How To Set Business Goals (+ Examples for Inspiration)

Download Now: Free Business Startup Kit
Saphia Lanier
Saphia Lanier



You’re a business owner — the captain of your own ship. But how do you ensure you’re steering your company in the right direction? 

Business goals: a man looks into a telescope

Without clear-cut goals and a plan to reach them, you risk setting your sails on the course of dangerous icebergs. 

The best way to steer clear of wreckage is to map out exactly where you want your business to go. This is what makes setting business goals so important. If you’re not already using them to guide your ship, then now’s a great time to start.Download Now: Free Business Startup Kit

Table of contents:

What are business goals? 

Business goals are the desired outcomes that an organization aims to achieve within a specific time frame. These goals help define the purpose and direction of the company, guiding decision-making and resource allocation. They can be short-term or long-term objectives, aligned with the company’s mission and vision.

Free Business Startup kit

9 templates to help you brainstorm a business name, develop your business plan, and pitch your idea to investors.

  • Business Name Brainstorming Workbook
  • Business Plan Template
  • Business Startup Cost Calculator
  • And more!
Learn more

    Download Free

    All fields are required.

    You're all set!

    Click this link to access this resource at any time.

    Why business goals are important

    Operating a business using your gut and feelings will only get you so far. If you’re looking to build a sustainable company, then you need to set goals in advance and follow through with them. 

    Here’s what goal setting can do to make your business a success:

    • Give your business direction. Business goals align everyone toward a common purpose and ensure all efforts and resources are directed toward achieving specific outcomes.
    • Keep everyone motivated to keep pushing forward. Goals provide employees with a sense of purpose and motivation. According to research from BiWorldwide, goal setting makes employees 14.2x more inspired at work and 3.6x more likely to be committed to the organization.
    • Create benchmarks to work toward (and above). Goals provide a basis for measuring and evaluating the performance of the organization. They serve as benchmarks to assess progress, identify areas of improvement, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and strategy adjustments.
    • Prioritize activities and allocate resources effectively. Goals help you identify the most important initiatives, ensuring that time, money, and effort are invested in activities that align with the overall objectives.
    • Make continuous organizational improvements. Goals drive continuous improvement by setting targets for growth and progress. They encourage businesses to constantly evaluate their performance, identify areas for refinement, and implement strategies to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

    Nothing creates solidarity among teams and departments like shared goals. So be sure to get everyone involved to boost camaraderie. 

    How to set business goals

    Setting business goals requires careful consideration and planning. By defining specific and measurable targets, you can track progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.

    Here are the steps to effectively set business goals.

    Step 1: Identify key areas to improve in your business

    Start by assessing the current state of your organization. Identify areas that require improvement or growth. This could include increasing revenue, expanding your customer base, improving employee satisfaction, or enhancing product offerings.

    Step 2: Choose specific and measurable goals 

    Setting clear and specific goals is essential. Use the SMART goal framework to ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of setting a vague goal like “increase revenue,” set a specific goal like “increase revenue by 15% in the next quarter.”

    Step 3: Prioritize which goals to tackle first

    Not all goals are equally important or urgent. Evaluate the impact and feasibility of each goal and prioritize them accordingly. By ranking your goals, you can focus your efforts and resources on the most critical objectives.

    Step 4: Break down your goals into smaller milestones

    Breaking down each goal into smaller, manageable tasks makes them more attainable. Assign responsibilities and set deadlines for each step. This approach helps track progress and ensures accountability.

    Step 5: Decide what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be

    Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics used to measure progress toward your goals. Set realistic and relevant KPIs that align with your objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase customer acquisition, a relevant KPI could be the number of new customers acquired per month.

    Tips to achieve business goals

    Now that you have set your business goals, it’s time to take action and work toward achieving them. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

    1. Write down your action plan 

    Develop a detailed plan of action for each goal. Identify the necessary resources, strategies, and milestones to achieve them. A well-defined action plan provides a road map for success.

    2. Foster a culture that’s goal-oriented

    Encourage your employees to embrace and contribute to your goals. Foster a culture that values goal setting and achievement. Recognize and reward individuals or teams that make significant progress toward the goals.

    3. Regularly track and evaluate progress

    Monitor the progress toward each goal and make adjustments as needed. Use project management tools or software to track and visualize progress. Regularly review and evaluate your performance to ensure you’re on the right track.

    4. Seek feedback and adapt

    Gather feedback from employees, customers, and stakeholders. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives and help you refine your goals and strategies. Adapt your approach based on feedback to increase your chances of success.

