Setting clear and well-defined business objectives is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to making sure your business goes in the right direction. A well-crafted objective will help you map out exactly what it is that you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and why it’s important. In this article, we look at everything from the basics of business objectives to examples of specific objectives that are commonly set by different types of businesses.

What is an objective?

An objective is a goal. It’s the specific, measurable result that you want to achieve by some date in the future. The objectives you set for your business will depend on what’s important to you and how far your goals are from becoming reality. The best objectives are:

  • Specific: They have no ambiguity or vagueness about them (for example, “to improve our customer experience” isn’t specific enough)
  • Measurable: You can tell if you’ve achieved them or not (for example, “have more than 100 new customers sign up before April 1st” is measurable)
  • Result-oriented: They contribute to the attainment of a larger goal (for example, “increase sales by 20% this year” contributes towards reaching a company’s overall goal of being profitable)

How to write effective business objectives

  • Define the problem before starting on a solution.
  • Set goals before you start.
  • Don’t worry about what others’ goals are, or compare yourself to them. Be ambitious but realistic, and set goals that will make you happy in your business. You don’t have to be the best in your industry to succeed—you just need to be better than everyone else who’s willing to work as hard as you do.* Examples of tangible fitness goals (that you can achieve within 3-6 months): lose 10 pounds; run a 5k; improve my bench press by 25 pounds; complete a triathlon

Strategy versus tactics

To help you understand the difference between strategy and tactics, think of them as two different types of tools.

  • Your business’s strategy is like a hammer: it can be useful for any number of things, and it’s up to you to figure out what those specific things are. When you’re using your strategy (or “hammer”), your goal is to build yourself up in order to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself in the first place.
  • Tactics, on the other hand, are like saws: they’re only useful for cutting something down or making something smaller—they don’t do anything on their own! In other words, tactics come into play after you’ve already decided what needs doing; they help make sure that everything goes smoothly when executing a plan.

Objectives and OKRs

Objectives are a high-level summary of the goals you want to achieve. They should be measurable, specific and time-bounded.

The SMART acronym is an easy way to check if your objective meets those criteria:

  • Specific – Your goal should be clear and unambiguous.
  • Measurable – You should be able to measure how well you’re progressing toward achieving it.
  • Achievable – It’s realistic for you (and your team) to reach this goal within the given timeframe? Can we do it?
  • Result-oriented – This is about making progress toward something bigger—a larger vision or mission statement that drives every decision you make as a company or leader. This could also mean setting multiple objectives so they work together to achieve a bigger goal over time, like getting more customers using our app or increasing revenue by 10%.
  • Time-bound – When do we need it by? What deadline do I have in mind here?

Setting effective business objectives can give you a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.

To start, setting objectives is an important part of planning for any business. When you set objectives, you are identifying what it is that your company wants to achieve. For example, if your goal is to increase revenue in the next year by 20%, then this means that there must be a specific plan of action that will help attain that goal.

Setting objectives can help keep employees motivated and focused on achieving their goals while also building a stronger team culture. A clear picture of what each person in the organization needs to do will ensure they remain productive throughout their tenure with the company


Objectives are important because they give a business a sense of purpose and direction. They can also be used to help employees understand how they fit in with the rest of the organization, and how their role contributes to the overall goals of the company. By setting clear objectives, companies will have better odds of achieving success than if they were just running around aimlessly in hopes that something good happens along the way.

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