How to Set Goals for Your Business Plan

Are you starting a new company? Before you roll up your sleeves, setting defined goals is key to future success and growth of your business. You also need them for your business plan when you seek outside financing, either from a bank, investor or institutions.

Set aside time for this goal-setting exercise, so you have a clear head for the high-level thinking.

Plan your long-term strategy.

Map out the long-term strategy for your business. Think about where you want to take your company in the next five years. Research the current market situation, competition and industry landscape. You can use planning methods like SWOT to extract insights and identify opportunities based on the information you have gathered.

Set short-term goals that support your strategy.

Create goals that will help you execute on your strategy with OKR.

To make sure that your goals complement your strategy, think in terms of outcomes you would like to see happen.

You can use the Objective and Key Results (OKR) system to structure your goals. It helps you put your goals in concrete and measurable terms, so you know whether your work is delivering the outcomes you desire.

Objectives are your big, ambitious goals, and Key Results are quantifiable outcomes that reflect your progress toward the Objective. Make sure your OKRs push you right outside your comfort zone. Research has shown that aspirational, challenging goals are better motivators than easy goals.

You can set OKRs for your company, team and employees. At the end of the quarter, you can evaluate your progress, celebrate success, and set new OKRs for the quarter after. If you aren’t able to achieve the Key Results, you can examine the reasons behind it, and decide whether you need to change or adjust them for the new quarter.

Not only OKRs help you define and achieve goals, they also show your potential investors how you are going to take your business to the next level, which will increase their confidence in your endeavors and actions.

Download our Step-By-Step Guide to OKR eBook if you want to learn more about how you can make success happen for you and your company.