What Is a Business Objective?

by Jason Chavis; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswoman giving explication in front of a growing chart

Business objectives allow an organization to define its goals and direction. A company uses strategy and tactics at every level of its operation to achieve its objectives. These define the way a company allocates its resources and the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities it may have. Companies usually do not alter their objectives once they are implemented, unless changes in circumstances arise. Setting a clear course for the organization is key to its success.

Business Goal Setting

A business objective defines the course an organization intends to take, often started with writing a business plan. But before that can happen, a company must detail its current situation, what it does, who its clients are and how it intends to excel in its field. For most businesses, this takes place during a strategic planning session. When creating a strategic plan, the company also must analyze its competition and outline the way in which it sets itself apart. Business objectives are usually laid out in a vision plan for the upcoming year.

Writing Business Goals

Business objectives use strategies and tactics to achieve its stated goals as a proactive measure, not as a reactive one. Strategic planning sessions focus on establishing an internal plan to detail action steps and benchmarks that measure progress in relationship to the desired outcome and act as a guide for each function within the organization. Every division within the company remains focused on the same outcome, establishing individual department functions and plans to attain company goals.

Objective Considerations

To establish a business objective, a company must first understand its current situation and marketplace in relationship to where it started. It then establishes goals and objectives and the means to attain them. Companies generally create a strategic plan that analyzes these factors and lays the groundwork for its goals. All members and divisions of the organization are taken into account during planning. This also allows the company to realize where it can cut costs and areas where it can improve operations.

Goal Setting Misconceptions

Business objectives are tools that also require the awareness of the marketplace's evolution and how that can affect the company's overall plans. No organization can foresee future events and issues that arise outside of its control, such as an economy recession, for example. This is where innovation and modification have become commonplace practices when establishing goals and objectives. Companies must assume a certain amount of risk in the undertaken venture and be prepared for setbacks that may occur. These events are worked into the timeline and cost of a company's goals and objectives by defining its contingency plans.

Planning Significance

One major process undertaken by a company when deciding its goals and objectives is to establish a set of fundamental themes by which it operates. A vision statement defines the organization's main objectives and targets its intended future outcome. A mission statement gives the organization its fundamental purpose. It establishes a reason for the company to exist. Usually this includes some sort of motto that each individual within the organization focuses on while working for the company. Part of this process also entails defining company values. These prioritize the shared beliefs among the stakeholders of the company. The organization's values help establish its identity and culture among its different divisions, employees and management.

About the Author

Jason Chavis has been a professional freelance writer since 1998. He is the author of four books, two movies and a play as well as numerous articles for "Scientific American," The History Channel, City Pages and "The Onion." In 1996, Chavis won the award for "best science fiction/fantasy" from the River Valley Writer’s Conference.

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