What Is an Operational Goal?
Operational goals are specific to the daily tasks and requirements to run a business. Efficient operations make it easy for employees to function and to excel within their work environment. Operations ensure that products and service make it to market through predefined daily tasks. Setting operational goals early makes it easier to scale and grow a business.
Financial operations are an absolute necessity. Keeping up with payroll, billing, paying rent, utilities, overhead, and keeping accurate books and records will keep a business running. Goals for financial operations are efficiency oriented. An example goal is to setup a semi-automated payroll system with direct deposit to ensure that employees are paid on time, without the manual check printing process. Salaried employees are especially easy to manage when a payroll process is built to deliver their monthly salary. Without basic financial operations, a business will struggle on the operational level.
Job role operations are the daily tasks required by an employee to make a business run. The individual job operations are tied into the overall job description. A job role operational goal is to build processes that are easily replicated. Replicating makes it possible to hire and scale a business quickly. For example, a window washing company can set the operational goal to create a daily process for each employee that makes them efficient. This can include equipment setup, vehicle setup, routes driving and the way they approach a structure and work through each window. Documenting the operational process and refining to maximize efficiency makes the business more effective and profitable.
Setting operational goals requires an intimate knowledge of the problems that exist within a business. Common problems that hinder performance and the ability to run a business are solved with changes to the operational structure. Note any recurring issues and create operational goals that are solutions to these problems.
Operational goals are related to regular processes required to make a business run, whereas strategic goals are related to long-term planning for growth. In order to reach strategic goals, operations must work effectively to run the business. When operations fail, strategic goals suffer. Set separate operational and strategic goals, but prioritize both equally to operate a business effectively.