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

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

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

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

Table of contents:

The benefits of setting business objectives

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

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What are business objectives?

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

What you want the company to achieve

How you can measure success

Which players are involved in driving success

The timelines needed to plan, initiate, and implement steps

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

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

objectives in a business plan

Business objectives vs. goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Establish clear goals

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

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

Increase total revenue by 25% over the next two years

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

Provide health insurance for employees by next fiscal year

Grow design department to 10+ employees this year

Reach 100k Instagram followers ahead of new product launch

Implement full rebrand before new partnership announcement

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

2. Set a baseline

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

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

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

3. Involve players at all levels in the conversation

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

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

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

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

4. Define measurable outcomes

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

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

Percentage change (15% overall increase in revenue)

Goal number (10,000 subscribers)

Success range (five to 10 new clients)

Clear change (new company name)

Executable action (weekly newsletter launch)

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

5. Outline a roadmap with a schedule

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

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

May 15: Begin time logging 

June 1: Register team members for productivity seminar

June 15: Integrate Trello for managing processes

June 15: Audit time log

July 1: Implement lead automation

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

6. Integrate successful changes

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

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

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

A growth-oriented intention (improve efficiency)

One or more actions (implement monthly training sessions)

A measurement for success (20% increase)

A timeline to reach success (by end of year)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mockup of a business objective statement worksheet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to conduct your own market research survey

6 customer satisfaction metrics to start measuring

Streamline work across departments with automation

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

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Bryce Emley

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

  • Small business
  • Sales & business development

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Setting Business Goals & Objectives: 4 Considerations

Professional writing and setting business goals using sticky notes

  • 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.”

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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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What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

objectives in a business plan

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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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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The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

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Goals and Objectives for Business Plan with Examples

NOV.05, 2023

Goals and Objectives
 for Business Plan with Examples

Every business needs a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and how it plans to get there. A business plan is a document that outlines the goals and objectives of a business, as well as the strategies and actions to achieve them. A well-written business plan from business plan specialists can help a business attract investors, secure funding, and guide its growth.

Understanding Business Objectives

Business objectives are S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound (SMART) statements that describe what a business wants to accomplish in a given period. They are derived from the overall vision and mission of the business, and they support its strategic direction.

Business plan objectives can be categorized into different types, depending on their purpose and scope. Some common types of business objectives are:

  • Financial objectives
  • Operational objectives
  • Marketing objectives
  • Social objectives

For example, a sample of business goals and objectives for a business plan for a bakery could be:

  • To increase its annual revenue by 20% in the next year.
  • To reduce its production costs by 10% in the next six months.
  • To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.
  • To improve its customer satisfaction rating by 15% in the next month.

The Significance of Business Objectives

Business objectives are important for several reasons. They help to:

  • Clarify and direct the company and stakeholders
  • Align the company’s efforts and resources to a common goal
  • Motivate and inspire employees to perform better
  • Measure and evaluate the company’s progress and performance
  • Communicate the company’s value and advantage to customers and the market

For example, by setting a revenue objective, a bakery can focus on increasing its sales and marketing efforts, monitor its sales data and customer feedback, motivate its staff to deliver quality products and service, communicate its unique selling points and benefits to its customers, and adjust its pricing and product mix according to market demand.

Advantages of Outlining Business Objectives

Outlining business objectives is a crucial step in creating a business plan. It serves as a roadmap for the company’s growth and development. Outlining business objectives has several advantages, such as:

  • Clarifies the company’s vision, direction, scope, and boundaries
  • Break down the company’s goals into smaller tasks and milestones
  • Assigns roles and responsibilities and delegates tasks
  • Establishes standards and criteria for success and performance
  • Anticipates risks and challenges and devises contingency plans

For example, by outlining its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer in its business plan, a bakery can:

  • Attract investors with its viable business plan for investors
  • Secure funding from banks or others with its realistic financial plan
  • Partner with businesses or organizations that complement or enhance its products or services
  • Choose the best marketing, pricing, product, staff, location, etc. for its target market and customers

Setting Goals and Objectives for a Business Plan

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan is not a one-time task. It requires careful planning, research, analysis, and evaluation. To set effective goals and objectives for a business plan, one should follow some best practices, such as:

OPTION 1: Use the SMART framework. A SMART goal or objective is clear, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with the company’s mission and vision, and has a deadline. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – The goal or objective should be clear, concise, and well-defined.
  • Measurable – The goal or objective should be quantifiable or verifiable.
  • Achievable – The goal or objective should be realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant – The goal or objective should be aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Time-bound – The goal or objective should have a deadline or timeframe.

For example, using the SMART criteria, a bakery can refine its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer as follows:

  • Specific – Increase revenue with new products and services from $5 to $5.50.
  • Measurable – Track customer revenue monthly with sales reports.
  • Achievable – Research the market, develop new products and services, and train staff to upsell and cross-sell.
  • Relevant – Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability and cash flow, and market competitiveness.
  • Time-bound – Achieve this objective in six months, from January 1st to June 30th.

OPTION 2: Use the OKR framework. OKR stands for O bjectives and K ey R esults. An OKR is a goal-setting technique that links the company’s objectives with measurable outcomes. An objective is a qualitative statement of what the company wants to achieve. A key result is a quantitative metric that shows how the objective will be achieved.

OPTION 3: Use the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats. A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that helps the company assess the internal and external factors that affect its goals and objectives.

  • Strengths – Internal factors that give the company an advantage over others. 
  • Weaknesses – Internal factors that limit the company’s performance or growth. 
  • Opportunities – External factors that allow the company to improve or expand. 
  • Threats – External factors that pose a risk or challenge to the company.

For example, using these frameworks, a bakery might set the following goals and objectives for its SBA business plan :

Objective – To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.

Key Results:

  • Research gluten-free cake market demand and preferences by month-end.
  • Create and test 10 gluten-free cake recipes by next month-end.
  • Make and sell 100 gluten-free cakes weekly online or in-store by quarter-end.

SWOT Analysis:

  • Expertise and experience in baking and cake decorating.
  • Loyal and satisfied customer base.
  • Strong online presence and reputation.


  • Limited production capacity and equipment.
  • High production costs and low-profit margins.
  • Lack of knowledge and skills in gluten-free baking.


