or-fail scenario; it’s more like a success continuum.

If your company set a truly ambitious goal and put a number on it (say, “Hit $100k per month revenue by December, compared to $10k/month current average”) and only just fell short at $95k per month, then that is a massive success. Sure you missed your “target”, but you increased your monthly revenue by 9.5x and are probably still growing rapidly!

And this is the true purpose of goals: not to hit arbitrary numbers, but to facilitate growth and ambition and forward movement within the company.

Of course it’s possible to fail to hit your goal and be failing in business. If you haven’t put any effort into realizing your goals, you won’t reap any of the secondary benefits that come with that effort.

But for most companies that are proactively working towards ambitious goals, success isn’t guaranteed. What you might do is continuously grow, move forward, and succeed in a more general sense without ever reaching your goals! So don’t take “failure” on your goals too seriously—in the proper context, you might be doing exceptionally well.

#3—Invest in short, medium and long-term goals

When most of us talk about goals, we look far into the future. “I want to be a 7-figure business” or “I want to be the industry leader in our category”. These are fine ambitions, but they aren’t concrete goals your business can actually build towards.

So if your ambition is to be a 7-figure business, it’s essential to break down the long, medium and short-term goals that will get you there. The simplest way to approach this is creating long-term goals first, breaking these down into manageable chunks and then breaking those down into even more bite-sized chunks.

There you have it: 3 levels of goals which you and your teams can follow to reach distant, apparently insurmountable heights.

SMART Business Developement Goals

How to create effective business development goals—the SMART system

The SMART approach to goal setting gets a bit of flack, but it’s actually a very astute and reliable way to set ambitious yet achievable goals—goals which are actually relevant to the business. Because this approach requires more work than simply pinning vague ambitions on the wall, it also forces business owners to consider whether some goals are truly necessary.

(Hint: if it’s not worth the effort of spending a few minutes planning, then it’s probably not crucial to the business!)

The SMART system stands for:

Specific Goals

Specificity is crucial for creating a clear path and objective for your goal. For example, “Increase profits by 10%” is not particularly specific. Sure there’s a specific figure, but it doesn’t describe how this goal might be reached.

A specific example would be: “Increase profits by at least 10% by relocating to a cheaper warehouse (out of town) and putting more hours into search engine optimization for our website, to drive organic traffic and sales.”

An effective way to add specificity to goals is answering the 5 W’s:

  • Who is involved in this goal?
  • What is the desired final outcome?
  • Where is this goal to be achieved?
  • When do we want to achieve this goal?
  • Why is this goal important?

“What is measured is improved.” These famous words have been proven true time and again over the years. If you don’t assign some metric for success to your goals, how will you know if you’ve succeeded, or to what degree? How will you assess what did or didn’t work en route to this goal?

Measurability is absolutely essential. In the above example, it’s pretty straightforward: compare next year’s profits to the previous year. This could be broken down into monthly or quarterly analyses to track progress.

Achievable Goals

The point with this step is just to ground your ambition. It’s typical for business owners to shoot for the stars with their goals, but if this leads to an endless slog of missed targets, it can be demoralizing for both business owners and the team. Worse, it can force employees to put in massive efforts, increasing their risk of burnout or churn.

So for every goal, we need to consider if it’s realistically achievable by using our best judgement. This is best done by comparing historic efforts. For example, if you made a heavy loss in the previous year, shooting for huge profits is probably unrealistic. However, if you’ve been building for a few years and reaping the rewards, continued stretch growth is a fantastic goal.

This step is essentially saying, “Is this goal truly valuable and can it be achieved under current circumstances?”

Let’s take our goal of increasing profits. If your company is currently going through a supply chain crisis, or is struggling to service customer support requests, is growing profits the best goal to be setting your business right now? Or should you be seeking to address other core aspects of the business first?

A few questions you could ask yourself include:

  • Does this goal align with our grander business goals and vision?
  • Is this the right time for this goal?
  • Am I the right person to lead this effort?
  • Are there economic factors which make this less desirable?

Time bound for Goals

A natural part of any goal-setting system is assigning a firm time cap. Goals without deadlines are just vague ideas of what your business can do; putting a hard time limit on your goals is a key driver and motivator to making it happen.

As we highlighted above, it can be useful to break longer-term goals into smaller chunks. For example if you have a 3-year plan, set up bi-annual or quarterly reviews of progress. Not only does this allow you to re-evaluate your goals (which is incredibly important) it can motivate the workforce by seeing their progress to date.

We all know what it’s like to have goals which aren’t time-bound—they just don’t work.

Goal setting for business development is unique to every company. Your current situation, your values and your ambitions will never fully align with what others have done. That’s why this post focuses very little on sharing specific goals from other companies: for education, it’s the process of creating highly effective goals that’s most important, not the goals themselves.

We have peppered small examples throughout to illustrate points, but the truly fun part of goal setting is examining your business and figuring out where you want to take it. Having this vision is fundamental to goal setting: without knowing where you want to go—even in general terms—how can you possibly set relevant and effective goals?

It’s important to review your goals periodically. Business development is an iterative process: your company’s identity, your personal vision and external factors always evolve over time.

So use this guide to get started on uncovering your key business development goals and objectives. And further down the line, use it again to check if your current path is still the right one for your business.

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Write a business development plan

Now that you’re in the growth stage of your business, set things in motion with a business development plan.

A business development plan sets goals for growth and explains how you will achieve them. It can have a short-term or long-term focus. Review and revise your plan as often as you can. And keep building on it as your business evolves.

How to write a business development plan

Your business development plan is your roadmap to growth, so make it clear, specific and realistic.

What to include in a business development plan

  • Opportunities for growth: Identify where growth will come from – whether it’s in creating new products, adding more services, breaking into new markets, or a combination of these.
  • Funding plan: Determine how you’ll fund your business growth. How much capital do you already have? How much more do you need and how will you get it? Check out our guide on financing your business.
  • Financial goals: Work out what revenue, costs and profits you’ll have if things stay the same. Use those numbers as a basis for setting new, more ambitious financial goals.
  • Operational needs: Identify what things about your business will need to change in order to achieve growth. Will you need extra people, more equipment, or new suppliers?
  • Sales and marketing activities: Figure out what sales and marketing efforts will effectively promote growth and how these efforts will change as the business gets bigger and better. Make sure your sales and marketing plan is sturdy enough to support your growing business.
  • Team needs: You may need people to take on some of the tasks you’ve been doing. Think about what parts of running the business you enjoy most – and you’re good at – and what parts you might want to delegate to others. And give some thought to the culture you want to develop in your business as it grows. Check out our guide on hiring employees.

A sample business development plan

Avoid these common business development mistakes.

  • Thinking short-term instead of long-term
  • Underestimating how much money it will take to grow
  • Not budgeting enough money to cover the costs of growth
  • Focusing on too many growth opportunities: think quality, not quantity

Micro-planning can keep you focused

You may want to create some micro-plans for specific growth projects so their details don’t get overlooked. And you can build in some KPIs to measure your progress and successes. As your business grows, take note of your progress and make periodic adjustments to your business development plan to make sure it’s still relevant.

Support is out there

Remember you’re not the first to go through this. Seek out mentors, advisors or other business owners who can help you with your planning. Your accountant or bookkeeper may also be able to help or point you in the direction of the right people.

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

Growing your business

Are you ready to drop the hammer and take your business to the next level? Let’s look at how to grow.

Before you leap into growth, reflect on where you’ve come from. Find out the stage of business growth you’re at.

Understanding your business performance will help you grow. Check out common examples of small business KPIs.

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The Ultimate Guide To Business Development Goals For Business Owners

Business Development

Featured Image: iStock/oatawa

According to Fundera , only a third of businesses survive for at least ten years. The thought of closing down their business is indeed a terrifying one for businessmen and entrepreneurs who work day and night to make their businesses strive in the cut-throat market. However, there are countless examples of business giants—such as Amazon — who had started from a room’s worth of an office and continued to build a multi-million dollar business in the years that followed their inception.

This is where the concept of business development comes in. With development and growth only can businesses thrive and prosper in their industry.

Moving Forward - JC Penney

While business development can mean a lot of things for a lot of people, here, we aim to describe what business development is for the masses and how businesses can achieve growth in their industry.

Goals In Business Development

Business coaching experts broadly classify business development goals into two types: financial business goals and non-financial business goals.

Financial business goals, as the name suggests, outline the business’s financial goals , its revenue expectation and profit goals. These are fairly easy to set as they are quantifiable in nature.

On the other hand, non-financial goals are not easily quantifiable and can range from increasing customer satisfaction to improving corporate culture, etc.

Related: 35 Most Important Business Stats For Startups Entering 2020!

Here, we explain a few major business development goals.

Financial Goals

As mentioned above, these are monetary goals that your business makes that are often associated with a non-monetary element for achieving this goal. For example, if you want to increase your revenue by 10% by the end of the fiscal year, the means through which you’ll be able to achieve them, such as quality service, customer satisfaction, different marketing strategy, are involved.

Productivity Goals

Performance and productivity are important matters in business development. In business development, various departments work together to achieve a common goal (more on that later). In order to increase the productivity of various departments, certain measures can be taken and a business marketing plan is needed to excel and follow productivity goals. For example, in order to increase the productivity of the SEO content marketing of the business, both the content and SEO teams can be situated in close proximity to each other in order to reduce communication barriers between them that may hinder productivity.

Sustainability Goals

Gen Z, people born between the years 1996 and 2010 have gained quite the headlines in recent years. This is due to their increasing number in general ( 65 million in just US ) and their massive spending power— approximately US $44 billion.

In order to target this growing generation, businesses have been studying their preferences and values in order to shape their poducts and services accordingly. In this regard, Gen Zers no longer base their opinions of a business on just the quality of their products, but also on their social impact, practices and ethics, according to a report on Gen Zers by Deloitte .

Therefore, in today’s business culture, it is crucial to keep in mind sustainability options and make goals to make your company improve its ethical practices.

Customer Service Goals

What is a business without the support of their customers? In order to survive in the market you need to have a loyal consumer following. To increase the quality of your consumer relationship and improve your reputation among your customers is yet another important business development goal that needs proper planning and execution.

These were a few of the many goals that businesses make in order to achieve growth and development in the market.

An Important Strategy For Achieving Goals For Businesses

A very popular and effective strategy for achieving business goals is to do it the SMART way. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely and is a means of quantifying a goal to make it more achievable.

Here is a breakdown of the SMART strategy.

In order to make a business goal achievable, you need to make it specific. You need to know exactly what it is that you’re aiming for. To increase your website traffic by 50% in a period of 5 months; to improve customer feedback in 3 months, etc. are all examples of a specific goal. When making a goal, put it as much detail as possible so that you and your team know what it is that you want to attain.

This factor puts a quantifiable metric to achieve in order to form a benchmark for the business. Adding numeral values to your targets make them clear and easy to understand by everyone in your team.

This business goal tactic states that goals need to be achievable, in the sense that you are not aiming for something too big that won’t probably happen. Setting small and achievable goals can be rewarding, in the sense that when you achieve them, you and your team get the confidence boost to keep moving further.

This is similar to achievable goals. As a business you need to set realistic goals that your team can achieve and that boost the interest and confidence of your employees.

Lastly, you need to put a time stamp on your goals. Without a deadline, it will be difficult to achieve goals for your business.

Business Development—A Synergy Of Various Departments

Whatever your business goal may be—to expand your business in a new market or region, to increase your sales, to improve your customer service , etc.—they only come to fruition because of the synergized efforts of all the departments working within your business, such as the departments of sales and marketing, product management, project management, vendor management, etc. It is only through the aligned efforts of these departments toward a common goal that businesses flourish.

We’re quoting another one of JC Penney’s quote here,

Business Growth - JC Penney

Let’s see how the various departments can help in achieving business development goals.

Sales Department : the job of the sales team is to focus on a particular set of people or target a particular market to achieve a target revenue. For example, if your sales team forecasts that expanding your business to a certain region can earn you a defined number of revenue in a defined period of time, they can form particular sales strategies based on the target market in order to achieve the set revenue.

Marketing Strategies: the marketing department goes hand in hand with the sales department as it helps in achieving the sales targets of the business. Marketing involves the advertisement and promotion of the products and services of the business in accordance with the marketing budget allocated by the business development team. For bigger budgets, personal visits, cold calling, sample distribution, road shows are included, while lower budgets involve advertising through online and social media.

Strategic Partnerships And Initiatives : in order to grow your business your business development team can weigh in the pros and cons of expanding to a region and assess whether it will be more beneficial to go solo or form partnerships with the local businesses . For example, if you are a corporate photographer in Dubai , you can partner with local businesses to trade services or collaborate on different projects.

