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50+ Business Goals

        posted by , April 27, 2013

Why do business?

Goals are why your business gets out of bed in the morning. Goals drive your mission, strategy, planning and action.

If your business is small you may be focused on fundamental goals such as cash flow, opportunity and visibility. As your business grows your goals become more complex.

The following goals represent the most common business objectives.


Most businesses are primarily driven by these fundamental financial goals.

  • Profits
    The bottom line.

  • Revenue
    Profits are primarily driven by revenue.

  • Margins
    The difference between revenue and cost. A high margin business is more profitable and valuable.

  • Revenue Quality
    High quality revenue is sustainable. For example, if your revenue is all from one customer that's considered low quality revenue.

  • Return on Capital
    Ten dollars is a good profit if you've only invested one dollar. Your profit is judged relative to the capital you've invested.

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance defines the relationship between a business and its owners, stakeholders and regulators.

  • Compliance with Law
    Compliance with the law can be a complex undertaking depending on your industry. For example, multinational banks may spend large sums of money to comply. In many cases, compliance with the law is a large burden for small businesses.

  • Interests of Shareholders
    Businesses have a responsibility to protect investor's interests such as preservation of capital.

  • Interests of Stakeholders
    Businesses have a responsibility to stakeholders such as employees, creditors, partners, local communities and customers.

  • Ethical Behavior
    Most businesses establish ethics that extend beyond minimal legal requirements.

  • Disclosure and Transparency
    Ensuring that the state of your business is visible to owners and stakeholders.

  • Reputation
    Your business relies on its reputation in dealings with regulators, employees, customers, creditors and partners.


Every business depends on the communities in which it operates. Every business depends on the planet. Sustainability is a triple bottom line that prioritizes people, profits and planet.

  • People
    Corporate social responsibility is a primary business goal for many organizations.

  • Planet
    Responsible environmental practices.


Strategies are the plans a business makes to meet its primary goals such as profits, people, planet.

  • Sustainable Competitive Advantage
    Competitive advantage is something that your business does better than any other business. Competitive advantages are difficult to maintain for long. A sustainable competitive advantage is a long lasting advantage.

  • Innovation
    Innovation is the development of something new that has value such as products, intellectual property and processes.

  • Talent
    Talent is the source of all innovation, decisions, productivity, reputation and relationships.

  • Corporate Culture
    Corporate culture is a collection of habits, norms, principles and environments that you establish to improve productivity and innovation.

  • Employee Engagement
    Employee engagement is how motivated your employees are to achieve your goals.

  • Risk
    Businesses seek to control risk (it's often not a good idea to minimize it).

  • Quality
    Quality is the value of your products and processes.

  • Knowledge
    Knowledge is an important asset.

  • Change Management
    People tend to resist change. Change management is a strategy designed to improve business agility (quickness to change).

  • Financing Operations & Investment
    Financing your business and investing your capital.


Marketing is establishing the value of your products in the eyes of your customers.

  • New Product Development
    Many businesses must continually develop innovative new products to stay competitive.

  • Product Improvement
    Improve your products to stay competitive.

  • Product Positioning
    Product positioning is how your products stand out in the eyes of customers.

  • Promotion
    Activities such as advertising that raise the visibility of your products (e.g. brand awareness).

  • Brand Value
    The value of your brands.

  • Customer Experience
    Your end-to-end customer experience.

  • Market Forecasting
    Your ability to forecast market trends and conditions.


Sales is the process of selling your products.

  • Closing Deals
    The primary objective of any salesperson is to close deals.

  • Sales Pipeline
    Your pipeline of prospects, qualified leads, opportunities, orders and customers.

  • Customer Relationship Management
    Sales is a process of building relationships with customers.

  • Sales Forecasting
    Your ability to forecast sales results.

Human Resources

Managing your talent.

  • Recruiting
    Your ability to attract and hire talent.

  • Employee Performance Management
    Managing employee performance to objectives.

  • Incentives
    Incentives help to motive your employees to achieve your goals.

  • Employee Retention
    Your ability to retain employees (especially high performers).

  • Conflict Management
    Managing toxic behavior and conflicts between your employees and/or partners.

  • HR Compliance & Liability
    Complying with employment related law and minimizing legal liability to employees.

  • Skills & Training
    Ensuring that your employees have the skills and abilities required to meet your primary business goals.

Finance & Accounting

Financial management and control.

  • Financial Diligence
    Accounting and audit processes such as keeping updated financial records and statements.

  • Financial Oversight
    Financial oversight of your departmental, team, program and project budgets. Includes oversight of employee expenses and third party contract terms and payments.

  • Financial Reporting
    Providing financial transparency to management, shareholders and regulators.

  • Cost Control
    Identifying opportunities to reduce costs.

  • Minimizing Taxes
    Minimizing tax obligations while complying with the law.

  • Return on Investment
    Maximizing return on investment for internal (e.g. projects) and external (e.g. stocks) investments.


Operations can describe virtually anything a business does. In many organizations operations is synonymous with technology operations. In other organizations it's focused on logistics and manufacturing.

  • Supply Chain
    Moving products or components from supplier to customer.

  • Production
    Producing your product (e.g. manufacturing).


Information technology goals.

  • Automation
    Technology automation can improve speed, productivity, cost control and quality.

  • Decision Support
    Information technology supports decisions.

  • Innovation Support
    Technology supports innovation (e.g. design tools).

  • Service Management
    Providing high quality (e.g. secure, available, fast) information technology services.

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