  • Growing demand and awareness for gluten-free products.
  • Competitive advantage and differentiation in the market.
  • Potential partnerships and collaborations with health-conscious customers and organizations.
  • Increasing competition from other bakeries and gluten-free brands.
  • Changing customer tastes and preferences.
  • Regulatory and legal issues related to gluten-free labeling and certification.

Examples of Business Goals and Objectives

To illustrate how to write business goals and objectives for a business plan, let’s use a hypothetical example of a bakery business called Sweet Treats. Sweet Treats is a small bakery specializing in custom-made cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods for various occasions.

Here are some examples of possible startup business goals and objectives for Sweet Treats:

Earning and Preserving Profitability

Profitability is the ability of a company to generate more revenue than expenses. It indicates the financial health and performance of the company. Profitability is essential for a business to sustain its operations, grow its market share, and reward its stakeholders.

Some possible objectives for earning and preserving profitability for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase the gross profit margin by 5% in the next quarter by reducing the cost of goods sold
  • To achieve a net income of $100,000 in the current fiscal year by increasing sales and reducing overhead costs

Ensuring Consistent Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of money that flows in and out of a company. A company needs to have enough cash to cover its operating expenses, pay its debts, invest in its growth, and reward its shareholders.

Some possible objectives for ensuring consistent cash flow for Sweet Treats are:

  • Increase monthly operating cash inflow by 15% by the end of the year by improving the efficiency and productivity of the business processes
  • Increase the cash flow from investing activities by selling or disposing of non-performing or obsolete assets

Creating and Maintaining Efficiency

Efficiency is the ratio of output to input. It measures how well a company uses its resources to produce its products or services. Efficiency can help a business improve its quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

Some possible objectives for creating and maintaining efficiency for Sweet Treats are:

  • To reduce the production time by 10% in the next month by implementing lean manufacturing techniques
  • To increase the customer service response rate by 20% in the next week by using chatbots or automated systems

Winning and Keeping Clients

Clients are the people or organizations that buy or use the products or services of a company. They are the source of revenue and growth for a company. Therefore, winning and keeping clients is vital to generating steady revenue, increasing customer loyalty, and enhancing word-of-mouth marketing.

Some possible objectives for winning and keeping clients for Sweet Treats are:

  • To acquire 100 new clients in the next quarter by launching a referral program or a promotional campaign
  • To retain 90% of existing clients in the current year by offering loyalty rewards or satisfaction guarantees

Building a Recognizable Brand

A brand is the name, logo, design, or other features distinguishing a company from its competitors. It represents the identity, reputation, and value proposition of a company. Building a recognizable brand is crucial for attracting and retaining clients and creating a loyal fan base.

Some possible objectives for building a recognizable brand for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase brand awareness by 50% in the next six months by creating and distributing engaging content on social media platforms
  • To improve brand image by 30% in the next year by participating in social causes or sponsoring events that align with the company’s values

Expanding and Nurturing an Audience with Marketing

An audience is a group of people interested in or following a company’s products or services. They can be potential or existing clients, fans, influencers, or partners. Expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing is essential for increasing a company’s visibility, reach, and engagement.

Some possible objectives for expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing for Sweet Treats are:

  • To grow the email list by 1,000 subscribers in the next month by offering a free ebook or a webinar
  • To nurture leads by sending them relevant and valuable information through email newsletters or blog posts

Strategizing for Expansion

Expansion is the process of increasing a company’s size, scope, or scale. It can involve entering new markets, launching new products or services, opening new locations, or forming new alliances. Strategizing for expansion is important for diversifying revenue streams, reaching new audiences, and gaining competitive advantages.

Some possible objectives for strategizing for expansion for Sweet Treats are:

  • To launch a new product or service line by developing and testing prototypes
  • To open a new branch or franchise by securing funding and hiring staff

Template for Business Objectives

A template for writing business objectives is a format or structure that can be used as a guide or reference for creating your objectives. A template for writing business objectives can help you to ensure that your objectives are SMART, clear, concise, and consistent.

To use this template, fill in the blanks with your information. Here is an example of how you can use this template:

Example of Business Objectives

Our business is a _____________ (type of business) that provides _____________ (products or services) to _____________ (target market). Our vision is to _____________ (vision statement) and our mission is to _____________ (mission statement).

Our long-term business goals and objectives for the next _____________ (time period) are:

S pecific: We want to _____________ (specific goal) by _____________ (specific action).

M easurable: We will measure our progress by _____________ (quantifiable indicator).

A chievable: We have _____________ (resources, capabilities, constraints) that will enable us to achieve this goal.

R elevant: This goal supports our vision and mission by _____________ (benefit or impact).

T ime-bound: We will complete this goal by _____________ (deadline).

Repeat this process for each goal and objective for your business plan.

How to Monitor Your Business Objectives?

After setting goals and objectives for your business plan, you should check them regularly to see if you are achieving them. Monitoring your business objectives can help you to:

  • Track your progress and performance
  • Identify and overcome any challenges
  • Adjust your actions and strategies as needed

Some of the tools and methods that you can use to monitor your business objectives are:

  • Dashboards – Show key data and metrics for your objectives with tools like Google Data Studio, Databox, or DashThis.
  • Reports – Get detailed information and analysis for your objectives with tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or SEMrush.
  • Feedback – Learn from your customers and their needs and expectations with tools like SurveyMonkey, Typeform, or Google Forms.

Strategies for Realizing Business Objectives

To achieve your business objectives, you need more than setting and monitoring them. You need strategies and actions that support them. Strategies are the general methods to reach your objectives. Actions are the specific steps to implement your strategies.

Different objectives require different strategies and actions. Some common types are:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Operational strategies
  • Financial strategies
  • Human resource strategies
  • Growth strategies

To implement effective strategies and actions, consider these factors:

  • Alignment – They should match your vision, mission, values, goals, and objectives
  • Feasibility – They should be possible with your capabilities, resources, and constraints
  • Suitability – They should fit the context and needs of your business

How OGSCapital Can Help You Achieve Your Business Objectives?

We at OGSCapital can help you with your business plan and related documents. We have over 15 years of experience writing high-quality business plans for various industries and regions. We have a team of business plan experts who can assist you with market research, financial analysis, strategy formulation, and presentation design. We can customize your business plan to suit your needs and objectives, whether you need funding, launching, expanding, or entering a new market. We can also help you with pitch decks, executive summaries, feasibility studies, and grant proposals. Contact us today for a free quote and start working on your business plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals and objectives in business.

