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Goals and Objectives for Business Plan with Examples

Nov.05, 2023

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Goals and Objectives
 for Business Plan with Examples

Table of Content

Every business needs a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and how it plans to get there. A business plan is a document that outlines the goals and objectives of a business, as well as the strategies and actions to achieve them. A well-written business plan from business plan specialists can help a business attract investors, secure funding, and guide its growth.

Understanding Business Objectives

Business objectives are S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound (SMART) statements that describe what a business wants to accomplish in a given period. They are derived from the overall vision and mission of the business, and they support its strategic direction.

Business plan objectives can be categorized into different types, depending on their purpose and scope. Some common types of business objectives are:

  • Financial objectives
  • Operational objectives
  • Marketing objectives
  • Social objectives

For example, a sample of business goals and objectives for a business plan for a bakery could be:

  • To increase its annual revenue by 20% in the next year.
  • To reduce its production costs by 10% in the next six months.
  • To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.
  • To improve its customer satisfaction rating by 15% in the next month.

The Significance of Business Objectives

Business objectives are important for several reasons. They help to:

  • Clarify and direct the company and stakeholders
  • Align the company’s efforts and resources to a common goal
  • Motivate and inspire employees to perform better
  • Measure and evaluate the company’s progress and performance
  • Communicate the company’s value and advantage to customers and the market

For example, by setting a revenue objective, a bakery can focus on increasing its sales and marketing efforts, monitor its sales data and customer feedback, motivate its staff to deliver quality products and service, communicate its unique selling points and benefits to its customers, and adjust its pricing and product mix according to market demand.

Advantages of Outlining Business Objectives

Outlining business objectives is a crucial step in creating a business plan. It serves as a roadmap for the company’s growth and development. Outlining business objectives has several advantages, such as:

  • Clarifies the company’s vision, direction, scope, and boundaries
  • Break down the company’s goals into smaller tasks and milestones
  • Assigns roles and responsibilities and delegates tasks
  • Establishes standards and criteria for success and performance
  • Anticipates risks and challenges and devises contingency plans

For example, by outlining its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer in its business plan, a bakery can:

  • Attract investors with its viable business plan for investors
  • Secure funding from banks or others with its realistic financial plan
  • Partner with businesses or organizations that complement or enhance its products or services
  • Choose the best marketing, pricing, product, staff, location, etc. for its target market and customers

Setting Goals and Objectives for a Business Plan

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan is not a one-time task. It requires careful planning, research, analysis, and evaluation. To set effective goals and objectives for a business plan, one should follow some best practices, such as:

OPTION 1: Use the SMART framework. A SMART goal or objective is clear, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with the company’s mission and vision, and has a deadline. SMART stands for:

  • Specific – The goal or objective should be clear, concise, and well-defined.
  • Measurable – The goal or objective should be quantifiable or verifiable.
  • Achievable – The goal or objective should be realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant – The goal or objective should be aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Time-bound – The goal or objective should have a deadline or timeframe.

For example, using the SMART criteria, a bakery can refine its business objective for increasing the average revenue per customer as follows:

  • Specific – Increase revenue with new products and services from $5 to $5.50.
  • Measurable – Track customer revenue monthly with sales reports.
  • Achievable – Research the market, develop new products and services, and train staff to upsell and cross-sell.
  • Relevant – Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability and cash flow, and market competitiveness.
  • Time-bound – Achieve this objective in six months, from January 1st to June 30th.

OPTION 2: Use the OKR framework. OKR stands for O bjectives and K ey R esults. An OKR is a goal-setting technique that links the company’s objectives with measurable outcomes. An objective is a qualitative statement of what the company wants to achieve. A key result is a quantitative metric that shows how the objective will be achieved.

OPTION 3: Use the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats. A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that helps the company assess the internal and external factors that affect its goals and objectives.

  • Strengths – Internal factors that give the company an advantage over others. 
  • Weaknesses – Internal factors that limit the company’s performance or growth. 
  • Opportunities – External factors that allow the company to improve or expand. 
  • Threats – External factors that pose a risk or challenge to the company.

For example, using these frameworks, a bakery might set the following goals and objectives for its SBA business plan :

Objective – To launch a new product line of gluten-free cakes in the next quarter.

Key Results:

  • Research gluten-free cake market demand and preferences by month-end.
  • Create and test 10 gluten-free cake recipes by next month-end.
  • Make and sell 100 gluten-free cakes weekly online or in-store by quarter-end.

SWOT Analysis:

  • Expertise and experience in baking and cake decorating.
  • Loyal and satisfied customer base.
  • Strong online presence and reputation.


  • Limited production capacity and equipment.
  • High production costs and low-profit margins.
  • Lack of knowledge and skills in gluten-free baking.


  • Growing demand and awareness for gluten-free products.
  • Competitive advantage and differentiation in the market.
  • Potential partnerships and collaborations with health-conscious customers and organizations.
  • Increasing competition from other bakeries and gluten-free brands.
  • Changing customer tastes and preferences.
  • Regulatory and legal issues related to gluten-free labeling and certification.

Examples of Business Goals and Objectives

To illustrate how to write business goals and objectives for a business plan, let’s use a hypothetical example of a bakery business called Sweet Treats. Sweet Treats is a small bakery specializing in custom-made cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods for various occasions.

Here are some examples of possible startup business goals and objectives for Sweet Treats:

Earning and Preserving Profitability

Profitability is the ability of a company to generate more revenue than expenses. It indicates the financial health and performance of the company. Profitability is essential for a business to sustain its operations, grow its market share, and reward its stakeholders.

Some possible objectives for earning and preserving profitability for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase the gross profit margin by 5% in the next quarter by reducing the cost of goods sold
  • To achieve a net income of $100,000 in the current fiscal year by increasing sales and reducing overhead costs

Ensuring Consistent Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of money that flows in and out of a company. A company needs to have enough cash to cover its operating expenses, pay its debts, invest in its growth, and reward its shareholders.

Some possible objectives for ensuring consistent cash flow for Sweet Treats are:

  • Increase monthly operating cash inflow by 15% by the end of the year by improving the efficiency and productivity of the business processes
  • Increase the cash flow from investing activities by selling or disposing of non-performing or obsolete assets

Creating and Maintaining Efficiency

Efficiency is the ratio of output to input. It measures how well a company uses its resources to produce its products or services. Efficiency can help a business improve its quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

Some possible objectives for creating and maintaining efficiency for Sweet Treats are:

  • To reduce the production time by 10% in the next month by implementing lean manufacturing techniques
  • To increase the customer service response rate by 20% in the next week by using chatbots or automated systems

Winning and Keeping Clients

Clients are the people or organizations that buy or use the products or services of a company. They are the source of revenue and growth for a company. Therefore, winning and keeping clients is vital to generating steady revenue, increasing customer loyalty, and enhancing word-of-mouth marketing.

Some possible objectives for winning and keeping clients for Sweet Treats are:

  • To acquire 100 new clients in the next quarter by launching a referral program or a promotional campaign
  • To retain 90% of existing clients in the current year by offering loyalty rewards or satisfaction guarantees

Building a Recognizable Brand

A brand is the name, logo, design, or other features distinguishing a company from its competitors. It represents the identity, reputation, and value proposition of a company. Building a recognizable brand is crucial for attracting and retaining clients and creating a loyal fan base.

Some possible objectives for building a recognizable brand for Sweet Treats are:

  • To increase brand awareness by 50% in the next six months by creating and distributing engaging content on social media platforms
  • To improve brand image by 30% in the next year by participating in social causes or sponsoring events that align with the company’s values

Expanding and Nurturing an Audience with Marketing

An audience is a group of people interested in or following a company’s products or services. They can be potential or existing clients, fans, influencers, or partners. Expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing is essential for increasing a company’s visibility, reach, and engagement.

Some possible objectives for expanding and nurturing an audience with marketing for Sweet Treats are:

  • To grow the email list by 1,000 subscribers in the next month by offering a free ebook or a webinar
  • To nurture leads by sending them relevant and valuable information through email newsletters or blog posts

Strategizing for Expansion

Expansion is the process of increasing a company’s size, scope, or scale. It can involve entering new markets, launching new products or services, opening new locations, or forming new alliances. Strategizing for expansion is important for diversifying revenue streams, reaching new audiences, and gaining competitive advantages.

Some possible objectives for strategizing for expansion for Sweet Treats are:

  • To launch a new product or service line by developing and testing prototypes
  • To open a new branch or franchise by securing funding and hiring staff

Template for Business Objectives

A template for writing business objectives is a format or structure that can be used as a guide or reference for creating your objectives. A template for writing business objectives can help you to ensure that your objectives are SMART, clear, concise, and consistent.

To use this template, fill in the blanks with your information. Here is an example of how you can use this template:

Example of Business Objectives

Our business is a _____________ (type of business) that provides _____________ (products or services) to _____________ (target market). Our vision is to _____________ (vision statement) and our mission is to _____________ (mission statement).

Our long-term business goals and objectives for the next _____________ (time period) are:

S pecific: We want to _____________ (specific goal) by _____________ (specific action).

M easurable: We will measure our progress by _____________ (quantifiable indicator).

A chievable: We have _____________ (resources, capabilities, constraints) that will enable us to achieve this goal.

R elevant: This goal supports our vision and mission by _____________ (benefit or impact).

T ime-bound: We will complete this goal by _____________ (deadline).

Repeat this process for each goal and objective for your business plan.

How to Monitor Your Business Objectives?

After setting goals and objectives for your business plan, you should check them regularly to see if you are achieving them. Monitoring your business objectives can help you to:

  • Track your progress and performance
  • Identify and overcome any challenges
  • Adjust your actions and strategies as needed

Some of the tools and methods that you can use to monitor your business objectives are:

  • Dashboards – Show key data and metrics for your objectives with tools like Google Data Studio, Databox, or DashThis.
  • Reports – Get detailed information and analysis for your objectives with tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or SEMrush.
  • Feedback – Learn from your customers and their needs and expectations with tools like SurveyMonkey, Typeform, or Google Forms.

Strategies for Realizing Business Objectives

To achieve your business objectives, you need more than setting and monitoring them. You need strategies and actions that support them. Strategies are the general methods to reach your objectives. Actions are the specific steps to implement your strategies.

Different objectives require different strategies and actions. Some common types are:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Operational strategies
  • Financial strategies
  • Human resource strategies
  • Growth strategies

To implement effective strategies and actions, consider these factors:

  • Alignment – They should match your vision, mission, values, goals, and objectives
  • Feasibility – They should be possible with your capabilities, resources, and constraints
  • Suitability – They should fit the context and needs of your business

How OGSCapital Can Help You Achieve Your Business Objectives?

We at OGSCapital can help you with your business plan and related documents. We have over 15 years of experience writing high-quality business plans for various industries and regions. We have a team of business plan experts who can assist you with market research, financial analysis, strategy formulation, and presentation design. We can customize your business plan to suit your needs and objectives, whether you need funding, launching, expanding, or entering a new market. We can also help you with pitch decks, executive summaries, feasibility studies, and grant proposals. Contact us today for a free quote and start working on your business plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals and objectives in business.

Goals and objectives in a business plan are the desired outcomes that a company works toward. To describe company goals and objectives for a business plan, start with your mission statement and then identify your strategic and operational objectives. To write company objectives, you must brainstorm, organize, prioritize, assign, track, and review them using the SMART framework and KPIs.

What are the examples of goals and objectives in a business plan?

Examples of goals and objectives in a business plan are: Goal: To increase revenue by 10% each year for the next five years. Objective: To launch a new product line and create a marketing campaign to reach new customers.

What are the 4 main objectives of a business?

The 4 main objectives of a business are economic, social, human, and organic. Economic objectives deal with financial performance, social objectives deal with social responsibility, human objectives deal with employee welfare, and organic objectives deal with business growth and development.

What are goals and objectives examples?

Setting goals and objectives for a business plan describes what a business or a team wants to achieve and how they will do it. For example: Goal: To provide excellent customer service. Objective: To increase customer satisfaction scores by 20% by the end of the quarter. 

At OGSCapital, our business planning services offer expert guidance and support to create a realistic and actionable plan that aligns with your vision and mission. Get in touch to discuss further!

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Business tips

Business objectives: How to set them (with 5 examples and a template)

An icon representing tasks in a list in a white square on a light orange background.

As anyone who played rec league sports in the '90s might remember, being on a team for some reason required you to sell knockoff candy bars to raise funds. Every season, my biggest customer was always me. Some kids went door-to-door, some set up outside local businesses, some sent boxes to their parents' jobs—I just used my allowance to buy a few for myself.

Aside from initiative, what my approach lacked was a plan, a goal, and accountability. A lot to ask of an unmotivated nine-year-old, I know, but 100% required for anyone who runs an actual business.

Business objectives help companies avoid my pitfalls by laying the groundwork for all the above so they can pursue achievable growth.

Table of contents:

The benefits of setting business objectives

How to set business objectives, examples of business objectives and goals, business objective template, tips for achieving business objectives.

Zapier is the leader in workflow automation—integrating with 6,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Use interfaces, data tables, and logic to build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more .

What are business objectives?

Business objectives are specific, written steps that guide company growth in measurable terms. A good business objective is concise, actionable, and assigned definite metrics for tracking progress and measuring success. Coming up with effective objectives requires a strong understanding of:

What you want the company to achieve

How you can measure success

Which players are involved in driving success

The timelines needed to plan, initiate, and implement steps

How you can improve or better support business processes , personnel, logistics, and management 

How, if successful, these actions can be integrated sustainably going forward

objectives example business plan

Business objectives vs. goals

Where a business objective is an actionable step taken to make improvements toward growth, a business goal is the specific high-level growth an objective helps a company reach. Business objectives are often used interchangeably with business goals, but an objective is in service of a goal. 

Here's what that breakdown could have looked like for nine-year-old me selling candy for my little league team: 

Business objective: I will increase my sales output by learning and implementing point-of-sale conversion frameworks. I'll measure success by comparing week-over-week sales growth to median sales across players on my baseball team.

Business goal: I will sell more candy bars than anyone on my team and earn the grand prize: a team party at Pizza Hut.

You might think it's good enough to continue working status quo toward your goals, but as the cliche goes, good enough usually isn't. Establishing and following defined, actionable steps through business objectives can:

Help establish clear roadmaps: You can translate your objectives into time-sensitive sequences to chart your path toward growth.

Set groundwork for culture: Clear objectives should reflect the culture you envision, and, in turn, they should help guide your team to foster it.

Influence talent acquisition: Once you know your objectives, you can use them to find the people with the specific skills and experiences needed to actualize them.

Encourage teamwork: People work together better when they know what they're working toward.

Promote sound leadership: Clear objectives give leaders opportunities to get the resources they need.

Establish accountability: By measuring progress, you can see where errors and inefficiencies come from.

Drive productivity: The endgame of an objective is to make individual team members and processes more effective.

Setting business objectives takes a thoughtful, top-to-bottom approach. At every level of your business—whether you're a massive candy corporation or one kid selling chocolate almond bars door-to-door—there are improvements to make, steps to take, and players with stakes (or in my case, bats) in the game.

Illustration of a clipboard listing the six steps to setting business objectives

1. Establish clear goals

You can't hit a home run without a fence, and you can't reach a goal without setting it. Before you start brainstorming your objectives, you need to know what your objectives will help you work toward.

Analytical tactics like a SWOT analysis and goal-setting frameworks like SMART can be extremely useful at this stage, as you'll need to be specific about what you want to achieve and honest about what is achievable. Here are a few example goals:

Increase total revenue by 25% over the next two years

Reduce production costs by 10% by the end of the year

Provide health insurance for employees by next fiscal year

Grow design department to 10+ employees this year

Reach 100k Instagram followers ahead of new product launch

Implement full rebrand before new partnership announcement

Once you have these goals in place, you can establish individual objectives that position your company to reach them.

2. Set a baseline

Like a field manager before a game, you've got to set your baselines. (Very niche pun, I know.) With a definite goal in mind, the only way to know your progress is to know where you're starting from. 

If you want to increase conversions on a specific link by X percent, look beyond current conversion percentage to the myriad factors going into it. Log the page traffic, clicks, ad performance, time on page, bounce rate, and other engagement metrics historically to this point. Your objectives will dig deeper into that one outcome to address deficiencies in the sales funnel , so every figure is important.

