Strategic objectives are clearly defined, often quantifiable goals that a business uses as benchmarks to evaluate its progress. Implementation of strategic objectives does not start when you begin working toward achieving a goal, but rather when you first define your goals and set up a process for gauging your success.
Defining Strategic Objectives
Defining strategic objectives in clear and relevant ways makes the difference between hollow, meaningless standards and useful tools that genuinely improve the quality of your work performance. It is more useful to say, "We will work to increase our sales by 50 percent over the next year," than to say, "We will grow our operation significantly over the next year." Set objectives using quantifiable criteria that you can measure in order to assess whether you are meeting your goals and, if not, how much you are falling short. State your goals in language that is easy to understand and define objectives that are clear and relevant to your work.
You can implement strategic objectives most effectively if you break them down into manageable chunks and outline specific actions that you will take to achieve them. Once you have stated that you intend to grow your business by 50 percent over the next year, stipulate whether that growth will occur in a steady and even fashion, or whether it will be tied to actions and events during a particular part of the year that will generate a more dramatic rate of growth during that time. Tie the growth that you expect to sales and marketing activities, and new product introductions so you can measure the impact of each action and evaluate whether it is achieving the desired results.
Implementation of Strategic Objectives
To implement strategic objectives, conduct business activities with an eye toward meeting the goals and benchmarks you have set forward but also be willing to reevaluate your targets and strategies if situations change. Gauge your progress relative to your objectives by evaluating whether you have effectively followed the steps you outlines, and whether these actions have produced the desired results. Also examine whether the objectives themselves are realistic and whether these steps and actions are in fact the best way to achieve your strategic objectives.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.