    5. Stay focused and motivated (even when you fail)

    Staying motivated to achieve goals is difficult, especially when you come up short or fail. But don’t let this set you back. Continue pushing forward with your goals or readjust the direction as needed. Then do whatever you can to avoid distractions so you stay committed to your action plan.

    Also, remember to celebrate small wins and milestones along the way to keep your team motivated and engaged.

    Free SMART Goal Template

    A free template to help you create S.M.A.R.T. goals for marketing campaign success.

    • Set your goals
    • Calculate your metrics
    • Evaluate your success
    Learn more

      Download Free

      All fields are required.

      You're all set!

      Click this link to access this resource at any time.

      Business goals examples

      To provide inspiration, here are some examples of common business goals:

      1. Revenue growth

      Revenue growth is a business goal that focuses on increasing the overall income generated by the company. Setting a specific target percentage increase in revenue can create a measurable goal to work toward.

      Strategies for achieving revenue growth may include:

      • Expanding the customer base through targeted marketing campaigns
      • Improving customer retention and loyalty
      • Upselling or cross-selling to existing customers
      • Increasing the average order value by offering premium products or services

      Example: A retail company sets a goal to increase its revenue by 10% in the next fiscal year. To achieve this, it implements several strategies, including launching a digital marketing campaign to attract new customers, offering personalized discounts and promotions to encourage repeat purchases, and introducing a premium product line to increase the average order value.

      2. Customer acquisition

      Customer acquisition focuses on expanding the customer base by attracting new customers to the business. Setting a specific goal for the number of new customers helps businesses track their progress and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

      Strategies for customer acquisition may include:

      • Running targeted advertising campaigns
      • Implementing referral programs to incentivize existing customers to refer new ones
      • Forming strategic partnerships with complementary businesses to reach a wider audience

      Example: A software-as-a-service (SaaS) company aims to acquire 1k new customers in the next quarter. To achieve this, it launches a social media marketing campaign targeting its ideal customer profile, offers a referral program where existing customers receive a discount for referring new customers, and forms partnerships with industry influencers to promote its product.

      3. Employee development

      Employee development goals focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of employees to improve their performance and contribute to the organization’s growth. By setting goals for employee training and skill development, businesses can create a culture of continuous learning and provide opportunities for career advancement.

      Strategies for employee development may include:

      • Offering training programs
      • Providing mentorship opportunities
      • Sponsoring professional certifications
      • Creating a career development plan for each employee

      Example: A technology company aims to have 80% of its employees complete at least one professional certification within the next year. To achieve this, it offers financial support and study materials for employees interested in obtaining certifications, provides dedicated study time during working hours, and celebrates employees’ achievements upon certification completion.

      4. Product development

      Product development goals focus on creating and improving products or services to meet customer needs and stay competitive in the market. Setting goals for product development can prioritize your efforts and so you can allocate resources effectively.

      Strategies for product development may include:

      • Conducting market research to identify customer preferences and trends
      • Gathering customer feedback through surveys or focus groups
      • Investing in research and development to create new products or enhance existing ones
      • Collaborating with customers or industry experts to co-create innovative solutions

      Example: An electronics company sets a goal to launch three new product lines within the next year. To achieve this, it conducts market research to identify emerging trends and customer demands, gathers feedback from its target audience through surveys and usability testing, allocates resources to research and development teams for product innovation, and collaborates with external design agencies to create visually appealing and user-friendly products.

      5. Social responsibility

      Social responsibility goals focus on making a positive impact on society or the environment. These goals go beyond financial success and emphasize the importance of ethical and sustainable business practices. Setting goals for social responsibility allows businesses to align their values with their actions and contribute to causes that resonate with their stakeholders.

      Strategies for social responsibility may include: 

      • Implementing sustainable practices to reduce environmental impact
      • Donating a percentage of profits to charitable organizations
      • Supporting local communities through volunteer programs
      • Promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization

      Example: A clothing retailer aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 20% in the next two years. To achieve this, it implements sustainable practices, such as using eco-friendly materials, optimizing packaging to minimize waste, and partnering with ethical manufacturers. It also donates a percentage of its profits to an environmental conservation organization.

      Setting and achieving goals is what it takes to be successful in business. By following the steps outlined in this article and incorporating the tips provided, you can effectively set and work toward your goals. Remember to regularly evaluate progress, adapt as necessary, and celebrate milestones along the way.Apply for a job, keep track of important information, and prepare for an  interview with the help of this free job seekers kit.

      Topics: Business Growth

      9 templates to help you brainstorm a business name, develop your business plan, and pitch your idea to investors.

        Powerful and easy-to-use sales software that drives productivity, enables customer connection, and supports growing sales orgs