Goals and objectives in a business plan are the desired outcomes that a company works toward. To describe company goals and objectives for a business plan, start with your mission statement and then identify your strategic and operational objectives. To write company objectives, you must brainstorm, organize, prioritize, assign, track, and review them using the SMART framework and KPIs.

What are the examples of goals and objectives in a business plan?

Examples of goals and objectives in a business plan are: Goal: To increase revenue by 10% each year for the next five years. Objective: To launch a new product line and create a marketing campaign to reach new customers.

What are the 4 main objectives of a business?

The 4 main objectives of a business are economic, social, human, and organic. Economic objectives deal with financial performance, social objectives deal with social responsibility, human objectives deal with employee welfare, and organic objectives deal with business growth and development.

What are goals and objectives examples?

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan describes what a business or a team wants to achieve and how they will do it. For example: Goal: To provide excellent customer service. Objective: To increase customer satisfaction scores by 20% by the end of the quarter. 

At OGSCapital, our business planning services offer expert guidance and support to create a realistic and actionable plan that aligns with your vision and mission. Get in touch to discuss further!

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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How to Determine the Goals and Objectives of Your Business Plan A business plan is only as good as the goals and objectives it outlines. Here's how to determine what those are.

By The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. • Dec 11, 2014

In their book Write Your Business Plan , the staff of Entrepreneur Media offer an in-depth understanding of what's essential to any business plan, what's appropriate for your venture, and what it takes to ensure success. In this edited excerpt, the authors help you decide what your goals and objectives for your new business are before you ever start writing your business plan.

You've decided to write a business plan, and you're ready to get started. Congratulations—you've just greatly increased the chances that your business venture will succeed. But before you draft your plan, you need to focus on several areas from conceptual to "concrete." One of the most important reasons to plan your plan is that you're accountable for the projections and proposals it contains. That's especially true if you use your plan to raise money to finance your company.

Business plans can be complicated documents. As you draft your plan, you'll be making lots of decisions on serious matters, such as what strategy you'll pursue, as well as less important ones like what color paper to print it on. Thinking about these decisions in advance is an important way to minimize the time you spend planning and to maximize the time you spend generating income.

Ready to get started?

Close your eyes. Imagine that it's five years from now. Where do you want to be? What will the business look like? Will you be running a business that hasn't increased significantly in size? Will you command a rapidly growing empire? Will you have already cashed out and be relaxing on a beach somewhere, enjoying your hard-won gains?

Now's a good time to free-associate a little bit—let your mind roam, exploring every avenue that you'd like your business to go down. Try writing a personal essay on your business goals. It could take the form of a letter to yourself, written from five years in the future, describing all you've accomplished and how it came about.

As you read such a document, you may make a surprising discovery, such as that you don't really want to own a large, fast-growing enterprise but would be content with a stable, small business. Even if you don't learn anything new, getting a firm handle on your goals and objectives is a big help in deciding how you'll plan your business.

If you're having trouble deciding what your goals and objectives are, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. How determined am I to see this venture succeed?

2. Am I willing to invest my own money and to work long hours for no pay, sacrificing personal time and lifestyle, maybe for years?

3. What's going to happen to me if this venture doesn't work?

4. If it does succeed, how many employees will this company eventually have?

5. What will be its annual sales in a year? Five years?

6. What will be its market share in that time frame?

7. Will it be a niche marketer, or will it sell a broad spectrum of goods and services?

8. What are the plans for geographic expansion? Local? National? Global?

9. Am I going to be a hands-on manager, or will I delegate a large proportion of tasks to others?

10. If I delegate, what sorts of tasks will I share? Sales? Technical? Others?

11. How comfortable am I taking direction from others? Could I work with partners or investors who demand input into the company's management?

12. Is this venture going to remain independent and privately owned, or will it eventually be acquired or go public?

Your plan may look beautiful, but without a solid understanding of your own intentions in business, it's likely to lack coherence and, ultimately, prove ineffective. Let's say in one section you describe a mushrooming enterprise on a fast-growth track, then elsewhere endorse a strategy of slow and steady expansion. Any business-plan reader worth his or her salt is going to be bothered by inconsistencies like these. They suggest that you haven't thought through your intentions. Avoid inconsistency by deciding in advance what your goals and objectives will be and sticking with them.

Entrepreneur Staff

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24 Best Sample Business Plans & Examples to Help You Write Your Own

Clifford Chi

Published: August 17, 2023

Free Business Plan Template

objectives in a business plan

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
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Reading sample business plans is essential when you’re writing your own. As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, you’ll learn how to write one that gets your business off on the right foot, convinces investors to provide funding, and confirms your venture is sustainable for the long term.

sample business plans and examples

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But what does a business plan look like? And how do you write one that is viable and convincing? Let's review the ideal business plan formally, then take a look at business plan templates and samples you can use to inspire your own.

Business Plan Format

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. The same logic applies to business. If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. Referencing one will keep you on the path toward success. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, you might be wondering, "Where do I start? How should I format this?"

Typically, a business plan is a document that will detail how a company will achieve its goals.

objectives in a business plan

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

Most business plans include the following sections:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is arguably the most important section of the entire business plan. Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

Most executive summaries include:

  • Mission statement
  • Company history and leadership
  • Competitive advantage overview
  • Financial projections
  • Company goals

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, including only the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

And the executive summary below tells potential investors a short story that covers all the most important details this business plan will cover in a succinct and interesting way.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market. Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will your product fill that gap?