Analyzing your baselines could also help you recalibrate your goals. You may have decided abstractly that you want conversion rates to double in six months, but is that really possible? If your measurables show there's potentially a heavier lift involved than you expected, you can always roll back the goal performance or expand the timeline.

3. Involve players at all levels in the conversation

Too often, the most important people are left out of conversations about goals and objectives. The more levels of complexity and oversight, the more important it is to hear from everyone—yet the more likely it is that some will be excluded.

Let's say you want to reduce overhead by 5% over the next two years for your sporting goods manufacturing outfit. At a high level, your team finds you can reduce production costs by using cheaper materials for baseball gloves. A member of your sales team points out that the reduction in quality, which your brand is famous for, could lead to losses that offset those savings. Meanwhile, a factory representative points out that replacing outdated machines would be expensive initially but would increase efficiency, reduce defects, and cut maintenance costs, breaking even in four years.

By involving various teams at multiple levels, you find it's worth it to extend timelines from two to four years. Your overhead reduction may be lower than 5% by year two but should be much higher than that by year four based on these changes.

The takeaway from this pretty crude example is that it's helpful to make sure every team that touches anything related to your objective gets consulted. They should give valuable, practical input thanks to their boots- (or cleats-) on-the-ground experience.

4. Define measurable outcomes

An objective should be exactly that. Using KPIs (key performance indicators) to apply a level of objectivity to your action steps allows you to measure their progress and success over time and either adapt as you go along or stay the course.

How do you know if your specific objectives are leading to increased web traffic, or if that's just natural (or even incidental) growth? How do you know if your recruiting efforts lead to better candidates, or whether your employees are actually more satisfied? Here are a few examples of measurable outcomes to show proof:

Percentage change (15% overall increase in revenue)

Goal number (10,000 subscribers)

Success range (five to 10 new clients)

Clear change (new company name)

Executable action (weekly newsletter launch)

Your objectives should have specific, measurable outcomes. It's not enough to have a better product, be more efficient, or have more brand awareness . Your objective should be provable and grounded in data.

5. Outline a roadmap with a schedule

You've got your organizational goals defined, logged your baselines, sourced objectives from across your company, and know your metrics for defining success. Now it's time to set an actionable plan you can execute.

Your objectives roadmap should include all involved team members and departments and clear timelines for reaching milestones. Within your objectives, set action items with deadlines to stay on track, along with corresponding progress markers. For the objective of "increase lead conversion efficiency by 10%," that could look like:

May 15: Begin time logging 

June 1: Register team members for productivity seminar

June 15: Integrate Trello for managing processes

June 15: Audit time log

July 1: Implement lead automation

August 1: Audit time log—goal efficiency increase of 5%

6. Integrate successful changes

You've successfully achieved your objectives—great! But as Yogi Berra famously said, "It ain't over till it's over," and it ain't over yet. 

Don't let this win be a one-off accomplishment. Berra also said "You can observe a lot by just watching," and applying what you observed from this process will help you continue growing your company. Take what worked, and integrate it into your business processes for sustainable improvement. Then create new objectives, so you can continue the cycle.

Business objectives aren't collated plans or complicated flowcharts—they're short, impactful statements that are easy to memorize and communicate. There are four basic components every business objective should have: 

A growth-oriented intention (improve efficiency)

One or more actions (implement monthly training sessions)

A measurement for success (20% increase)

A timeline to reach success (by end of year)

For this year's summer swimwear line, we will increase sales by 15% over last year's line through customer relationship marketing. We will execute distinct email campaigns by segmenting last year's summer swimwear customers and this year's spring casualwear customers and offering season-long discount codes.

Our SaaS product's implementation team will grow to five during the next fiscal year. This will require us to submit a budget proposal by the end of the quarter and look into restructured growth tracks, new job posting templates, and revised role descriptions by the start of next fiscal year.

We will increase customer satisfaction for our mobile app product demonstrably by the end of the year by integrating a new AI chatbot feature. To measure the change in customer satisfaction, we will monitor ratings in the app store, specifically looking for decreases in rates of negative reviews by 5%-10%  as well as increases in overall positive reviews by 5%-10%.

Each of our water filtration systems will achieve NSF certification ahead of the launch of our rebranding campaign. Our product team will establish a checklist of changes necessary for meeting certification requirements and communicate timelines to the marketing team.

HR will implement bi-annual performance reviews starting next year. Review timelines will be built into scheduling software, and HR will automate email reminders to managers to communicate to their teams.

Business objectives can be as simple as one action or as complex as a multi-year roadmap—but they should be able to fall into a clear, actionable framework.

Mockup of a business objective statement worksheet

Calling your shot to the left centerfield wall and hitting a ball over that wall are two different things—the same goes for setting an objective and actualizing it.

Start with clear, attainable goals: Objectives should position your business to reach broader growth goals, so start by establishing those.

Align decisions with objectives: Once you set objectives, they should inform other decisions. Decision-makers should think about how changes they make along the way affect their objectives' timelines and execution.

Stick to the schedule or adjust it: Schedules should propel change, not rush it. Work toward meeting milestones and deadlines, but understand that they can always be moved if complications or new priorities arise. Remember, it's ok to fall short on goals .

Listen to team members at all levels: Those most affected by organizational changes can be the ones with the least say in the matter. Great ideas and insights can come from any level—even if they're only tangentially related to an outcome.

Implement automation: Automation keeps systems running smoothly—business objectives are no exception. Make a plan to bring no-code automation into workflows with Zapier to move your work forward, faster.

What makes business objectives so useful is that they can help you build a plan with defined steps to reach obtainable growth goals. As (one more time) Yogi Berra also once said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." 

As you outline your objectives, here are some guides that can help you find KPIs and improvement opportunities:

How to conduct your own market research survey

6 customer satisfaction metrics to start measuring

Streamline work across departments with automation

Measuring SaaS success: 5 essential product-led growth metrics to track

12 value proposition templates—and how to write your own

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Bryce Emley

Currently based in Albuquerque, NM, Bryce Emley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NC State and nearly a decade of writing and editing experience. His work has been published in magazines including The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, and Modern Farmer and has received a regional Emmy and awards from venues including Narrative, Wesleyan University, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Pablo Neruda Prize. When he isn’t writing content, poetry, or creative nonfiction, he enjoys traveling, baking, playing music, reliving his barista days in his own kitchen, camping, and being bad at carpentry.

  • Small business
  • Sales & business development

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How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (+ Template and Examples)

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Every successful business has one thing in common, a good and well-executed business plan. A business plan is more than a document, it is a complete guide that outlines the goals your business wants to achieve, including its financial goals . It helps you analyze results, make strategic decisions, show your business operations and growth.

If you want to start a business or already have one and need to pitch it to investors for funding, writing a good business plan improves your chances of attracting financiers. As a startup, if you want to secure loans from financial institutions, part of the requirements involve submitting your business plan.

Writing a business plan does not have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step process for writing a successful business plan.

You will also learn what you need a business plan for, tips and strategies for writing a convincing business plan, business plan examples and templates that will save you tons of time, and the alternatives to the traditional business plan.

Let’s get started.

What Do You Need A Business Plan For?

Businesses create business plans for different purposes such as to secure funds, monitor business growth, measure your marketing strategies, and measure your business success.

1. Secure Funds

One of the primary reasons for writing a business plan is to secure funds, either from financial institutions/agencies or investors.

For you to effectively acquire funds, your business plan must contain the key elements of your business plan . For example, your business plan should include your growth plans, goals you want to achieve, and milestones you have recorded.

A business plan can also attract new business partners that are willing to contribute financially and intellectually. If you are writing a business plan to a bank, your project must show your traction , that is, the proof that you can pay back any loan borrowed.

Also, if you are writing to an investor, your plan must contain evidence that you can effectively utilize the funds you want them to invest in your business. Here, you are using your business plan to persuade a group or an individual that your business is a source of a good investment.

2. Monitor Business Growth

A business plan can help you track cash flows in your business. It steers your business to greater heights. A business plan capable of tracking business growth should contain:

  • The business goals
  • Methods to achieve the goals
  • Time-frame for attaining those goals

A good business plan should guide you through every step in achieving your goals. It can also track the allocation of assets to every aspect of the business. You can tell when you are spending more than you should on a project.

You can compare a business plan to a written GPS. It helps you manage your business and hints at the right time to expand your business.

3. Measure Business Success

A business plan can help you measure your business success rate. Some small-scale businesses are thriving better than more prominent companies because of their track record of success.

Right from the onset of your business operation, set goals and work towards them. Write a plan to guide you through your procedures. Use your plan to measure how much you have achieved and how much is left to attain.

You can also weigh your success by monitoring the position of your brand relative to competitors. On the other hand, a business plan can also show you why you have not achieved a goal. It can tell if you have elapsed the time frame you set to attain a goal.

4. Document Your Marketing Strategies

You can use a business plan to document your marketing plans. Every business should have an effective marketing plan.

Competition mandates every business owner to go the extraordinary mile to remain relevant in the market. Your business plan should contain your marketing strategies that work. You can measure the success rate of your marketing plans.

In your business plan, your marketing strategy must answer the questions:

  • How do you want to reach your target audience?
  • How do you plan to retain your customers?
  • What is/are your pricing plans?
  • What is your budget for marketing?

Business Plan Infographic

How to Write a Business Plan Step-by-Step

1. create your executive summary.

The executive summary is a snapshot of your business or a high-level overview of your business purposes and plans . Although the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, most people write it last. The length of the executive summary is not more than two pages.

Executive Summary of the business plan

Generally, there are nine sections in a business plan, the executive summary should condense essential ideas from the other eight sections.

A good executive summary should do the following:

  • A Snapshot of Growth Potential. Briefly inform the reader about your company and why it will be successful)
  • Contain your Mission Statement which explains what the main objective or focus of your business is.
  • Product Description and Differentiation. Brief description of your products or services and why it is different from other solutions in the market.
  • The Team. Basic information about your company’s leadership team and employees
  • Business Concept. A solid description of what your business does.
  • Target Market. The customers you plan to sell to.
  • Marketing Strategy. Your plans on reaching and selling to your customers
  • Current Financial State. Brief information about what revenue your business currently generates.
  • Projected Financial State. Brief information about what you foresee your business revenue to be in the future.

The executive summary is the make-or-break section of your business plan. If your summary cannot in less than two pages cannot clearly describe how your business will solve a particular problem of your target audience and make a profit, your business plan is set on a faulty foundation.

Avoid using the executive summary to hype your business, instead, focus on helping the reader understand the what and how of your plan.

View the executive summary as an opportunity to introduce your vision for your company. You know your executive summary is powerful when it can answer these key questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What sector or industry are you in?
  • What are your products and services?
  • What is the future of your industry?
  • Is your company scaleable?
  • Who are the owners and leaders of your company? What are their backgrounds and experience levels?
  • What is the motivation for starting your company?
  • What are the next steps?

Writing the executive summary last although it is the most important section of your business plan is an excellent idea. The reason why is because it is a high-level overview of your business plan. It is the section that determines whether potential investors and lenders will read further or not.

The executive summary can be a stand-alone document that covers everything in your business plan. It is not uncommon for investors to request only the executive summary when evaluating your business. If the information in the executive summary impresses them, they will ask for the complete business plan.

If you are writing your business plan for your planning purposes, you do not need to write the executive summary.

2. Add Your Company Overview

The company overview or description is the next section in your business plan after the executive summary. It describes what your business does.

Adding your company overview can be tricky especially when your business is still in the planning stages. Existing businesses can easily summarize their current operations but may encounter difficulties trying to explain what they plan to become.

Your company overview should contain the following:

  • What products and services you will provide
  • Geographical markets and locations your company have a presence
  • What you need to run your business
  • Who your target audience or customers are
  • Who will service your customers
  • Your company’s purpose, mission, and vision
  • Information about your company’s founders
  • Who the founders are
  • Notable achievements of your company so far

When creating a company overview, you have to focus on three basics: identifying your industry, identifying your customer, and explaining the problem you solve.

If you are stuck when creating your company overview, try to answer some of these questions that pertain to you.

  • Who are you targeting? (The answer is not everyone)
  • What pain point does your product or service solve for your customers that they will be willing to spend money on resolving?
  • How does your product or service overcome that pain point?
  • Where is the location of your business?
  • What products, equipment, and services do you need to run your business?
  • How is your company’s product or service different from your competition in the eyes of your customers?
  • How many employees do you need and what skills do you require them to have?

After answering some or all of these questions, you will get more than enough information you need to write your company overview or description section. When writing this section, describe what your company does for your customers.

It describes what your business does

The company description or overview section contains three elements: mission statement, history, and objectives.

  • Mission Statement

The mission statement refers to the reason why your business or company is existing. It goes beyond what you do or sell, it is about the ‘why’. A good mission statement should be emotional and inspirational.

Your mission statement should follow the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid). For example, Shopify’s mission statement is “Make commerce better for everyone.”

When describing your company’s history, make it simple and avoid the temptation of tying it to a defensive narrative. Write it in the manner you would a profile. Your company’s history should include the following information:

  • Founding Date
  • Major Milestones
  • Location(s)
  • Flagship Products or Services
  • Number of Employees
  • Executive Leadership Roles

When you fill in this information, you use it to write one or two paragraphs about your company’s history.

Business Objectives

Your business objective must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.) Failure to clearly identify your business objectives does not inspire confidence and makes it hard for your team members to work towards a common purpose.

3. Perform Market and Competitive Analyses to Proof a Big Enough Business Opportunity

The third step in writing a business plan is the market and competitive analysis section. Every business, no matter the size, needs to perform comprehensive market and competitive analyses before it enters into a market.

Performing market and competitive analyses are critical for the success of your business. It helps you avoid entering the right market with the wrong product, or vice versa. Anyone reading your business plans, especially financiers and financial institutions will want to see proof that there is a big enough business opportunity you are targeting.

This section is where you describe the market and industry you want to operate in and show the big opportunities in the market that your business can leverage to make a profit. If you noticed any unique trends when doing your research, show them in this section.

Market analysis alone is not enough, you have to add competitive analysis to strengthen this section. There are already businesses in the industry or market, how do you plan to take a share of the market from them?

You have to clearly illustrate the competitive landscape in your business plan. Are there areas your competitors are doing well? Are there areas where they are not doing so well? Show it.

Make it clear in this section why you are moving into the industry and what weaknesses are present there that you plan to explain. How are your competitors going to react to your market entry? How do you plan to get customers? Do you plan on taking your competitors' competitors, tap into other sources for customers, or both?

Illustrate the competitive landscape as well. What are your competitors doing well and not so well?

Answering these questions and thoughts will aid your market and competitive analysis of the opportunities in your space. Depending on how sophisticated your industry is, or the expectations of your financiers, you may need to carry out a more comprehensive market and competitive analysis to prove that big business opportunity.

Instead of looking at the market and competitive analyses as one entity, separating them will make the research even more comprehensive.

Market Analysis

Market analysis, boarding speaking, refers to research a business carried out on its industry, market, and competitors. It helps businesses gain a good understanding of their target market and the outlook of their industry. Before starting a company, it is vital to carry out market research to find out if the market is viable.

Market Analysis for Online Business

The market analysis section is a key part of the business plan. It is the section where you identify who your best clients or customers are. You cannot omit this section, without it your business plan is incomplete.

A good market analysis will tell your readers how you fit into the existing market and what makes you stand out. This section requires in-depth research, it will probably be the most time-consuming part of the business plan to write.

  • Market Research

To create a compelling market analysis that will win over investors and financial institutions, you have to carry out thorough market research . Your market research should be targeted at your primary target market for your products or services. Here is what you want to find out about your target market.

  • Your target market’s needs or pain points
  • The existing solutions for their pain points
  • Geographic Location
  • Demographics

The purpose of carrying out a marketing analysis is to get all the information you need to show that you have a solid and thorough understanding of your target audience.

Only after you have fully understood the people you plan to sell your products or services to, can you evaluate correctly if your target market will be interested in your products or services.

You can easily convince interested parties to invest in your business if you can show them you thoroughly understand the market and show them that there is a market for your products or services.