Business Planning: When expanding to a new region, will it be beneficial for your business to import the products from your base region or establishing a facility in the target region? Such are the questions that the business planning team handles based on the time and cost allocated and creates plans in order to achieve the business goals.

Product Management: developing and launching your product or service in a new region requires careful considerations of the legal, cultural, regulatory and cost factors in the target region. There might be instances where you’ll have to alter or even change your product according to your target audience if you are to introduce your product in their region. Your in-house or outsourced product development team takes care of issues like these and creates a business strategy based on these considerations.

Vendor Management: Many businesses partner with external vendors, such as a courier service for shipping their products, as part of their business plan. Taking care of these vendors and realizing the costs associated with partnering with vendors are the jobs of the vendor management team and is an important aspect of business development strategy.

Networking And Negotiating: no business can survive without good networking. Networking and negotiations are the essence on which businesses thrive. Lobbying, networking, negotiating, etc. are the soft skills that are an important aspect in business development and are vital in gaining influence in a certain market or industry.

Cost Savings For Business Development: business development is not just about increasing sales; it is also about improving your bottom line. Cost savings is, therefore, an important element for every business which wants to survive in the market.

By assessing your internal operations you can identify the factors that need to be altered in order to cut down costs. For example, the cost of travelling can be cut down from opting to have video conference calls or switching to a cheaper means of travel.

Related: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Online Survey To Improve Their Business!

Business development is an important concept in the growth and sustenance of any business. While business development can have various meanings, this article explained what the concept really means as accepted by the masses, the types of goals businesses have, the strategy for attaining them and the role of various departments in achieving development.

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About The Author Kelvin Stiles

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.

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41 Business Goals Examples to Set in 2023 and Beyond

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  • Goal Management

What Are Business Goals?

4 goal frameworks with examples, manage business goals in weekdone.

Business Goals with Target and leaders

For more than 10 years Weekdone has provided tens of thousands of teams from startups to Fortune 500 with world leading goal-setting software called Weekdone . These are our lessons learned.

Organizations invest time and resources in determining where to target their collective efforts. Whether your business goals and objectives center on strategic planning, expansion, or sustainability, they are a pivotal point in the expansion of any organization. They assist in several ways, from enhancing customer service to boosting revenues. In the end, they contribute to establishing the company's main goal.

You may have come across many long-term and short-term goal-setting methodologies or frameworks in the business sector, such as Objectives and Key Results (OKR) , Balanced Scorecard (BSC), SMART goals, and so on. 

  • OKRs - Objectives and Key Results - as implemented in products like Weekdone are today's de-facto standard for goal-setting in teams and companies
  • SMART goals can help you handle the bumps on the road. 
  • Business model and vision statement provide a big picture view of your firm and what you want to achieve, 
  • Short-term and long-term business objectives describe the exact techniques you'll employ to get there.

It's time to advance with a proactive, strategic strategy that prioritizes pressing problems and helps us avoid making snap judgments in the future. Let's go through the ultimate strategies for setting great business goals for 2023 and beyond.

Business goals are the aims that a company expects to achieve within a specific time frame. You may define business goals for your entire organization as well as specific departments, staff, management, and/or clientele.

Goals often indicate the wider purpose of a firm and seek to set an ultimate goal for staff to strive toward. The time period you set your goal for will determine whether it's considered short-term or long term.

Short term goals are usually those which can be achieved in one or two working quarters (3-6 months) sometimes maybe a year, depending on how committed the organization is.

Further, when thinking of a long term goal - it's typically one set with a date to accomplish within one year or more.

📚 What's the difference between goals and objectives ?

A goal framework is a systematic way of defining goals. Although these frameworks vary in terms of precise rules and methods, they are all intended to simplify the goal management process to maximize the probability of achievement. This generally entails breaking down larger and more complicated goals into smaller steps and activities that should be completed within a specific period.

The 4 goal-setting frameworks listed below are among the most widely used and successful frameworks available today.

4 goal setting frameworks - OKR, MBO, SMART, and BHAG

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

OKR stands for " Objectives and Key Results ." This popular goal management framework focuses on development and progress by setting proper quarterly goals - leveraging the ability of your teams to achieve results. Weekdone is a tool to implement OKRs in your team.

Using OKRs is critical for attaining collaborative success and fulfilling the organization's bigger vision. This framework helps businesses to keep alignment and engagement on the quantifiable metrics that actually matter!

OKR methodology entails defining objectives, involving individuals in the goal-setting exercise, and fostering an open and transparent culture. Maintaining this culture requires persistent and regular OKR check-ins to keep you on track and ensure you never lose sight of your priorities. OKRs have been embraced by many big corporations and charitable groups, including Netflix and Code for America.

Learn more about the best practices for tracking OKRs , why it is important, and how to use OKRs effectively throughout the company.

Get 14-day trial of Weekdone . Invite your teams and set better business goals with OKRs. Try it now .

How to Write Good OKRs

Writing OKRs at the Company or Team level lets you clearly view your core challenges and improvement possibilities and separate them from day-to-day activities. Good objectives bring teams together, foster long-term growth habits, and propel you to success. If you start using Weekdone , you can take advantage of the OKR examples in the software .

To create OKRs, you must first understand how to do them correctly. OKRs are composed of one main goal at the top and 3-5 accompanying key results. They may be expressed in the form of a statement.

Questions to help guide you in writing good OKRs - Weekdone Blog

Crafting Company Objectives

To begin, you need to create a corporate objective. The corporate goal should be wide enough to allow all teams to develop the most successful team goals. On the other hand, it should be detailed, so everyone understands the company's direction.

Ultimately, the company objective helps to establish a quarterly focus for the entire organization. Team objectives are then developed based on this high-level focus.

Developing Team Objectives

Once the company's Objective(s) is established, individual teams should work together to discuss their relative objectives. These motivating goals should be consistent with the general direction of the firm. They should create focus, a sense of urgency, and a sense of collective purpose. Furthermore, they are intended to represent challenges to be solved or possibilities for progress to be pursued during the quarter.

Pro Tip: In Weekdone , we recommend linking your team objectives to the company objective - creating the company OKR. This goal alignment tactic ensures that everything is moving as one cohesive organism.

Creating Key Results for Your Objectives

Objectives on all levels are subdivided into quantifiable key results used to track your success and progress toward the "O". As a result, key results they must be time-bound, detailed, attainable, and quantifiable. While the goal is to fix or enhance the problem, crucial findings indicate whether the problem was successfully solved.

Keep in mind: Efficient Key results are lofty but attainable metrics -they are not KPIs or projects. KR's are always tied to both the quarter and the objectives.

OKR Examples

By identifying some OKR examples to model and practice with, it will be much simpler to adopt the framework in your business effectively. Here are some example Objectives and their Key Results for different business departments:

Sales & Marketing Departmental OKR Examples

Example okr #1:.

Objective: Improve our overall sales performance. Key Result 1: Maintain a sales pipeline of quality leads worth at least $400K each quarter. Key Result 2: Increase the closure rate from 20% to 23%. Key Result 3: Increase the number of planned calls per sales rep from three to six per week. Key Result 4: Increase the average contract size from $12,000 to $124,000.

Example OKR #2:

Objective: Build a netbook of business recurring revenue to stabilize the firm. Key Result 1: Achieve $300,000 in monthly recurring revenue ($MRR) before the end of Q1. Key Result 2: Increase the proportion of subscription services sold against one-time contracts to 60%. Key Result 3: Increase the average paid subscription value to at least $400. Key Result 4: Increase the percentage of yearly renewals to 70%.

Example OKR #3:

Objective: Bring in as many high-quality leads to assist the sales team. Key Result 1: Develop three new case studies aimed at new consumer categories. Key Result 2:  Update the normal sales deck and discussion track with new products/offers. Key Result 3:  Try to double the number of online form leads. Key Result 4:  Organize two sales training sessions.

Example OKR #4:

Objective: Improve the quality of our outbound sales strategy. Key Result 1: Ensure that at least 75% of prospective parties are contacted directly within three working days. Key Result 2:   Consult with productive team members to determine what works in the sales process and develop a sales cheat sheet. Key Result 3: Publish a best practices sales process document with the lowest permitted service levels

Example OKR #5:

Objective: Generate sales leads of greater quality. Key Result 1: Create a set of lead metrics and prepare queries for CRM collection. Key Result 2:   Ensure that at least 75% of leads performed mandatory questions/answers. Key Result 3: Streamline the gathering of data from our database to CRM. Key Result 4: Redesign the user interaction form by adding three additional mandatory structured questionnaires.

Example OKR #6:

Objective : Extend our reach and brand recognition beyond our present geographic boundaries. Key Result 1:  Improve signups from transformational change leadership articles by 3% Key Result 2:  Boost publication subscriptions by 300 Key Result 3: Enhance web traffic from additional target areas by 12%.

Example OKR #7

Objective : Improve our SEO. Key Result 1: Get 20 fresh backlinks from relevant sites each quarter if your domain score exceeds 50. Key Result 2: Optimize our on-page optimization and improve ten pages every quarter. Key Result 3:  Increase the speed of our website to improve our speed score. Key Result 4:   Write one new blog article weekly optimized for our list of targeted search terms.

Example OKR #8

Objective : Foster a sense of community among our clients. Key Result 1:  Develop a best-practices-based customer community approach. Key Result 2:  During the first half of the year, produce 20 articles showing client satisfaction. Key Result 3:  We get 25% of our clients to engage in the community using discount opportunities. Key Result 4:  Earn five favorable PR mentions for our consumers this quarter.

Example OKR #9

Objective : Increase brand exposure and reputation. Key Result 1:  Roll out a new weekly magazine with valuable material and thought leadership. Key Result 2: Deliver five new value-added posts with over 250 words of content every month. Key Result 3: This quarter, obtain two favorable media exposure PR spots in our community. Key Result 4: Amass 10 reviews with five stars on Google and Yelp this quarter.

Example OKR #10

Objective : Deliberately and consistently enhance the competencies of our staff. Key Result 1:   Every member of the team has a personal growth plan. Key Result 2:  All workers have received 360-degree feedback. Key Result 3: Every manager has a one-on-one at least every other week. Key Result 4: Create a strategy for effective intervention opportunities to address capacity shortfalls.

SMART Goals for Business

SMART goals for business

SMART business goals give you the blueprint to make your overarching business aspirations a reality.

James Cunningham, Arthur Miller, and George Doran initially presented this method for defining goals in 1981. Setting SMART goals allows you to articulate your thoughts, organize your efforts, use your time and resources better, and enhance the odds of reaching your goal. Questions to ask when setting SMART goals:

  • What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  • What are your numeric priorities or restrictions regarding effort, expense, and time?
  • How realistic is it? See committed or aspirational goals
  • Does the goal apply to you and your company?
  • What are your timeframes, deadlines, and quantifiable constraints?

SMART goals do not have a certain cadence or use case; they are suggestions and a descriptive set of criteria to use while considering what you want to accomplish. You may establish them for certain periods, departments, individuals, or tasks.

How to Write SMART Goals

Consider using the SMART steps to help you reach your goals:

  • Specify your goal.
  • Create a measurable goal.
  • Set attainable goals.
  • Ensure that it is relevant.
  • Develop a time-bound plan.

SMART goals can be implemented in any section of a business. If you're unsure whether it's worthwhile to plan it out for your organization, consider using free online goal-setting tools.

SMART Business Goals Examples

1. i want to boost my revenue.

  • Specific: I plan to boost revenue while decreasing spending. Shifting to a more affordable location, which would reduce my rent by 7%, will lower my operational expenditures.
  • Measurable: I plan to increase sales over the following five months by signing up three additional potential clients.
  • Attainable: I plan to strengthen my current client connections and develop the company through recommendations, networking, and social media. This will assist me in generating more leads, resulting in a rise in income for the company.
  • Relevant: Moving to a less expensive location will lower my company's operational costs, allowing for profit growth.
  • Time-bound: By the end of the next three months, I will have doubled my profit.

2. Set Up a Virtual Sales Communication Link

  • Specific: Our remote sales crew should have connectivity across the board and be fully functional.
  • Measurable: The mission is fully functional when running the routing protocol, and our remote employees can start working.
  • Achievable: This goal may be lofty, but we may bring it to the top of the list of priorities and briefly divert assets from longer-term initiatives to finish it.
  • Relevant: Even if there is no epidemic, remote work is an excellent option. Remote networking assists people in being productive and organizations in achieving goals in a post-COVID environment.
  • Time-bound: This objective has a time constraint of seven days.

