How To Write Effective Business Objectives

How To Write Effective Business Objectives
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Writing a business objective is where every business begins. Whether it is the organization of a small firm by a sole proprietor or the multi-million dollar project of a wealthy individual, it needs a business objective. Many people think that the purpose of a business in all cases is obvious and that it is to increase capital. This is not entirely true. Making a profit is certainly one of the reasons why people start businesses, however, the objectives are usually numerous and varied. This article explains how to write business objectives.

Table of Contents

What is a business objective?

Regardless of the field in which you develop your business, it is essential to be able to set specific objectives. The most crucial point is that your objectives must be fixed so you can refer to them at any time. First of all, determine the primary mission of your business. Based on it, you can begin to form a plan of step-by-step achievements to meet this mission.

How to write a business objective

Writing business objectives is a valuable process that benefits the entire company and this is regardless of the company size. The business object is a driver for the company, without which it is impossible to develop. Below you will find 5 steps to help you with this task. They are different and grant varied results, so it’s worth taking a look at all of them before writing your own. Remember writing business objectives is no less important than writing a business plan.

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Use brainstorming to write as many business objectives as possible

Think creatively about the challenges you face as a company. Consider writing a list of potential objectives that you can incorporate into your business. It’s okay to give up some of the ideas you generate at this point in the process. Writing lots of ideas for potential positives will give you a wider range of ideas to choose from. You can also combine or break down certain business objectives based on patterns you noticed during the brainstorming process.

Use crowdsourcing to write unique business objectives

Managers who ask their employees to share ideas for business objectives may find that they generate more ideas than they could think of on their own. Consider asking your employees at all levels what problems and solutions they notice in their daily work. You can use a digital tool, such as survey software to get input from your employees and help develop these ideas. You can also use in-person strategies such as focus groups or targeted conversations for writing business objectives.

Organize ideas for writing business objectives

Identifying patterns in the information you brainstorm and collect from employees can help you write meaningful business objectives. For example, if many of your ideas are related to revenue, it may indicate that you are prioritizing profit. Likewise, if many employees note gaps in training, you can write a business objective emphasizing employee training opportunities. You can also categorize multiple business objectives into groups to make it easier to find a particular one later on.

Choose a wording for writing easy-to-perceive business objectives

When you write your business objectives, you can use the acronym SMART to guide your thinking. SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. For example, suppose you notice a need to improve teamwork in your organization. In that case, you might highlight the type of team you want to improve, the measurable results the team can achieve, why improvement is within reach, how improving the team will benefit the company and the period after which you expect results. If you have poor writing skills, it is advisable to turn to a writing service for help to get readable and high-quality business objectives.

Reflect on written business objectives

Well-formulated business objectives are unlikely to change often for many companies because they often address multi-year concerns and goals. Nevertheless, review your objectives periodically to ensure they serve the company’s interests. For example, a particular objective related to technology may evolve as new tools become available and best practices change. When you think about business objectives, try to balance short-term and long-term company objectives.

How not to set business objectives: the experience of large companies

Let’s take this hypothetical scenario:


On the eve of the New Year, Mr. X set the main objectives in business. He wants to cover the market on all continents, use the money to buy new equipment, and breed a new kind of horse with a horn on its forehead. Mr. X is not good at business objective writing, but he is not alone in this.


Here we have collected the typical mistakes for you to take note of.

The business objective is not relevant

When the primary objective of a business does not change over the years, there is a risk of falling behind the needs of the market. Henry Ford made history by developing the Ford Model T, the first assembly-line car. Ford’s business objective over the years remained the production of quality cars, but he did not take into account one thing – he was behind the times. In the years without modernization and production of the same Model T, the American car industry strengthened, and new companies with fresh ideas came to the market. The result: Ford lost 45% of the market.

Business objectives threaten the future

If you focus only on achieving short-term goals (for example, a sales plan), there is a risk of bringing the company to a standstill. This can be done in different ways:


  • Postponing investments in development for the future

  • Offering the client significant discounts so that the deal planned for the future will take place now

  • Investing thoughtlessly in expensive promotion

  • Do not think through long-term development strategies


This was the case, for example, at IBM. In the years when the company was showing very slow growth, the management continued to set plans to increase sales by 25-30%. Against the background of frozen budgets for IT projects, such objectives could not encourage the team.  After the failure in 1993, when the company showed a loss of 8 billion dollars, the top management decided to leave the IT company and focus on providing consulting services.

No one likes the business objective

If the business objective has negative wording like “reduce risks in sales,” “limit the number of breaks,” or “punish tardiness,” then it is hardly worth waiting for development. Such objectives entail a chain of prohibitions, which only undermines the wings of employees: they will stop to take the initiative (and what if I “mess up”?). Business objectives should have a positive expression, such as “Increase market share to 17% by 2024,” it will give the company a perspective on which one wants to strive. If you analyze the business by various indicators, an objective that charges everyone will be much easier to determine. For this purpose, it is better to turn to professionals and order an audit of the company.

The business objective is fabulous

A common mistake when writing a business objective is to disconnect from reality. For example, in the software company Siebel, the management set the same revenue plan for all regional offices – $3.5 million per quarter. They did not take into account the population of the regions entrusted to them, the economic situation, or the level of competition in the local market. As a result, managers in less profitable states were constantly dismissed.

Business objectives are for a tick

“Business objectives for the month: keep sales at last month’s level and train a new employee in the sales department.” These objectives are not worth achieving because it’s just a list of routine tasks. Writing just for the sake of it gives only a friendly checkmark in the notebook and does not move you to the real results. So it is better to write business objectives for which you really need to make an effort.

Inconsistent business objectives 

Sometimes even one’s own negative experiences don’t teach you anything. An example is the AOL media conglomerate. In 1998 it bought ICQ for 400 million dollars, but the perspective service didn’t fulfill all expectations. As a result, it was resold for 187 million dollars. The experience of failure AOL was not taken into account and bought the social network Bebo for 850 million dollars. Later, the BBC called this deal one of the worst in the history of the Internet. Two years later, the company sold the service for only 10 million dollars. Unsuccessful deals forced the conglomerate to close other projects: Xdrive, AOL Pictures, BlueString, AOL Journal, and AOL Hometown, as the company had no money to maintain them.


Now you know how to write business objectives correctly. Just remember these 5 steps, and this task will be as easy for you as counting revenue. It’s also worth keeping the practices you should and shouldn’t do fresh in your mind on a day-to-day basis.


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