How to Quantify Your Target Market

One of the goals of your marketing research is to understand who your ideal customers are and their purchasing power. To quantify your target market, you have to determine the following:

  • Your Potential Customers: They are the people you plan to target. For example, if you sell accounting software for small businesses , then anyone who runs an enterprise or large business is unlikely to be your customers. Also, individuals who do not have a business will most likely not be interested in your product.
  • Total Households: If you are selling household products such as heating and air conditioning systems, determining the number of total households is more important than finding out the total population in the area you want to sell to. The logic is simple, people buy the product but it is the household that uses it.
  • Median Income: You need to know the median income of your target market. If you target a market that cannot afford to buy your products and services, your business will not last long.
  • Income by Demographics: If your potential customers belong to a certain age group or gender, determining income levels by demographics is necessary. For example, if you sell men's clothes, your target audience is men.

What Does a Good Market Analysis Entail?

Your business does not exist on its own, it can only flourish within an industry and alongside competitors. Market analysis takes into consideration your industry, target market, and competitors. Understanding these three entities will drastically improve your company’s chances of success.

Market Analysis Steps

You can view your market analysis as an examination of the market you want to break into and an education on the emerging trends and themes in that market. Good market analyses include the following:

  • Industry Description. You find out about the history of your industry, the current and future market size, and who the largest players/companies are in your industry.
  • Overview of Target Market. You research your target market and its characteristics. Who are you targeting? Note, it cannot be everyone, it has to be a specific group. You also have to find out all information possible about your customers that can help you understand how and why they make buying decisions.
  • Size of Target Market: You need to know the size of your target market, how frequently they buy, and the expected quantity they buy so you do not risk overproducing and having lots of bad inventory. Researching the size of your target market will help you determine if it is big enough for sustained business or not.
  • Growth Potential: Before picking a target market, you want to be sure there are lots of potential for future growth. You want to avoid going for an industry that is declining slowly or rapidly with almost zero growth potential.
  • Market Share Potential: Does your business stand a good chance of taking a good share of the market?
  • Market Pricing and Promotional Strategies: Your market analysis should give you an idea of the price point you can expect to charge for your products and services. Researching your target market will also give you ideas of pricing strategies you can implement to break into the market or to enjoy maximum profits.
  • Potential Barriers to Entry: One of the biggest benefits of conducting market analysis is that it shows you every potential barrier to entry your business will likely encounter. It is a good idea to discuss potential barriers to entry such as changing technology. It informs readers of your business plan that you understand the market.
  • Research on Competitors: You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how you can exploit them for the benefit of your business. Find patterns and trends among your competitors that make them successful, discover what works and what doesn’t, and see what you can do better.

The market analysis section is not just for talking about your target market, industry, and competitors. You also have to explain how your company can fill the hole you have identified in the market.

Here are some questions you can answer that can help you position your product or service in a positive light to your readers.

  • Is your product or service of superior quality?
  • What additional features do you offer that your competitors do not offer?
  • Are you targeting a ‘new’ market?

Basically, your market analysis should include an analysis of what already exists in the market and an explanation of how your company fits into the market.

Competitive Analysis

In the competitive analysis section, y ou have to understand who your direct and indirect competitions are, and how successful they are in the marketplace. It is the section where you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, the advantage(s) they possess in the market and show the unique features or qualities that make you different from your competitors.

Four Steps to Create a Competitive Marketing Analysis

Many businesses do market analysis and competitive analysis together. However, to fully understand what the competitive analysis entails, it is essential to separate it from the market analysis.

Competitive analysis for your business can also include analysis on how to overcome barriers to entry in your target market.

The primary goal of conducting a competitive analysis is to distinguish your business from your competitors. A strong competitive analysis is essential if you want to convince potential funding sources to invest in your business. You have to show potential investors and lenders that your business has what it takes to compete in the marketplace successfully.

Competitive analysis will s how you what the strengths of your competition are and what they are doing to maintain that advantage.

When doing your competitive research, you first have to identify your competitor and then get all the information you can about them. The idea of spending time to identify your competitor and learn everything about them may seem daunting but it is well worth it.

Find answers to the following questions after you have identified who your competitors are.

  • What are your successful competitors doing?
  • Why is what they are doing working?
  • Can your business do it better?
  • What are the weaknesses of your successful competitors?
  • What are they not doing well?
  • Can your business turn its weaknesses into strengths?
  • How good is your competitors’ customer service?
  • Where do your competitors invest in advertising?
  • What sales and pricing strategies are they using?
  • What marketing strategies are they using?
  • What kind of press coverage do they get?
  • What are their customers saying about your competitors (both the positive and negative)?

If your competitors have a website, it is a good idea to visit their websites for more competitors’ research. Check their “About Us” page for more information.

How to Perform Competitive Analysis

If you are presenting your business plan to investors, you need to clearly distinguish yourself from your competitors. Investors can easily tell when you have not properly researched your competitors.

Take time to think about what unique qualities or features set you apart from your competitors. If you do not have any direct competition offering your product to the market, it does not mean you leave out the competitor analysis section blank. Instead research on other companies that are providing a similar product, or whose product is solving the problem your product solves.

The next step is to create a table listing the top competitors you want to include in your business plan. Ensure you list your business as the last and on the right. What you just created is known as the competitor analysis table.

Direct vs Indirect Competition

You cannot know if your product or service will be a fit for your target market if you have not understood your business and the competitive landscape.

There is no market you want to target where you will not encounter competition, even if your product is innovative. Including competitive analysis in your business plan is essential.

If you are entering an established market, you need to explain how you plan to differentiate your products from the available options in the market. Also, include a list of few companies that you view as your direct competitors The competition you face in an established market is your direct competition.

In situations where you are entering a market with no direct competition, it does not mean there is no competition there. Consider your indirect competition that offers substitutes for the products or services you offer.

For example, if you sell an innovative SaaS product, let us say a project management software , a company offering time management software is your indirect competition.

There is an easy way to find out who your indirect competitors are in the absence of no direct competitors. You simply have to research how your potential customers are solving the problems that your product or service seeks to solve. That is your direct competition.

Factors that Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

There are three main factors that any business can use to differentiate itself from its competition. They are cost leadership, product differentiation, and market segmentation.

1. Cost Leadership

A strategy you can impose to maximize your profits and gain an edge over your competitors. It involves offering lower prices than what the majority of your competitors are offering.

A common practice among businesses looking to enter into a market where there are dominant players is to use free trials or pricing to attract as many customers as possible to their offer.

2. Product Differentiation

Your product or service should have a unique selling proposition (USP) that your competitors do not have or do not stress in their marketing.

Part of the marketing strategy should involve making your products unique and different from your competitors. It does not have to be different from your competitors, it can be the addition to a feature or benefit that your competitors do not currently have.

3. Market Segmentation

As a new business seeking to break into an industry, you will gain more success from focusing on a specific niche or target market, and not the whole industry.

If your competitors are focused on a general need or target market, you can differentiate yourself from them by having a small and hyper-targeted audience. For example, if your competitors are selling men’s clothes in their online stores , you can sell hoodies for men.

4. Define Your Business and Management Structure

The next step in your business plan is your business and management structure. It is the section where you describe the legal structure of your business and the team running it.

Your business is only as good as the management team that runs it, while the management team can only strive when there is a proper business and management structure in place.

If your company is a sole proprietor or a limited liability company (LLC), a general or limited partnership, or a C or an S corporation, state it clearly in this section.

Use an organizational chart to show the management structure in your business. Clearly show who is in charge of what area in your company. It is where you show how each key manager or team leader’s unique experience can contribute immensely to the success of your company. You can also opt to add the resumes and CVs of the key players in your company.

The business and management structure section should show who the owner is, and other owners of the businesses (if the business has other owners). For businesses or companies with multiple owners, include the percent ownership of the various owners and clearly show the extent of each others’ involvement in the company.

Investors want to know who is behind the company and the team running it to determine if it has the right management to achieve its set goals.

Management Team

The management team section is where you show that you have the right team in place to successfully execute the business operations and ideas. Take time to create the management structure for your business. Think about all the important roles and responsibilities that you need managers for to grow your business.

Include brief bios of each key team member and ensure you highlight only the relevant information that is needed. If your team members have background industry experience or have held top positions for other companies and achieved success while filling that role, highlight it in this section.

Create Management Team For Business Plan

A common mistake that many startups make is assigning C-level titles such as (CMO and CEO) to everyone on their team. It is unrealistic for a small business to have those titles. While it may look good on paper for the ego of your team members, it can prevent investors from investing in your business.

Instead of building an unrealistic management structure that does not fit your business reality, it is best to allow business titles to grow as the business grows. Starting everyone at the top leaves no room for future change or growth, which is bad for productivity.

Your management team does not have to be complete before you start writing your business plan. You can have a complete business plan even when there are managerial positions that are empty and need filling.

If you have management gaps in your team, simply show the gaps and indicate you are searching for the right candidates for the role(s). Investors do not expect you to have a full management team when you are just starting your business.

Key Questions to Answer When Structuring Your Management Team

  • Who are the key leaders?
  • What experiences, skills, and educational backgrounds do you expect your key leaders to have?
  • Do your key leaders have industry experience?
  • What positions will they fill and what duties will they perform in those positions?
  • What level of authority do the key leaders have and what are their responsibilities?
  • What is the salary for the various management positions that will attract the ideal candidates?

Additional Tips for Writing the Management Structure Section

1. Avoid Adding ‘Ghost’ Names to Your Management Team

There is always that temptation to include a ‘ghost’ name to your management team to attract and influence investors to invest in your business. Although the presence of these celebrity management team members may attract the attention of investors, it can cause your business to lose any credibility if you get found out.

Seasoned investors will investigate further the members of your management team before committing fully to your business If they find out that the celebrity name used does not play any actual role in your business, they will not invest and may write you off as dishonest.

2. Focus on Credentials But Pay Extra Attention to the Roles

Investors want to know the experience that your key team members have to determine if they can successfully reach the company’s growth and financial goals.

While it is an excellent boost for your key management team to have the right credentials, you also want to pay extra attention to the roles they will play in your company.

Organizational Chart

Organizational chart Infographic

Adding an organizational chart in this section of your business plan is not necessary, you can do it in your business plan’s appendix.

If you are exploring funding options, it is not uncommon to get asked for your organizational chart. The function of an organizational chart goes beyond raising money, you can also use it as a useful planning tool for your business.

An organizational chart can help you identify how best to structure your management team for maximum productivity and point you towards key roles you need to fill in the future.

You can use the organizational chart to show your company’s internal management structure such as the roles and responsibilities of your management team, and relationships that exist between them.

5. Describe Your Product and Service Offering

In your business plan, you have to describe what you sell or the service you plan to offer. It is the next step after defining your business and management structure. The products and services section is where you sell the benefits of your business.

Here you have to explain how your product or service will benefit your customers and describe your product lifecycle. It is also the section where you write down your plans for intellectual property like patent filings and copyrighting.

The research and development that you are undertaking for your product or service need to be explained in detail in this section. However, do not get too technical, sell the general idea and its benefits.

If you have any diagrams or intricate designs of your product or service, do not include them in the products and services section. Instead, leave them for the addendum page. Also, if you are leaving out diagrams or designs for the addendum, ensure you add this phrase “For more detail, visit the addendum Page #.”

Your product and service section in your business plan should include the following:

  • A detailed explanation that clearly shows how your product or service works.
  • The pricing model for your product or service.
  • Your business’ sales and distribution strategy.
  • The ideal customers that want your product or service.
  • The benefits of your products and services.
  • Reason(s) why your product or service is a better alternative to what your competitors are currently offering in the market.
  • Plans for filling the orders you receive
  • If you have current or pending patents, copyrights, and trademarks for your product or service, you can also discuss them in this section.

What to Focus On When Describing the Benefits, Lifecycle, and Production Process of Your Products or Services

In the products and services section, you have to distill the benefits, lifecycle, and production process of your products and services.

When describing the benefits of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Unique features
  • Translating the unique features into benefits
  • The emotional, psychological, and practical payoffs to attract customers
  • Intellectual property rights or any patents

When describing the product life cycle of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells
  • Time between purchases
  • Plans for research and development.

When describing the production process for your products or services, you need to think about the following:

  • The creation of new or existing products and services.
  • The sources for the raw materials or components you need for production.
  • Assembling the products
  • Maintaining quality control
  • Supply-chain logistics (receiving the raw materials and delivering the finished products)
  • The day-to-day management of the production processes, bookkeeping, and inventory.

Tips for Writing the Products or Services Section of Your Business Plan

1. Avoid Technical Descriptions and Industry Buzzwords

The products and services section of your business plan should clearly describe the products and services that your company provides. However, it is not a section to include technical jargons that anyone outside your industry will not understand.

A good practice is to remove highly detailed or technical descriptions in favor of simple terms. Industry buzzwords are not necessary, if there are simpler terms you can use, then use them. If you plan to use your business plan to source funds, making the product or service section so technical will do you no favors.

2. Describe How Your Products or Services Differ from Your Competitors

When potential investors look at your business plan, they want to know how the products and services you are offering differ from that of your competition. Differentiating your products or services from your competition in a way that makes your solution more attractive is critical.

If you are going the innovative path and there is no market currently for your product or service, you need to describe in this section why the market needs your product or service.

For example, overnight delivery was a niche business that only a few companies were participating in. Federal Express (FedEx) had to show in its business plan that there was a large opportunity for that service and they justified why the market needed that service.

3. Long or Short Products or Services Section

Should your products or services section be short? Does the long products or services section attract more investors?

There are no straightforward answers to these questions. Whether your products or services section should be long or relatively short depends on the nature of your business.

If your business is product-focused, then automatically you need to use more space to describe the details of your products. However, if the product your business sells is a commodity item that relies on competitive pricing or other pricing strategies, you do not have to use up so much space to provide significant details about the product.

Likewise, if you are selling a commodity that is available in numerous outlets, then you do not have to spend time on writing a long products or services section.

The key to the success of your business is most likely the effectiveness of your marketing strategies compared to your competitors. Use more space to address that section.

If you are creating a new product or service that the market does not know about, your products or services section can be lengthy. The reason why is because you need to explain everything about the product or service such as the nature of the product, its use case, and values.

A short products or services section for an innovative product or service will not give the readers enough information to properly evaluate your business.

4. Describe Your Relationships with Vendors or Suppliers

Your business will rely on vendors or suppliers to supply raw materials or the components needed to make your products. In your products and services section, describe your relationships with your vendors and suppliers fully.

Avoid the mistake of relying on only one supplier or vendor. If that supplier or vendor fails to supply or goes out of business, you can easily face supply problems and struggle to meet your demands. Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships for better business stability.

5. Your Primary Goal Is to Convince Your Readers

The primary goal of your business plan is to convince your readers that your business is viable and to create a guide for your business to follow. It applies to the products and services section.

When drafting this section, think like the reader. See your reader as someone who has no idea about your products and services. You are using the products and services section to provide the needed information to help your reader understand your products and services. As a result, you have to be clear and to the point.

While you want to educate your readers about your products or services, you also do not want to bore them with lots of technical details. Show your products and services and not your fancy choice of words.

Your products and services section should provide the answer to the “what” question for your business. You and your management team may run the business, but it is your products and services that are the lifeblood of the business.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing your Products and Services Section

Answering these questions can help you write your products and services section quickly and in a way that will appeal to your readers.

  • Are your products existing on the market or are they still in the development stage?
  • What is your timeline for adding new products and services to the market?
  • What are the positives that make your products and services different from your competitors?
  • Do your products and services have any competitive advantage that your competitors’ products and services do not currently have?
  • Do your products or services have any competitive disadvantages that you need to overcome to compete with your competitors? If your answer is yes, state how you plan to overcome them,
  • How much does it cost to produce your products or services? How much do you plan to sell it for?
  • What is the price for your products and services compared to your competitors? Is pricing an issue?
  • What are your operating costs and will it be low enough for you to compete with your competitors and still take home a reasonable profit margin?
  • What is your plan for acquiring your products? Are you involved in the production of your products or services?
  • Are you the manufacturer and produce all the components you need to create your products? Do you assemble your products by using components supplied by other manufacturers? Do you purchase your products directly from suppliers or wholesalers?
  • Do you have a steady supply of products that you need to start your business? (If your business is yet to kick-off)
  • How do you plan to distribute your products or services to the market?

You can also hint at the marketing or promotion plans you have for your products or services such as how you plan to build awareness or retain customers. The next section is where you can go fully into details about your business’s marketing and sales plan.

6. Show and Explain Your Marketing and Sales Plan

Providing great products and services is wonderful, but it means nothing if you do not have a marketing and sales plan to inform your customers about them. Your marketing and sales plan is critical to the success of your business.

