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How to Set Business Goals? A Must-read Guide for Startups

A SMART Goal Template

Free SMART Goal Template

October 12, 2023

8 Min Read

How to Set Business Goals_ A Must-read Guide for Startups
Table of Contents
Writing a business plan?

Running without direction never lets you win the race, which is why the direction is necessary. Similarly, the same goes for a business; without setting business goals you will not understand in which direction to go.

But if your question is how to set business goals, then right after five minutes of reading this guide, you will get all the answers to your doubts.

Set a goal to advance your business on a daily, quarterly, or annual basis depending on your purpose. Your goals can create action strategies in your business plan. There are two types of goals:

  1. Short-Term Goals

    Short-term goals are frequently constrained by a specific time frame, which typically ranges from a few hours to a whole year.

    Goals for the short term are frequently employed as building blocks toward longer-term objectives. Setting many short-term goals to make long-term goals more attainable is a popular corporate technique.

    Examples of immediate business objectives:

    • Current quarter, incorporate 100+ new customers
    • By the end of the year, hire 10 new staff
    • 10% raise in positive feedback
  2. Long-Term Goals

    Long-term goals are more expansive visions that you hope to accomplish in the future.

    A ten-year aim is a typical long-term objective. Consider where you want your company to be in ten years. What corporate goals do you hope to have accomplished by then? Which new industries, if any, are you interested in entering?

    Long-term objectives act as a compass for your company to steer it in the appropriate direction. They are frequently utilized as a vision statement or a mission statement. Consider your goals as a road plan that will lead you in the right direction.

    Long-term objectives may not provide detailed instructions on how to get there, but they do provide a general direction.

    Long-term business objectives examples:

    • 1 million dollars in profit in 10 years
    • 200+ employees in the next 10 years
    • Different team leaders of every department
  3. Further, We Can Divide Goals Into Three Parts:

    The three different sorts of goals are process, performance, and outcome goals. Process goals refer to certain courses of action or “processes” of carrying out.

    Let’s say you resolved to spend two hours per day after dinner studying. The process goals are entirely in the hands of the individuals.

    Performance targets are established using personal criteria. A 3.5 GPA, for instance, might be the goal. Most personal goals are within one’s power to influence.

    The foundation of outcome goals is winning. Finding employment for a college student can entail doing so at a company where they have always wanted to work or in their field. Here external forces also play a role in achieving outcome goals.

  4. SMART

    Being SMART, as in the acronym for goal-setting that stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound,” helps establish corporate objectives and key results. SMART goals were developed by George Doran.

    Let’s delve into SMART more:

    1. Specific

      While setting your goals you should be very accurate and specific about what you want and how to accomplish it. Some of the examples to understand specific parameters of goals are:

      • The revenue you want in a year/ or specific period
      • Which department would drive that process
      • What resources you will need
    2. Measurable

      Measurable goals measure progress toward your objective using metrics like dates and numbers, in short, you can measure business goals. It helps you to stay motivated about your business achievements process and also enables you to assess how your efforts are advancing your goals.

    3. Achievable

      Set practical goals to be achievable. Earning 1 million dollars in a day for a startup isn’t a realistic goal.

    4. Relevant

      All your goals should be business specific and relevant to your field. A goal that matters to your company and meets its requirements is reasonable.

    5. Time-bound

      A deadline for the job you plan to complete is part of a time-bound goal. Without a deadline, it can be challenging to gauge your progress. Deadlines can motivate you to take action and facilitate effective goal-achieving.

How To Set Business Goals?

How To Set Business Goals
Now that you know the importance of setting goals, then let’s see how to set business goals:

  1. Be Specific And don’t Distract From Your Dreams

    “Sometime” will never come and “I will complete it soon” will be your forever go-to quote if you don’t focus on all of your goals. “Till our 2nd anniversary, we want 25 employees on board with 500+ customers” is a predefined goal for your business.

  2. Divide Your Goals Into Pieces

    Make short-term goals to not get overwhelmed by long-term goals. For instance, if your goal is to earn 1 million $ in five years, then break it into yearly/quarterly/monthly goals.

    Breaking long-term goals into short-term goals will keep your computations, financial aspects, and forecasting simple.

  3. Take Action Towards Goal Achievement

    Planning the steps you must take to accomplish your goals is the next stage of the process. Here are some concrete examples of actionable goals that could contribute to achieving this:

    • To reach more clients; one should create a Facebook page
    • Five times every week; publish on social media platforms
    • Make a website to sell products online
    • Provide new clients with a 10% discount
    • Hire a salesperson

    Break down the goals first and then take all the actions necessary to achieve your goals within or before the deadline.

  4. Check-In Frequently

    Regularly evaluate your progress toward your goals to see if you need to make any modifications. When you first set them, you might have been a little too ambitious or not ambitious enough.

    On the other side, perhaps your goals are no longer as important as they once were. It’s necessary to re-evaluate and modify your goals whenever you choose.

  5. Do The SWOT Analysis

    A high-level strategic planning analysis called SWOT will assist you to determine where your company needs to improve and where it is currently succeeding. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are the abbreviation for this phrase SWOT analysis.

    Before attempting to define goals, conducting the analysis first can assist you to consider your strategic problems and opportunities. Visit our blog to know how to do the SWOT analysis.

  6. Take Reviews of Your Employees

    Finding out what employees think is a wise move because it will give your leadership team knowledge from individuals who are working on the “ground floor” of the company.

    However, if you do solicit input, be prepared to act on it; otherwise, staff members won’t feel encouraged to share their thoughts in the future.

  7. Determine Who Will Be There In the Goal-Setting Exercise

    The size of your organization will determine who should take part in this discussion. Will mid-level employees be included or senior team leaders & managers will be included? How about the directors on your board? Ask yourself these questions and you will know whom to include and whom not to.

  8. Do Competitive And Internal Benchmarking

    Compare your performance with the previous performances and also compare it amongst the competitors to know your position. Do the competition analysis properly to know your position in your field and internal in your business too.

This information will help you define company goals by highlighting your strengths and weaknesses. Also, it will help you understand where you are lacking in comparison to your competitors.


In our daily lives, we establish modest objectives like arriving home in time for supper or consuming a salad for lunch. Setting goals helps you and your business move in the right manner. Without them, you risk plateauing or underachieving.

Without goals, it’s challenging to gauge the success of your company, making it challenging to identify the areas of your company that is succeeding and those that require expansion.

You and your team are also kept on the same page by goals and a mission statement. Everyone will be more motivated and more productive when they understand the company’s mission and how their contributions fit into it.

Setting business goals and KPIs helps you in creating a to-the-point business plan. If you need help in writing a business plan, then are various online business plan tools, but choose the best software for business plan ~ Upmetrics.

About the Author

Riya                                                        Shah

Riya Shah

Riya Shah is a skilled content writer experienced in various areas of writing, currently working with Upmetrics. Fascination with reading led her to be a writer. Highly creative, focused, imaginative, and passionate. Read more

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