Once you've set goals for your company, you need to determine how you will reach them. The steps you take to reach a goal are your business objectives. Like goals, objectives should be SMART - they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Tie business objectives directly to a goal to help you move toward it.
Objectives for Sales Goals
Most companies hope to improve sales from year to year. It's the only way to continue to grow and find success. To increase sales your organization will have to create and execute specific strategies designed to bring in new customers.
Examples of business objectives include:
- Create a survey to discover how the top 20% of our customers found us, and increase investment in those marketing strategies by October 1
- Create a loyalty or frequent buyer program to encourage repeat customer sales by December 1
- Create a client referral program by November 15 to increase our brand's reach
Depending on your specific sales goals, you may need to focus your objectives regionally or even internationally. You may also want to create objectives for each quarter or each month to make sure you're staying on track.
Objectives for Customer Service Goals
Customer service can be what sets your company apart from the competition. Sure, many companies sell green widgets, but if you can do it with great service and a smile, people will choose to buy from you. You also don't want to spend tons of money on customer acquisition just to lose it with poor customer service.
You may choose to focus on customer service objectives such as:
- Hire and fully train five new customer service staff members by July 15
- Install online chat as a help option by September 30
- By November 1, translate our most used support documents into Spanish
When you provide excellent customer service, you will not only keep customers, you can generate excellent business from referrals as well. It's like having your very own volunteer salesforce!
Objectives for Profit Goals
When you increase sales, sometimes you increase costs as well. As a result, you end up with no more cash in the bank than you started with. To really boost your company, you need to increase sales and cut costs at the same time. With the right objectives, you can meet your profit goals.
Some ways you might boost profit include:
- Get three new price quotes for green widget suppliers by June 1, and evaluate changing suppliers to save costs
- Create a program to ask for cost-saving ideas from employees by September 1, and include a prize for winning suggestions
- Evaluate company travel expenses by July 15, and create a list of ideas for possible savings
You can also create objectives that review raising prices, focusing on especially profitable customers, or other ways of reducing overhead expenses.
Employee-Focused Business Objectives
Not all your business goals should focus outside your organization. To be successful year after year, you must build the right team and keep your key employees engaged and happy. Multiple studies show that turnover can cost you up to twice the employee's annual salary. Avoiding these costs not only improves your profit, but it also improves productivity and morale as well.
You can create these types of objectives to focus on your staff:
- Implement a targeted 90-day onboarding program by December 1
- Create a system for responding to written employee concerns by May 1, and communicate the process to all staff by June 1
- By September 1, train all managers on how to help employees develop and achieve career goals
When you invest in your employees, the benefits impact far more than your bottom line. John Deere measures employee morale every two weeks, which shows how important motivation and engagement are to innovation and team health.
Implementation Is Key
To keep your business plan from being a document that gathers dust and nothing more, create a plan to take action. Break each objective into steps and assign due dates and responsibility. You may even want to assign a 'champion' to oversee each area of goals and objectives, such as a customer service champion. By holding everyone accountable, your company will be able to execute its objectives and reach its goals.