3. I Want To Improve My Business Operations Efficiency

  • Specific: I'll strengthen the effectiveness of my daily operations by putting pressure on my sales team to raise their closing ratio from 30% to at least 40%.
  • Measurable: Salespeople are expected to enhance their closing ratio from 30% to 40%, and delivery time is expected to be reduced from 72 hours to 12 hours.
  • Attainable: I'll run a poll to determine what the notion means to both clients and the sales staff. I'll put it in place as soon as the concept is approved.
  • Relevant: expanding the number of motorcycles and pickup trucks that will provide delivery services for us will aid the strategy's success.
  • Time-bound: This should take place within a year.

4. I Want To Expand My Business Operations

  • Specific: During the next three years, open three additional branches around the country
  • Measurable: The goal is to boost the company's operations and revenue. This, in turn, will encourage the establishment of three additional branches.
  • Attainable: More manufacturing will increase my present selling space by 25%. This will allow me to save for the projected expansion to four branches around the country.
  • Relevant: Growing production, operations, and income will result in a larger customer base; therefore, opening new branches will not waste time.
  • Time-bound: The establishment of the branches should take place during the next three years.

5. My goal is to increase employee retention

  • Specific: In 90 days, I will reduce staff turnover by 25% by training new workers to let them understand what is expected of them and a strategy to assist them in becoming acquainted with the operational processes.
  • Measurable: the increase in staff turnover is expected to be roughly 25% and should occur within 90 days.
  • Attainable: training courses and one-on-one sessions will guarantee that personnel are ready for what is required of them when they start working in production.
  • Relevant: exceptional personnel will be considered for a reward scheme. There will be motivational training for individuals who are having difficulty.
  • Time-bound: Within 90 days, staff turnover will have improved.

OKR Goals vs. SMART Goals

OKRs and SMART goals may appear to be very comparable on the surface. However, they have entirely different use cases. OKR is regarded as a more advanced method for creating corporate-wide goals.

OKRs are intended to propel firms to growth and long-term progress. They operate best with a quarterly goal-setting cycle and regular weekly check-ins to keep track of progress and stay on target. SMART goals are one-time objectives created for smaller initiatives without a direct or established link to higher-level objectives.

Management by Objectives (MBO)

Document review in performance management MBO

Management by Objectives, abbreviated "MBO," is a management concept created by Peter Drucker in the late 1960s as he began to propose better methods for managing skilled workers over agricultural and industrial employees who came before them.

Staff objectives are set using the main business goals, with this framework. MBO enables everyone in the firm to evaluate what they have done concerning the company's key objectives and priorities while completing duties. This demonstrates how action and outcome are linked and how they may significantly boost productivity.

MBO Examples

MBO can be used and possibly benefit a variety of sectors. Here are some real-world applications for MBO:

Human Resources: MBO may improve employee happiness, hold workplace events, and increase staff participation.

Company Performance: Using MBO to boost gross margins, minimize carbon footprints, enhance sales, and so on.

Marketing: MBO may help you reach goals like boosting email subscriptions, expanding social media followers, and tripling online traffic.

Customer Service: Minimizing incident rates, boosting associate accessibility to assist in customer disagreements, and speeding up a dispute resolution.

Sales: Reduce the sales cycle from six to three months, boost average revenues to $10,000, and acquire 15 new clients over a certain period.

In reality, a clear objective setting in areas where the organization may now fall short may assist all facets of a company, from human resources to marketing to sales to information technology and everything in between.

OKR vs. MBO 

The most notable difference between these two frameworks is that OKR is about outcomes, rather than outputs. OKR has been known to foster more important cross-departmental and team discussions to get to the greater problem or big picture ideas. Management by Objectives has been linked to performance management and is driven by outputs - both of which are very different from the Objectives and Key Results goal management framework.

Read more on the difference between OKR and MBO . 

Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG)

Business goal type - Big Hairy Audacious Goul

BHAG stands for 'big, hairy, audacious goals' and refers to lofty ambitions that may appear impossible in the short term but give a crucial feeling of aspiration and emotional energy to propel the business to the top.

The concept, coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, often defines long-term strategies tied to your company's fundamental beliefs and ideals. BHAGs are long-term in nature, with a time frame of 10 to 25 years optimal. They should be based on the goal and guiding principles of your company.

Tips for Developing Your BHAG

Here are some helpful hints for developing a BHAG for your company:

  • Employees are inspired to strive for the final objective since it is so large and inspirational;
  • The BHAG may be broken down into sub-goals, which is a huge motivator;
  • Your objective is specific;
  • Don't forget to set a time limit.

BHAG Examples

  • Make your eatery the go-to choice for royalty and international leaders when they need catering.
  • Establish a nonprofit organization to find a treatment for a serious illness like Parkinson's or arthritis.
  • Make your business more than just a producer of mobility aids by creating the first all-terrain wheelchair that improves the lives of millions of people.
  • Surpass Starbucks and McDonald's in brand recognition. It can also work in other industries by modifying it to become as recognizable a name as McDonald's in your chosen field.
  • Make your art gallery the most well-known in the world. One in which all the greatest artists compete to have their work showcased.
  • Become a billion-dollar corporation in two decades. Some of the world's top corporations began on kitchen tables with a BHAG.

More Business Goals Examples

Without rhyme or reason, implementing a new framework or not - you can always begin with some statement areas for improvement. We’ve created a list of example goals you can work with immediately in your organization. These are great to get started in your free Weekdone trial .

1. Increase Market Share

This goal is customer driven. The idea is to sell more of your product to your target consumers, thus, increasing overall market share for your product for investors. For example, if you operate a B2B company, your goal should be to reach out to more company heads or HR departments. If you operate a small business that focuses on building computers, you’ll want more of the local population to come to you for your services.

2. Increase Community Outreach

Becoming part of the community is a fantastic way to connect from the B2C side. Whether you are a large company contributing to community efforts through sponsorship or a small company that volunteers to help for Little League Baseball, community outreach is an excellent goal for new and established organizations alike. Increasing community outreach is especially important if your company or organization doesn’t have a good reputation with a particular group (I.E.: environmentalists).

Likewise, community outreach is essential if you are providing human necessities. For example, if you run a small scale grocery store, community outreach is what’s gonna keep you above water when competing with larger corporations. 

3. Maintain Profits

Financial goals are one of the most useful top-level objectives you can have. By nature, they are both aspirational and measurable, which equally makes financial-driven objectives essential for getting the goal setting process started for young businesses.

Maintaining profits (as opposed to increasing revenue) calls for a balance between profitability and investments. Investments are necessary to test out changes in the market and expand the business, so by establishing a balanced goal, you can reason how much money can go into growth and new projects/tools/campaigns while still reaching a paired profit goal. 

4. Reduce Energy or Decrease Unnecessary Use of Resources

This is a double-sided issue. If you are providing a service or product that requires being PHYSICALLY, cutting back on using that energy to save money means you can put that money to things that are more useful and productive (such as expanding or improving the product). This can be as minimal as cutting down on electricity. 

If your product isn’t physical, this goal equally applies to cutting out company tools by trying to find software or systems that maximize your company’s alignment and productivity. Aiming for 1-2 communication tools, for example, cuts out company miscommunication by having conversations spread out over several apps, messaging programs, and document sharing platforms. 

5. Grow Shareholder Value

Increasing shareholder value is an extension of increasing profit for consumers. Increasing the overall value of your organization can refer to reputation, profit, or any other classification of “value.” The most important aspect of this goal is to specify what that value is and structure your Key Results, projects, KPIs, etc. around this. 

6. Increase Percentage of Sales Made with New Product Features

When developing new products or features, promoting them so sales can close more deals/sell more of the new product should be one of your main priorities for increasing profit. This justifies the expenses from investing in the new product or feature in the first place and aims to ensure that the investment was worth it and will turn a profit. 

7. Invest in Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) is all about continuing to reduce manufacturing error and streamlining a supply chain with physical products. It equally applies to both when dealing with improving customer experience and training staff. Improving quality across a wide variety of areas is a great company level goal that’s easy to align since each team or department can be held accountable for their own work. 

8. Focus on Leadership Skills for Team Members

Training employees is one thing, making them comfortable so they can speak for themselves and encouraging creative, out-of-the box behavior is another. If your company wants more input from lower levels, then this is important.

9. Maintain or Decrease Debt

Easily measurable, this category falls under finances as well. Maintaining a certain amount of financial debt is important… especially for businesses that are just getting started and may not have the profits to cover debt costs.

10. Balance Budget for X Period

Balancing a budget is a great top level goal for non-profits. Likewise, this goal is a great for teams who may get a set amount to invest in campaigns or projects quarterly or annually. 

11. Calculate and Create the Best Value of Product for Cost

This is on marketing and sales, so is a better team goal example than a company goal. The idea is to focus on selling customers that they are getting the best deal. Whether you’re selling something top of the line for high cost or a cheap, low-cost alternative that doesn’t have the polish of a different brand, you need to highlight to your customers why your product balances value and cost.

12. Make Product More Reliable/Create a Reliable Product

Making your product more reliable is a great way to gain customers while maintaining pre existing ones. This short term goal can be worked on quarter after quarter - split up the tasks by first reviewing existing value points, competitors and current positioning - then continue forward as you learn and explore more to prepare for development.

13. Cross-Sell to Long Term Customers

So, you have people buying a product of yours. A good goal for sales is to sell them on more products. This builds brand loyalty.

14. Best Customer Service

Dealing with the external face of your company, offering the best customer service means that consumers are happier with the overall experience of buying or using your product.

15. Team Building/Diversity Training Goals

A classic in HR teams, team building and diversity training focuses on employee satisfaction to prevent turnover and allow environments where everyone is comfortable enough to share their ideas.

It's now time to sign up for your free Weekdone trial and get going.

The first step is to set up a goal for your firm or team. Each goal you establish has an impact on the next. As a result, ensure that your business goals and objectives are adaptable. Whether you are a small firm or an expert in your profession, consistently analyzing your work, raising your work standards, and expanding your goal list is the way to progress.

Efficient goal alignment promotes a greater sense of participation and direction among employees in a firm. The OKR process is at the forefront of assisting companies in aligning their aims through important results and activities.

Weekdone is your leading OKR software for status reporting, aligning team OKRs with business goals, and visualizing weekly and quarterly achievements. The fundamental concepts of appropriate alignment, structure, and connectivity are important to us. From the ground up, we can make your organization feel more connected by achieving business goals together. Sign up now .

14 day free trial - invite your team and start setting better business goals!

The Ultimate Guide to Business Development and How It Can Help Your Company Grow

Discover the importance of business development and how the process can help your business grow better.



Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

business development

Updated: 08/19/22

Published: 08/17/21

Imagine working for a company without any employees dedicated to growing and developing the business.

Nobody to challenge you to improve or tell you about new business opportunities, changes in the market, what your competition is up to, or how you can attract your target audience more effectively.

This would make it pretty hard to succeed, don’t you think?

That’s why companies establish business development practices and hire employees to focus on these tasks (among others) to help them grow.

Business Development

Business Development Reps

BDR Responsibilities

Business Development Ideas

Business development process, business development plan.

Business development is the process of implementing strategies and opportunities across your organization to promote growth and boost revenue.

It involves pursuing opportunities to help your business grow, identifying new prospects, and converting more leads into customers. Business development is closely tied to sales — business development teams and representatives are almost always a part of the greater sales org.

Free Download: Sales Plan Template

Although business development is closely related to sales, it’s important to note what makes them different.

Business Development vs. Sales

As mentioned, business development lives on the greater sales team yet it serves a different function than typical sales work and responsibilities.

Business development is a process that helps your company establish and maintain relationships with prospects, learn about your buyer’s personas, increase brand awareness, and seek new opportunities to promote growth.

In contrast, sales teams sell your product or service to customers and work to convert leads into customers. Business development-related work simplifies the work of a salesperson or sales manager.

Let’s take a closer look at what business development representatives — the people responsible for carrying out the various business development tasks — do next.

Business Development Representative

Business development representatives (BDRs) seek out and establish new strategies, tactics, targets, employees, and prospects for your business. The goal of all BDRs is to find ways to grow and provide long-term value for the business.

Possessing the necessary business development skills and experience will help your BDRs achieve all of their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

Business Development Representative Responsibilities

Although some BDR responsibilities may change over time and as your business grows, the following list will provide you with a solid understanding of typical BDR tasks.

