As a founder, you will (have to) define company goals in the business plan. Basically, these are guidelines that you and your employees use to guide their business activities. On the one hand, they serve as motivation. On the other hand, they also serve as orientation. In this way, clearly defined corporate goals can encourage employees to work harder to achieve them. At the same time, they also form a significant element – so that everyone in the company knows what they come to work for daily.
Therefore, the corporate goals, directly and indirectly, influence the strategic orientation and the work of all employees – it doesn’t hurt to take a closer look at them. The startup platform gives you an overview of a company’s possible goals and explains precisely what they mean. How you want to achieve your business goals is part of operational management, which you don’t have to worry about at this point.
The Time Frame Of Business Goals
Corporate goals can be divided into different categories – depending on the perspective. Because what is ultimately most important to you in your company is entirely up to you. Usually, however, you will limit your goals in time and divide them into short, medium, and long-term goals. The long-term company goals serve as an overarching vision – if you want to make the world a better place, you could define that as a vision (you should be a little more specific). On the other hand, you will want to meet short and medium-term goals within a reasonable period.
Examples Of Company Goals Based On Economic, Social, And Ecological Factors
One of the fundamental distinctions is dividing corporate goals into three success goals.
Of course, in most cases, you want your company to be as profitable as possible – so profit maximization is at the forefront of your entrepreneurial activity. In the beginning, however, pure cost recovery can be significant. The economic goals are divided into:
- Earnings Targets: Anything that can be measured in absolute numbers and directly related to sales, profit, and capital can be defined as earnings targets. Would you like to increase your company’s sales by ten percent in the next financial year? Voilà, you have formulated a profit target.
- Market Goals: With market goals, you determine how well you want to establish yourself in the industry – for example, by declaring a desired market share of 20 percent or a market share increase of three percent.
- Performance Goals are more abstract, for example, when it comes to maintaining a certain quality standard. Basically, you define how well your company and your team should perform, for example, to achieve earnings targets.
In economics, a distinction is also made between two different principles for achieving economic goals:
- Minimum Principle: You try to achieve the given goal with as few means as possible. So the company goal is clear, but the means used are not.
- Maximum Principle: Here, it is precisely the other way around: you want to get the maximum out of a fixed investment (personnel, capital, machines).
This includes dealing with employees, customers, and external service providers, creating a pleasant working atmosphere, safety at work, or the company’s desired image. While such factors aren’t always easy to measure, as a business goal, they help you define what your business stands for.
Environmental protection, recycling, and sustainability are the keywords for the ecological company goals. This may not be so important for many large ventures, but these terms are a big topic in young startups. Because those who follow a green policy not only appear modern and environmentally conscious but may also be able to address new groups of buyers specifically. In this way, any economic disadvantage (due to higher costs) may even become an advantage – economic and ecological corporate goals do not have to be mutually exclusive but can also function in a complementary way.
Process And Result Goals
But, the process goals serve to achieve the result goals. An example: Result goal: You want to increase the number of your customers. Of course, this does not happen by itself but means many small work steps – such as:
- You become active online and devote yourself more to your social media channels.
- You run more ads.
- You do more networking (e.g., as a freelancer ).
These actions need to be organized to measure their success, where the process goals come into play. You use these to determine the extent to which you work to achieve your target result – this is how dreams become concrete work steps:
- Your company is present x hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- You are planning an advertising campaign for x days/weeks, which may cost x EUR.
- You visit x of the most important trade fairs or exchange ideas in y forums and online portals. Set a time frame and budget for this.
With the process goals, you determine the way to achieve the result goals.
Qualitative And Quantitative Company Goals
A distinction is often made between qualitative and quantitative goals. While qualitative goals are not necessarily measurable (customer satisfaction, image), quantitative goals consist of concrete numbers that need to be achieved – such as increasing sales or opening two new branches. Since you want to formulate your business goals as clearly as possible, you need to find a way to make the qualitative goals measurable as well. For example, you could introduce a scale as a tool and orientation to measure qualitative factors. Do you estimate the satisfaction of your customers at a solid 7? Make it an 8 or 9 (and a 10 in the long run, of course)!
Company Goals And Company Values – What Is The Difference?
There is no sharp distinction between the goals and values of a company – both are closely related. In particular, a company’s social and ecological goals significantly overlap with the respective corporate values. One could most likely say that the values are not what one would like to achieve but what is lived in everyday dealings. They are like the rules of living and working together and determine the culture cultivated in a company. You can set your goals as a slogan on your website, but the values are what you live by in reality, your attitude, and the attitude of your entire team.