The sales and marketing section is where you show and offer a detailed explanation of your marketing and sales plan and how you plan to execute it. It covers your pricing plan, proposed advertising and promotion activities, activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success, and the benefits of your products and services.

There are several ways you can approach your marketing and sales strategy. Ideally, your marketing and sales strategy has to fit the unique needs of your business.

In this section, you describe how the plans your business has for attracting and retaining customers, and the exact process for making a sale happen. It is essential to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales plans because you are still going to reference this section when you are making financial projections for your business.

Outline Your Business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The sales and marketing section is where you outline your business’s unique selling proposition (USP). When you are developing your unique selling proposition, think about the strongest reasons why people should buy from you over your competition. That reason(s) is most likely a good fit to serve as your unique selling proposition (USP).

Target Market and Target Audience

Plans on how to get your products or services to your target market and how to get your target audience to buy them go into this section. You also highlight the strengths of your business here, particularly what sets them apart from your competition.

Target Market Vs Target Audience

Before you start writing your marketing and sales plan, you need to have properly defined your target audience and fleshed out your buyer persona. If you do not first understand the individual you are marketing to, your marketing and sales plan will lack any substance and easily fall.

Creating a Smart Marketing and Sales Plan

Marketing your products and services is an investment that requires you to spend money. Like any other investment, you have to generate a good return on investment (ROI) to justify using that marketing and sales plan. Good marketing and sales plans bring in high sales and profits to your company.

Avoid spending money on unproductive marketing channels. Do your research and find out the best marketing and sales plan that works best for your company.

Your marketing and sales plan can be broken into different parts: your positioning statement, pricing, promotion, packaging, advertising, public relations, content marketing, social media, and strategic alliances.

Your Positioning Statement

Your positioning statement is the first part of your marketing and sales plan. It refers to the way you present your company to your customers.

Are you the premium solution, the low-price solution, or are you the intermediary between the two extremes in the market? What do you offer that your competitors do not that can give you leverage in the market?

Before you start writing your positioning statement, you need to spend some time evaluating the current market conditions. Here are some questions that can help you to evaluate the market

  • What are the unique features or benefits that you offer that your competitors lack?
  • What are your customers’ primary needs and wants?
  • Why should a customer choose you over your competition? How do you plan to differentiate yourself from the competition?
  • How does your company’s solution compare with other solutions in the market?

After answering these questions, then you can start writing your positioning statement. Your positioning statement does not have to be in-depth or too long.

All you need to explain with your positioning statement are two focus areas. The first is the position of your company within the competitive landscape. The other focus area is the core value proposition that sets your company apart from other alternatives that your ideal customer might consider.

Here is a simple template you can use to develop a positioning statement.

For [description of target market] who [need of target market], [product or service] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [top competition], it [most essential distinguishing feature].

For example, let’s create the positioning statement for fictional accounting software and QuickBooks alternative , TBooks.

“For small business owners who need accounting services, TBooks is an accounting software that helps small businesses handle their small business bookkeeping basics quickly and easily. Unlike Wave, TBooks gives small businesses access to live sessions with top accountants.”

You can edit this positioning statement sample and fill it with your business details.

After writing your positioning statement, the next step is the pricing of your offerings. The overall positioning strategy you set in your positioning statement will often determine how you price your products or services.

Pricing is a powerful tool that sends a strong message to your customers. Failure to get your pricing strategy right can make or mar your business. If you are targeting a low-income audience, setting a premium price can result in low sales.

You can use pricing to communicate your positioning to your customers. For example, if you are offering a product at a premium price, you are sending a message to your customers that the product belongs to the premium category.

Basic Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Offering

Setting a price for your offering involves more than just putting a price tag on it. Deciding on the right pricing for your offering requires following some basic rules. They include covering your costs, primary and secondary profit center pricing, and matching the market rate.

  • Covering Your Costs: The price you set for your products or service should be more than it costs you to produce and deliver them. Every business has the same goal, to make a profit. Depending on the strategy you want to use, there are exceptions to this rule. However, the vast majority of businesses follow this rule.
  • Primary and Secondary Profit Center Pricing: When a company sets its price above the cost of production, it is making that product its primary profit center. A company can also decide not to make its initial price its primary profit center by selling below or at even with its production cost. It rather depends on the support product or even maintenance that is associated with the initial purchase to make its profit. The initial price thus became its secondary profit center.
  • Matching the Market Rate: A good rule to follow when pricing your products or services is to match your pricing with consumer demand and expectations. If you price your products or services beyond the price your customer perceives as the ideal price range, you may end up with no customers. Pricing your products too low below what your customer perceives as the ideal price range may lead to them undervaluing your offering.

Pricing Strategy

Your pricing strategy influences the price of your offering. There are several pricing strategies available for you to choose from when examining the right pricing strategy for your business. They include cost-plus pricing, market-based pricing, value pricing, and more.

Pricing strategy influences the price of offering

  • Cost-plus Pricing: This strategy is one of the simplest and oldest pricing strategies. Here you consider the cost of producing a unit of your product and then add a profit to it to arrive at your market price. It is an effective pricing strategy for manufacturers because it helps them cover their initial costs. Another name for the cost-plus pricing strategy is the markup pricing strategy.
  • Market-based Pricing: This pricing strategy analyses the market including competitors’ pricing and then sets a price based on what the market is expecting. With this pricing strategy, you can either set your price at the low-end or high-end of the market.
  • Value Pricing: This pricing strategy involves setting a price based on the value you are providing to your customer. When adopting a value-based pricing strategy, you have to set a price that your customers are willing to pay. Service-based businesses such as small business insurance providers , luxury goods sellers, and the fashion industry use this pricing strategy.

After carefully sorting out your positioning statement and pricing, the next item to look at is your promotional strategy. Your promotional strategy explains how you plan on communicating with your customers and prospects.

As a business, you must measure all your costs, including the cost of your promotions. You also want to measure how much sales your promotions bring for your business to determine its usefulness. Promotional strategies or programs that do not lead to profit need to be removed.

There are different types of promotional strategies you can adopt for your business, they include advertising, public relations, and content marketing.


Your business plan should include your advertising plan which can be found in the marketing and sales plan section. You need to include an overview of your advertising plans such as the areas you plan to spend money on to advertise your business and offers.

Ensure that you make it clear in this section if your business will be advertising online or using the more traditional offline media, or the combination of both online and offline media. You can also include the advertising medium you want to use to raise awareness about your business and offers.

Some common online advertising mediums you can use include social media ads, landing pages, sales pages, SEO, Pay-Per-Click, emails, Google Ads, and others. Some common traditional and offline advertising mediums include word of mouth, radios, direct mail, televisions, flyers, billboards, posters, and others.

A key component of your advertising strategy is how you plan to measure the effectiveness and success of your advertising campaign. There is no point in sticking with an advertising plan or medium that does not produce results for your business in the long run.

Public Relations

A great way to reach your customers is to get the media to cover your business or product. Publicity, especially good ones, should be a part of your marketing and sales plan. In this section, show your plans for getting prominent reviews of your product from reputable publications and sources.

Your business needs that exposure to grow. If public relations is a crucial part of your promotional strategy, provide details about your public relations plan here.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular promotional strategy used by businesses to inform and attract their customers. It is about teaching and educating your prospects on various topics of interest in your niche, it does not just involve informing them about the benefits and features of the products and services you have,

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Businesses publish content usually for free where they provide useful information, tips, and advice so that their target market can be made aware of the importance of their products and services. Content marketing strategies seek to nurture prospects into buyers over time by simply providing value.

Your company can create a blog where it will be publishing content for its target market. You will need to use the best website builder such as Wix and Squarespace and the best web hosting services such as Bluehost, Hostinger, and other Bluehost alternatives to create a functional blog or website.

If content marketing is a crucial part of your promotional strategy (as it should be), detail your plans under promotions.

Including high-quality images of the packaging of your product in your business plan is a lovely idea. You can add the images of the packaging of that product in the marketing and sales plan section. If you are not selling a product, then you do not need to include any worry about the physical packaging of your product.

When organizing the packaging section of your business plan, you can answer the following questions to make maximum use of this section.

  • Is your choice of packaging consistent with your positioning strategy?
  • What key value proposition does your packaging communicate? (It should reflect the key value proposition of your business)
  • How does your packaging compare to that of your competitors?

Social Media

Your 21st-century business needs to have a good social media presence. Not having one is leaving out opportunities for growth and reaching out to your prospect.

You do not have to join the thousands of social media platforms out there. What you need to do is join the ones that your customers are active on and be active there.

Most popular social media platforms

Businesses use social media to provide information about their products such as promotions, discounts, the benefits of their products, and content on their blogs.

Social media is also a platform for engaging with your customers and getting feedback about your products or services. Make no mistake, more and more of your prospects are using social media channels to find more information about companies.

You need to consider the social media channels you want to prioritize your business (prioritize the ones your customers are active in) and your branding plans in this section.

Choosing the right social media platform

Strategic Alliances

If your company plans to work closely with other companies as part of your sales and marketing plan, include it in this section. Prove details about those partnerships in your business plan if you have already established them.

Strategic alliances can be beneficial for all parties involved including your company. Working closely with another company in the form of a partnership can provide access to a different target market segment for your company.

The company you are partnering with may also gain access to your target market or simply offer a new product or service (that of your company) to its customers.

Mutually beneficial partnerships can cover the weaknesses of one company with the strength of another. You should consider strategic alliances with companies that sell complimentary products to yours. For example, if you provide printers, you can partner with a company that produces ink since the customers that buy printers from you will also need inks for printing.

Steps Involved in Creating a Marketing and Sales Plan

1. Focus on Your Target Market

Identify who your customers are, the market you want to target. Then determine the best ways to get your products or services to your potential customers.

2. Evaluate Your Competition

One of the goals of having a marketing plan is to distinguish yourself from your competition. You cannot stand out from them without first knowing them in and out.

You can know your competitors by gathering information about their products, pricing, service, and advertising campaigns.

These questions can help you know your competition.

  • What makes your competition successful?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are customers saying about your competition?

3. Consider Your Brand

Customers' perception of your brand has a strong impact on your sales. Your marketing and sales plan should seek to bolster the image of your brand. Before you start marketing your business, think about the message you want to pass across about your business and your products and services.

4. Focus on Benefits

The majority of your customers do not view your product in terms of features, what they want to know is the benefits and solutions your product offers. Think about the problems your product solves and the benefits it delivers, and use it to create the right sales and marketing message.

Your marketing plan should focus on what you want your customer to get instead of what you provide. Identify those benefits in your marketing and sales plan.

5. Focus on Differentiation

Your marketing and sales plan should look for a unique angle they can take that differentiates your business from the competition, even if the products offered are similar. Some good areas of differentiation you can use are your benefits, pricing, and features.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing Your Marketing and Sales Plan

  • What is your company’s budget for sales and marketing campaigns?
  • What key metrics will you use to determine if your marketing plans are successful?
  • What are your alternatives if your initial marketing efforts do not succeed?
  • Who are the sales representatives you need to promote your products or services?
  • What are the marketing and sales channels you plan to use? How do you plan to get your products in front of your ideal customers?
  • Where will you sell your products?

You may want to include samples of marketing materials you plan to use such as print ads, website descriptions, and social media ads. While it is not compulsory to include these samples, it can help you better communicate your marketing and sales plan and objectives.

The purpose of the marketing and sales section is to answer this question “How will you reach your customers?” If you cannot convincingly provide an answer to this question, you need to rework your marketing and sales section.

7. Clearly Show Your Funding Request

If you are writing your business plan to ask for funding from investors or financial institutions, the funding request section is where you will outline your funding requirements. The funding request section should answer the question ‘How much money will your business need in the near future (3 to 5 years)?’

A good funding request section will clearly outline and explain the amount of funding your business needs over the next five years. You need to know the amount of money your business needs to make an accurate funding request.

Also, when writing your funding request, provide details of how the funds will be used over the period. Specify if you want to use the funds to buy raw materials or machinery, pay salaries, pay for advertisements, and cover specific bills such as rent and electricity.

In addition to explaining what you want to use the funds requested for, you need to clearly state the projected return on investment (ROI) . Investors and creditors want to know if your business can generate profit for them if they put funds into it.

Ensure you do not inflate the figures and stay as realistic as possible. Investors and financial institutions you are seeking funds from will do their research before investing money in your business.

If you are not sure of an exact number to request from, you can use some range of numbers as rough estimates. Add a best-case scenario and a work-case scenario to your funding request. Also, include a description of your strategic future financial plans such as selling your business or paying off debts.

Funding Request: Debt or Equity?

When making your funding request, specify the type of funding you want. Do you want debt or equity? Draw out the terms that will be applicable for the funding, and the length of time the funding request will cover.

Case for Equity

If your new business has not yet started generating profits, you are most likely preparing to sell equity in your business to raise capital at the early stage. Equity here refers to ownership. In this case, you are selling a portion of your company to raise capital.

Although this method of raising capital for your business does not put your business in debt, keep in mind that an equity owner may expect to play a key role in company decisions even if he does not hold a major stake in the company.

Most equity sales for startups are usually private transactions . If you are making a funding request by offering equity in exchange for funding, let the investor know that they will be paid a dividend (a share of the company’s profit). Also, let the investor know the process for selling their equity in your business.

Case for Debt

You may decide not to offer equity in exchange for funds, instead, you make a funding request with the promise to pay back the money borrowed at the agreed time frame.

When making a funding request with an agreement to pay back, note that you will have to repay your creditors both the principal amount borrowed and the interest on it. Financial institutions offer this type of funding for businesses.

Large companies combine both equity and debt in their capital structure. When drafting your business plan, decide if you want to offer both or one over the other.

Before you sell equity in exchange for funding in your business, consider if you are willing to accept not being in total control of your business. Also, before you seek loans in your funding request section, ensure that the terms of repayment are favorable.

You should set a clear timeline in your funding request so that potential investors and creditors can know what you are expecting. Some investors and creditors may agree to your funding request and then delay payment for longer than 30 days, meanwhile, your business needs an immediate cash injection to operate efficiently.

Additional Tips for Writing the Funding Request Section of your Business Plan

The funding request section is not necessary for every business, it is only needed by businesses who plan to use their business plan to secure funding.

If you are adding the funding request section to your business plan, provide an itemized summary of how you plan to use the funds requested. Hiring a lawyer, accountant, or other professionals may be necessary for the proper development of this section.

You should also gather and use financial statements that add credibility and support to your funding requests. Ensure that the financial statements you use should include your projected financial data such as projected cash flows, forecast statements, and expenditure budgets.

If you are an existing business, include all historical financial statements such as cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements .

Provide monthly and quarterly financial statements for a year. If your business has records that date back beyond the one-year mark, add the yearly statements of those years. These documents are for the appendix section of your business plan.

8. Detail Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projections

If you used the funding request section in your business plan, supplement it with a financial plan, metrics, and projections. This section paints a picture of the past performance of your business and then goes ahead to make an informed projection about its future.

The goal of this section is to convince readers that your business is going to be a financial success. It outlines your business plan to generate enough profit to repay the loan (with interest if applicable) and to generate a decent return on investment for investors.

If you have an existing business already in operation, use this section to demonstrate stability through finance. This section should include your cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements covering the last three to five years. If your business has some acceptable collateral that you can use to acquire loans, list it in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

Apart from current financial statements, this section should also contain a prospective financial outlook that spans the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and capital expenditure budget.

If your business is new and is not yet generating profit, use clear and realistic projections to show the potentials of your business.

When drafting this section, research industry norms and the performance of comparable businesses. Your financial projections should cover at least five years. State the logic behind your financial projections. Remember you can always make adjustments to this section as the variables change.

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section create a baseline which your business can either exceed or fail to reach. If your business fails to reach your projections in this section, you need to understand why it failed.

Investors and loan managers spend a lot of time going through the financial plan, metrics, and projection section compared to other parts of the business plan. Ensure you spend time creating credible financial analyses for your business in this section.

Many entrepreneurs find this section daunting to write. You do not need a business degree to create a solid financial forecast for your business. Business finances, especially for startups, are not as complicated as they seem. There are several online tools and templates that make writing this section so much easier.

Use Graphs and Charts

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business. Charts and images make it easier to communicate your finances.

Accuracy in this section is key, ensure you carefully analyze your past financial statements properly before making financial projects.

Address the Risk Factors and Show Realistic Financial Projections

Keep your financial plan, metrics, and projection realistic. It is okay to be optimistic in your financial projection, however, you have to justify it.