1. Qualify leads.

BDRs must qualify leads and pinpoint ideal prospects to determine who they'll sell to. Typically, leads are qualified through calls, emails, web forms, and social media.

The key to qualifying leads (leads who are assigned to the BDRs as well as leads BDRs identify themselves) is to consider their needs and then determine whether or not your product or software could be a solution for them.

2. Identify and communicate with prospects.

By qualifying leads and searching for people who fit your buyer personas, BDRs will identify ideal prospects. They can communicate with those prospects directly to learn more about their needs and pain points.

This way, BDRs can determine whether or not the prospect will really benefit from your product or service by becoming a customer. This is important because it increases the potential of improved customer loyalty and retention.

Once the BDRs have identified ideal prospects, those prospects can be passed along to a sales rep on the team (or sales manager, if necessary) who can nurture them into making a deal.

3. Proactively seek new business opportunities.

Proactively seeking new opportunities — whether that’s in terms of the product line, markets, prospects, or brand awareness — is an important part of your business’s success. BDRs work to find new business opportunities through networking, researching your competition, and talking to prospects and current customers.

If a new business opportunity is identified, BDRs should schedule marketing assessments and discovery meetings with the sales reps on the team so they can all assess whether or not there’s potential for a deal.

4. Stay up-to-date on competition and new market trends.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on your competition’s strategies, products, and target audience as well as any new market and industry trends.

This will allow you to more effectively identify ideal prospects. It also helps your business prepare for any shifts in the market that could lead to the need for a new approach to qualifying leads and attracting your target audience.

5. Report to salespeople and development managers.

As we reviewed, at most companies, BDRs report to sales reps and sales managers. BDRS must communicate with these higher-ups for multiple reasons such as discussing lead qualification strategies and how to get prospects in touch with sales reps to nurture them into customers.

BDRs also have to report their findings (such as business opportunities and market trends) to sales reps and managers. Relaying this information and collaborating with sales reps and managers to develop and/or update appropriate strategies for your business and audience is critical to your success as an organization.

6. Promote satisfaction and loyalty.

A BDR's interaction with a prospect might be the very first interaction that prospect ever has with your business. So, creating a great first impression right off the bat is crucial to promote interest early on.

Whether a BDR is working to qualify the lead, learn more about the prospect and their needs, or find the right sales rep to work on a deal with them, their interactions with all of your prospects matter.

Once a BDR researches the prospect or begins interacting with them, ensure they tailor all communication towards the prospect. Customizing all content sent their way shows them they’re being listened to and cared for. These actions are professional and leave a strong impression.

In addition to understanding how BDRs help you grow, business development ideas are another powerful way to engage prospects and identify new business opportunities. Let’s take a look.

  • Innovate the way you network.
  • Offer consultations.
  • Provide sales demos for prospects and leads.
  • Nurture prospects.
  • Provide prospects with several types of content.
  • Communicate with marketing.
  • Invest in your website.
  • Push your employees to expand and refine their skills.

Business development ideas are tactics you can implement to positively impact your company in a multitude of different ways. They can help you identify ideal prospects, network more effectively, improve brand awareness, and uncover new opportunities.

The following tactics are here to get you started — every business and team is different, meaning these ideas may or may not be suited for your specific situation. (So, feel free to modify the list!)

1. Innovate the way you network.

It’s no secret cold calls are less effective than they once were. Instead, innovate the way you network by establishing strong relationships with your prospects. You can do this by meeting with them in person at conferences, trade shows, or events related to your industry.

Browse your online networks including LinkedIn and other social sites for potential customers, too. Reach out to the people who sign up for your email subscription or complete other forms on your site.

2. Offer consultations.

Offer consultations and assessments for prospects. Talking about the ways your product or service applies to their needs will help prospects decide whether or not they’ll convert.

In contrast, consultations and assessments may also bring to light the ways a prospect is not an ideal fit for your product (which is equally as valuable since it prevents you from wasting any time nurturing them or having to deal with an unsatisfied customer down the road).

3. Provide sales demos for prospects and leads.

Provide your prospects and leads with sales demos so they can see how your product or service works in action. Ensure these demos are customized to show a prospect or lead how your product solves their challenge. You can share these demos in person, over email, on your website, or via video chat.

4. Nurture prospects.

Remember to nurture your prospects, whether it’s by phone call, email, meeting, or another mode of communication. The point of lead nurturing is to provide any information needed about your product or service so your prospects can decide whether or not they want to make a purchase.

By nurturing your leads , you’ll be able to tailor the content regarding your brand and product so your leads can better understand how your product will solve their specific pain points. You’ll also be able to show your support for the prospect and ensure they feel heard and understood by your company.

5. Provide prospects with several types of content.

Provide your prospects with different content types such as blogs, videos, and social media posts so they can learn more about your brand and product or service.

It’s best to meet your prospects where they are and provide the content they prefer to read or watch. Ensure all of this content is downloadable and/or shareable so prospects can send it to their team members to show them why your solution is their best option.

6. Communicate with marketing.

Although business development lives in the sales department, that doesn’t mean internal business development work only involves other members of the sales team. Host regular meetings and maintain open lines of communication with the departments at your company that impact your ability to succeed such as marketing and product development.

Think about it this way: Marketing creates content and campaigns for your target audience about how your product or service resolves their challenges. So, why wouldn’t you want to talk to them about the blogs, campaigns, social media posts, and website content they’re creating for the people you’re selling to?

Your reps and BDRs can share any content the marketing team creates directly with prospects to help them convert, as well as inform the marketing team of any content they feel is missing for prospects. If there are projects or campaigns out of your scope, you can opt to hire a marketing agency to help fill the void. But, like your marketing team, they'll need to understand your product and how to connect with your target audience.

7. Invest in your website.

You never get a second chance at a first impression, and in many cases, your website is exactly that — your prospects' first impression of your brand. So, it serves you to make it as accessible, navigable, visible, and helpful as possible.

Taking strides like making your site visually engaging, connecting your social media profiles, optimizing your site for search engines, linking to collateral like sales content , and maintaining an active blog can go a long way when conducting business development.

8. Push your employees to expand and refine their skills and knowledge.

Business development is never stagnant. Strategy, technology, and market conditions are all constantly evolving — so you're best off having your employees stay abreast of these trends.

Anyone involved in your business development should be liable to develop new skills as needed. If your organization adopts any sort of new technology, thoroughly train anyone the change touches on how to use it.

Encourage your employees to learn more about both the nuances of their field and the industries they serve. Is artificial intelligence starting to shift the dynamics of a specific industry? If so, make the BDRs who serve that market learn all they can about how it might change the nature of the companies they interact with.

A business development process is the combination of steps your business takes to grow effectively, boost revenue, improve relationships with leads, and more. These steps are what your business development team will work on every day. It includes everything related to delighting customers along each part of the buyer's journey.

By working through your business development process, your team will have a strong understanding of your organization-wide goals, sales targets, current business situation, who your target audience members are, and more.

How to Do Business Development

  • Conduct extensive market research.
  • Raise visibility and awareness.
  • Promote thought leadership.
  • Conduct outreach.
  • Qualify leads to pass off to sales.
  • Provide exemplary customer service.
  • Develop sales content from success stories.

1. Conduct extensive market research.

Successful business development rests, in large part, on you understanding your market and target personas. If you have no idea who you're trying to sell to and the state of the market they comprise, you can't successfully implement any other point on this list.

Study and survey your current customers to see who tends to buy from you. Look into your competition to get a feel for where you fit into your broader market. And take any other strides to get a better feel for the "who" behind your successful sales — without that intel, you'll never be able to shape the "how" side of your business development.

2. Raise visibility and awareness.

Business development, as a broader practice, extends beyond your sales org — your marketing department can also play a central role in the process. You can't source a base of potential customers if no one knows who you are.

Actions like constructing an effective website, investing in paid advertising, leveraging social profiles, participating in co-marketing partnerships with industry peers, and maintaining an active blog can all go a long way in supporting successful business development.

3. Promote thought leadership.

This point is sort of an extension of the one above. Establishing credibility is one of the more important steps you can take when doing business development. You can't just stop with prospects knowing who you are — they need to trust you if you're ever going to earn their business.

Publishing in-depth, industry-specific blog content is one way to get there — if you can show that you have a firm grasp on every aspect of your field, you can frame yourself as a reliable, knowledgeable resource for your customers. That kind of trust often translates to sales, down the line. Other media like webinars, white papers, and video content can also help your case.

4. Conduct outreach.

Actively reaching out to prospects is one of the most crucial, traditional elements of business development. You need to touch base with prospects if you're going to vet them and ultimately convert them to qualified leads.

This step is typically supported by extensive research on individual prospects, paired with contacting warm and cold leads proactively but not aggressively. BDRs typically shoulder this responsibility — and for many people, it's the aspect of the process most closely associated with the term "business development."

5. Qualify leads.

Once your BDRs have connected with leads, they need to qualify them to determine their viability and understand whether they're worth the sales org's time and effort. That generally entails having conversations with leads and asking the right qualifying questions to reveal their fit for your product or service.

This is one of the most pivotal moments in the business development process — in some respects, it could be considered its last step. Successfully executing this point typically means the process, as a whole, has worked.

6. Provide exemplary customer service.

Business development is an ongoing process that involves virtually every side of your business in some capacity — and customer service is no exception. Your service org needs to keep current customers happy to generate positive word of mouth and bolster your company's reputation. That kind of effort offers you credibility and can generate referrals, making business development more straightforward and effective.

7. Develop sales content from success stories.

Another part of business development is translating customer satisfaction into actionable, promotable sales content — pointed, product-specific content that's used to generate sales. While marketing content is used for thought leadership and garnering general interest, sales content is used to appeal to potential buyers, looking into your company specifically.

Sales content can come in a variety of forms, including case studies and testimonials — two mediums that lean heavily on your current customer base. When you use customers' experiences to generate interest in your business, your business development efforts essentially come full circle.

Visual of the 7 business development process/strategy stages

By compiling these elements of business development and sharing them among your team, you create an actionable business development strategy or plan that encourages and promotes success and growth. Let's review the different steps involved in creating your business development plan next.

A business development plan is a strategy your team can refer to while working to achieve growth-related goals. Sales managers typically create the business development plan for BDRs to work on.

The purpose of a business development plan (or strategy) is to set realistic goals and targets that allow your reps to grow the business, close more deals, identify prospects, align members of the sales team (and other teams, company-wide), and convert more leads.

1. Craft an elevator pitch.

You can simplify any initial communication with prospects by having an elevator pitch ready to go. This elevator pitch should explain your company’s mission and how your product or service can solve the needs of your target audience. Your elevator pitch should grab the attention of prospects and leads — and get them excited to learn more about what you offer.

Additionally, you can help your team determine which elevator pitches used by both BDRs and reps are most successful in converting leads and then document it in your greater strategy so everyone has access to it.

2. Set SMART goals.

Set SMART goals for your strategy — meaning, make sure your targets are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. By creating SMART goals for your business development plan, you’ll be able to ensure these goals are aligned with those of your entire company.

For example, if one of your goals is to increase your number of identified qualified leads this quarter by 5% , make the goal specific by determining the type of prospects you’ll focus on and how you’ll identify them.

Then, decide how you’ll measure your success — perhaps by measuring the number of these prospects who then go on to talk with a sales rep to learn more about the product or service.

You determine this goal is attainable due to the fact you increased your number of qualified leads last quarter by 3%. 5% isn’t too much of a leap.

Your goal is relevant because you know it’ll help your business grow — it pushes you to make a greater impact on your team by contributing to the sales team’s ability to close more deals and boost revenue. Lastly, it’s timely because you’ve set this goal for the quarter.

3. Conduct a SWOT analysis.

As mentioned above, part of any role in business development is to stay up-to-date on market and industry trends and understand your competition. This is where SWOT analysis comes in handy — SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats . The key to using SWOT analysis correctly is to have a clear goal in mind first.

For example, if your goal is to determine the best way to handle outreach with prospects , you can begin talking to your BDRs, sales reps, sales managers, and current customers about what works best for them.

Next, think about your strengths — what does your business do well? Maybe you have a large support team that provides helpful onboarding for new customers. Or you have several remote reps who can meet face-to-face with prospects in their desired location.

(You might have multiple strengths that make you stand out, so don’t be afraid to list them all and which ones have the greatest impact on your customers.)

Now, think about your weaknesses . Are your product’s limited offerings requiring some leads to consider your competition’s product in addition to yours? Is the need for your product growing faster than your production, or faster than you’re able to establish a large customer support team to assist your customers?

