Strategic Planning – Business Aims and Objectives

At it’s most basic Businesses exist to solve the needs of their customers – this might be through the provision of products or services which in exchange for payment form the basis of revenue for organizations.

However over and above this rather simple view of why companies exist are corporate aims – these aims define what the business is setting out to achieve over the longer term. Corporate aims will vary from company to company and industrial sector to industrial sector – for example Boeing’s corporate targets may be similar to Airbus – But Airbus’s goals will not be the same as McDonalds.

Objectives are the desired outcomes of a business derived from the processes it undertakes. For example using again the example of Airbus (which makes passenger jet aircraft) its business objectives are likely to be along the lines of supplying major airlines with aircraft.

Well defined objectives are crucial to businesses, they enable a business to be assessed in how it is performing against its objectives for example an objective of “Business ABC will increase sales dramatically in the coming months” is subjective – it’s open to interpretation – what % do sales need to rise – over what period 3 months, 9 months 3 years?

A common tool when defining objectives is the Acronym SMART

SMART stands for

Specific
• Measurable
• Agreed
• Realistic
• Time specific

Following these rules helps establish objectives that are clearly defined, measurable and have to be achieved within a certain time frame. Structuring objectives this way ensures that business performance can be quantifiably measured against targets.

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