You should also address the various risk factors associated with your business in this section. Investors want to know the potential risks involved, show them. You should also show your plans for mitigating those risks.

What You Should In The Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection Section of Your Business Plan

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section of your business plan should have monthly sales and revenue forecasts for the first year. It should also include annual projections that cover 3 to 5 years.

A three-year projection is a basic requirement to have in your business plan. However, some investors may request a five-year forecast.

Your business plan should include the following financial statements: sales forecast, personnel plan, income statement, income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, and an exit strategy.

1. Sales Forecast

Sales forecast refers to your projections about the number of sales your business is going to record over the next few years. It is typically broken into several rows, with each row assigned to a core product or service that your business is offering.

One common mistake people make in their business plan is to break down the sales forecast section into long details. A sales forecast should forecast the high-level details.

For example, if you are forecasting sales for a payroll software provider, you could break down your forecast into target market segments or subscription categories.

Benefits of Sales Forecasting

Your sales forecast section should also have a corresponding row for each sales row to cover the direct cost or Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). The objective of these rows is to show the expenses that your business incurs in making and delivering your product or service.

Note that your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) should only cover those direct costs incurred when making your products. Other indirect expenses such as insurance, salaries, payroll tax, and rent should not be included.

For example, the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for a restaurant is the cost of ingredients while for a consulting company it will be the cost of paper and other presentation materials.

Factors that affect sales forecasting

2. Personnel Plan

The personnel plan section is where you provide details about the payment plan for your employees. For a small business, you can easily list every position in your company and how much you plan to pay in the personnel plan.

However, for larger businesses, you have to break the personnel plan into functional groups such as sales and marketing.

The personnel plan will also include the cost of an employee beyond salary, commonly referred to as the employee burden. These costs include insurance, payroll taxes , and other essential costs incurred monthly as a result of having employees on your payroll.

True HR Cost Infographic

3. Income Statement

The income statement section shows if your business is making a profit or taking a loss. Another name for the income statement is the profit and loss (P&L). It takes data from your sales forecast and personnel plan and adds other ongoing expenses you incur while running your business.

The income statement section

Every business plan should have an income statement. It subtracts your business expenses from its earnings to show if your business is generating profit or incurring losses.

The income statement has the following items: sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), gross margin, operating expenses, total operating expenses, operating income , total expenses, and net profit.

  • Sales refer to the revenue your business generates from selling its products or services. Other names for sales are income or revenue.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to the total cost of selling your products. Other names for COGS are direct costs or cost of sales. Manufacturing businesses use the Costs of Goods Manufactured (COGM) .
  • Gross Margin is the figure you get when you subtract your COGS from your sales. In your income statement, you can express it as a percentage of total sales (Gross margin / Sales = Gross Margin Percent).
  • Operating Expenses refer to all the expenses you incur from running your business. It exempts the COGS because it stands alone as a core part of your income statement. You also have to exclude taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Your operating expenses include salaries, marketing expenses, research and development (R&D) expenses, and other expenses.
  • Total Operating Expenses refers to the sum of all your operating expenses including those exemptions named above under operating expenses.
  • Operating Income refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. It is simply known as the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Calculating your operating income is simple, all you need to do is to subtract your COGS and total operating expenses from your sales.
  • Total Expenses refer to the sum of your operating expenses and your business’ interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
  • Net profit shows whether your business has made a profit or taken a loss during a given timeframe.

4. Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement tracks the money you have in the bank at any given point. It is often confused with the income statement or the profit and loss statement. They are both different types of financial statements. The income statement calculates your profits and losses while the cash flow statement shows you how much you have in the bank.

Cash Flow Statement Example

5. Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is a financial statement that provides an overview of the financial health of your business. It contains information about the assets and liabilities of your company, and owner’s or shareholders’ equity.

You can get the net worth of your company by subtracting your company’s liabilities from its assets.

Balance sheet Formula

6. Exit Strategy

The exit strategy refers to a probable plan for selling your business either to the public in an IPO or to another company. It is the last thing you include in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

You can choose to omit the exit strategy from your business plan if you plan to maintain full ownership of your business and do not plan on seeking angel investment or virtual capitalist (VC) funding.

Investors may want to know what your exit plan is. They invest in your business to get a good return on investment.

Your exit strategy does not have to include long and boring details. Ensure you identify some interested parties who may be interested in buying the company if it becomes a success.

Exit Strategy Section of Business Plan Infographic

Key Questions to Answer with Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection

Your financial plan, metrics, and projection section helps investors, creditors, or your internal managers to understand what your expenses are, the amount of cash you need, and what it takes to make your company profitable. It also shows what you will be doing with any funding.

You do not need to show actual financial data if you do not have one. Adding forecasts and projections to your financial statements is added proof that your strategy is feasible and shows investors you have planned properly.

Here are some key questions to answer to help you develop this section.

  • What is your sales forecast for the next year?
  • When will your company achieve a positive cash flow?
  • What are the core expenses you need to operate?
  • How much money do you need upfront to operate or grow your company?
  • How will you use the loans or investments?

9. Add an Appendix to Your Business Plan

Adding an appendix to your business plan is optional. It is a useful place to put any charts, tables, legal notes, definitions, permits, résumés, and other critical information that do not fit into other sections of your business plan.

The appendix section is where you would want to include details of a patent or patent-pending if you have one. You can always add illustrations or images of your products here. It is the last section of your business plan.

When writing your business plan, there are details you cut short or remove to prevent the entire section from becoming too lengthy. There are also details you want to include in the business plan but are not a good fit for any of the previous sections. You can add that additional information to the appendix section.

Businesses also use the appendix section to include supporting documents or other materials specially requested by investors or lenders.

You can include just about any information that supports the assumptions and statements you made in the business plan under the appendix. It is the one place in the business plan where unrelated data and information can coexist amicably.

If your appendix section is lengthy, try organizing it by adding a table of contents at the beginning of the appendix section. It is also advisable to group similar information to make it easier for the reader to access them.

A well-organized appendix section makes it easier to share your information clearly and concisely. Add footnotes throughout the rest of the business plan or make references in the plan to the documents in the appendix.

The appendix section is usually only necessary if you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, or hoping to attract partners.

People reading business plans do not want to spend time going through a heap of backup information, numbers, and charts. Keep these documents or information in the Appendix section in case the reader wants to dig deeper.

Common Items to Include in the Appendix Section of Your Business Plan

The appendix section includes documents that supplement or support the information or claims given in other sections of the business plans. Common items you can include in the appendix section include:

  • Additional data about the process of manufacturing or creation
  • Additional description of products or services such as product schematics
  • Additional financial documents or projections
  • Articles of incorporation and status
  • Backup for market research or competitive analysis
  • Bank statements
  • Business registries
  • Client testimonials (if your business is already running)
  • Copies of insurances
  • Credit histories (personal or/and business)
  • Deeds and permits
  • Equipment leases
  • Examples of marketing and advertising collateral
  • Industry associations and memberships
  • Images of product
  • Intellectual property
  • Key customer contracts
  • Legal documents and other contracts
  • Letters of reference
  • Links to references
  • Market research data
  • Organizational charts
  • Photographs of potential facilities
  • Professional licenses pertaining to your legal structure or type of business
  • Purchase orders
  • Resumes of the founder(s) and key managers
  • State and federal identification numbers or codes
  • Trademarks or patents’ registrations

Avoid using the appendix section as a place to dump any document or information you feel like adding. Only add documents or information that you support or increase the credibility of your business plan.

Tips and Strategies for Writing a Convincing Business Plan

To achieve a perfect business plan, you need to consider some key tips and strategies. These tips will raise the efficiency of your business plan above average.

1. Know Your Audience

When writing a business plan, you need to know your audience . Business owners write business plans for different reasons. Your business plan has to be specific. For example, you can write business plans to potential investors, banks, and even fellow board members of the company.

The audience you are writing to determines the structure of the business plan. As a business owner, you have to know your audience. Not everyone will be your audience. Knowing your audience will help you to narrow the scope of your business plan.

Consider what your audience wants to see in your projects, the likely questions they might ask, and what interests them.

  • A business plan used to address a company's board members will center on its employment schemes, internal affairs, projects, stakeholders, etc.
  • A business plan for financial institutions will talk about the size of your market and the chances for you to pay back any loans you demand.
  • A business plan for investors will show proof that you can return the investment capital within a specific time. In addition, it discusses your financial projections, tractions, and market size.

2. Get Inspiration from People

Writing a business plan from scratch as an entrepreneur can be daunting. That is why you need the right inspiration to push you to write one. You can gain inspiration from the successful business plans of other businesses. Look at their business plans, the style they use, the structure of the project, etc.

To make your business plan easier to create, search companies related to your business to get an exact copy of what you need to create an effective business plan. You can also make references while citing examples in your business plans.

When drafting your business plan, get as much help from others as you possibly can. By getting inspiration from people, you can create something better than what they have.

3. Avoid Being Over Optimistic

Many business owners make use of strong adjectives to qualify their content. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make when preparing a business plan is promising too much.

The use of superlatives and over-optimistic claims can prepare the audience for more than you can offer. In the end, you disappoint the confidence they have in you.

In most cases, the best option is to be realistic with your claims and statistics. Most of the investors can sense a bit of incompetency from the overuse of superlatives. As a new entrepreneur, do not be tempted to over-promise to get the interests of investors.

The concept of entrepreneurship centers on risks, nothing is certain when you make future analyses. What separates the best is the ability to do careful research and work towards achieving that, not promising more than you can achieve.

To make an excellent first impression as an entrepreneur, replace superlatives with compelling data-driven content. In this way, you are more specific than someone promising a huge ROI from an investment.

4. Keep it Simple and Short

When writing business plans, ensure you keep them simple throughout. Irrespective of the purpose of the business plan, your goal is to convince the audience.

One way to achieve this goal is to make them understand your proposal. Therefore, it would be best if you avoid the use of complex grammar to express yourself. It would be a huge turn-off if the people you want to convince are not familiar with your use of words.

Another thing to note is the length of your business plan. It would be best if you made it as brief as possible.

You hardly see investors or agencies that read through an extremely long document. In that case, if your first few pages can’t convince them, then you have lost it. The more pages you write, the higher the chances of you derailing from the essential contents.

To ensure your business plan has a high conversion rate, you need to dispose of every unnecessary information. For example, if you have a strategy that you are not sure of, it would be best to leave it out of the plan.

5. Make an Outline and Follow Through

A perfect business plan must have touched every part needed to convince the audience. Business owners get easily tempted to concentrate more on their products than on other sections. Doing this can be detrimental to the efficiency of the business plan.

For example, imagine you talking about a product but omitting or providing very little information about the target audience. You will leave your clients confused.

To ensure that your business plan communicates your full business model to readers, you have to input all the necessary information in it. One of the best ways to achieve this is to design a structure and stick to it.

This structure is what guides you throughout the writing. To make your work easier, you can assign an estimated word count or page limit to every section to avoid making it too bulky for easy reading. As a guide, the necessary things your business plan must contain are:

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Product or service description
  • Target audience
  • Market size
  • Competition analysis
  • Financial projections

Some specific businesses can include some other essential sections, but these are the key sections that must be in every business plan.

6. Ask a Professional to Proofread

When writing a business plan, you must tie all loose ends to get a perfect result. When you are done with writing, call a professional to go through the document for you. You are bound to make mistakes, and the way to correct them is to get external help.

You should get a professional in your field who can relate to every section of your business plan. It would be easier for the professional to notice the inner flaws in the document than an editor with no knowledge of your business.

In addition to getting a professional to proofread, get an editor to proofread and edit your document. The editor will help you identify grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and inappropriate writing styles.

Writing a business plan can be daunting, but you can surmount that obstacle and get the best out of it with these tips.

Business Plan Examples and Templates That’ll Save You Tons of Time

1. hubspot's one-page business plan.

HubSpot's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan template by HubSpot is the perfect guide for businesses of any size, irrespective of their business strategy. Although the template is condensed into a page, your final business plan should not be a page long! The template is designed to ask helpful questions that can help you develop your business plan.

Hubspot’s one-page business plan template is divided into nine fields:

  • Business opportunity
  • Company description
  • Industry analysis
  • Target market
  • Implementation timeline
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial summary
  • Funding required

2. Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplans' free business plan template is investor-approved. It is a rich template used by prestigious educational institutions such as Babson College and Princeton University to teach entrepreneurs how to create a business plan.

The template has six sections: the executive summary, opportunity, execution, company, financial plan, and appendix. There is a step-by-step guide for writing every little detail in the business plan. Follow the instructions each step of the way and you will create a business plan that impresses investors or lenders easily.

3. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot’s downloadable business plan template is a more comprehensive option compared to the one-page business template by HubSpot. This free and downloadable business plan template is designed for entrepreneurs.

The template is a comprehensive guide and checklist for business owners just starting their businesses. It tells you everything you need to fill in each section of the business plan and how to do it.

There are nine sections in this business plan template: an executive summary, company and business description, product and services line, market analysis, marketing plan, sales plan, legal notes, financial considerations, and appendix.

4. Business Plan by My Own Business Institute

The Business Profile

My Own Business Institute (MOBI) which is a part of Santa Clara University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a free business plan template. You can either copy the free business template from the link provided above or download it as a Word document.

The comprehensive template consists of a whopping 15 sections.

  • The Business Profile
  • The Vision and the People
  • Home-Based Business and Freelance Business Opportunities
  • Organization
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Business Insurance
  • Communication Tools
  • Acquisitions
  • Location and Leasing
  • Accounting and Cash Flow
  • Opening and Marketing
  • Managing Employees
  • Expanding and Handling Problems

There are lots of helpful tips on how to fill each section in the free business plan template by MOBI.

5. Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score is an American nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs build successful companies. This business plan template for startups by Score is available for free download. The business plan template asks a whooping 150 generic questions that help entrepreneurs from different fields to set up the perfect business plan.

The business plan template for startups contains clear instructions and worksheets, all you have to do is answer the questions and fill the worksheets.

There are nine sections in the business plan template: executive summary, company description, products and services, marketing plan, operational plan, management and organization, startup expenses and capitalization, financial plan, and appendices.

The ‘refining the plan’ resource contains instructions that help you modify your business plan to suit your specific needs, industry, and target audience. After you have completed Score’s business plan template, you can work with a SCORE mentor for expert advice in business planning.

6. Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

The minimalist architecture business plan template is a simple template by Venngage that you can customize to suit your business needs .

There are five sections in the template: an executive summary, statement of problem, approach and methodology, qualifications, and schedule and benchmark. The business plan template has instructions that guide users on what to fill in each section.

7. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers two free business plan templates, filled with practical real-life examples that you can model to create your business plan. Both free business plan templates are written by fictional business owners: Rebecca who owns a consulting firm, and Andrew who owns a toy company.

There are five sections in the two SBA’s free business plan templates.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Service Line
  • Marketing and Sales

8. The $100 Startup's One-Page Business Plan

The $100 Startup's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan by the $100 startup is a simple business plan template for entrepreneurs who do not want to create a long and complicated plan . You can include more details in the appendices for funders who want more information beyond what you can put in the one-page business plan.

There are five sections in the one-page business plan such as overview, ka-ching, hustling, success, and obstacles or challenges or open questions. You can answer all the questions using one or two sentences.

9. PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

The free business plan template by PandaDoc is a comprehensive 15-page document that describes the information you should include in every section.

There are 11 sections in PandaDoc’s free business plan template.

  • Executive summary
  • Business description
  • Products and services
  • Operations plan
  • Management organization
  • Financial plan
  • Conclusion / Call to action
  • Confidentiality statement

You have to sign up for its 14-day free trial to access the template. You will find different business plan templates on PandaDoc once you sign up (including templates for general businesses and specific businesses such as bakeries, startups, restaurants, salons, hotels, and coffee shops)

PandaDoc allows you to customize its business plan templates to fit the needs of your business. After editing the template, you can send it to interested parties and track opens and views through PandaDoc.

10. Invoiceberry Templates for Word, Open Office, Excel, or PPT

Invoiceberry Templates Business Concept

InvoiceBerry is a U.K based online invoicing and tracking platform that offers free business plan templates in .docx, .odt, .xlsx, and .pptx formats for freelancers and small businesses.

Before you can download the free business plan template, it will ask you to give it your email address. After you complete the little task, it will send the download link to your inbox for you to download. It also provides a business plan checklist in .xlsx file format that ensures you add the right information to the business plan.