Onto your business opportunities . Think about where you’re going as a business and what you know you can accomplish. For example, maybe your business has recently partnered with another company that can help you boost brand awareness and attract a much broader base of leads and customers.

Lastly, who are your threats ? Think about your current competition — who’s producing a product or service like yours and is attracting a similar target audience? Who could become your competition in the future — is there a market gap that another company (new or established) could identify the need for and begin selling?

SWOT analysis allows you to identify the ways your company can create opportunities to grow and expand. It also helps how you establish new processes to address any weaknesses or threats such as identifying more qualified leads, efficiently converting prospects into customers, and shortening the sales cycle.

4. Determine how you’ll measure success.

Depending on the SMART goals you created and the SWOT analysis you performed, you’ll also need to decide how you’re going to measure your business development success.

Here are some examples of common business development KPIs that can help you analyze your efforts:

  • Company growth
  • Changes in revenue
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Leads generated per month/ quarter/ predetermined time
  • Prospect and customer satisfaction
  • Pipeline value

5. Set a budget.

Depending on the type of business development goals you set for the team, you may determine you need to set a budget. Consider your resources, the cost of any previous business development strategies you’ve developed, and other important operational line items (what you need, who’s involved, etc.).

Collaborate with the greater team to determine the amount you’re willing to, and need to, spend on business development to get the process started at your company.

6. Always keep your target audience in mind.

Whatever it is you’re working towards, keep your target audience and ideal prospects in mind. Assess their needs and understand exactly how your business and product or service will meet their pain points.

After all, this audience is the group who is most likely to buy your product. Make sure your plan addresses them and their needs so your team can convert more of them and grow your business.

7. Choose an outreach strategy.

As we’ve reviewed above, a major component of business development is finding new prospects and potential customers. To find new prospects, you’ll need to decide how you’ll perform outreach, or connect with these potential customers. Here are some ideas:

  • Use referrals
  • Upsell and cross-sell
  • Sponsorship and advertisement

Also, review any expectations or guardrails related to outreach reps are held to so your business has only professional and on-brand interactions with prospects.

Congrats! You’ve just completed your business development plan — with your strategy and ideas, your business will be growing in no time.

Business Development Resources

1. hubspot sales hub.

Business Development Resources Hubspot

Best for Businesses Interested in a Wide-Reaching, One-Stop Solution

HubSpot Sales Hub includes a suite of resources that enable more focused, effective business development. Features like email templates and email tracking lend themselves to well-targeted, productive prospecting.

Its conversational intelligence capabilities can provide invaluable insight into the "why" behind your BDRs' overall performance — letting you pinpoint the strengths and flaws in key business development elements like your messaging and pain point assessments.

Sales Hub is a dynamic solution that covers a lot of bases for your sales org — including several beyond business development. But that wide range of applications doesn't undermine its utility for BDRs and their managers. If you're looking for a solution that addresses almost every component of successful business development, consider investing in HubSpot Sales Hub.

2. Bloobirds


Best for Businesses Interested in Keeping BDRs and Top-of-Funnel Activities on Track

Bloobirds is a sales engagement and playbook platform that guides SDRs and closing reps to convert more prospects into customers. It partners with your existing CRM — sitting on top of it to make it more functional for the sales team.

It eliminates admin tasks, makes selling more intuitive, and makes sure reps follow best plays with the in-app playbook's help. Bloobirds helps sales teams flow through their pipeline — it also collects crucial data and creates competitive insights.

3. Leadfeeder

Business Development Resources leadfeeder

Best for Businesses Struggling to Generate High-Potential Leads

Leadfeeder is a powerful resource for enhancing a central element of any business development efforts — lead generation The platform helps you identify high-potential leads by automatically analyzing your website traffic.

The software removes ISP traffic to pin down visitors' companies and gauge interest. It also lets you create behavioral and demographic filters for better-informed, more productive lead segmentation.

Successful business development often leans, in large part, on your ability to generate high-quality leads — so if you're interested in effectively sourcing those contacts, you'll need to invest in some sort of lead generation software. Leadfeeder is as good a place as any to start.

4. LinkedIn

Business Development Resources LinkedIn

Best for Businesses Looking for a Free Way to Source Leads

LinkedIn is one of the most prominent, practical, effective resources for certain key elements of the business development process — namely, prospecting. The value behind leveraging social media for top-of-funnel sales activities isn't exactly some well-kept secret.

Plenty of business development professionals already use channels like LinkedIn to source, screen, and connect with potential leads. Strides like scrolling through skill endorsements, using alumni searches, and engaging with users who have looked at your posts are all excellent ways to find interested prospects and enhance your business development efforts.

Business Development Helps You Grow Better

Business development is a crucial part of any successful company. It’s how you determine the best ways to boost revenue, identify your ideal prospects, generate more leads, and close more deals.

Think about how you can make a strong business development plan and ensure you have the right group of business development reps so you can begin growing your business today.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Write a Business Plan

Five examples of business goals and how to set them

John Boitnott

What are five examples of business goals

Financial goals, growth goals, customer goals, employee development goals, social goals.

Moving forward in business is like planning a great trip: You know where you want to end up, but the road there isn’t always straightforward.

Smart business goals help you navigate the twists and turns along the way. While a business plan and vision statement offer a “big picture” perspective about your company and what you want to accomplish, short-term and long-term goals define the specific strategies you’ll use to get there.

However, not all business goals are created equal. In order to be effective, goals must involve specific, actionable items with a clear time frame and responsible parties.

Build business forms for free with Jotform .

Here are five examples of smart goals for small business owners and how you can set them.

Financial goals help you focus on driving more revenue, cutting costs to raise profitability and sustain cash flow, and setting new financial targets for future growth.

To create and accomplish financial goals, you have to collaborate with different departments. Each department can help to identify strategies that trim costs, such as supplies or facility expenses. Your team’s expertise may also extend to implementing ideas that accomplish revenue and profitability goals.

When developing financial goals, project the total increase in profits over a long period like a year. Then break that amount down into quarterly financial targets. Make financial goals as specific as possible — for example, “increase production by x percent over three months.”

To develop growth goals, you need a clear vision statement that you can segment into achievable steps. Whether it’s reaching new markets, launching new products, increasing your customer base, or raising brand recognition, it’s important to establish a realistic number of goals, actionable tasks, and a team to complete those growth goals.

Start with a market analysis to ensure the approach makes sense. As you implement growth goals, you may need to change their priority or adapt them so you aren’t counteracting other business goals.

For example, growing a customer base may involve promotions that don’t necessarily improve your bottom line at the start. So you’ll need to make assessments along the way to gauge if and when you’ll achieve the financial goal connected to this growth goal.

Improving relationships with your target audience doesn’t just solve problems for individual customers. Enhanced customer service also helps your company develop respect among all stakeholders, which promotes additional business growth.

To set goals for customers, identify roadblocks that inhibit exceptional customer experiences. Roadblocks might include a complicated phone menu, significant response lag, or slow checkout time.

With these roadblocks in mind, develop customer goals to solve them, such as

  • Simplify call-in customer support options
  • Add other customer support channels like an online help desk or a chat option
  • Streamline the online/in-store checkout process with new technology

Motivated, engaged employees offer many benefits for a company, such as increased productivity, deeper loyalty, and more creativity. This talent is an essential ingredient in a company’s recipe for success. That’s why it’s critical to design and execute goals that help employees develop skills and knowledge as well as challenge them enough to stay interested in their work.

To set employee development goals, collect regular feedback from team members about the types of incentives they want. Include these goals in performance reviews by aligning development actions like training and ongoing learning opportunities with business objectives like increasing engagement or converting new customers.

As your business grows, you’ll establish a place in the community you serve. To nurture this position, develop philanthropy and social programs that benefit local and global communities.

Not only does this feel good, but it also boosts your reputation as a socially conscious company. In addition, these social goals prove to the team that the company isn’t just about making money. Instead, it seeks to do good for everyone.

Your social goals don’t have to be financial. In-kind donations of products, services, or your thought leadership often make more of a positive impression than charitable donations. For example, if your small business isn’t yet in the position to donate a certain percentage of the profits from each sale, you can focus on having the team volunteer for a community project or donate products to those in need.

Specific and visible business goals

Studies show people are more likely to accomplish goals that are specific, challenging, and written down.

When creating the types of business goals detailed above, focus on adding a quantitative measure, where relevant, in terms of percentage of improvement or resource savings, growth or productivity improvements, or a deadline to achieve the goal. Also, keeping goals visible helps employees stay focused on business success. They have a way to benchmark their progress. And seeing what’s been achieved can be a prime motivator to continue working toward achieving your goals and tackling new ones in the future.

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The BD School

What’s the goal of business development?

by Lucia Piseddu | Aug 2, 2022

The goal of business development is to find growth opportunities and generate long-term value for your organization. Learn more below.

Business development is a crucial activity for any company that’s willing to grow and establish itself. It’s the engine that allows you to innovate and create sustainable growth.

But, there’s still a   lot of confusion   about it.

To help you have a more complete understanding of business development, let’s answer a burning question:

What’s the goal of business development?

The easy answer would be “ to find clients   obviously “. But that would be only a tiny part of the story and would not cover the full spectrum of   what is really business development .

Business development is not all about finding clients. But, it’s about developing and implementing growth opportunities in a sustainable and profitable way.

To achieve that, you need a multitude of processes and tasks that in the long term, will generate value for your organization.

the business development school - what is business development

Simply looking at the   definition of business development   though is not enough to be able to prioritize your work. In fact, “ tasks and processes ” can still be very confusing if we don’t add something to them.

The missing ingredient is precisely understanding the purpose of business development.

If you don’t have a clear idea of why you need business development, you’ll not be able to design consistent processes to achieve your goals.

The goal of business development

To become an efficient   business development professional   you need to understand the reasons why you do business development.

Identifying your mission will provide you with the right context and tools to identify opportunities and prioritize your work.

As a business developer, you are responsible to find new growth opportunities and this needs to happen under 2 conditions:

  • They need to generate value for your stakeholders
  • These opportunities need to have a long-term effect

If you take these elements into account you have your business development mission:

The goal of business development is to create long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships. The BD School

The concept of value in business development

Now you know that your goal is to generate value. But…how do you define value?

That’s a fair question and not an easy one to answer because the value is a subjective concept. Moreover, it highly depends on the stage you’re currently at with your company.

The best way to look at it is by identifying what are the initiatives that would be most valuable in the present moment, but that at the same time, have some effect in the future.

For example, let’s say you work for a startup and you’re creating your product or service. You can’t really focus on generating revenue, because you simply don’t have an offer that’s ready to sell.

So what should you do as a business developer?

One of the most valuable things you can get at this stage is feedback on your offer. Therefore, your job could involve interviewing potential customers, partners, and other relevant stakeholders.

The information you will gather has both an immediate effect and a long-term effect.

On the spot, you’ll validate your assumptions and make sure you work in the right direction.

In the long term, you’ll build a strong network and a   solid value proposition   that will generate revenue once your offer is ready to go to market.

development business goals

Other examples of value could be: generating awareness about your company; directly   outreaching ideal customers ; building   win-win partnerships ; organizing events; etc.

The common denominator is always the same:

You need to reflect on what’s the most valuable asset for your company at the moment and then think of initiatives that can generate that value.

If you are a manager and want to help your team be more creative with their business development role, check our training options.

We design entirely customized training to help your team understand your ecosystem and get more results with their BD activities. 

Understand your ecosystem

Now that you’re more aware of what is “value” in business development, you need to think in terms of the ecosystem. As a business developer, you operate in a complex environment.

There isn’t only your company, but an entire system of organizations and stakeholders that could help you or prevent you from achieving your goals.

Generally speaking, when you look at your ecosystem you need to take 3 main things into account:

  • Relationships

Customers are the stakeholders that directly benefit from your offer. You must   know everything about your customers .

Only in this way, you’ll be able to build products and services that solve their problems and that they will buy.

Markets are the actual places where commercial activities happen. They include customers, competitors, institutions, and other infrastructure.

Depending on your geographical area and industry you’ll have different market outlooks.

You need to   learn about your market   and constantly be updated with the latest trends in order to spot growth opportunities.

Last, relationships include all the relevant stakeholders that can help you achieve your goals. Potential partners, media, or institutions are relationships that you could leverage to your advantage.

Your first priority as a business development professional should always be to deeply understand your ecosystem by running market research,   competitor analysis , and customer research.

Once you know what your ecosystem looks like, you can leverage it and start building growth opportunities.

Our 5-week live training focuses exactly on this: helping you map your ecosystem to find new opportunities.

Check it out at this link to find out how the business development course can help you.