In this section, you might include:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry. You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

This example uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Speaking of market share, you'll need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are. After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another. Performing a competitive analysis can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

The competitive landscape section of the business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are. It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

This section will describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Ask yourself:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

It can be helpful to build a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

The example below uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. You might consider including information on:

  • The brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

It can help to already have a marketing plan built out to help you with this part of your business plan.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler. It offers a comprehensive picture of how it plans to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services. Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use . It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

The example below outlines products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. For this reason, you might outline:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

This business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

This section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more. According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details you'll want to include.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet example shows the level of detail you will need to include in the financials section of your business plan:

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

Business Plan Types

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. So, we’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business. You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. Internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Sample Business Plan Templates

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow. Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why We Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it. There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders. It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis. The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made. Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly. It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (We always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

We absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service. You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of our favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business. Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you. It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things we love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, we especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan. Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

Top Business Plan Examples

Here are some completed business plan samples to get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business. We’ve chosen different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue. We included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives. This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best. For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Outdoor clothing retailer, Patagonia, has one of the most compelling mission statements we’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University . While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more. Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission. The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s also essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. You can also use this template as a guide while you're gathering important details. After looking at this sample, you'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do for your own business plan.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

9. LiveShopBuy Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: LiveShopBuy

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6 examples of objectives for a small business plan

Table of Contents

1) Becoming and staying profitable

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

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

In this guide, you’ll learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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10 Most Important Business Objectives

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Your business objectives are the results you hope to achieve as you run and grow your business. As an entrepreneur, you are concerned with every aspect of your business and need to have clear goals in mind for your company if you are to stay on track. Having a comprehensive list of business objectives creates the guidelines that become the foundation for your business planning.

1. Getting and Staying Profitable

Maintaining profitability means making sure that revenue stays ahead of the costs of doing business. Focus on controlling costs in both production and operations while maintaining the profit margin on products sold.

2. Productivity of People and Resources

Employee training, equipment maintenance and new equipment purchases all go into company productivity. Your objective should be to provide all of the resources your employees need to remain as productive as possible.

3. Excellent Customer Service

Good customer service helps you retain clients and generate repeat revenue. Keeping your customers happy should be a primary objective of your organization.

4. Employee Attraction and Retention

Employee turnover costs you money in lost productivity and the costs associated with recruiting, which include employment advertising and paying placement agencies. Maintaining a productive and positive employee environment improves retention.

objectives in a business plan

5. Mission-driven Core Values

Your company mission statement is a description of the core values of your company. It is a summary of the beliefs your company holds in regard to customer interaction, responsibility to the community and employee satisfaction. The company's core values become the objectives necessary to create a positive corporate culture.

6. Sustainable Growth

Growth is planned based on historical data and future projections. Growth requires the careful use of company resources such as finances and personnel.

7. Maintaining a Healthy Cash Flow

Even a company with good cash flow needs financing contacts in the event that capital is needed to expand the organization. Maintaining your ability to finance operations means that you can prepare for long-term projects and address short-term needs such as payroll and accounts payable.

8. Dealing with Change

Change management is the process of preparing your organization for growth and creating processes that effectively deal with a developing marketplace. The objective of change management is to create a dynamic organization that is prepared to meet the challenges of your industry.

9. Reaching the Right Customers

Marketing is more than creating advertising and getting customer input on product changes. It is understanding consumer buying trends, being able to anticipate product distribution needs and developing business partnerships that help your organization to improve market share.

10. Staying Ahead of the Competition

A comprehensive analysis of the activities of the competition should be an ongoing business objective for your organization. Understanding where your products rank in the marketplace helps you to better determine how to improve your standing among consumers and improve your revenue.

  • Clear Point Strategy: 56 Strategic Objective Examples For Your Company To Copy
  • Entrepreneur: Plan Your Business Plan
  • Business Knowledge Source: The Importance of Setting Goals and Objectives for Your Small Business

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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  • How to write an effective project objec ...

How to write an effective project objective, with examples

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You finished your project, now what?

If you don’t have a system in place to know what your project objectives are, you don’t have an easy way to know: Did your project succeed? Did you hit your goals? Or did you miss your target?

What are project objectives?

Project objectives are what you plan to achieve by the end of your project. This might include deliverables and assets, or more intangible objectives like increasing productivity or motivation. Your project objectives should be attainable, time-bound, specific goals you can measure at the end of your project.

Project objectives are a critical element of  project management —without them, you don’t have a succinct way to communicate your goals before and during the project, nor do you have a measurable way to evaluate your success after the project ends.

If you’re just getting started with project objectives, here’s how they differ from other project management elements:

Project objectives vs. project goals

Though some teams may use these interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between project goals vs. objectives . In general, project goals are higher-level than project objectives. Your project goals should outline what happens once your project is successful, and how your project aligns with overall business objectives.

Project objectives, on the other hand, are more detailed and specific than project goals. Though many project objectives may impact business objectives, your project objectives are more focused on your actual, specific deliverables at the end of the project.

Example of a project objective:  Add five new ways for customers to find the feedback form in-product within the next two months.

Example of a project goal:  Make it easier for the engineering team to receive and respond to customer feedback.

Project objectives vs. business objectives

Project objectives are just that—objectives and performance indicators for individual projects. Your project objectives should apply to the project they’re about, and they should be specific enough to guide your team in evaluating project success.

Business objectives are bigger than a single project. Unlike project objectives, your business objectives will fuel your business trajectory and velocity. Your business objectives should be long-term guidelines for your entire company or department. They will guide your company goals for a quarter or year, and they should be written in whatever goal-setting methodology your team uses, like  objectives and key results (OKRs) .

Example of a project objective:  Increase our company Net Promoter Score (NPS) to 62 by the end of the quarter.

Example of a business objective:  Become the premier service provider in our category.

Project objectives vs. project plan

Your project plan is a blueprint of the key elements your team needs to accomplish in order to successfully achieve your project goals and objectives. However, your project plan should include several additional key elements, like your project stakeholders, deliverables, timeline, and more.

Plan to create your project objectives before working on your project plan, since your objectives will likely drive other elements of your project plan, like deliverables and success metrics. But once your project objectives are written, you’ll likely share them with stakeholders by way of the project plan.

Example of a project objective:  Increase click through rate (CTR) engagement on email by 10% by the end of Q3.

Example of a project plan:  See an example plan in our  guide to project planning .

Project objectives vs. project milestones

At first glance, “objectives” and “milestones” sound like the same thing—they’re both targets within a project. But project milestones, in general, should be smaller in scope than project objectives.

A  project milestone  is a checkpoint that marks a specific achievement in your project timeline. Milestones themselves don’t represent work—rather, they record the accomplishment of a group of tasks or deliverables. While project milestones are important, your project objectives encompass your whole project.

Example of a project objective:  Obtain 20,000 RSVPs to our virtual event before the closing date for signups (June 23rd).

Example of a project milestone:  June 8th, 2021: Web page promotion upcoming virtual event goes live.

Project objectives vs. project deliverables

Project deliverables  are the assets you want to have at the end of your project—in a marketing campaign, for example, a deliverable could be a new ad or a web page. In general, your project objectives will define what your deliverables are—but your objectives should also be broader than your deliverables.