Alternatives to the Traditional Business Plan

A business plan is very important in mapping out how one expects their business to grow over a set number of years, particularly when they need external investment in their business. However, many investors do not have the time to watch you present your business plan. It is a long and boring read.

Luckily, there are three alternatives to the traditional business plan (the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck). These alternatives are less laborious and easier and quicker to present to investors.

Business Model Canvas (BMC)

The business model canvas is a business tool used to present all the important components of setting up a business, such as customers, route to market, value proposition, and finance in a single sheet. It provides a very focused blueprint that defines your business initially which you can later expand on if needed.

Business Model Canvas (BMC) Infographic

The sheet is divided mainly into company, industry, and consumer models that are interconnected in how they find problems and proffer solutions.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas was developed by founder Alexander Osterwalder to answer important business questions. It contains nine segments.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

  • Key Partners: Who will be occupying important executive positions in your business? What do they bring to the table? Will there be a third party involved with the company?
  • Key Activities: What important activities will production entail? What activities will be carried out to ensure the smooth running of the company?
  • The Product’s Value Propositions: What does your product do? How will it be different from other products?
  • Customer Segments: What demography of consumers are you targeting? What are the habits of these consumers? Who are the MVPs of your target consumers?
  • Customer Relationships: How will the team support and work with its customer base? How do you intend to build and maintain trust with the customer?
  • Key Resources: What type of personnel and tools will be needed? What size of the budget will they need access to?
  • Channels: How do you plan to create awareness of your products? How do you intend to transport your product to the customer?
  • Cost Structure: What is the estimated cost of production? How much will distribution cost?
  • Revenue Streams: For what value are customers willing to pay? How do they prefer to pay for the product? Are there any external revenues attached apart from the main source? How do the revenue streams contribute to the overall revenue?

Lean Canvas

The lean canvas is a problem-oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas. It was proposed by Ash Maurya, creator of Lean Stack as a development of the business model generation. It uses a more problem-focused approach and it majorly targets entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

The lean canvas is a problem oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas

Lean Canvas uses the same 9 blocks concept as the business model canvas, however, they have been modified slightly to suit the needs and purpose of a small startup. The key partners, key activities, customer relationships, and key resources are replaced by new segments which are:

  • Problem: Simple and straightforward number of problems you have identified, ideally three.
  • Solution: The solutions to each problem.
  • Unfair Advantage: Something you possess that can't be easily bought or replicated.
  • Key Metrics: Important numbers that will tell how your business is doing.

Startup Pitch Deck

While the business model canvas compresses into a factual sheet, startup pitch decks expand flamboyantly.

Pitch decks, through slides, convey your business plan, often through graphs and images used to emphasize estimations and observations in your presentation. Entrepreneurs often use pitch decks to fully convince their target audience of their plans before discussing funding arrangements.

Startup Pitch Deck Presentation

Considering the likelihood of it being used in a small time frame, a good startup pitch deck should ideally contain 20 slides or less to have enough time to answer questions from the audience.

Unlike the standard and lean business model canvases, a pitch deck doesn't have a set template on how to present your business plan but there are still important components to it. These components often mirror those of the business model canvas except that they are in slide form and contain more details.

Airbnb Pitch Deck

Using Airbnb (one of the most successful start-ups in recent history) for reference, the important components of a good slide are listed below.

  • Cover/Introduction Slide: Here, you should include your company's name and mission statement. Your mission statement should be a very catchy tagline. Also, include personal information and contact details to provide an easy link for potential investors.
  • Problem Slide: This slide requires you to create a connection with the audience or the investor that you are pitching. For example in their pitch, Airbnb summarized the most important problems it would solve in three brief points – pricing of hotels, disconnection from city culture, and connection problems for local bookings.
  • Solution Slide: This slide includes your core value proposition. List simple and direct solutions to the problems you have mentioned
  • Customer Analysis: Here you will provide information on the customers you will be offering your service to. The identity of your customers plays an important part in fundraising as well as the long-run viability of the business.
  • Market Validation: Use competitive analysis to show numbers that prove the presence of a market for your product, industry behavior in the present and the long run, as well as the percentage of the market you aim to attract. It shows that you understand your competitors and customers and convinces investors of the opportunities presented in the market.
  • Business Model: Your business model is the hook of your presentation. It may vary in complexity but it should generally include a pricing system informed by your market analysis. The goal of the slide is to confirm your business model is easy to implement.
  • Marketing Strategy: This slide should summarize a few customer acquisition methods that you plan to use to grow the business.
  • Competitive Advantage: What this slide will do is provide information on what will set you apart and make you a more attractive option to customers. It could be the possession of technology that is not widely known in the market.
  • Team Slide: Here you will give a brief description of your team. Include your key management personnel here and their specific roles in the company. Include their educational background, job history, and skillsets. Also, talk about their accomplishments in their careers so far to build investors' confidence in members of your team.
  • Traction Slide: This validates the company’s business model by showing growth through early sales and support. The slide aims to reduce any lingering fears in potential investors by showing realistic periodic milestones and profit margins. It can include current sales, growth, valuable customers, pre-orders, or data from surveys outlining current consumer interest.
  • Funding Slide: This slide is popularly referred to as ‘the ask'. Here you will include important details like how much is needed to get your business off the ground and how the funding will be spent to help the company reach its goals.
  • Appendix Slides: Your pitch deck appendix should always be included alongside a standard pitch presentation. It consists of additional slides you could not show in the pitch deck but you need to complement your presentation.

It is important to support your calculations with pictorial renditions. Infographics, such as pie charts or bar graphs, will be more effective in presenting the information than just listing numbers. For example, a six-month graph that shows rising profit margins will easily look more impressive than merely writing it.

Lastly, since a pitch deck is primarily used to secure meetings and you may be sharing your pitch with several investors, it is advisable to keep a separate public version that doesn't include financials. Only disclose the one with projections once you have secured a link with an investor.

Advantages of the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck over the Traditional Business Plan

  • Time-Saving: Writing a detailed traditional business plan could take weeks or months. On the other hand, all three alternatives can be done in a few days or even one night of brainstorming if you have a comprehensive understanding of your business.
  • Easier to Understand: Since the information presented is almost entirely factual, it puts focus on what is most important in running the business. They cut away the excess pages of fillers in a traditional business plan and allow investors to see what is driving the business and what is getting in the way.
  • Easy to Update: Businesses typically present their business plans to many potential investors before they secure funding. What this means is that you may regularly have to amend your presentation to update statistics or adjust to audience-specific needs. For a traditional business plan, this could mean rewriting a whole section of your plan. For the three alternatives, updating is much easier because they are not voluminous.
  • Guide for a More In-depth Business Plan: All three alternatives have the added benefit of being able to double as a sketch of your business plan if the need to create one arises in the future.

Business Plan FAQ

Business plans are important for any entrepreneur who is looking for a framework to run their company over some time or seeking external support. Although they are essential for new businesses, every company should ideally have a business plan to track their growth from time to time.  They can be used by startups seeking investments or loans to convey their business ideas or an employee to convince his boss of the feasibility of starting a new project. They can also be used by companies seeking to recruit high-profile employee targets into key positions or trying to secure partnerships with other firms.

Business plans often vary depending on your target audience, the scope, and the goals for the plan. Startup plans are the most common among the different types of business plans.  A start-up plan is used by a new business to present all the necessary information to help get the business up and running. They are usually used by entrepreneurs who are seeking funding from investors or bank loans. The established company alternative to a start-up plan is a feasibility plan. A feasibility plan is often used by an established company looking for new business opportunities. They are used to show the upsides of creating a new product for a consumer base. Because the audience is usually company people, it requires less company analysis. The third type of business plan is the lean business plan. A lean business plan is a brief, straight-to-the-point breakdown of your ideas and analysis for your business. It does not contain details of your proposal and can be written on one page. Finally, you have the what-if plan. As it implies, a what-if plan is a preparation for the worst-case scenario. You must always be prepared for the possibility of your original plan being rejected. A good what-if plan will serve as a good plan B to the original.

A good business plan has 10 key components. They include an executive plan, product analysis, desired customer base, company analysis, industry analysis, marketing strategy, sales strategy, financial projection, funding, and appendix. Executive Plan Your business should begin with your executive plan. An executive plan will provide early insight into what you are planning to achieve with your business. It should include your mission statement and highlight some of the important points which you will explain later. Product Analysis The next component of your business plan is your product analysis. A key part of this section is explaining the type of item or service you are going to offer as well as the market problems your product will solve. Desired Consumer Base Your product analysis should be supplemented with a detailed breakdown of your desired consumer base. Investors are always interested in knowing the economic power of your market as well as potential MVP customers. Company Analysis The next component of your business plan is your company analysis. Here, you explain how you want to run your business. It will include your operational strategy, an insight into the workforce needed to keep the company running, and important executive positions. It will also provide a calculation of expected operational costs.  Industry Analysis A good business plan should also contain well laid out industry analysis. It is important to convince potential investors you know the companies you will be competing with, as well as your plans to gain an edge on the competition. Marketing Strategy Your business plan should also include your marketing strategy. This is how you intend to spread awareness of your product. It should include a detailed explanation of the company brand as well as your advertising methods. Sales Strategy Your sales strategy comes after the market strategy. Here you give an overview of your company's pricing strategy and how you aim to maximize profits. You can also explain how your prices will adapt to market behaviors. Financial Projection The financial projection is the next component of your business plan. It explains your company's expected running cost and revenue earned during the tenure of the business plan. Financial projection gives a clear idea of how your company will develop in the future. Funding The next component of your business plan is funding. You have to detail how much external investment you need to get your business idea off the ground here. Appendix The last component of your plan is the appendix. This is where you put licenses, graphs, or key information that does not fit in any of the other components.

The business model canvas is a business management tool used to quickly define your business idea and model. It is often used when investors need you to pitch your business idea during a brief window.

A pitch deck is similar to a business model canvas except that it makes use of slides in its presentation. A pitch is not primarily used to secure funding, rather its main purpose is to entice potential investors by selling a very optimistic outlook on the business.

Business plan competitions help you evaluate the strength of your business plan. By participating in business plan competitions, you are improving your experience. The experience provides you with a degree of validation while practicing important skills. The main motivation for entering into the competitions is often to secure funding by finishing in podium positions. There is also the chance that you may catch the eye of a casual observer outside of the competition. These competitions also provide good networking opportunities. You could meet mentors who will take a keen interest in guiding you in your business journey. You also have the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs whose ideas can complement yours.

Exlore Further

  • 12 Key Elements of a Business Plan (Top Components Explained)
  • 13 Sources of Business Finance For Companies & Sole Traders
  • 5 Common Types of Business Structures (+ Pros & Cons)
  • How to Buy a Business in 8 Steps (+ Due Diligence Checklist)

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Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.

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Business Plan Goals and Examples for Success

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink Business Plan Goals

A well-crafted business plan serves as a roadmap for entrepreneurs and businesses to achieve their objectives. One crucial aspect of a business plan is outlining clear and measurable goals. Business plan goals are the specific targets and milestones that a company aims to achieve within a defined timeframe. They provide a direction and purpose for the business, guiding decision-making, resource allocation, and strategic planning. In this article, we will explore the importance of setting business plan goals and provide examples of common goals.

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Why are Business Plan Goals Important?

Business plan goals are essential for several reasons:

  • Strategic Focus : Goals help businesses define their strategic direction and focus their efforts on what matters most. They align the company’s efforts and resources towards achieving specific objectives, ensuring that everyone is working towards a common purpose.
  • Measurable Outcomes : Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By setting SMART goals, businesses can track progress, measure success, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Motivation and Accountability : Goals provide motivation and drive for entrepreneurs and employees. They create a sense of purpose and urgency, encouraging individuals to work towards achieving the desired outcomes. Goals also establish accountability, as progress is monitored and reviewed regularly.
  • Decision-Making : Goals serve as a reference point for decision-making. They help businesses prioritize initiatives, allocate resources, and evaluate opportunities based on their alignment with the established goals.

Examples of Business Plan Goals

Business plan goals can vary depending on the nature, size, and stage of the business. Here are some common examples of business plan goals:

Financial Goals:

  • Achieve a specific revenue target within a defined timeframe.
  • Increase profitability by a certain percentage or dollar amount.
  • Reduce costs or increase efficiency in a particular area of the business.
  • Secure funding or investment to support business growth.

Market Penetration Goals:

  • Expand market share in a specific geographic region or target market.
  • Increase brand awareness and recognition among the target audience.
  • Launch new products or services in the market.
  • Increase customer retention or loyalty.

Operational Goals:

  • Improve production or service delivery processes to enhance quality or reduce lead times.
  • Enhance supply chain management to optimize inventory levels or reduce costs.
  • Implement new technologies or systems to streamline operations or improve customer experience.
  • Achieve certifications or industry standards to improve credibility and competitiveness.

Human Resources Goals:

  • Hire and retain top talent to support business growth.
  • Provide training and development opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and performance.
  • Improve employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
  • Establish a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Social Responsibility Goals:

  • Implement environmentally sustainable practices in the business operations.
  • Contribute to the local community through philanthropic initiatives or social impact programs.
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization.
  • Establish ethical and responsible business practices.

Business Plan Goals Conclusion

Business plan goals are critical for defining the direction and purpose of a business. They provide measurable outcomes, motivation, and accountability, guiding decision-making and resource allocation. Examples of business plan goals can include financial, market penetration, operational, human resources, and social responsibility objectives. When setting business plan goals, it’s essential to make them SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – to increase their effectiveness in driving business success. Regular monitoring and review of progress towards these goals can help businesses stay on track and adapt their strategies as needed to achieve their desired outcomes.

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Plan Your Business Plan Before you put pen to paper, find out how to assess your business's goals and objectives.

You've decided to write a business plan, and you're ready to get started. Congratulations. You've just greatly increased the chances that your business venture will succeed. But before you start drafting your plan, you need to--you guessed it--plan your draft.

One of the most important reasons to plan your plan is that you may be held accountable for the projections and proposals it contains. That's especially true if you use your plan to raise money to finance your company. Let's say you forecast opening four new locations in the second year of your retail operation. An investor may have a beef if, due to circumstances you could have foreseen, you only open two. A business plan can take on a life of its own, so thinking a little about what you want to include in your plan is no more than common prudence.

Second, as you'll soon learn if you haven't already, business plans can be complicated documents. As you draft your plan, you'll be making lots of decisions on serious matters, such as what strategy you'll pursue, as well as less important ones, like what color paper to print it on. Thinking about these decisions in advance is an important way to minimize the time you spend planning your business and maximize the time you spend generating income.

To sum up, planning your plan will help control your degree of accountability and reduce time-wasting indecision. To plan your plan, you'll first need to decide what your goals and objectives in business are. As part of that, you'll assess the business you've chosen to start, or are already running, to see what the chances are that it will actually achieve those ends. Finally, you'll take a look at common elements of most plans to get an idea of which ones you want to include and how each will be treated.

Determine Your Objectives Close your eyes. Imagine that the date is five years from now. Where do you want to be? Will you be running a business that hasn't increased significantly in size? Will you command a rapidly growing empire? Will you have already cashed out and be relaxing on a beach somewhere, enjoying your hard-won gains?

Answering these questions is an important part of building a successful business plan. In fact, without knowing where you're going, it's not really possible to plan at all.

Now is a good time to free-associate a little bit--to let your mind roam, exploring every avenue that you'd like your business to go down. Try writing a personal essay on your business goals. It could take the form of a letter to yourself, written from five years in the future, describing all you have accomplished and how it came about.

As you read such a document, you may make a surprising discovery, such as that you don't really want to own a large, fast-growing enterprise but would be content with a stable small business. Even if you don't learn anything new, though, getting a firm handle on your goals and objectives is a big help in deciding how you'll plan your business.

Goals and Objectives Checklist If you're having trouble deciding what your goals and objectives are, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How determined am I to see this succeed?
  • Am I willing to invest my own money and work long hours for no pay, sacrificing personal time and lifestyle, maybe for years?
  • What's going to happen to me if this venture doesn't work out?
  • If it does succeed, how many employees will this company eventually have?
  • What will be its annual revenues in a year? Five years?
  • What will be its market share in that time frame?
  • Will it be a niche marketer, or will it sell a broad spectrum of good and services?
  • What are my plans for geographic expansion? Local? National? Global?
  • Am I going to be a hands-on manager, or will I delegate a large proportion of tasks to others?
  • If I delegate, what sorts of tasks will I share? Sales? Technical? Others?
  • How comfortable am I taking direction from others? Could I work with partners or investors who demand input into the company's management?
  • Is it going to remain independent and privately owned, or will it eventually be acquired or go public?

