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Business Objectives

As the executive summary generally includes the breakdown of the first three years - your objectives should in addition be set out for your first 3 years of operation - this may well be a small number or may perhaps be to a great extent more meticulous - it's totally down to you, on the contrary having unrealistic goals to reach for your business in an unrealistic timeframe will put possible investors off rather than them being impressed at your towering objectives.

A good definition is of a business objective is a specific outcome or outcomes that is / are to be achieved.

Within the structure of the overall business - the different levels will have different business objectives to achieve in order to reach the overall objective.

Objectives are often set in financial terms. That means that the objective is expressed in terms of a financial outcome that is to be achieved. Those could include:

  • Desired sales or profit levels
  • Rates of growth
  • Increased turnover
  • Value of the business or dividends paid to shareholders

Not all objectives are monetary based, it's obviously easy to measure the amount of wealth created as it is a tangible asset. After all that's why money was invented to have something meaningful that everyone could relate to. However it's much more difficult to measure the amount of love created by your company! Non-monetary objectives you might want to succeed in are:-

  • Known as an innovative player in your market
  • Leading provider of customer service within your area
  • Retain more existing customers
  • Increase customer base

A good way to look at your business objectives is to see them as part of the grand scheme of your business...the objectives help set out what your company is yet to become.

There are different levels of objectives.

Corporate Objectives

Corporate objectives are those that relate to the business as a whole and are usually set by the top management of the business - they provide the focus for setting more detailed objectives for the main functional activities of the business. These tend to focus on the desired performance and results of the business. Corporate objectives cover a range of key areas where the business wants to achieve results rather than focusing on a single objective. If you were to focus on a single objective then you will lose sight of your overall business objective.

Corporate objectives might be:

  • Business market standing
  • Innovation
  • Productivity
  • Physical & financial resources
  • Profitability
  • Management
  • Employees
  • Public responsibility

Functional Business

A well-established business will divide its activities into several business functions. These traditionally include areas such as:

  • Finance & administration
  • Marketing & sales
  • Production & operations
  • Human resource management

Whilst each of these functional areas requires specialist expertise, their activities are not carried out in isolation from the rest of the business. It is vital to consider the ways in which the functional activities are connected to each other.

It is common for each functional area to be set its own objectives, which should be consistent with the higher-level corporate objectives.

SMART objectives

Many business textbooks suggest that both corporate and functional objectives need to conform to a set of criteria referred to as an acronym SMART.


The objective should state exactly what is to be achieved.


An objective should be capable of measurement – so that it is possible to determine whether (or how far) it has been achieved


The objective should be realistic given the circumstances in which it is set and the resources available to the business.


Objectives should be relevant to the people responsible for achieving them

Time Bound

Objectives should be set with a time-frame in mind. These deadlines also need to be realistic.

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