Small business owners can gain an advantage over their competitors by developing comprehensive business goals and objectives. Developing this type of strategic plan helps you assess your market, plan your course of action and devise specific strategies to help you achieve desired outcomes. This approach can also keep your employees focused and on track, which can give you the added advantage of increased productivity.


When you establish specific goals and objectives, you’re making a concentrated effort to think about the short- and long-term needs of your business. This can help you effectively secure and allocate funds, develop marketing and advertising plans and move forward with business functions in a prepared and confident manner. This approach has the additional advantage of helping you avoid many unanticipated problems and expenses that have the potential to derail your business.


With written goals and objectives in place, you’re free to spend your time on the management aspects of your business. Having created a path to follow, you can make operational decisions based on what you’ve already outlined in your goals and objectives. This streamlines the decision-making process and allows you to be a more effective leader.


Establishing goals and objectives with your employees can help you effectively staff your business. When employees have a firm understanding of what is expected of them, they can develop project plans and agendas that will help them manage their work time more efficiently. You will also have tools in place to evaluate employee performance, making changes where necessary to ensure your business functions at optimum levels.


When you establish goals and objectives, it’s also important to concurrently develop a system for measuring your progress. Comprehensive goals and objectives should have timelines for individual implementation and a regular evaluation schedule. For example, if you have an objective of increasing your sales by 25 percent over a one-year period, you should schedule weekly or monthly “check-ins” to assess your progress toward that goal. This gives you an advantage of continually knowing the exact performance levels of your business.


Savvy managers plan ahead, but understand the need to be flexible when circumstances warrant. Having measurable, monitored goals and objectives in place puts you in the advantageous position of being able to react to changing market conditions and altering your operating plans as necessary. This gives you an advantage over your competitors without established goals and objectives, who rely on a continual assessment of where their business is and where it’s going.