Your Financing Goals

It doesn't necessarily take a lot of money to make a lot of money, but it does take some. That's especially true if, as part of examining your goals and objectives, you envision very rapid growth.

Energetic, optimistic entrepreneurs often tend to believe that sales growth will take care of everything, that they'll be able to fund their own growth by generating profits. However, this is rarely the case, for one simple reason: You usually have to pay your own suppliers before your customers pay you. This cash flow conundrum is the reason so many fast-growing companies have to seek bank financing or equity sales to finance their growth. They are literally growing faster than they can afford.

Start by asking yourself what kinds of financing you're likely to need--and what you'd be willing to accept. It's easy when you're short of cash, or expect to be short of cash, to take the attitude that almost any source of funding is just fine. But each kind of financing has different characteristics that you should take into consideration when planning your plan. These characteristics take three primary forms:

  • First, there's the amount of control you'll have to surrender. An equal partner may, quite naturally, demand approximately equal control. Venture capitalists often demand significant input into management decisions by, for instance, placing one or more people on your board of directors. Angel investors may be very involved or not involved at all, depending on their personal style. Bankers, at the other end of the scale, are likely to offer no advice whatsoever as long as you make payments of principal and interest on time and are not in violation of any other terms of your loan.
  • You should also consider the amount of money you're likely to need. Any amount less than several million dollars is too small to be considered for a standard initial public offering of stock, for example. Venture capital investors are most likely to invest amounts of $250,000 to $3 million. On the other hand, only the richest angel investor will be able to provide more than a few hundred thousand dollars, if that.

Almost any source of funds, from a bank to a factor, has some guidelines about the size of financing it prefers. Anticipating the size of your needs now will guide you in preparing your plan.

  • The third consideration is cost. This can be measured in terms of interest rates and shares of ownership as well as in time, paperwork and plain old hassle.

How Will You Use Your Plan

Believe it or not, part of planning your plan is planning what you'll do with it. No, we haven't gone crazy--at least not yet. A business plan can be used for several things, from monitoring your company's progress toward goals to enticing key employees to join your firm. Deciding how you intend to use yours is an important part of preparing to write it.

Do you intend to use your plan to help you raise money? In that case, you'll have to focus very carefully on the executive summary, the management, and marketing and financial aspects. You'll need to have a clearly focused vision of how your company is going to make money. If you're looking for a bank loan, you'll need to stress your ability to generate sufficient cash flow to service loans. Equity investors, especially venture capitalists, must be shown how they can cash out of your company and generate a rate of return they'll find acceptable.

Do you intend to use your plan to attract talented employees? Then you'll want to emphasize such things as stock options and other aspects of compensation as well as location, work environment, corporate culture and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Do you anticipate showing your plan to suppliers to demonstrate that you're a worthy customer? A solid business plan may convince a supplier of some precious commodity to favor you over your rivals. It may also help you arrange supplier credit. You may want to stress your blue-ribbon customer list and spotless record of repaying trade debts in this plan.

Assessing Your Company's Potential

For most of us, unfortunately, our desires about where we would like to go aren't as important as our businesses' ability to take us there. Put another way, if you choose the wrong business, you're going nowhere.

Luckily, one of the most valuable uses of a business plan is to help you decide whether the venture you have your heart set on is really likely to fulfill your dreams. Many, many business ideas never make it past the planning stage because their would-be founders, as part of a logical and coherent planning process, test their assumptions and find them wanting.

Test your idea against at least two variables. First, financial, to make sure this business makes economic sense. Second, lifestyle, because who wants a successful business that they hate?

Answer the following questions to help you outline your company's potential. There are no wrong answers. The objective is simply to help you decide how well your proposed venture is likely to match up with your goals and objectives.

  • What initial investment will the business require?
  • How much control are you willing to relinquish to investors?
  • When will the business turn a profit?
  • When can investors, including you, expect a return on their money?
  • What are the projected profits of the business over time?
  • Will you be able to devote yourself full time to the business, financially?
  • What kind of salary or profit distribution can you expect to take home?
  • What are the chances the business will fail?
  • What will happen if it does?
  • Where are you going to live?
  • What kind of work are you going to be doing?
  • How many hours will you be working?
  • Will you be able to take vacations?
  • What happens if you get sick?
  • Will you earn enough to maintain your lifestyle?
  • Does your family understand and agree with the sacrifices you envision?

Sources: The Small Business Encyclopedia , Business Plans Made Easy, Start Your Own Business and Entrepreneur magazine.

Continue on to the next section of our Business Plan How-To >> Elements of a Business Plan

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6 examples of objectives for a small business plan

Table of Contents

1) Becoming and staying profitable

2) maintaining cash flow , 3) establishing and sustaining productivity , 4) attracting and retaining customers , 5) developing a memorable brand and marketing strategy, 6) planning for growth , track your business objectives and more with countingup.

Your new company’s business plan is a crucial part of your success, as it helps you set up your business and secure the necessary funding. A major part of this plan is your objectives or the outcomes you aim to reach. If you’re unsure where to start, this list of business objective examples can help.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Becoming and staying profitable 
  • Maintaining cash flow 
  • Establishing and sustaining productivity 
  • Attracting and retaining customers 
  • Developing a memorable brand 
  • Reaching and growing an audience through marketing 
  • Planning for growth

One of the key objectives you may consider is establishing and maintaining profitability . In short, you’ll aim to earn more than you spend and pay off your startup costs. To do this, you’ll need to consider your business’s starting budget and how you’ll stick to it. 

To create an objective around profitability, you’ll need to calculate how much you spend to start your business and how much you’ll have to spend regularly to run it. Knowing these numbers will help you determine the earnings you’ll need to become profitable. From there, you can factor in the pricing of your products or services and create sales goals . 

For example, say you spend £2,000 on startup costs and expect to spend about £200 monthly to cover business expenses. To earn a profit, you’ll first need to earn back that £2,000 then make more than £200 monthly. 

Once you know what you’ll need to earn to become profitable, you can create a realistic timeline to achieve it. If demand and sales forecasts suggest you could earn about £700 monthly, you may create a timeline of 5 months to become profitable. 

Maintaining cash flow is another financial objective you could include in your business plan. While profitability means you’ll make more money than you spend, cash flow is the cash running in and out of your business over a given time. This flow is crucial to your company’s success because you need available cash to cover business expenses . 

When you complete services, clients may not pay out an invoice right away, meaning you won’t see the cash until they do. If you make enough sales but have low cash flow, you’ll struggle to run your business. So, create an achievable and measurable plan for how you’ll maintain the cash flow you need. 

For example, if you spend £500 monthly, you’ll need to ensure you have at least that much available cash. On top of that, anticipate and save for unexpected or emergency expenses, such as broken equipment. To maintain your cash flow, you may want to prioritise cash payments, introduce a realistic deadline for invoices, or create a system to turn your profit to cash. 

Aside from financial objectives, another example of objectives for a business plan is sustaining productivity . When you run a business, it can be overwhelming and challenging to stay on top of all the tasks you have to get done. But, if you aim to remain productive and create a clear plan as to how, you can better manage your to-do list. 

For example, you may find project management tools that can help you track what you need to do and how to organise your priorities. You may also plan to outsource some aspects of your business eventually, such as investing in an accountant. 

Other than planning how you’ll get things done, you may want to create an objective for developing and retaining a customer base. Here, you may outline your efforts to find leads and recruit customers. So, establish goals for how many customers you want to find in your business’s first month, quarter, or year. Your market research can help you understand demand and create realistic sales goals. 

If you start a business that customers regularly need, like hairdressing, you may also want to create a strategy for how you’ll retain customers you earn. For example, you could introduce a loyalty program or prioritise customer service to build strong relationships. 

Another example of objectives for a business plan is to develop a memorable brand and overall marketing strategy . Your brand is how you present your business to the public, including its unique tone and design. So, here you might research how to make a brand memorable and consider what colour scheme and style will best reach your target audience. 

To measure your brand’s progress, you could hold focus groups on understanding what people think of your overall look. Then, surveys can help you grasp the reach of your reputation over time.

Aside from tracking the success of your brand strategy, you may want to consider your business’s marketing approach. For example, you might invest in paid advertising and use social media. You can measure the progress of this over time by using tools like Google Analytics to track your following and reach. 

Finally, creating an objective for your company’s growth will help you understand and plan for where you want to go. For example, you may want to expand your services or open a second location for a shop. Whatever ideas you have for the future of your business, try to create a clear, measurable way of getting there, including a timeline. You may also want to include steps towards this goal and savings goals for growth. 

To achieve and track your business plan objectives, you’ll need to organise your finances well. But, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With the cash flow insights feature, you can confidently keep on top of your finances wherever you are. Plus, the app lets you track and manage what you spend on your business with automatic expense categorisation. This way, you can stick to your budget and plan to accomplish your objectives.


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Setting Business Goals & Objectives: 4 Considerations

Professional writing and setting business goals using sticky notes

  • 31 Oct 2023

Setting business goals and objectives is important to your company’s success. They create a roadmap to help you identify and manage risk , gain employee buy-in, boost team performance , and execute strategy . They’re also an excellent marker to measure your business’s performance.

Yet, meeting those goals can be difficult. According to an Economist study , 90 percent of senior executives from companies with annual revenues of one billion dollars or more admitted they failed to reach all their strategic goals because of poor implementation. In order to execute strategy, it’s important to first understand what’s attainable when developing organizational goals and objectives.

If you’re struggling to establish realistic benchmarks for your business, here’s an overview of what business goals and objectives are, how to set them, and what you should consider during the process.

Access your free e-book today.

What Are Business Goals and Objectives?

Business objectives dictate how your company plans to achieve its goals and address the business’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. While your business goals may shift, your objectives won’t until there’s an organizational change .

Business goals describe where your company wants to end up and define your business strategy’s expected achievements.

According to the Harvard Business School Online course Strategy Execution , there are different types of strategic goals . Some may even push you and your team out of your comfort zone, yet are important to implement.

For example, David Rodriguez, global chief human resources officer at Marriott, describes in Strategy Execution the importance of stretch goals and “pushing people to not accept today's level of success as a final destination but as a starting point for what might be possible in the future.”

It’s important to strike a balance between bold and unrealistic, however. To do this, you must understand how to responsibly set your business goals and objectives.

Related: A Manager’s Guide To Successful Strategy Implementation

How to Set Business Goals and Objectives

While setting your company’s business goals and objectives might seem like a simple task, it’s important to remember that these goals shouldn’t be based solely on what you hope to achieve. There should be a correlation between your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs)—quantifiable success measures—and your business strategy to justify why the goal should, and needs to, be achieved.

This is often illustrated through a strategy map —an illustration of the cause-and-effect relationships that underpin your strategy. This valuable tool can help you identify and align your business goals and objectives.

“A strategy map gives everyone in your business a road map to understand the relationship between goals and measures and how they build on each other to create value,” says HBS Professor Robert Simons in Strategy Execution .

While this roadmap can be incredibly helpful in creating the right business goals and objectives, a balanced scorecard —a tool to help you track and assess non-financial measures—ensures they’re achievable through your current business strategy.

“Ask yourself, if I picked up a scorecard and examined the measures on that scorecard, could I infer what the business's strategy was,” Simon says. “If you've designed measures well, the answer should be yes.”

According to Strategy Execution , these measures are necessary to ensure your performance goals are achieved. When used in tandem, a balanced scorecard and strategy map can also tell you whether your goals and objectives will create value for you and your customers.

“The balanced scorecard combines the traditional financial perspective with additional perspectives that focus on customers, internal business processes, and learning and development,” Simons says.

These four perspectives are key considerations when setting your business goals and objectives. Here’s an overview of what those perspectives are and how they can help you set the right goals for your business.

4 Things to Consider When Setting Business Goals and Objectives

1. financial measures.

It’s important to ensure your plans and processes lead to desired levels of economic value. Therefore, some of your business goals and objectives should be financial.

Some examples of financial performance goals include:

  • Cutting costs
  • Increasing revenue
  • Improving cash flow management

“Businesses set financial goals by building profit plans—one of the primary diagnostic control systems managers use to execute strategy,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “They’re budgets drawn up for business units that have both revenues and expenses, and summarize the anticipated revenue inflows and expense outflows for a specified accounting period.”

Profit plans are essential when setting your business goals and objectives because they provide a critical link between your business strategy and economic value creation.

According to Simons, it’s important to ask three questions when profit planning:

  • Does my business strategy generate enough profit to cover costs and reinvest in the business?
  • Does my business generate enough cash to remain solvent through the year?
  • Does my business create sufficient financial returns for investors?

By mapping out monetary value, you can weigh the cost of different strategies and how likely it is you’ll meet your company and investors’ financial expectations.

2. Customer Satisfaction

To ensure your business goals and objectives aid in your company’s long-term success, you need to think critically about your customers’ satisfaction. This is especially important in a world where customer reviews and testimonials are crucial to your organization’s success.

“Everything that's important to the business, we have a KPI and we measure it,” says Tom Siebel, founder, chairman, and CEO of, in Strategy Execution . “And what could be more important than customer satisfaction?”

Unlike your company’s reputation, measuring customer satisfaction has a far more personal touch in identifying what customers love and how to capitalize on it through future strategic initiatives .

“We do anonymous customer satisfaction surveys every quarter to see how we're measuring up to our customer expectations,” Siebel says.

While this is one example, your customer satisfaction measures should reflect your desired market position and focus on creating additional value for your audience.

Related: 3 Effective Methods for Assessing Customer Needs

3. Internal Business Processes

Internal business processes is another perspective that should factor into your goal setting. It refers to several aspects of your business that aren’t directly affected by outside forces. Since many goals and objectives are driven by factors such as business competition and market shifts, considering internal processes can create a balanced business strategy.

“Our goals are balanced to make sure we’re holistically managing the business from a financial performance, quality assurance, innovation, and human talent perspective,” says Tom Polen, CEO and president of Becton Dickinson, in Strategy Execution .

According to Strategy Execution , internal business operations are broken down into the following processes:

  • Operations management
  • Customer management

While improvements to internal processes aren’t driven by economic value, these types of goals can still reap a positive return on investment.

“We end up spending much more time on internal business process goals versus financial goals,” Polen says. “Because if we take care of them, the financial goals will follow at the end of the day.”

4. Learning and Growth Opportunities

Another consideration while setting business goals and objectives is learning and growth opportunities for your team. These are designed to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

According to Strategy Execution , learning and growth opportunities touch on three types of capital:

  • Human: Your employees and the skills and knowledge required for them to meet your company’s goals
  • Information: The databases, networks, and IT systems needed to support your long-term growth
  • Organization: Ensuring your company’s leadership and culture provide people with purpose and clear objectives

Employee development is a common focus for learning and growth goals. Through professional development opportunities , your team will build valuable business skills and feel empowered to take more risks and innovate.

To create a culture of innovation , it’s important to ensure there’s a safe space for your team to make mistakes—and even fail.

“We ask that people learn from their mistakes,” Rodriguez says in Strategy Execution . “It's really important to us that people feel it’s safe to try new things. And all we ask is people extract their learnings and apply it to the next situation.”

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Achieve Your Business Goals

Business goals aren’t all about your organization’s possible successes. It’s also about your potential failures.

“When we set goals, we like to imagine a bright future with our business succeeding,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “But to identify your critical performance variables, you need to engage in an uncomfortable exercise and consider what can cause your strategy to fail.”

Anticipating potential failures isn’t easy. Enrolling in an online course—like HBS Online’s Strategy Execution —can immerse you in real-world case studies of past strategy successes and failures to help you better understand where these companies went wrong and how to avoid it in your business.

Do you need help setting your business goals and objectives? Explore Strategy Execution —one of our online strategy courses —and download our free strategy e-book to gain the insights to create a successful strategy.

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July 26, 2022

12 helpful objectives examples: Business, project and performance goals

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Monika Gudova

Content Writer and Editor

Table of contents

Running a business without objectives is like building a house without a foundation — likely to collapse and inadvisable. Objectives define what you’re trying to accomplish on a business, project or personal performance level. They’re the very reason you’re doing what you’re doing, so it’s crucial your objectives serve you well. In this article, we’ve compiled a dozen examples of effective work objectives to get you started on the right foot.