Leverage your ecosystem

The best way to become a valuable asset for your organization is by being able to leverage your ecosystem.

In simple terms, it means using your knowledge of your ecosystem to maximize your results.

This usually is the challenging part of being a business developer, because it requires time, patience, and experience.

First of all, you need to be constantly updated with the latest trends in your ecosystem.

Second, you need business acumen to be able to spot opportunities.

Third, you need to   be a trusted member   of your ecosystem. The other members of your ecosystem need to see you as a trustworthy and serious player in order to do business with you.

Last, you can’t only take advantage of your ecosystem, but need to think about win-win solutions that actually add value also to the other members of your ecosystem.

Only in this way, you’ll be able to leverage your relations and build transformative opportunities.

All this seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are a lot of actions you can take to make sure you’re involved with your ecosystem and ready to act whenever the opportunity comes.

These are some ideas to help you stay in the know with your ecosystem:

  • Join industry communities
  • Connect with your peers
  • Signup for industry newsletters
  • Attend meetups
  • Share your industry knowledge online
  • Connect with potential partners
  • Follow your competitors
  • Read the news

The goal of business development is to generate long-term value for your organization by leveraging your ecosystem.

In order to do that, you first need to develop a deep knowledge of your market, customer, competitors, and other relevant stakeholders.

Become obsessed with generating value for your ecosystem, rather than just taking advantage of it. This will set you apart as a true business development professional and people will like to work with you.

If you’re ready to upskill yourself and be able to leverage your ecosystem, join our   business development certification program .

development business goals

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What Are Professional Development Goals? 10 Examples + How to Set Them

Professional development goals can help you achieve your short- and long-term objectives in your career.

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Professional development goals are objectives you can set for yourself to help further your career. These might include taking steps to learn relevant skills, expand your professional network, or find more satisfaction at work.

Why set professional development goals?

Setting professional development goals can have many benefits. They can help you stay up-to-date on industry trends, increase engagement and job satisfaction, and align you with what you want out of your career and life.

Setting goals that are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound —can clarify what you need to achieve in the short-term to arrive at your long-term goals. Read more about setting SMART goals below.

10 examples of professional development goals

Here are ten examples of professional development goals to inspire your own:

1. Develop a new skill set.

Growing professionally often means expanding the arsenal of things you’re able to do. What skill you choose to develop can depend on your industry, job, and personal preferences. In-demand skills across the job sector in 2022 included cloud computing, data analysis skills like artificial intelligence and SQL, management, and UX design [ 1 ].

Don’t know where to start? Approach your manager and see if they have suggestions. You can also browse job descriptions of positions you’d be interested in pursuing; the common skills listed will help you get a sense of what’s in-demand in your field. Do some research to get a sense of what you want to learn and what will be useful to your work.

Develop skills by taking online or in-person courses, shadowing a coworker, or going back to school, among other ways. Think about what fits your schedule and the level of expertise you’re aiming for to see what works best for you.

2. Develop your workplace skills.

Workplace skills are the tools and practices that help people in a workplace connect and interact smoothly with one another. Sometimes referred to as human or soft skills, workplace skills can be crucial for advancing to higher-level positions. Workplace skills include verbal and nonverbal communication, empathy, self-awareness, and leadership.

Specific goals might include:

Complete an online course on communication, negotiation, or psychology

Join a social public speaking club, such as a local Toastmasters chapter

Read more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

3. Take up leadership responsibilities.

Actively seeking out leadership opportunities will allow you to develop leadership skills , and show others that you are striving to grow. Approach your manager to see how you might be able to put your leadership skills into practice. Have a few suggestions at the ready. Here are some examples to get your started:

Lead two team meetings this quarter

Plan and lead a team initiative to collectively learn a new tool or skill

Plan the next team offsite or activity

4. Expand your professional network.

Expanding your professional network can expose you to new ideas, build your profile, keep you informed of new job opportunities, and help you learn continuously. 

Sign up for events to attend in your field, join professional groups in person or through social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, or find opportunities to volunteer your skills through volunteer databases like VolunteerMatch . 

Some concrete goals you can set include:

Attend five in-person or virtual professional events

Find and join three professional groups on LinkedIn

Read more: 9 Networking Tips to Expand and Strengthen Your Network

5. Level-up your credentials.

Beefing up your credentials can open up new career opportunities or clear a path to a promotion. Credentials can include certifications, professional certificates , and degrees. See what makes the most sense for both your short- and long-term career goals . Once you get your credential, don’t forget to inform your manager and list it in relevant places like your resume and LinkedIn profile .

Relevant goals might look like the following:

Earn a certification in your field in the next quarter or year

Complete a professional certificate

Find five degree programs to begin applying to

Read more: Upskilling: What It Means and How It Can Help Your Career

For a limited time, your first month of Coursera Plus for only $1. With Coursera Plus, you have the ultimate flexibility to start new courses and move between programs at no additional cost.

6. Consume media in your field.

Learning more about your field through various media—like books, podcasts, and news publications, to name a few—can enrich your understanding of the context around your work and inform you of ways to improve. Plus, as passive ways of absorbing information, you’ll be able to learn as you, say, go on a walk or wait for the bus.

Ask coworkers or professionals in your network about recommendations. Otherwise, a quick online search should yield plenty of ideas, whether you’re looking for marketing podcasts , books on project management , or something else.

Here are some concrete goals you might aspire to:

Read two books in your field in a quarter

Listen to one podcast on a relevant topic a week

Find 10 experts in your field on Twitter to follow

7. Find other ways to deepen job satisfaction.

Being satisfied as a professional doesn’t necessarily mean striving for constant achievement and earning promotions. Job satisfaction is tied to many factors besides enjoying the work itself—including forming fulfilling relationships with coworkers, achieving work-life balance , and keeping your mental and physical health in check. Plus, there’s evidence that links job satisfaction to higher productivity and less turnover in workplaces—being a happy worker is likely going to benefit your company too [ 2 ].

Here are some goals you might set to improve your workday:

Schedule lunch or coffee chats with coworkers 

Join or start a workplace interest group

Create a plan to prepare healthy meals for lunch

Set reminders to take intermittent breaks throughout the day

Clarify boundaries on work expectations outside of working hours

8. Take a relevant course.

Courses can help you develop skills, learn about issues relevant to your work, and flex new parts of your brain. Courses can be directly related to your work responsibilities, but this might be an opportunity to challenge yourself to develop in new ways. Data analysis , project management , or UX design courses may give you the skills you need—but consider other fields like creative writing, public speaking, or foreign languages that can deepen your work in more unexpected ways.

Specific goals for coursework might look like the following:

Complete a course on XYZ topic in a quarter 

Map out a plan for coursework you’ll take throughout the year

Did you know?

You can start enrolling in hundreds of free courses after you sign up for Coursera. Join our global community and start learning today .

9. Shadow another department.

Shadowing another department can have myriad positives: it can encourage communication and cooperation across siloed teams, inspire ways to improve your own team, and leave you with a better understanding of how your organization works. 

You can set goals such as:

Ask three people from different departments to lunch

Create a program in your workplace to encourage cross-team shadowing

10. Find a mentor.

A mentor can help you navigate challenges in the workplace and help you progress in your career. 

Finding a mentor might sound like a daunting task, but be assured that many have done it before. Some workplaces have mentoring programs in place that make it easy for people to connect with a more experienced professional. You might also find that your professional network will come in handy here. You can start by finding people who have had careers you find close to your aspirations in professional groups or alumni communities. Or if it makes sense, reach out to somebody in your workplace that you think you’ll be able to learn from.

Goals that will help you land a mentor include:

Create a pitch that you can use to contact potential mentors

Arrange a meeting with potential mentors to see if they’re a fit

Map out your short- or long-term goals (or both) of having a mentor

How to set professional development goals

1. know what you’re working towards..

Start by taking some time to consider what you want out of your career, now or in the future. Goal-setting is a useful exercise because it can clarify what you really want out of your career, and identify tangible steps to achieve it.

Don’t know what you want to do in five or 10 years yet? Start smaller, and identify your interests. If you’ve always admired your manager who can speak eloquently in front of others, consider a public speaking course. If you find yourself fascinated by your coworker’s ability to analyze data sets, try learning Python or another programming language.

2. Set SMART goals.

SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Here’s what each of those components mean:

Specific: Goals should be well-defined and unambiguous so that you know exactly what you’re aspiring to.

Measurable: Goals should have a clear way of identifying whether you’ve achieved them, or if not, how close you came to them. For example, saying Finish three modules of my online course is more measurable than a goal like Work on my online course.

Achievable: Setting a goal that you can realistically achieve is key to actually achieving them. Plus, thinking in the back of your mind that a goal is impossible may be demotivating. Keep yourself motivated by setting reasonable goals.

Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to you—that is, they should align with your long-term aspirations and values. Think of this as the “why” of your goal.

Time-bound: Set a deadline for your goals so you can stay on track and motivated. 

Getting started on professional development goals

Professional development goals can help identify what you want your career to look like in the short- and long-term, and what steps you need to take to get where you want to be. Ready to get started? Learn from world-class institutions with over 8,000 courses, certificates, and degrees on Coursera .

Article sources

1. Coursera. " Global Skills Report ," Accessed May 18, 2023.

2. Harvard Business Review. " Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive ," Accessed May 18, 2023.

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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What are Development Goals for Work?

Development goals, also known as learning or growth goals, are specific objectives designed to foster personal and professional development. They serve as a roadmap for individuals and organizations to enhance their skills, knowledge, and capabilities, ultimately leading to improved job performance, career advancement, and overall success. Development goals are pivotal in aligning an individual’s aspirations with the strategic objectives of an organization, ensuring a win-win scenario for both parties and providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment in one’s career.

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Top 10 personal business goals examples for 2023.

Top 10 Personal Business Goals You Can Set and Achieve

Do you have a professional development goal? Change can sometimes feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. A lot of successful people set milestones that are specific and measurable to help make a realistic goal become a success. 

Everyone works differently and has other things going on in their lives, so some strategies will work better than others. The main thing is to make sure your goals are achievable while you maintain a healthy work-life balance. If they’re not, you are just setting yourself up for failure. 

One way to improve productivity while reducing stress and finding more time to do the things you love, like spending time with family, is automating processes, like incorporating accounting, planning, and tracking software into your business processes. Doing this will reduce the time and mental space spent on these tasks, allowing you the freedom to work on the creative side of your business or take a day off every once in a while. A good balance between your personal and professional life can make all the difference in your mental health and achieving your professional development goals.

FreshBooks offers a variety of helpful tools that will help you with everything in your professional life, from bookkeeping to client management .  

Click here to learn more about how FreshBooks can improve your overall quality of life and give you more free time to spend away from the computer. 

There are also individual business goals that you can set and achieve that will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed in life. Let’s take a look at the top 10 personal business goals that will help you reach professional success. 

Key Takeaways 

  • A healthy work-life balance can help you avoid burnout
  • Setting professional development goals and learning new professional skills can help you with your career advancement
  • Stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you achieve great results in your professional life
  • Being creative and becoming a thought leader can position you at the top of your field
  • Keeping the body and mind healthy is the key to stress reduction
  • Earning a promotion can be as simple as improving your focus through targeted goal setting
  • Knowing your limits while embracing discomfort can help you expand your reach without overextending yourself
  • Setting SMART goals is the most effective way to achieve big dreams 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Are Professional Development Goals?

The top 10 personal business goals, what are personal development goals for work, how can you achieve your career goals, why set goals for work.

Frequently Asked Questions

A professional development goal is any objective you want to set for yourself that will help you enhance your career. Examples of professional goals include learning new relevant skills, finding more satisfaction in the workplace, expanding your network, leveling up your credentials, or taking up leadership opportunities when presented. 

Some examples of personal goals you may wish to achieve include incorporating self-care into your routine, improving public speaking skills, limiting social media usage, and working to change procrastination habits. 

Both personal and professional development goals can help you get ahead, keeping you productive and up-to-date on new trends, improving networks, and ensuring you build a life that is right for you, so you feel satisfied in your career and life. 

The easiest way to set achievable goals, both in your personal and professional life, is by utilizing the SMART method. This means that the goals you choose should be:

  • S PECIFIC, with every step laid out including what needs to be accomplished, and the steps that need to be taken
  • M EASURABLE, by setting trackable benchmarks, like specific dates you will practice a new skill, the number of hours a week you allow yourself to spend online, a specific financial saving goal, etc. 
  • A CHIEVABLE, starting small and realistically. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose something you can definitely accomplish with a little work. 
  • R ELEVANT and pertinent to the overall vision. Knowing the “why” behind the goal will keep you motivated, and your goal will keep you moving toward the life you envision for yourself
  • T IME-BOUND, as a time parameter, will keep you on track and give you a deadline to hit

When you use the SMART method, achieving personal development goals is much easier. This framework is designed to make goal achievement realistic in both your personal life and your professional career. 