In addition to capturing deliverables, your project objectives will also define the benefits and outcomes to come from those deliverables, especially as they relate to the grander scheme of your project goals and business objectives.

Example of a project objective:  Reduce monthly customer churn to >1% before the end of the year.

Example of a deliverable:  Launch winback campaign for all lapsed customers.

The benefits of project objectives

A clear project objective helps you know where you’re going with your project. Without a project objective, you don’t have an easy way to know if your project succeeded or failed—nor can you plan improvements for the next project you work on.

When team members don’t have a clear sense of how their work fits into the larger project and company goals, they’re less motivated and less engaged. According to the  Asana Goals Report , only 26% of knowledge workers have a clear understanding of how their individual work contributes toward company goals. Granted, your project objectives aren’t company goals—but they’re the middle step that connects individual work to your project work to your company goals.

So when you have clearly-defined project objectives, your team members can consistently evaluate their work and refocus on the objectives if they’ve gotten misaligned. Think of your objectives as a compass to help your team continue moving in the right direction.

5 tips to write great project objectives

The secret to writing great project objectives is to create objectives that are clearly written and helpful. You can do this by using the SMART methodology , which stands for:

For a full walkthrough of this methodology, read our article to learn how to write better SMART goals .

1. Set your project objectives at the beginning of your project

In order for your objectives to guide the results of the project, you need to set them at the beginning and use them to guide your project. As we mentioned earlier, your project objectives are a key element of your  project plan , which you should also create at the beginning of your project.

2. Involve your project team in the goal-setting process

The more buy-in you get, the more successful your project objectives will be. Your stakeholders need to have a clear understanding of the objectives of the project, so they can approach the rest of your project plan and the work that happens during the project most effectively.

3. Create brief, but clear, project objective statements

If this is your first time writing a project objective, you may be tempted to outline every detail—but try to keep your project objective short if you can. Think of it as a statement to guide the results of your project—your project objective statement should be about one to two sentences long. The additional information, like your project budget or stakeholders, will be captured in your project plan.

4. Make sure your objectives are things you can control

This is where the SMART acronym comes in to play to help you create clearly-defined, realistic, and controllable project objectives. There are five elements to this framework:

Specific.  Make sure your project objective statement clearly covers the project your team is currently working on. Avoid writing overly broad project objectives that don’t directly connect to the result of the project.

Measurable.  At the end of your project, you need a way to clearly look back and determine if your project was a success. Make sure your project objectives are clearly measurable things—like percentage change or a specific number of assets.

Achievable.  Are your project objectives something you can reasonably hope to achieve within your project? this is connected to your project scope —if your project scope is unrealistic, your project objectives likely will be, too. Without Achievable project goals, your project may suffer from  scope creep , delays, or overwork.

Realistic.  When you’re creating your project objectives, you should have a general sense of your  project resources . Make sure your objectives are something you can achieve within the time frame and with the resources you have available for this project.

Time-bound.  Your project objectives should take into account how long your project timeline is. Make sure you factor in the time you have available to work on your project.

5. Check in on your project objectives during the project’s lifecycle

Employees who understand how their individual work adds value to their organization are  2X as motivated . In order to keep your team aligned and motivated, make sure to check in and update them on your project objectives frequently. In your  project status reports , include a section that connects back to your project objectives. Share whether your current project is on track, at risk, or off track. That way, your project team can recalibrate if necessary and move forward in a way that best contributes to your project objectives.

Examples of good and bad project objectives

It’s not easy to write a project objective, and it’ll take time for you to get in the groove of writing these for your projects. That’s ok! Check out these three examples of good and bad objectives to help you write your own:

Example 1: Business project objective

Bad: Launch new home page.

This project objective is missing many important characteristics. Though this objective is measurable, achievable, and realistic, it’s not specific or time-bound. When should the home page be live? What should the redesign focus on?

Good: Create net-new home page assets and copy, focusing on four customer stories and use cases. Launch refreshed, customer-centric home page by the end of Q2.

This project objective is solid. It’s specific ( create net-new home page assets and copy ), measurable ( launch refreshed, customer-centric home page ), achievable and realistic ( focusing on four customer stories and use cases ), and time bound ( by the end of Q2 ).

Example 2: Nonprofit project objective

Bad: Increase sustainability in our production process by 5%

Though this project objective is more specific than the previous bad example, it’s still lacking several important characteristics. This objective is measurable ( by 5% ), but it’s not specific or time-bound, since we don’t specify what “sustainability” means or by when the production process should improve. As a result, we don’t really know if it’s achievable or realistic.

Good: Reduce operational waste by 5% and increase use of recycled products by 20% in the next 12 weeks.

This project objective builds upon the previous one, because we now have a specific objective. This project objective also includes a way to measure the goal ( by 5%... by 20% ). The objective is a little ambitious, but the fact that it’s time-bound ( in the next 12 weeks ) makes it both achievable and realistic.

Example 3: Personal project objective

Bad: Improve performance reviews

Believe it or not, most personal project objectives aren’t specific or measurable. That’s because we have a hard time turning success metrics inwards, onto ourselves. But in order to know if we improved and achieved our personal goals, we need to create a clearer project objective.

Good: Get at least a 4/5 on both the March and September performance reviews in 2021.

Here, we have a project objective that checks all of the right boxes: it’s specific ( get at least a 4/5 ), measurable ( 4/5 ), achievable and realistic ( 4/5 gives us room for any unanticipated difficulties ), and time-bound ( in 2021 ).

Objectively speaking, project objectives are a good idea

Setting a project objective can help your team gain clarity, align on work, and get more work done. But remember: project objectives are just one part of your overall project plan. To learn more about how you can increase clarity and alignment during the project planning stage, read our guide to  writing project plans .

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9 Main Objectives of Business Plan

April 16, 2019 | By Hitesh Bhasin | Filed Under: Business

A recent study has shown that a vast majority of businesses fail due to the lack of a proper business plan . The business plan can you help arrive at the proper objectives for your business. Of course, having a complete overview of the business may be a difficult task, especially when you are still planning your business.

So what is a business plan and what objectives of an organization does it serve? We will attempt in helping you understand the concept better.

Table of Contents

What is a Business Plan?

