Setting goals is common in business. Owners and managers will make plans to set the direction of the company and earn the highest profit possible. While the goal-setting process is certainly different for many companies, a few basic management tools exist for this process. Owners and managers are responsible for the goal-setting process as they are the leaders in the organization and tasked with maximizing the return of stakeholders vested in the company. The goal-setting process puts everyone on the same page and defines how to accomplish the goals.

Gather the essential owners and managers to help set goals. When setting goals, all owners, managers or directors within the company are typically unnecessary. For example, marketing goals do not typically require input from the production manager.

Clarify the purpose of the meeting. It can be easy to lose sight of the goal in a meeting. Owners and executive managers should state the desired outcome of the meeting so everyone works toward a common end.

Seek input from each person in the meeting. It is often helpful when creating overarching strategies and goals to let employees discuss different aspects of the company or what they desire for business goals.

Dictate responsibilities to specific individuals. While some individuals in the goal-setting meeting may not have duties or responsibilities for accomplishing goals, they will most often oversee someone who will.

Seek commitment from each individual for accomplishing goals. Setting goals is meaningless unless all parties involved desire the same outcome.

Create a performance evaluation method to follow up on goals. Owners and managers will need to review each goal set and how well the company accomplished them. Using a process that allows for numerous performance analyses can help the company adjust processes as needed to realign steps for accomplishing goals.


Using a standard goal-setting tool like a SWOT or SMART goal setting can help create a process repeatable for future use. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This first method helps owners and managers identify strong and weak points. SMART goal-setting tips help owners and managers choose goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.


Not all business goals or objectives will require a detailed plan. Business owners and managers should carefully decide which goals need deeper analysis.