You can throw your own personal spin on goal setting and alter them so they work with your needs. There isn’t a perfect recipe for figuring out which goals to set. You just need to make sure you have achievable goals, and they’re attainable and measurable.

This way, you have the best possible chance of success regardless of your ultimate goal or professional development goal. Here are the top 10 personal business goals you can set and achieve.

Power Up Your Team

1. Improve your Online Image

There can be a thousand moving parts to staying relevant online in today’s digital world. But there are certain things you can do to help improve your online image. One of the first things you should do, if you haven’t already, is make sure you own your domain name. 

It could be your personal or company name, but try to ensure it’s relevant to your business. You can also think about investing in high-quality headshots from a professional photographer. This will help make your social media profiles and website stand out. 

They will also give you something professional to send to organizers if you’re speaking at an event or making another public appearance. As well, spend some time putting together a portfolio of your best work.

You can share it online or post samples to your LinkedIn page. For example, tons of free writing portfolio websites are available that can make it simple and easy to drag and drop documents. 

2. Become a Thought Leader

It’s never too early to start to position yourself as a thought leader or authority in your industry. Reach out and contact appropriate business people to try and moderate or speak on a panel. You can also enquire about appearing on a podcast or a guest blog post. 

Identifying every opportunity you can to share your knowledge and business expertise can have a positive impact in the long run. You can build your credibility and audience and grow into a thought-provoking leader. 

3. Find a New Business Idea

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your business and ways that you can grow or expand? Some of those ideas might seem far-fetched or out of reach. But why do they have to be? What personal and business goals would you hope to achieve by starting your company? 

Develop a new idea, implement it, and establish yourself as a leader in your field. And you don’t just have to limit yourself to things like industry blogs or social media. You can get inspired by other people’s work and put your own spin on it.

4. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable 

It might seem like a bit of a cliche, but getting outside your comfort zone can have many positive benefits. It might seem scary, but doing something drastic like speaking in public or attending networking events can be a good start. You can improve your communication skills and take actionable steps toward personal growth. 

Sometimes getting outside your comfort zone is simply about finding ways to become better, even in the smallest of ways. It also allows you to realize that there are things about yourself you might have underestimated before and helps build emotional intelligence and self-awareness. 

5. Learn a New Skill

Nobody knows everything. There are always opportunities to learn and improve, and learning a new skill is one way to do that. You can meet new people, and there are many free courses and resources online. 

Education doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Discuss some options with your employer or workplace and see if they offer training. Some of the most desired skills in today’s economy include:

  • Excel skills 
  • Web development 
  • Copywriting 
  • Public speaking 
  • Google Analytics 
  • Digital Marketing 
  • Time management  
  • Project management

Meeting project management goals, collaborating with your team, and tracking time and expenses is so much simpler using FreshBooks project management software. Click here for a free trial, so you can free up mental space and improve your overall productivity.

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6. Monitor and Evaluate Your Health

Keeping your mind and body healthy is integral to staying productive, energetic, and engaged in your work. Go to the dentist, schedule a checkup with your doctor, and take plenty of time for self-care. Get creative with your health goals while recognizing areas where you can take a break, reset, and return with more focus and drive. Sleeping well, eating healthy food, and getting exercise will keep your body fit and help you avoid missing work due to stress and preventable physical health issues. 

7. Start a Side Hustle

Sometimes, long-term goals don’t necessarily improve your company or allow you to increase your skills. Perhaps you want to start a business, work for yourself, or transition into a different industry or business sector. 

A side hustle can help get you there. It can also provide some increased financials that might make it easier to pay off debts or bills if you have any. 

8. Earn a Promotion 

Earning a promotion takes planning, so it’s definitely a long-term goal instead of a short-term one. You can get started now to prepare yourself for any upcoming performance review. Make it a personal work goal to try and exceed any of your previous performance metrics . 

This improvement will demonstrate you have value to the company and you have substantial leadership capability . These are important skills and personality traits businesses want to keep on their team.

Try thinking of some new tasks or projects you could undertake. You could learn new skills or develop relationships outside of business. Whatever it is, it shows initiative and that you are an integral part of the business operations. 

9. Improve Your Focus 

Learning to tune out distractions and avoid downtime can help increase your productivity . Try and turn off your phone or leave it in another room while working. This will leave you less tempted to check notifications and surf through social media. 

It’s difficult to focus when you’re burned out, so try and keep a healthy work and life balance. This will help ensure you’re energized and motivated when you return to work. You can also try and block off certain periods to grab a snack or take a walk to return to your work focused.

10. Boost Your Confidence 

Everyone has moments of doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Try and make some personal goals to improve or boost your confidence. You can ask more questions in meetings or learn to trust your gut and intuition. 

Accepting that you are going to make mistakes is a great place to start. No one is perfect, and making mistakes allows you to learn. You can understand what happened and ensure you make proper adjustments, so it doesn’t happen again in the future. 

Having regular meetings with a project manager or coworker to discuss challenges at work can also make things easier. When details are discussed in the open, it makes them more actionable and real. 

Take a look at some of these personal development goals that can make you even more focused and productive at work.

  • Include time for personal interests and hobbies 
  • Embrace saying “no” to certain things
  • Keep a journal of daily occurrences 
  • Volunteer to take a break from the grind of daily business activities  
  • Become a mentor to share your expertise with the next generation 
  • Improving communication skills
  • Better time management skills

The Tools Make The Team

Taking the first step to achieve your goals is writing them down. But do you have a plan or strategy to reach your goals? How are you going to get to where you want to go?

Here are five tips to help you achieve your career goals. 

1. Embrace the journey 

It can sometimes take a long time to achieve your career goals, they don’t often happen overnight. It’s important to embrace the experiences along the way instead of being narrowly focused on a singular path. Things can happen differently or unexpectedly, and that’s okay. 

2. Know what you’re willing to sacrifice 

What are you willing to give up or sacrifice to achieve your career goals? For example, if being close to friends and family is important to you, moving far away for a dream job might not work out. Or, if you love to travel, committing to a job that keeps you behind a desk might be a recipe for disaster. You want your career path to be fulfilling, not draining. 

3. Take your struggles in stride

There are going to be rough patches and moments of stress. You can work with a mentor or someone who can help provide advice and solutions to help you get through any struggles. 

4. Give back when you can

Paying it forward is one of those things that have unintended positive results. Help other young professionals or students through mentoring or by offering career advice. Do you remember someone who gave you advice early in your career and how helpful it was? Try and return the favor and give back when you can.

5. Set measurable goals

Goals and milestones are useless if they’re not attainable. Use the SMART goals process, which is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This framework helps ensure your goals are specific and quantifiable.

Setting achievable work goals will keep you motivated and stop your skills from atrophying. Remaining still in one position for a long period of time can become boring and demotivating for many people, so giving yourself additional challenges will keep you engaged and excited. 

Goal setting is also important because of it:

  • This will set you apart from the rest and give you a good reputation amongst higher-ups as somebody who can achieve great things and is not afraid to try new things
  • Encourages optimism in the workplace, which can be contagious and lead to a happier and healthier workplace for everybody 
  • Helps you manage your time effectively and better focus on relevant tasks
  • Keeps you up to date on industry trends and keeps you employable as technology changes
  • Keeps your team aligned, which leads to faster growth in small businesses 

Balancing work and personal life can become stressful. You want to ensure you are delivering on your tasks and responsibilities at work, but you also want to have time at home with friends and family. It can sometimes be even more difficult to try and set personal business goals to achieve. 

The good news is that there are tons of things that you can do to help you set your goals and ultimately achieve them. Becoming a thought leader, generating new business ideas, or improving your focus are just goals you can set and achieve. When you are figuring out which goals you want to set, it’s important to make sure that they’re attainable and specific. If they’re not, your journey to achieving them will become bumpy and likely have some detours. Use the SMART acronym to help make sure your goals are quantifiable and contribute to your growth mindset. 

Did you enjoy reading this guide? Head over to our leadership category for more great content!

FAQs on Personal Business Goals

How do you write a personal goal for a business.

When writing a personal goal for your business, it is important to identify your objective, or the “why” behind the goal, to discover what success will mean to you. Using the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) acronym will help with this step. 

Next, you will need to create a plan that can be broken down into small, actionable steps and milestones. This way, you can measure how far you have come toward the goal and make adjustments if necessary. Monitoring your progress and reviewing the plan regularly will keep you on track. 

What is a typical business goal?

Business goals vary between industries but will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Some common business goals include increasing shareholder value, growing the business, incorporating new services or products, reducing employee turnover , or reaching out to the community. The goal is to keep the business continually progressing and improving.

What are personal and professional goals?

Both personal and professional goals are objectives that can be worked toward in order to improve quality of life in some way. Personal goals often pertain to a person’s lifestyle and family life, while professional goals are aspirations that can help you succeed in your career or improve your workplace performance. 

What goals can I set for myself?

Some goals you can set that will help you in your personal and professional life include things like improving your time management , limiting internet usage, taking better care of your physical and mental health, achieving specific financial goals, stepping outside of your comfort zone, or learning new skills. 

What personal and business goals would you hope to achieve by starting your company?

When thinking about starting your own company, what are the goals you want to achieve? Some common answers to this question include financial freedom, early retirement, making a career change, professional growth, having flexible hours, and having a better work-life balance . 

You will have to think about your own life and what you hope to gain from starting your own company. Will it bring you a higher sense of satisfaction to work for yourself? Will you enjoy having more control over the business end of things?

development business goals

Kristen Slavin, CPA

About the author

Kristen Slavin is a CPA specializing in accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services for small businesses. In addition to her 16 years experience in the accounting field, she also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys camping, hiking, and road tripping with her husband and two children. In 2022 Kristen celebrated opening her own firm; K10 Accounting. Learn more about her services:


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60 Self-Performance Review Goals Examples

By Editorial Team on May 27, 2023 — 11 minutes to read

Setting goals during self-performance reviews is crucial to ensure that you continue to grow and develop in your role.

Preparing for Your Self-Performance Review

Conducting a self-assessment.

Before your self-performance review, it is important to conduct a self-assessment. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and set development goals. Start by reviewing your job description, performance goals, and any feedback you have received throughout the year. Reflect on your accomplishments and challenges, and think about how you have contributed to your team and the organization.

Related: Self Evaluation Examples [Complete Guide]

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you have conducted your self-assessment, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your technical skills, communication skills, productivity, and any other areas that are relevant to your job. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses, but also recognize your strengths.

Related: Self Evaluation Sample Answers: Strengths and Weaknesses

Setting Development Goals

Based on your self-assessment and the identification of your strengths and weaknesses, set development goals for yourself. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, if you identified communication skills as an area for improvement, you could set a goal to attend a communication skills training course within the next quarter.

It is important to discuss your development goals with your manager during your self-performance review. This will help ensure that your goals align with the organization’s goals and that you have the resources and support you need to achieve them.

Use open-ended questions to encourage a productive dialogue, and be prepared to discuss your career goals and how you see yourself developing within the organization.

Self-Performance Review Goals Examples

  • Improve my communication skills by attending a public speaking course.
  • Increase my productivity by learning time management techniques.
  • Enhance my leadership skills by taking a leadership course.
  • Improve my teamwork skills by participating in team-building activities.
  • Develop my problem-solving skills by attending a problem-solving workshop.
  • Increase my knowledge and skills in my field by attending industry conferences and seminars.
  • Improve my writing skills by taking a writing course.
  • Enhance my creativity by attending a creativity workshop.
  • Learn a new language to better communicate with international clients.
  • Improve my customer service skills by attending a customer service training course.
  • Increase my sales skills by attending a sales training course.
  • Develop my project management skills by attending a project management course.
  • Improve my computer skills by taking a computer course.
  • Enhance my presentation skills by attending a presentation skills course.
  • Develop my networking skills by attending networking events.
  • Increase my knowledge of the company’s products and services by attending product training sessions.
  • Improve my conflict resolution skills by attending a conflict resolution workshop.
  • Enhance my negotiation skills by attending a negotiation skills course.
  • Increase my attention to detail by implementing a checklist system.
  • Improve my time management skills by setting daily and weekly goals.
  • Develop my mentoring skills by mentoring a junior employee.
  • Increase my knowledge of company policies and procedures by reviewing the employee handbook.
  • Improve my listening skills by actively listening to colleagues and clients.
  • Enhance my emotional intelligence by attending an emotional intelligence workshop.
  • Increase my decision-making skills by practicing making decisions in a timely manner.
  • Develop my coaching skills by coaching a team member.
  • Improve my conflict management skills by practicing active listening and empathy.
  • Enhance my adaptability by taking on new tasks and responsibilities.
  • Increase my resilience by learning stress management techniques.
  • Develop my strategic thinking skills by attending a strategic planning course.

