Setting goals and objectives for your business is a must. Without them a company or team can lack direction and motivation. Having goals and objectives in place will set your business on the right path with tangible and achievable targets and everyone working to the same brief.
However, knowing the difference between the two is important as they often get mistaken as being the same thing.
What is a goal?
A goal is usually a long-term achievement, a desired result that a person or group of people commit themselves to achieve. For example, a company might want to become the leader in its industry or become more energy efficient. Goals usually align with a company’s vision and purpose, so having a clear idea of your company’s aspirations is important.
Goals v objectives
How you accomplish your company goals are the objectives, specific achievements that help you reach those goals you have set. Objectives usually have a set deadline and are measurable. For example, a company might aim to gain 10 new customers in a month or increase their social media followers by 1,000 in a year.
Objectives can be tailored for departments within a business, for example, marketing and PR objectives will be different to those of your HR or IT departments, but should all tie in with the overall business goals. Employees will know what’s expected of them and you can track if they are hitting them.
Often people follow SMART metrics when setting objectives which are useful as they enable you to evaluate their success:
- Specific – be specific in what you want to achieve through numbers – how many more staff do you want to recruit, for example?
- Measurable – set objectives you can measure, as they can help track the success of the objectives you’ve set.
- Attainable – Don’t be over ambitious. Pick objectives that are challenging but achievable.
- Realistic – Ensure the objectives you set fit in with the capabilities of you and your team and be mindful of the timescales you set.
- Time-bound – Setting deadlines are important, as it gives you an end goal to what you want to achieve.
Here are a few examples of goals and objectives to get you thinking
Goal: Increase profit margin
Objectives: Reduce operating costs by 10% in 18 months
Increase sales by 20% in 12 months
Goal: To become more energy efficient
Objectives: Develop an energy strategy for the next 5 years
Reduce waste by 50% by 2030
Goal: To increase brand awareness
Objectives: Develop a two-year communication plan
Increase social media followers by 50% by 2020
With new clients our first port of call is to find out what their company goals are, which helps us shape what their PR and marketing objectives might be. Using those objectives as a guide also helps us evaluate activity at the end of a campaign or project.