Characteristics of Business Objectives

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Characteristics of Business Objectives
A company with clearly defined goals and objectives is on the path to success. (business success image by UBE from Fotolia.com)

Having strong objectives is vital to the success of any business, yet many employers and employees do not fully understand how to create and comprehend a good objective. An an effective business objective contains several characteristics that serve to make it as specific as possible.

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The Customer

Write all business objectives with a clear understanding of who the business serves. This can be a demographic or a general description of people who need a certain service or product. For example, a company that sells outdoors goods is targeting a customer group of hikers, bikers, athletes and other outdoors enthusiasts.

The Need

A business objective must also focus on what customers need. This could be specific or somewhat general, depending on the customer. For example, customers of a fast food restaurant are looking for cheap, convenient meals, while customers of an electronics repair shop might be looking for repair or spare parts on any number of gadgets.

The Solution

If a customer needs something, it's up to the business the provide the solution. In the previous example, the fast food restaurant meets the needs of its customers by providing a variety of prepackaged meals at a relatively low price.

Specific

In order to better serve customers and increase sales and growth, business objectives must be both quantitative and specific to a time frame. For example, "attract more customers" is a general, non-specific objective that does not clearly state what must be done. However, "double our patronage within one year" is highly specific and gives all employees a clear goal. Give employees with exact numbers on where the company is and explain the measurement metric. Re-evaluate those numbers at the deadline to determine whether the goal has been met.

Flexible

Because unforeseen circumstances happen and must be accounted for, business objectives should be both flexible and realistic. They must also be brief and written in simple language so that everyone, from employees to partners, can clearly understand what must be done.

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