Any business plan has two purposes to serve. To begin with, it helps you run your business with a cohesive vision based on where you would want to see the business in a year from now. It serves as a roadmap to achieve the business goals you have set for yourself.

Another purpose that you need to have a business plan is to show to the financial institutions and banks that you have access to the business roadmap. Banks want to make sure that you have a clear vision for developing your business ahead so that their risk factors are mitigated to a greater extent.

Objectives of Business Plan

Business plan - 2

The major objectives that a business Plan looks to achieve include the following elements.

1) Dedicating enough time for planning

A workable business plan cannot be created overnight. It is bound to take its own time to develop. So, a perfect business plan will attempt to spend enough time and hard work to achieve successful implementation. This should be one of the crucial stages in a business plan.

A complete analysis of the current situation is the key to evolving plans. Review the situation through brainstorming and other techniques to define the goals.

2) Create goals and objectives

An organization depends heavily on the business plan to arrive at the description of business it performs. There are several areas that a company will focus on if it wants to realize its objectives, understand the market that it is planned to operate in and the strategy to achieve the goals.

Lack of a business plan will leave the management without any means to check out the theories on how to operate the business. In essence, a business plan will help a company to test different methods in reaching the best standards and policies.

3) Evaluating performance

Business plan - 3

A business needs proper planning and control over the activities for enhanced performance. It will be an essential step towards achieving the long term survival of the organization as a whole. The business plan also comes with a financial part to it and used for comparing the actual performance with the estimated one.

The ability and provision for such a control and evaluation procedure are what offers you a great advantage in checking the success of the operations. This way, you will be able to detect issues like production or delivery delays, or even increasing production costs.

4) Gauging business strategy and applying due correction

A Business plan is what would assist you in assessing the efficiency of your strategies for achieving business goals. In an ideal condition, a business needs to have the planned results with which the actual results can be compared, and the way forward is decided.

If any of the strategies are found to be unsuccessful in achieving the relevant results, it may be a perfect idea to ditch the strategy or take corrective actions. It is wise to have a good business plan so that the management does have a reference with which it can have a healthy comparison of the actual result achieved.

5) Arranging financial resources

A business plan can be much helpful and instrumental in acquiring adequate business financing. Like we stated already, banks and lenders look for a proper business plan before lending you any sort of finance.

A business plan should be prepared in such a manner that the banks will have a clear understanding of the business perspective that the owner has. The lenders will be able to get to the root of the actual vision shared by the promoters and the methods of operation that will be employed.

Being financially viable is one of the prime objectives of a good business plan.

6) Stay consistent

Business plan - 4

This should be yet another objective that a business plan needs to be focussed with is being consistent. A good business plan should place proper value on the exact process and its adherence to the planned goals.

Sticking to a consistent schedule will work wonders in achieving the planned goals effectively. This will also help the employees and other staff to fall into a proper routine. This will help the concept of planning to be a part of your business culture.

7) Keep your goals ’SMART’

No, we are not referring to SMART as in the word intelligent. We mean your goals in the business plan should be S-M-A-R-R-T ( Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) to achieve success.

This will help you achieve the business goals as laid out in the business plan effectively and efficiently. It would be practical to have your team member analyze the goals set so that you will get back to a realistic approach.

8) Performing SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is one of the best options you would want to go with when it comes to focus on an effective business plan. Having perfect knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your organization helps you come up with a better insight into the realistic goals.

The SWOT analysis also takes into account the opportunities and threats that the organization can come to face to face. This will assist you to focus on the positive factor and take corrective actions against the negatives.

9) Marketing Analysis

Business plan - 5

Marketing forms an integral part of a business and so does with the business plan. This part of the business plan should be focussed on determining the potential of your product or service while letting the business owners know more about future customers.

The marketing analysis part of the business plan should ideally provide you with a means of understanding your industry as a whole.

In Conclusion

In essence, a perfect business plan is what would help you configure your business in a more positive manner. It would help you foresee the unforeseen circumstances and take corrective action even before you face the situation in actual.

It takes into account the strategy on how to run the business along with the possible risk factors associated and the marketing avenues available in the long run.

Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Business

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About Hitesh Bhasin

Hitesh Bhasin is the CEO of Marketing91 and has over a decade of experience in the marketing field. He is an accomplished author of thousands of insightful articles, including in-depth analyses of brands and companies. Holding an MBA in Marketing, Hitesh manages several offline ventures, where he applies all the concepts of Marketing that he writes about.

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What Is The Objective Of A Business Plan?

What is the objective of a business plan?

Spontaneity is fun. But in the profit-driven world of big business, thorough planning just makes more sense. The Small Business Administration says 70% of start-ups are likely to fail within their first two years, and the reasons are too numerous to mention. One of the most significant factors of failure is a poorly constructed business plan -- or no plan at all.

While these documents are central to a business' success, many entrepreneurs are left scratching their heads, wondering what actually makes a good business plan.

At the core of a business plan

So much has been said about business plans, but they still remain widely misunderstood, often with unwelcome consequences. So, if you're just getting started, setting clear objectives is always the clearest path to a solid plan.

Keeping the focus

Perhaps the most overarching objective of a business plan is to provide a focus for your business. Write down product information, manpower requirements, financial projections and other details that characterize and set direction.

The Small Business Administration advises checking in with your business plan from time to time, and updating it whenever you make any changes. This can highlight how any adjustments can affect your business as a whole. Overall, the plan should remind you of your original goals for starting the business, any new goals you've established along the way and how these two influence your initial vision.

Testing strategies and evaluating performance

To get an accurate picture of strategy, you can compare actual and planned outcomes, and draw insights that help you make more confident business decisions moving forward. If some parts of the strategy have been unsuccessful, you might scrap them or modify them to perform better.

If a new product is currently underperforming, management may decide to improve it or repackage it. With a business plan, different theories can be tested, from financials and marketing to customer relations. Without the trail of a business plan, executives might make decisions based on speculations and assumptions, increasing their chances of failure.


Proper allocation of resources

One of the most important objectives of a business plan is to set the consensus on everything about the business -- vision and mission, goals, projections, strategies, processes, target markets, etc. Unless everyone is on the same page, the proper allocation of resources becomes difficult, thus stunting growth.

With a clear business plan, decision-makers can work in harmony without having to consult or check in with one another, saving everyone time while working toward mutual goals.