In the upcoming chapters, we will explore an additional approach to defining your goals, namely SMART goals, and provide 30 more examples of self-performance review goals.

The Importance of Setting SMART Goals in Self-Performance Reviews

Defining smart goals.

There is an option to define goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART):

A specific goal is one that is clearly defined and unambiguous. It should answer the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. For instance, instead of saying “I want to improve my communication skills,” a specific goal would be “I want to improve my presentation skills by attending a public speaking course.”

Measurable goals are those that can be quantified. It is essential to have a metric to track progress and determine the success of the goal. For example, instead of saying “I want to increase sales,” a measurable goal would be “I want to increase sales by 20% within the next quarter.”

An achievable goal is one that is realistic and attainable. It is essential to consider the available resources and constraints when setting a goal. For example, instead of saying “I want to become a CEO within a year,” an achievable goal would be “I want to become a team leader within a year.”

A relevant goal is one that aligns with the individual’s overall objectives and the organization’s goals. It should be meaningful and have a positive impact on the individual and the organization. For example, instead of saying “I want to learn a new language,” a relevant goal would be “I want to learn Spanish to better communicate with our Spanish-speaking clients.”

A time-bound goal is one that has a deadline. It helps individuals to stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of saying “I want to learn a new skill,” a time-bound goal would be “I want to learn a new skill within six months.”

Self-Performance Review: Examples of SMART Goals

If you prefer to define your goals as SMART goals, here are 30 examples:

  • Increase my productivity by 20% by the end of the quarter by utilizing time management techniques and prioritizing tasks.
  • Improve my communication skills by attending a public speaking course and delivering a presentation to the team by the end of the month.
  • Learn a new programming language and complete a project using it within six months.
  • Increase customer satisfaction rating by 10% by the end of the year by providing exceptional customer service and resolving issues promptly.
  • Attend at least two industry conferences or workshops within the next year to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
  • Develop a new marketing campaign that increases website traffic by 25% within three months.
  • Improve my leadership skills by mentoring a junior team member and providing constructive feedback on their performance.
  • Complete a professional certification within the next six months to enhance my skills and knowledge in my field.
  • Reduce my error rate by 50% within the next quarter by double-checking my work and seeking feedback from my supervisor.
  • Increase my sales performance by 15% by the end of the year by developing and implementing new sales strategies.
  • Learn a new software program and become proficient in its use within three months.
  • Improve my time management skills by completing all tasks on time and meeting all deadlines for the next quarter.
  • Increase our social media following by 20% within six months by creating engaging content and utilizing social media advertising.
  • Attend at least one networking event per month to expand my professional network and build new relationships.
  • Improve my conflict resolution skills by attending a conflict resolution training course and practicing techniques with team members.
  • Increase customer retention rate by 15% by the end of the year by providing exceptional customer service and developing customer loyalty programs.
  • Develop a new product or service that generates at least $10,000 in revenue within the next year.
  • Improve my writing skills by attending a writing workshop and submitting at least one article for publication within the next six months.
  • Increase my team’s productivity by 10% by providing regular feedback, setting clear expectations, and implementing new processes.
  • Learn a new language and become conversational within six months to improve communication with international clients.
  • Develop a new training program for team members that improves their skills and knowledge within the next quarter.
  • Increase our website’s search engine ranking by 20% within the next six months by optimizing content and implementing SEO strategies.
  • Improve my project management skills by attending a project management course and successfully completing a project within the next quarter.
  • Increase our email open rate by 10% within the next month by improving subject lines and email content.
  • Develop a new company policy that improves employee satisfaction and retention within the next six months.
  • Increase my social media engagement rate by 15% within the next quarter by responding to comments and messages promptly and creating more interactive content.
  • Attend at least one leadership conference or workshop within the next year to enhance my leadership skills and knowledge.
  • Improve my public relations skills by attending a media relations training course and successfully pitching a story to the media within the next six months.
  • Increase our team’s customer service rating by 10% by providing regular training and coaching on customer service skills.
  • Develop a new employee recognition program that improves employee morale and retention within the next three months.

 Self Evaluation: Action Plan Example

  • Improve time management: “To improve my time management skills, I plan to create a schedule and set deadlines for tasks to ensure that I am able to complete them within deadlines. I will also work on breaking down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.”
  • Develop communication skills: “To develop my communication skills, I plan to attend communication training sessions and practice active listening and clear communication in my day-to-day interactions. I will also seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to identify areas where I can improve.”
  • Build a network: “To build my professional network, I plan to attend industry events and connect with other professionals in my field. I will also seek out mentorship opportunities to gain insights from more experienced professionals.”
  • Pursue professional development: “To pursue professional development, I plan to attend training sessions and courses to develop new skills and knowledge. I will also seek out opportunities for job shadowing and cross-training to gain exposure to different areas of my organization.”  
  • Improve project management skills: “To improve my project management skills, I plan to attend project management training sessions and work on identifying and prioritizing tasks based on their impact and urgency. I will also seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to identify areas where I can improve.”
  • Stay up-to-date with emerging technologies: “To stay up-to-date with emerging technologies, I plan to attend industry conferences and read industry publications to stay informed about new tools and trends. I will also work on building a network of technical professionals who can share knowledge and insights with me.”
  • Focus on personal growth: “To focus on personal growth, I plan to prioritize self-care and wellness activities to ensure that I am able to perform at my best. I will also work on setting personal goals and tracking my progress towards achieving them.”

Example 3 (SMART Goal)

Goal : Improve my time management skills

Specific : I will create a daily schedule and prioritize my tasks based on their importance.

Measurable : I will track my progress by recording the time I spend on each task and comparing it to my schedule.

Achievable : I will set aside 30 minutes each morning to plan my day and review my schedule throughout the day to stay on track.

Relevant : Improving my time management skills will help me be more productive and reduce stress.

Time-bound : I will implement this plan for the next 30 days and evaluate my progress at the end of each week.

Best Practices for Conducting a Self-Performance Review

Preparing for the conversation.

Before conducting a self-performance review, it is important to prepare yourself for the conversation by setting aside enough time to reflect on your performance over the past year, gathering feedback from colleagues and supervisors, and setting specific goals for the upcoming year. When reflecting on your performance, it is important to be honest with yourself and acknowledge areas where you could improve. This will help you to set realistic goals and make meaningful progress.

Fostering Career Growth

One of the main goals of a self-performance review is to foster career growth. This can involve setting long-term career goals, identifying areas where you need to develop new skills, and seeking out opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience. For example, if you want to move into a leadership position, you may need to develop your management and communication skills.

Improving Professional Skills

Another important aspect of a self-performance review is identifying areas where you need to improve your professional skills. This can involve developing new technical skills, improving your time management and organizational skills, or enhancing your ability to work collaboratively with others.

Setting Education Goals

Continuing education and professional development are essential for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. A self-performance review can be a valuable opportunity to set specific education goals and seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. This might involve pursuing a new certification or degree, attending industry conferences and events, or seeking out mentorship and coaching from experienced professionals.

Working Towards Promotions

Finally, a self-performance review can be a valuable opportunity to set specific goals for working towards promotions and advancing your career. This might involve identifying areas where you need to develop new skills or gain additional experience, seeking out opportunities to take on new responsibilities, or building relationships with key decision-makers within your organization.

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McNeese Small Business Development Center Exceeds Goals 

McNeese State University

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at McNeese State University exceeded its goals for fiscal year 2023 ending Sept. 30. 

Small businesses benefited from more than $15 million in capital infusion—which is funding for business operations and growth.  

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Louisiana Economic Development set the goals each year for the SBDC. Susan Thibodeaux, center director, and Dean Day, business consultant, worked diligently towards meeting these goals. 

The SBDC team also met with 430 unique clients and 78 long-term clients, and in doing so, reached 196% and 150% of the goals, respectively. The team also helped 26 business starts. 

“Our center has seen an increase in entrepreneurs who want to start a new business and others who want to expand their existing business,” Thibodeaux explained. “We are working with several clients now that will be starting their businesses in 2024.” 

Economist Dr. Loren Scott predicts that the Lake Charles area will be the fastest-growing area in Louisiana over the next two years. 

“This is great news for those small businesses that have been wanting to take their business to the next level or those entrepreneurs who have been waiting for the right time to start their dream,” Thibodeaux said.  

The SBDC at McNeese offers no-cost confidential business consulting and affordable workshops to new entrepreneurs and existing business owners. It is a one-stop center for assistance in business plan development, market analysis, sources of capital, technology transfer, inventor assistance and other business-related issues. For more than 20 years, it has served a five-parish area including Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis. For an appointment or more information, call 337-475-5529 or email [email protected]

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The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

FACT SHEET: President   Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

Today, President Biden is issuing a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI). The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, the Executive Order builds on previous actions the President has taken, including work that led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI. The Executive Order directs the following actions: New Standards for AI Safety and Security

As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for Americans’ safety and security.  With this Executive Order, the  President directs the  most sweeping  actions  ever taken  to protect Americans from  the potential  risks  of  AI  systems :

  • Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government.  In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety must notify the federal government when training the model, and must share the results of all red-team safety tests. These measures will ensure AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before companies make them public. 
  • Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks. Together, these are the most significant actions ever taken by any government to advance the field of AI safety.
  • Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials  by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
  • Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content . The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic—and set an example for the private sector and governments around the world.
  • Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software,  building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge. Together, these efforts will harness AI’s potentially game-changing cyber capabilities to make software and networks more secure.
  • Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security,  to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff. This document will ensure that the United States military and intelligence community use AI safely, ethically, and effectively in their missions, and will direct actions to counter adversaries’ military use of AI.

Protecting Americans’ Privacy

Without safeguards, AI can put Americans’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems.  To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from the risks posed by AI, the President calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially kids, and directs the following actions:

  • Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritizing federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques— including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.  
  • Strengthen privacy-preserving research   and technologies,  such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of leading-edge privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
  • Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information —including information they procure from data brokers—and  strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies  to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
  • Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques,  including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.

Advancing Equity and Civil Rights

Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing. The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action by publishing the  Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights  and issuing an  Executive Order directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination , while enforcing existing authorities to protect people’s rights and safety.  To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, the President directs the following additional actions:

  • Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors  to keep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
  • Address algorithmic discrimination  through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
  • Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system  by developing best practices on the use of AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments, surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.

Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students

AI can bring real benefits to consumers—for example, by making products better, cheaper, and more widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harming Americans.  To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, the President directs the following actions:

  • Advance the responsible use of AI  in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety program to receive reports of—and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI. 
  • Shape AI’s potential to transform education  by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.

Supporting Workers

AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement.  To mitigate these risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions:

  • Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers  by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, and safety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.
  • Produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts , and  study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions , including from AI.

Promoting Innovation and Competition

America already leads in AI innovation—more AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next seven countries combined.  The Executive Order ensures that we continue to lead the way in innovation and competition through the following actions:

  • Catalyze AI research across the United States  through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource—a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources and data—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
  • Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem  by providing small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise its authorities.
  • Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the United States  by modernizing and streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.

Advancing American Leadership Abroad

AI’s challenges and opportunities are global.  The Biden-Harris Administration will continue working with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AI worldwide. To that end, the President directs the following actions:

  • Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI . The State Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort to establish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks and ensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AI Safety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
  • Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards  with international partners and in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, and interoperable.
  • Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges,  such as advancing sustainable development and mitigating dangers to critical infrastructure.

Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI

AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’ capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security of government systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafe decisions.  To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernize federal AI infrastructure, the President directs the following actions:

  • Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI,  including clear standards to protect rights and safety, improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.  
  • Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services  faster, more cheaply, and more effectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
  • Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals  as part of a government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevant fields.

As we advance this agenda at home, the Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI. The Administration has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the past several months—engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK. The actions taken today support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 Hiroshima Process, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, and ongoing discussions at the United Nations. The actions that President Biden directed today are vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. More action will be required, and the Administration will continue to work with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation. For more on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to advance AI, and for opportunities to join the Federal AI workforce, visit .

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