Adjusting to a rapidly changing work culture with new priorities and work styles means many approaches for writing business goals examples. Traditional cascading forms of management have taken the backseat as new ways to set goals that focus on transparency and alignment have taken off. But, at the end of the day, the most important part of goal setting is being clear about what you’re trying to accomplish.
You’ve probably heard quite a few names of goal setting strategies around (whether or not you know what they mean). For example, there’s SMART goals (which uses a cute, little acronym to help you navigate the clear signs of a good goal), and OKRs which focus on having a few measurable Key Results for a larger, aspirational goal to create more aligned and result-oriented teams. If you're interested in reading more about the difference between OKRs and SMART goals, read our post OKRs vs. SMART goals.
We’ll use these examples along with other strategies to help you set your business goals for the remainder of 2021 (and, hopefully, to help you get started in 2022!)
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Short Term Business Goals
Short term business goals are those that you can accomplish in a quarter or, on the longer end of the short-term world, after a year. Getting started with these isn’t an incredibly easy process. Despite being short-term, short-term business goals work to help you achieve longer term business goals and require good hindsight as well as future planning. You should figure out your short-term goals 1-2 weeks before the start of the quarter along with your long-term goals.
That being said, short-term goals should be flexible. They should be evaluated and changed if things aren’t working out. Likewise, the ideal way to set short-term goals is from a bottom-up approach based on projects that are already happening and long-term goals that were already established.
Before looking at some templates, you just gotta remember 3 points. Make sure your short-term goals are:
1. Increase Market Share
This goal is customer driven. The idea is to sell more of your product to your target consumers, thus, increasing overall market share for your product for investors. For example, if you operate a B2B company, your goal should be to reach out to more company heads or HR departments. If you operate a small business that focuses on building computers, you’ll want more of the local population to come to you for your services.
2. Increase Community Outreach
Becoming part of the community is a fantastic way to connect from the B2C side. Whether you are a large company contributing to community efforts through sponsorship or a small company that volunteers to help for Little League Baseball, community outreach is an excellent goal for new and established organizations alike. Increasing community outreach is especially important if your company or organization doesn’t have a good reputation with a particular group (I.E.: environmentalists). Likewise, community outreach is essential if you are providing human necessities. For example, if you run a small scale grocery store, community outreach is what’s gonna keep you above water when competing with larger corporations.
3. Maintain Profits
Financial goals are one of the most useful top-level objectives you can have. By nature, they are both aspirational and measurable, which equally makes financial-driven objectives essential for getting the goal setting process started for young businesses. Maintaining profits (as opposed to increasing revenue) calls for a balance between profitability and investments. Investments are necessary to test out changes in the market and expand the business, so by establishing a balanced goal, you can reason how much money can go into growth and new projects/tools/campaigns while still reaching a paired profit goal.
4. Reduce Energy/Decrease Tools Necessary for Operation
This is a double-sided issue. If you are providing a service or product that requires being PHYSICALLY, cutting back on using that energy to save money means you can put that money to things that are more useful and productive (such as expanding or improving the product). This can be as minimal as cutting down on electricity.
If your product isn’t physical, this goal equally applies to cutting out company tools by trying to find software or systems that maximize your company’s alignment and productivity. Aiming for 1-2 communication tools, for example, cuts out company miscommunication by having conversations spread out over several apps, messaging programs, and document sharing platforms.
5. Grow Shareholder Value
Increasing shareholder value is an extension of of increasing profit for consumers. Increasing the overall value of your organization can refer to reputation, profit, or any other classification of “value.” The most important aspect of this goal is to specify what that value is and structure your Key Results, projects, KPIs, etc. around this.
6. Increase Percentage of Sales Made with New Products/Product Features
When developing new products or features, promoting them so sales can close more deals/sell more of the new product should be one of your main priorities for increasing profit. This justifies the expenses from investing in the new product or feature in the first place and aims to ensure that the investment was worth it and will turn a profit.
7. Invest in Quality Management
Total Quality Management (TQM) is all about continuing to reduce manufacturing error and streamlining a supply chain with physical products. It equally applies to both when dealing with improving customer experience and training staff. Improving quality across a wide variety of areas is a great company level goal that’s easy to align since each team or department can be held accountable for their own work.
8. Focus on Leadership Skills for Team Members
Training employees is one thing, making them comfortable so they can speak for themselves and encouraging creative, out-of-the box behavior is another. If your company wants more input from lower levels, then this is important.
9. Maintain or Decrease Debt
Easily measurable, this category falls under finances as well. Maintaining a certain amount of financial debt is important… especially for businesses that are just getting started and may not have the profits to cover debt costs. You can also loo into selling part of your business as of way of raising capital, for more information visit cgkbusinesssales.com.
10. Balance Budget for X Period
Balancing a budget is a great top level goal for non-profits. Likewise, this goal is a great for teams who may get a set amount to invest in campaigns or projects quarterly or annually.
11. Calculate and Create the Best Value of Product for Cost
This is on marketing and sales, so is a better team goal than a company goal. The idea is to focus on selling customers that they are getting the best deal. Whether you’re selling something top of the line for high cost or a cheap, low-cost alternative that doesn’t have the polish of a different brand, you need to highlight to your customers why your product balances value and cost.
12. Make Product More Reliable/Create a Reliable Product
Unless you have some dubious morality and ethics issues in your company and want to scam them, then making your product more reliable is a great way to gain customers while maintaining pre existing ones.
13. Cross-Sell to Long Term Customers
So, you have people buying a product of yours. A good goal for sales is to sell them on more products. This builds brand loyalty.
14. Best Customer Service
Dealing with the external face of your company, offering the best customer service means that consumers are happier with the overall experience of buying or using your product.
15. Team Building/Diversity Training Goals
A classic in HR teams, team building and diversity training focuses on employee satisfaction to prevent turnover and allow environments where everyone is comfortable enough to share their ideas.
Setting a goal for your company or team is the first step. But if you don't have a process in place, most likely you will experience "set and forget". If you aren't actively planning on how to achieve your goals, you won't see progress. Which is why we are such fans of OKR methodology, a goal-setting framework used by Netflix, Google and IBM. It works both for large corporations or a team of 3 just starting their company. You can learn more about OKRs in our free ebook, Step by Step Guide to OKRs.