Securing financing

One very practical objective of a business plan is to build a case for financing. It's no secret that banks and other lenders ask for this vital document as part of their due diligence prior to granting loans.

With a plan in place, banks are able to explore a business' goals, ideals and methods of operation. All of these give clues to the company's comparative financial value. Needless to say, business plans form most of the foundation for loan providers to decide on approving or rejecting an application.

Providing motivation for growth

Starting a business can be intimidating, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. By breaking it down to something concrete, aspiring business owners can get a clearer and more reliable view of how they can materialize their goals.

The tangibility and objective nature of a business plan can help increase your confidence and motivation in growing your company. Yes, you can always discuss your plans verbally during meetings or conversations, but a black and white approach offers a stronger grasp of the direction you want to go and how to get there.

Attracting investors


Another objective of a business plan is to entice potential investors. Before people put their money into a company, they'll naturally want to review plans for performance, and a business plan couldn't be more perfect for this. The document will provide a crystal clear picture of the business' current financial performance, anticipated profit streams, marketing research for the target demographic, growth and expansion plans, and so on.

In other words, a business plan gives potential investors a bird's eye view of what they can expect from a certain company. It's a good vehicle for you to show off your business and get those investors on board.

Guiding new executives

As a company grows, you'll probably add executives to your team to help steer your business on the right path. A business plan gives these new decision-makers a wider scope of the business and how their skills can play an important role.

The absence of a business plan can also give rise to wrong expectations, disappointments and frustration, which can ultimately undermine the interests of both sides.

Planning to succeed

Just looking at a clear outline of a business plan with objectives will make it easier for you to see how it plays a pivotal role in success. But, aside from creating this plan, you also need to keep it from being static, letting it evolve with the dynamic needs and demands of the industry. A safe rule of thumb is to update this document annually.

A business plan is a good way to go back in time and appraise the business for what it's achieved so far, what needs more work and attention and, most importantly, how existing processes can be improved to produce competitive results.

© Copyright IBTimes 2023. All rights reserved.


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Objectives of a Business Plan

by Billie Nordmeyer MBA, MA

Published on 1 Jan 2021

According to the Small Business Administration, 70 percent of new businesses fail in their first two years. This rate of business failures would seem to make it worthwhile to create a business plan, an objective view of a business, flaws and all.. By providing the information to evaluate feasibility of a business, the plan also supports the entrepreneur's efforts to obtain business financing. Equally important, the plan serves as a baseline with which to evaluate business performance.

Identify Objectives

Management relies on a business plan to gain consensus on a business's description; its objectives; the market in which it will operate and its strategy to achieve business objectives. Without the business plan, management does not have an effective means to test different theories on how to operate the business and examine the outcome from a financial, marketing and operations perspective. As a result, company officials will find it difficult to properly allocate financial and operating resources.

Evaluate Performance

Planning and control are essential to the long-term survival of a small business. As a company begins operations, the financial portion of the business plan serves as a tool to compare planned with actual operating results. In checking the success of operations, management can identify such issues as increasing costs of production or delivery delays. Once identified, management can take action to correct problems.

Gauge Strategy

Management relies on the comparison of actual to planned results to evaluate the company’s business strategy and determine how the business should proceed in the future. Unsuccessful aspects of the strategy can be discontinued or replaced based on the company’s strengths or weaknesses. For example, a product might be withdrawn from one market and introduced in another, or a new product might be tested for particular customers.

Obtain Financing

The business plan is also an instrument to acquire business financing. Banks and other lenders use the plan to perform due diligence before granting a company business loans. The plan enables the lenders to understand the owner's vision of the business, the company's goals and methods of operation, each of which infers the comparative financial worth of the business. It is on this basis that lenders and investors allocate financial resources to the business.

Eide Bailly LLP

How to Apply Artificial Intelligence Strategically in Your Organization

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Key Takeaways

  • Effectively harnessing AI will be the key to remaining competitive.
  • Successful implementation of AI starts with preparing your data, defining clear business objectives, and developing a plan for change management.
  • An advisor can help you develop a clear roadmap for applying AI strategically across your organization.

McKinsey reports that 60% of organizations that have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) are already using generative AI, with 40% planning to invest more. Moreover, 75% of their respondents expect generative AI to cause “significant or disruptive change” to the competitive landscape in their industry in the next three years.

Effectively harnessing the power of AI will be key in remaining competitive. However, there are risks to jumping in without a plan. We’ve outlined the three steps to applying AI strategically across your organization.

Prepare Your Data

AI relies heavily on high-quality data. You cannot begin to leverage AI in your organization unless you have a robust data strategy in place. That strategy must be reviewed often and adapted as your organization’s needs evolve.

The framework for any data strategy starts with an assessment . This systematic evaluation of your data assets, infrastructure, and practices provides the opportunity to make informed decisions about data initiatives, prioritize improvements, and establish a data roadmap. In assessing your data landscape, you’ll identify what data you have, where it’s stored, how it’s collected, and who uses it. You’ll also evaluate the quality of your data.

The information garnered from the assessment lays the groundwork for your strategy, which includes five key components.

  • Data Governance: Establish data governance practices to ensure data quality, security, and compliance. Define roles and responsibilities for data management.
  • Data Architecture: Decide on the data architecture that best suits your needs. Consider how data will be collected, stored, integrated, and accessed.
  • Data Analytics and Insights: Determine how data will be analyzed and used to derive actionable insights. This may involve data mining, reporting, data visualization, and advanced analytics.
  • Data Lifecycle: Define how data will be managed throughout its lifecycle, from data collection and storage to data retention and disposal.
  • Technology and Tools: Identify the technology and tools needed to support your data strategy. This may include data storage solutions, analytics software, and data integration platforms. Make sure you have the proper security in place to protect your data.

Data quality and accessibility are critical for AI models to generate valuable insights and predictions.

Define Clear Business Objectives

Identify specific business objectives and goals that AI can help address. These objectives should be aligned with your organization’s overall strategy and should contribute to improved efficiency, customer satisfaction, revenue growth, or other key performance indicators. It's crucial to understand what problems or opportunities AI can solve for your organization before you start applying it.

When AI initiatives are not aligned with clear business objectives, there is a risk of pursuing technology for technology's sake. This misalignment can lead to a lack of meaningful outcomes and wasted resources. It becomes challenging to measure the impact and value that AI brings to the organization.

