How to Define Your Business Objectives Step by Step

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By David Tomas, on 20 October 2022

Defining your business objectives is important in shaping your overall marketing strategy. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to do to successfully do so!

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How to Define Your Business Objectives Step by Step

What Are Business Objectives For?

Business objectives serve multiple functions within a company, including:

  • They inform decision-making. Business objectives help define a company's entire marketing strategy. If you define short and long-term objectives on a regular basis and monitor the results, you will have a large amount of quality information on which to base decisions.
  • They align efforts to a central focus. This way, all teams are working towards the same goal.
  • They connect a company's mission and vision statement with the team's daily work. By defining short- and long-term goals, all team members know what they have to do and when they should complete it. This makes employees less uncertain about their work and makes them feel part of the company's success.
  • They help define a chain of responsibility from managers to individual workers: Each person is assigned a set of individual tasks and objectives, so managers can measure performance more easily and spot potential areas for improvement quickly.
  • They make it possible to measure performance in different areas: Along with this, corrective action can be taken.

Types of Business Objectives

Business Objectives by Timeframe

Short-term objectives refer to a specific period of time, ranging from a few days to a full year. These objectives are usually related to the long-term or general objectives and serve as stepping stones to achieving the long-term objectives.

Examples of such objectives would be "hire a data analyst for the marketing department this semester", "increase sales of this product range in the U.S. by 10% this year" or "conduct 100 employee satisfaction surveys this week".

Long-term objectives, on the other hand, refer to the company's overall mission and vision. The time periods to which they refer are less concrete and longer, for example, "10 years from now". They serve as a map to guide the business in the right direction, rather than as a guide for concrete and immediate actions. Even so, it’s important that they are well defined and that you ensure that short-term objectives are aligned with this more global vision.

Some examples of long-term objectives could be "to be an innovative company in manufacturing technologies", "to offer sustainable transportation solutions to the inhabitants of large cities" or "to become a leader in women's sports".

Business Objectives by Hierarchy

  • Strategic or general objectives: These correspond to long-term objectives, as they generally have a time frame of 5 to 10 years, are aligned with the mission and vision of the business and set the general direction. Avoid setting too many strategic objectives simultaneously, as they can pull the team in opposite directions.
  • Tactical objectives: These have a medium-term time frame, generally between 2 and 5 years, and are assigned to the different departments of the company. Their function is to support the strategic objectives.
  • Operational objectives: Finally, these are the most concrete objectives and are more closely linked to specific tasks. They have a time frame of one year or less and very well-defined managers, sometimes even a single employee.

How to Correctly Define Your Company's Business Objectives

The SMART Model

The SMART model is a classic reference for defining corporate business objectives. According to it, objectives must meet these characteristics to be useful:

  • Specific. The objective must always answer the question "What do we want to achieve? This way, you will be able to specify the objective as much as possible.
  • Measurable. The objectives must be translated into a series of objective and quantifiable metrics so that you can monitor the results to establish whether you are achieving them.
  • Achievable. Setting unrealistic objectives is a mistake since it only leads to frustration. Objectives must respond to the market situation and to the available resources in order to be achievable. In fact, it’s preferable to set several small objectives or milestones along the way to keep the team motivated.
  • Relevant. The objective must be related to the company's mission, vision, and overall goals, and be important to both the brand and customers.
  • Timely. Objectives must be accompanied by a specific time frame since this is the only way to measure results correctly. In addition, having a deadline helps focus on which actions should be carried out.

In addition to these characteristics, there are two others that must be taken into account in order to set the best possible business objectives:

  • Objectives should be ambitious: To fulfill their function of inspiring the team, objectives should be challenging, involving a certain amount of effort, and a spirit of achievement. The aim is to achieve greater results than where you started.
  • Objectives should be shared by the whole team: You must make an effort to clearly communicate the objectives to all employees and get them involved. To do this, you must be able to translate the general objectives into specific missions for each department and person.

What Elements Should Be Defined Within a Business Objective?

When defining your different business objectives, you should always include the following elements:

  • The start date and the target date for achievement (as we discussed within the SMART model).
  • The resources needed to achieve the objective, both in the form of personnel and material, equipment, software, tools, and more.
  • The budget allocated to the objective: consider the necessary resources and any unforeseen events that could arise.
  • The actions or tasks to be performed to achieve the objective and the people responsible for them.
  • A detailed goal, for example: If the objective is to close X sales before the end of the quarter, you can set weekly objectives to make the larger goal easier to meet.
  • The tools you are going to use to measure the achievement of the objective and the frequency with which you will create reports or follow-up meetings.

30 Examples of Business Objectives

Finally, let's look at some examples of possible business objectives. This is only a general description; as we have explained above, to turn them into really useful objectives, they would have to be expanded upon and defined according to the particular needs and situations of each company.

  1. Diversify revenue sources.

  2. Increase sales.

  3. Optimize the conversion funnel.

  4. Implement a CRM and train a team to use it.

  5. Launch a new range of products.

  6. Optimize website design to drive conversions.

  7. Increase brand visibility within online channels.

  8. Start working in a new market.

  9. Define internal communication channels.

  10. Increase traffic to the website.

  11. Improve user experience in e-commerce.

  12. Encourage repeat purchases and recommendations with a loyalty program.

  13. Improve job satisfaction and team happiness.

  14. Increase average customer lifetime value.

  15. Improve the SEO positioning of the company's website.

  16. Hire X new people per year.

  17. Improve first contact problem-resolution with customer service.

  18. Create landing pages and lead magnets to optimize lead acquisition.

  19. Design an omnichannel user experience.

  20. Position oneself as an attractive company to work for to attract new talent.

  21. Create and validate a lead scoring algorithm.

  22. Implement a digital transformation of the business model.

  23. Implement remote working.

  24. Create quarterly team-building events.

  25. Generate more qualified leads for marketing.

  26. Design a marketing automation strategy for email.

  27. Launch a new corporate identity.

  28. Train employees in online technologies.

  29. Create a content marketing calendar.

  30. Get more customer recommendations and testimonials.

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David Tomas