Business Planning - How to Set Goals - A Few Examples

By Dee Power and Brian E. Hill Icon

Goal setting is important in a business. Think of goal setting as an end destination. Once you know where you are going you can develop strategies to get there.

Here are several examples of goals (all for different companies):

  1. Establish myself as a recognized authority in the field of book publishing.
  2. Within one year generate enough income from my Internet marketing company to maintain my family's current standard of living without increasing the number of hours I work per week.
  3. Brand my company as a membership site for fitness centers.
  4. Develop a network of blogs/websites to generate Pay Per Click (PPC) revenue.

Take the goals and decide what benchmarks you need to reach to achieve the goals. The benchmarks, or objectives, are subjective in some ways. Generating $3,000 a month from an arts and crafts business might be on the low side for a professional crafter who sells at a craft show nearly every weekend, but totally unreasonable for a new mother who doesn't have a lot of time.

Keep the goals realistic. It's fine to set high goals. We all tend to live up (or down) to our expectations, but don't make them so high there's not a reasonable probability of achieving them. If you've never done any Internet marketing, give yourself time to learn and set goals that give you a sense of achievement and don't set you up for failure.

Objectives should be set for each goal, and of course you can have more than one objective for each goal. They don't have to be money oriented but should have some quantifiable characteristics. That way you'll know whether you've achieved the objective or not.

Monthly objectives lead to a continuous level of activity and monitoring as opposed to yearly objectives. The tendency is to procrastinate for 11 months and throw everything into the last month. Or worse yet, not doing anything at all and roll the objective forward from month to month.


  • Goal - Establish myself as a recognized authority in the field of book publishing.
  • Objectives
    • Place three articles in national publications on the topic of writing or book publishing within six months.
    • Obtain interviews with the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times by the first day of spring 2008.
    • Be invited to speak at four writers' conferences with all expenses paid by the end of the 2008.

The second step is to determine what strategies you need to take to achieve the objectives. Objectives just don't happen by themselves. Strategies are specific actions.


  • Goal - Establish myself as a recognized authority in the field of book publishing and writing.
  • Objective - Place three articles in national publications on the topic of writing or book publishing within six months.


  • Get the names of the editors and addresses of 12 appropriate national publications.
  • Find out the demographics of the readership.
  • Read at least four back issues of each publication to get a flavor of their style.
  • Research the last year's worth of issues so the topic isn't duplicated.
  • Develop a set of ten possible articles. Write a query letter with the articles synopsis for each of those articles.
  • Query the editors on a monthly basis with one query letter to each editor on a different article. .

These are a few examples of goals, objectives and the strategies that will help achieve the goals.

Free business plan format. Dee Power is the author of Business Plan Basics on how to write a business plan and several other nonfiction books, as well as the novel, "Over Time" Money, love, and football: All the important things in life.

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