Business goals

A guide to setting better business goals

  • Setting business goals helps you determine in which direction your business needs to go.
  • Active, assertive language is essential when writing your goals because it has an impact on how you perceive them.
  • To make your goals achievable, make sure they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

If you want to take your business to the next level, setting the right goals can be essential. While creating the right goals for your business can be a challenge, the best can make all the difference in your growth.

Obviously, it takes hard work to grow your business, but you also need some direction. Setting strong, achievable goals is a good place to start. Read on to learn more about the different types of business goals and how to set them.

What is a business goal?

A business goal is very different from a New Years resolution and has a lot more money than a gym membership. Business goals are goals related to the vision you have for your business and the accomplishments you want to achieve. They can relate to the whole company, to certain departments, to specific groups of employees or to other areas of the company. Depending on your goal, the goals you set to move your business forward can be daily, quarterly, or annual goals. If you’ve created a business plan, you may have already defined your goals as action strategies.

When setting business goals, it helps to be SMART, as in the acronym for goal setting which means “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.” According to Angela Civitella, certified coach in business leadership and founder of the firm India, SMART business goals can be extremely effective.

Here are some tips on what it means to set SMART goals.


When setting a goal for yourself, it’s important to know exactly what you hope to accomplish and what actions you need to take to reach your goal. Let’s say you want to improve your business income – here are some of the details you would want to decide when setting your goal:

  • The dollar amount or percentage of revenue growth you want to achieve
  • A deadline by which you plan to reach the goal
  • Which department or people would lead this process
  • What steps they would take to work towards this goal
  • What resources would you need to allocate to help your staff achieve this goal


Measurable goals use metrics like dates and numeric values ​​to track your progress toward your goal. This approach not only encourages you to focus on the end goal, but also helps you assess how your efforts are helping you achieve your goals, which can help you stay motivated. In the example above, your measurable goal might be to increase your sales by $ 5,000. You can decide that it should happen in a month and have each member of your sales team follow up on five additional leads per week.


For a goal to be achievable, it must be realistic. For example, a goal of making $ 1 million in one day is probably not achievable for most of us, and setting such a goal would be a failure. While your goals should require you to put in the extra effort, they should be achievable.


A relevant goal is a goal that matters to your business – it should make sense and meet the needs of your business. Referring again to the example above, would increasing your income make a difference to your business? Sure! However, not all business goals have to be about income.

“If serving others to the best of your ability is one of your great values, then just setting a goal based on income won’t be enough to motivate you,” Heather Moulder, Personal Leadership and Career Coach at the house of Course correction coaching, said

Limited in time

A time-bound goal has a deadline for the work you plan to do. When there is no time limit, it is difficult to measure your progress. Deadlines can push you to take action and help you achieve your goals effectively.

What are some examples of business goals?

Knowing what a good goal looks like can help you model your own for your small business. Let’s say you want to increase your income through the introduction of a new service or product. Moulder said this goal is useful and beneficial to your business as it will help you better serve your customers and improve their satisfaction. It would also mean taking on more responsibility for launching your new product or service, so you’ll need to prepare for the time and resources that this entails.

Business goals can also be about your employees. If your goal is to improve or broaden the skills of your employees, you can do so through actionable elements, like setting up a committee to hire a professional instructor for the training courses. Then the goal would be to train the employees for the next six months. When they finish the course, you can measure their skills by assigning them tasks based on what they have learned.

How to write a business goal?

It’s one thing to have general goals in mind, but you have to take a pen. Writing down your goals is very effective. In the Harvard Business Study Self-Development Secrets, 83% of respondents had no goals, 14% had unwritten goals, and 3% had written goals. While the group of respondents who had unwritten goals were 10 times more likely to be successful than those who had no goals at all, the 3% with written goals were 30 times more likely to be successful than those who did not. had no objective.

“The physical act of writing a goal makes it real and tangible,” Civitella said. “You have no excuse to forget it.

Here are two tips to help you write effective business goals.

1. Write in an active style.

The language you use when writing down your goals has an impact on how you perceive them and whether you achieve them.

“As you write, use the word ‘will’ instead of ‘would like’ or ‘could,’ Civitella said.“ For example, ‘I’m going to cut my operating expenses by 10% this year’ not ‘I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10% this year.’ The first goal statement has power and you can “see yourself” cutting back on your spending. The second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked. ”

2. Refine what’s important.

Make sure your goals are important to you and your business. Ask yourself: “Does this goal motivate me?” ”

“If you have little interest in the outcome, or if it is irrelevant given the big picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to achieve them are slim,” Civitella said. “Motivation is the key to achieving goals. ”

There are too many goals. Make sure you only write down items that are extremely valuable to your business. A long to-do list with just two items crossed out can cause feelings of disappointment and frustration, which can add to your demotivation and be incredibly destructive, Civitella said.

“Ask yourself, ‘If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them that it’s a worthwhile goal? »», She declared. “You can use this motivational value statement to help yourself if you start to doubt yourself or if you lose confidence in your ability to achieve the goal. ”

What are the different types of business goals?

Four types of goals are particularly useful in the business world. Read on to learn more about each of them.

Activity-based goals

Activity-based goals require you to complete certain tasks or activities. For example, you can set a goal of making 20 customer phone calls each week.

Process-based goals

Process-based goals require that you focus on internal processes, strategies, and behaviors. “Some examples would be resetting trade policies for greater efficiency or developing a new training program for staff to make it easier to communicate with customers,” Moulder said.

Results-based goals

Results-oriented goals focus on the results of your efforts. You may have less control over these results if they are based on consumer or customer behavior. “An example of this would be getting 10 referrals from existing customers,” said James Pollard, owner of The Coach LLC advisor. “You can’t directly control whether or not they give you referrals, but you can influence the process by asking.”

Some goals are a hybrid of process and outcome goals, Moulder explained. For example, a service company may set a goal of implementing a new staff training program to improve customer service. The process part of the goal is to implement the training program. The result is improved customer service – which you could assess as a reduction in service cancellations or an increase in loyal customers.

Personal goals

Personal goals are the goals business owners set for themselves. These may be related to maintaining or improving your health, work-life balance, or professional development. Knowing what you want for yourself is just as important as understanding what you want for your business because your personal goals affect the way you run your business.

Why is it important to set goals in business?

We set small goals for ourselves in our everyday lives, like getting home in time for dinner or eating salad for lunch. Goals are essential because they give you and your business direction. Without them, you risk stagnating or not giving your best.

Without goals, it is difficult to measure the success of your business, making it difficult to recognize which aspects of your business are performing well and where growth is needed. Goals and a mission statement also keep you and your team aligned. When everyone knows the purpose of the business and how their roles contribute to the mission, it improves morale, which contributes to higher productivity.