Your ability to effectively measure the impact of your AI initiatives comes from defining measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) before jumping in. This is vital to determining return on investment (ROI). Without this determination, you can’t evaluate whether the AI investment is worthwhile or whether it has a positive impact on the bottom line.

If your business objective is to empower a more productive sales team, you can use AI to streamline their processes. AI-generated email templates, automated email campaigns, and chatbots will allow them to spend more time closing deals and generating revenue—two trackable and measurable KPIs.

Develop a Plan for Change Management

Successful integration of AI into your processes and culture is dependent on user adoption and a carefully thought-out approach to change management.

  • Clear Communication and Training: Effective communication is essential to inform employees about the purpose of AI adoption, its benefits, and how it will impact their roles. Open and transparent communication helps alleviate concerns and resistance to change. Provide comprehensive training programs to equip employees with the necessary skills to work with AI tools and systems.
  • Engagement and Involvement: Actively involve employees in the AI adoption process. Seek their input, ideas, and feedback and address any concerns they may have.
  • Demonstrating Value and Measuring Success: Show the tangible value and benefits of AI to users by providing real-world examples and success stories. Highlight how AI can enhance their work, make tasks more efficient, or improve decision-making.

Creating a supportive and inclusive environment where employees understand the value of AI, are equipped with the necessary skills, and actively participate in the adoption process is vital. There is a general fear of job insecurity today—three out of four Americans believe that AI will reduce jobs .

Work with a Partner

An advisor can help you develop a clear roadmap for applying AI strategically across your organization. Our team at Eide Bailly combines their business knowledge and technology expertise to help organizations of all sizes introduce AI into their business processes in a strategic and methodical way.

Digital Solutions to Navigate Challenges and Drive Innovation


About the Author(s)

Nathan McMurtrey

Nathan McMurtrey

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I need assistance with developing objectives for a marketing plan...

I need assistance with developing objectives for a marketing plan for the company OREO.

  • specific: List the specific change you're trying to enact (for example, a 15% increase in sales, a 60% increase in brand awareness, etc.).
  • measurable: How will you be able to evaluate the outcome? For example, you can measure the increase in sales at the end of the period in question.
  • agreed-upon: Briefly explain why your group thinks this is a worthwhile objective.
  • realistic: Briefly justify why you believe this is a realistic objective.
  • timely: Explain the timing involved in this objective (for example, it may be within a calendar year, it may be within a quarter, etc.).

I appreciate the help!!

Answer & Explanation

check the answer in the explanation section below

The goal is to increase OREO's market share in the cookie and snack business by 10% over the course of the next year.

Specified: - The specific change that we intend to bring about is an increase of 10% in OREO's market share within the industry of cookies and snacks.

Measurable: We will determine the success of the project by calculating OREO's percentage of the market share after the allotted time period has passed. The sales numbers and industry reports will be used to compile the data needed to determine market share.

Agreed-Upon: - This target is desirable because it coincides with the strategic goals that OREO has set to retain and strengthen its position in the extremely competitive market for cookies and snacks. A growing proportion of the market is indicative of growing significance and profitability for the brand.

Realistic We feel that this target is attainable given that OREO already has a substantial market presence and a dedicated following of customers. Within one year, it is possible to achieve a 10% increase in market share by strategically implementing marketing activities, innovating products, and effectively promoting products.

Timely: - The timeframe for achieving this aim has been established at one year, which will give a good amount of time to put marketing tactics into action, evaluate the impact those initiatives have, and adjust as necessary. This enables a targeted strategy that can be implemented in a timely manner, with the end goal of obtaining the desired rise in market share.  

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5 essential chatgpt prompts your sales and marketing team need to know.

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5 essential ChatGPT prompts your sales and marketing team need to know

Using ChatGPT in your business is like having an enthusiastic intern 24/7, ready to diligently follow instructions and produce the goods. You’ll learn pretty fast that the strength of the answers is directly proportional to the strength of your prompts. Prompting is a skill to take very seriously. But there’s something better than learning how to prompt ChatGPT yourself and that’s getting your team to use it effectively.

Share these five essential ChatGPT prompts with your sales and marketing team members, so they can get more done in a shorter space of time. With the hours they save, the best team members will find ways to add even more value.

ChatGPT prompts for entrepreneurs and their marketing teams

Make a plan to achieve a marketing objective.

If they know the overall goal of the campaign, but don’t have the plan to make it happen, this prompt will help your team members know exactly what to do. AI business consultant Damian Sebastian uses this prompt to create a game plan for any area, from the perspective of a specific role, perfect for a team member working in marketing.

“My objective is [describe your objective]. My role is [describe your role in relation to this objective]. Give me a detailed weekly action plan, spanning [number of weeks], that I can execute to achieve the objective. Put the outputs in a table by week and allocate how long each task should take.”

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He suggested adding this follow up item for any action items that need explaining, to fill in any knowledge gaps. “Can you teach me the essentials of what I need to know for the action item [specific action item]?"

Improve communication with prospects

When you receive enquiries through your site, you want to respond in the optimal way. But how do you systemize this when every enquiry is slightly different? Maurizio Petrone from uses this prompt to improve communication with prospective clients.

"I received this inquiry from a prospective client: [paste prospect's message]. Assume the role of a sales expert with the goal of helping me maximize conversions, and help me improve this draft response to be [describe the edits required, for example more friendly, persuasive or compelling]: [your initial brief draft].”

Petrone added that, "You can use the same technique to improve your communication with active clients. “Sometimes, when I am undecided on what to say, I ask ChatGPT to list the pros and cons of each choice in the context of client relationship management. This approach has effectively guided my decisions in this area". He concluded that "ChatGPT has enhanced my company's ability to cultivate and sustain productive relationships with both prospective and active clients."

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"I have a business that sells [describe your product or service]. What are 50 popular and relevant topics I can write about that will attract lots of traffic on Google, but are not directly about [product or service] itself? List the topics in bullet point form, and include two potential article headings for each one, that are optimized to generate interest."

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Generate viral social media content ideas

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"You are a leading expert on viral marketing. Act as a highly paid consultant to clients looking to build their business and market their products on [TikTok]. I am your client, and my product is [describe your product] for [describe your ideal customer]. Come up with a list of 25 [TikTok video] ideas I can make that have a high chance of going viral, that are directly relevant to my product and the ideal customer who may purchase it."

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