What are measurable business objectives?

Business objectives are statements that describe where you want your business to go. They establish a direction for the organisation, guiding operations and projects. Business objectives also help in evaluating the company’s position and performance.

Successful businesses often employ the SMART framework when developing objectives — where objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound — which frames goals as approachable. 

Business objective examples

Looking for real-world business objectives examples? See four common company objectives examples below.

1. Boost revenue

For a business to thrive or remain financially stable, it is essential to establish profit-oriented objectives. There are many ways to increase revenue — the most common being through marketing efforts and sales initiatives.

  • SMART example — Increase profits in the new financial year by 20%.

2. Improve efficiency

Efficiency is another word for value — it’s the quality of the output compared to the input. Companies should strive for better efficiency to reduce operating costs and improve profits. Many things impact workplace efficiency, but it’s most often associated with the productivity of teams.

  • SMART example — Implement a project management system company-wide by the end of the year.

3. Increase market share 

Market share is the percentage of revenue in a market your business makes up. Increasing market share relies on more customers using your products or services. Setting goals to improve market share is important to both benchmarking and sales.

  • SMART example — Grow market share by 25% or more in the next two years.

4. Reduce costs

Cost reduction objectives give you oversight and control over your business's financial performance. Increasing revenue and profitability is the primary goal of reducing costs. 

  • SMART example — Reduce costs by $5,000 in the next quarter by encouraging remote working.

What are project objectives?

What’s in a name? A lot in this case — project objectives are goals and performance indicators for projects. Where a business objective keeps things high-level, a project objective is typically quite specific and focused on a particular end goal. 

Since projects are usually time-bound, with an intended output and scope, objectives are fundamental to keep all parties on track. Good project objectives should support company objectives and allow teams to innovate from the ground up. ‍

Project objectives examples

Here are four examples of project objectives you may come across at work.

1. Design a new product

A common project objective is designing and releasing new products. KPIs or Key Results   may look like sales expectations, prospect goals or marketing objectives. 

  • SMART example — Improve user experience of new product and achieve >90% satisfaction in usability testing by EOFY.

2. Launch an app

Mobile apps provide your customers with around-the-clock access to products, information and services. Define your app development objectives by deciding the app's purpose and the project's potential value. 

  • SMART example — Achieve 1,000 downloads within the first month of app launch.

3. Kick off a marketing campaign

Objectives in marketing campaigns are rewarding in many ways — they optimise brand positioning, grow email lists and improve social media presence to ultimately increase market share and profits. 

  • SMART example — Launch social media marketing campaign to achieve 5,000 new followers on Instagram by June 30.

4. Implement a content plan

A successful content plan relies on setting and achieving objectives. You can generate good leads by identifying and answering the questions your target audience searches for.

  • SMART example — Increase organic search traffic by 5% in the next month.

What are performance objectives?

Employee performance objectives, or performance goals, are indicators of individual performance success. They’re objectives that work on an individual-employee basis to provide workers with a clear understanding of their responsibilities. 

Performance objectives can either be short-term , with clearly defined deliverables and deadlines, or long-term, with a broad vision of personal development. They’re an effective, measurable way for organisations to keep note of employee performance.

Performance objectives examples

To help you get started on writing personal performance or development objectives, we’ve provided four examples below.

1. Develop new skills

No matter where you’re at in your career, new skills will propel you forward. Pursuing a new certification will help you excel in your current position and/or give you an edge when applying for a new role.

  • SMART example — Complete an online SEO training course and implement learnings by the end of the year.

2. Strengthen communication

Effective professional communication is more complicated than it seems — but setting objectives to master written communication, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills will help you succeed in your career. 

  • SMART example — Attend one Women in STEM conference by the end of the year and share a full deck of business cards.

3. Improve collaboration

The ability to understand and appreciate multiple perspectives and how teams work together is essential in business. Drive innovation by setting teamwork-related goals.

  • SMART example — By the end of the week, establish a company-wide monthly lunch where teams can update each other on work progress and socialise.

4. Organise and manage your time

Learn how to manage your workload and prioritise tasks more effectively by creating personal performance objectives. Focus and productivity go hand-in-hand with effective time management and organisation. 

  • SMART example — Reduce time spent on Excel by 20% by spending two hours this week learning shortcuts from the MS Excel Guide.

Take the next step with Tability

Writing objectives is just the first step in the goal-setting process — not the only one. Without a plan to track and measure the success of your goals, you’re more likely to fall off course. Now that you’ve seen a slew of measurable objective examples, it’s time to think about implementing them with the help of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) software like Tability . 

Tability keeps you on top of your objectives by pairing them with measures of achievement, known as Key Results. These quantifiable statements define how you’ll know you’ve achieved your objectives. Assign tasks to your team and Tability will encourage accountability by promoting regular check-ins and reporting.

So, what are you waiting for? Try Tability for free today.

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objectives example business plan

Table of Contents

What are business objectives, why are business objectives important, business objectives vs goals, benefits of setting business objectives, how to set business objectives, 20+ types of business objectives to measure success, how to set business objectives in your business plan.

How to Set Business Objectives in Your Business Plan

Objectives are the steps leading to goals, which are the driving force for any organization. Regardless of the business scale, every company follows an objective. But, they may be the same or different from the objectives of those working there. Knowing the business objective not only helps the business to grow efficiently by gathering the right team but also helps in the overall development of employees. Read on to understand the basics of business objectives and their importance. 

Businesses run on goals. Objectives are goals focused on operations, revenue, growth and productivity. A description of business objectives brings clarity to the owner and educates other workers about their direction. 

Business objectives can be strategic or operational. Strategic objectives are concerned with long-term goals and involve techniques at a bigger scale to accomplish the goal. Operational objectives focus on short-term goals and are a part of the strategic objectives. They are small steps that contribute to the ultimate aim.

Business objectives hold the following relevances for the company:

  • Enlightens every individual about the shared vision of the company
  • Increases product quality
  • Improves company culture
  • Recruit and retain high-quality employees
  • Develop leadership
  • Encourages innovation
  • Increase revenue
  • Expands productivity

Objectives and goals are often used interchangeably. However, objectives are the steps that lead the company, business, organization and even an individual to the goal. For instance, the business goal is to increase growth by 20% by the end of the year 2023. The business objective will be to market the enhancement in the quality and innovation of the product. 

Here are enlisted the advantages of setting business objectives:

Help Establish Clear Roadmaps

Objectives are used to understand the actions required in a specific period to achieve the goal.

Set the Groundwork for the Culture

They enhance the vision and provide direction to the members.

Influence Talent Acquisition

They provide clarity in the needs and recruit the talents based on the requirements.

Encourage Teamwork

A common goal encourages community participation.

Promote Sound Leadership

Similar goals and work environments can lead due to a clear vision of the aim. 

Establish Accountability

It imparts thorough knowledge and reason for the action inculcating accountability.

Drive Productivity

The clarity in actions and objectives increases productivity.

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Utilize a top to bottom approach to set the business objectives. Refer to the below-mentioned points for assistance:

1. Establish Clear Goals

Clarify the idea and understand the goal. Use the SWOT analysis and goal-setting frameworks for further specificity. Be honest with the need. For instance, the goal is to reach 1000 product sales within six months, increase the revenue by 10%, and many more. 

2. Set a Baseline

Now you know where to reach. Next, gain clarity about your current position concerning every factor in mind. Find out the deficiency or problem statement and research to know the same. It states the feasibility of the goal and provides the main area to work at. 

3. Involve Players at All Levels in the Conversation

Business includes the team. The decisions involving the same should also have the unit. Every department can bring forward its suggestions and analysis. Combine them to understand the long-term and short-term effects of applying multiple ideas. 

4. Define Measurable Outcomes

Measure the progress and outcome . You should have an account for the benefits gained by incorporating a particular change. It enables timely modification of the shift or task. It further brings transparency in actual effects and helps gain knowledge of when to revert or try a new strategy is possible.

5. Outline a Roadmap with a Schedule

Any above steps will yield results if a plan is set to execute them. Involve every member in this step as well. Make a practical roadmap or timeline indicating the action is complete at the appointed time. For further clarity, break down each objective into different tasks and be precise about them. 

6. Integrate Successful Changes

Only some actions will lead to failure or success. Both are accompanied by trying new such cases, observe and process. Then mindfully incorporate the items based on necessity.

Based on the mentioned information on business objectives, it is crystal clear that they vary according to the goal . Review the particle examples of the previous statement below:

Financial Business Objectives

  • Cost: It includes expenditure in the business. The ultimate aim is to minimize it as much as possible without compromising the quality. 
  • Sustainable growth: Businesses aiming to thrive for decades must consider the sustainability of their actions, plans, and financial objectives. 
  • Profitability: It is another factor that contributes to long-lasting business. 
  • Cash flow: It involves expenditure and income in a more complicated manner. Its positive or negative status decides the business's financial success in the long run. 
  • Revenue: Businesses can focus on profit or, specifically, on revenue. It includes deciding a particular amount or percentage the company wishes to see itself after a specific period. 

Customer-Centric Business Objectives

  • Sales: Concerning sales, the objectives can be increasing cross-selling, decreasing the customer acquisition cost, or related activity.
  • Market share: The companies that aim to set themselves in the market can include the objective of increasing market share.
  • Competitive positioning: it encourages further development of the project based on customer's needs and currently present features in the market
  • Customer satisfaction : It includes regularly taking feedback and criticism from the customers and reflecting on the same
  • Churn: Reducing churn or the number of customer losses is essential for some businesses to consider.
  • Brand awareness: Investing in brand awareness helps get focussed. Clubed with quality and affordability, it is expected to shoot up sales. 

Internal Business Objectives

  • Diversity and inclusion: Talents and skills can be found in any part of the globe. Welcoming and embracing them helps you make long-term relationships with them. 
  • Change management: Changes are difficult to deal with. Efficiently working on them with a plan helps smoothen the transition. 
  • Company growth: sustainable growth in terms of employees is a challenging task and hence needs to be included as an objective
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement: It involves reducing their workload and keeping them happy. It shoots productivity. 
  • Productivity: Efficient segregation of work based on interest to learn and known skills can increase productivity. Additional factors may be needed, thus requiring it to be worked on as an objective.
  • Employee retention: Decreased turnover accompanies familiarity, loyalty, and dedication between employees and business
  • Organizational culture is one of the key factors being considered by talents before taking up the job. Caring for employees and their issues is directly related to the company's success.
  • Employee effectiveness: Work on efficiency and effectiveness by the team members. Promote methods to encourage it. 

Regulation-Related Business Objectives

  • Compliance: Prioritize compliance requirements and set it as an objective to compulsorily meet them on time.
  • Quality control: Including it as an objective showcases the company's focus. It further enhances the product's reach to customers and increases revenue.
  • Waste reduction: Often ignored, it helps in keeping the environment safe. The act further provides indirect publicity and hence revenue and brand awareness.  
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28 Business Objectives Examples to set for Small Business

Business Objectives Examples

  • Redaction Team
  • August 18, 2022
  • Business Planning , Entrepreneurship

The objectives of a business are the goals that the business strives to achieve.

You should create business objectives when you are starting a new business or when you are trying to improve your current business.

A business will usually have multiple objectives, and these will be prioritized according to the importance of the goal to the business.

These can be financial goals, such as increasing profits or revenue, or non-financial goals, such as increasing customer satisfaction.

Or for example, a business with a high level of debt may prioritize reducing this debt over other objectives.

Business objectives help small businesses define what they want to achieve and lay out a plan for reaching those goals.

Without business objectives, it can be difficult to measure progress and determine whether or not the business is on track.

Objectives also provide a way to hold employees accountable and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Business objectives are important for a number of reasons.

First, they provide direction and focus for the business.

Without clear objectives, it can be difficult to know what the business should be striving to achieve.

Second, well-defined objectives can help to keep everyone in the organization aligned and working towards common goals.

This can improve efficiency and help to avoid duplication of effort.

Finally, having measurable objectives can help to track progress and ensure that the business is making headway towards its goals.

Some tips for setting business objectives in an organization include identifying the organization’s mission and goals, understanding the current situation and desired future state, and developing measurable objectives that align with the mission and goals.

Additionally, it is important to involve stakeholders in the process of setting business objectives, as they can provide valuable input and feedback.

To create objectives depend on the management team to define the key business goals, what the company wants, and how to reach growth in your organization.

Following up we will share business objectives examples for the areas of strategic planning, finance, human resources, operations, and marketing.

Strategic business objectives examples

There are many reasons why business strategy is important.

Strategy provides direction and sets priorities.

It helps businesses to make better decisions, allocate resources more effectively, and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace.

Strategy also helps businesses to communicate their mission statement, vision and objectives to employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders which are part of the community who supports business success.

Overall, strategy aims to reach a healthy and sustainable business growth through a set of long-term goals but divided into short-term objectives.

Strategic business objectives are the goals and objectives that a company sets out to achieve over a period of time at an organizational level.

They are the long-term plans that a company develops to guide its growth and development.

The strategic objectives of a business should be achievable and aligned with its mission and vision statements.

There are many reasons why strategic business planning is important.

Perhaps the most important reason is that it forces business owners and managers to take a step back from the day-to-day operations of their business and think about its long-term direction and purpose.

A well-crafted business plan can be a powerful tool for helping a business to find new customers, set clear goals, secure funding, and enter new markets.

Some examples of strategic objectives are:

  • To achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Increasing overall market share.
  • To enter new markets.
  • To diversify the product or service offering.
  • To improve customer satisfaction levels.
  • To acquire a business.
  • To improve operational efficiency.

Financial objectives

There are a some reasons why having a solid financial strategy is important for businesses

To stay in business, finance managers help businesses make informed decisions about where to allocate resources

The financial strategy allows businesses to track progress and performance over time

The importance of business financial strategy relies on being prepared for and weather unexpected financial challenges, as it provides a framework for business owners and managers to make sound financial decisions based on the business needs and growth goals.

Financial business objectives are important because they provide a framework for decision-making and goal-setting.

Financial objectives help an organization to allocate resources efficiently, track progress, and make informed decisions about where to invest resources.

There are a number of financial business objectives, including:

  • Increasing profitability
  • Reducing costs
  • Improving cash flow
  • Maximizing shareholder value

Human resources objectives

Human resources are important because they are responsible for managing the people who work for an organization.

They ensure that employees are properly trained and compensated, and that they have the necessary resources to do their jobs effectively.

Additionally, managers and employees play a vital role in promoting a positive work environment and culture within the value of your organization.

Human resources objectives are important because they provide a roadmap for the teamwork to follow.

By setting clear the types of objectives, the department can create a plan to achieve the list of business objectives and measure their success.

Additionally, human resources objectives help to ensure that the department is aligned with the overall goals of the organization.

To improve this area is one of the key business objectives as it an important area to develop for many companies, as employees are the ones in charge of moving forward the business.

These objectives can include improving employee productivity, reducing turnover, and increasing employee satisfaction.

Some business objectives examples of this area are:

  • Increase employee productivity
  • Decrease employee turnover
  • Increase employee satisfaction
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Develop and retain top talent
  • Reduce recruitment and training costs

Production and Operational objectives

Production and operations are important for business because they are responsible for creating and delivering the products or services that the business sells. They play a vital role in ensuring that the business is able to meet customer demand and generate revenue.

Operational objectives are specific goals that a company hopes to achieve in order to improve its operations.

They are typically short-term goals that focus on specific areas of the business, such as increasing efficiency, reducing costs, or improving customer satisfaction.

Operational objectives are important because they provide a framework for businesses to measure whether they are achieving their goals.

Without operational objectives, businesses would have no way of knowing if they are on track to achieve their goals.

List of production and operational business objectives are:

  • Increase production by X% within the next 6 months
  • Decrease downtime by X% within the next 6 months
  • Implement new technology/process to increase efficiency by X%
  • Reduce scrap/waste by X% within the next 6 months
  • Increase safety and compliance with regulatory standards
  • Increase customer satisfaction/quality ratings by X% within the next 6 months

Marketing objectives

There are many reasons why marketing is important for business.

Marketing helps businesses to find and reach new customers, improve customer experience, increase brand recognition, to communicate the value of their products and services, and to build strong relationships with their customers.

Marketing also helps businesses to understand their customers better, and to improve the customer acquisiton rates.

In addition, marketing can help businesses to increase their sales and profits, and to build a strong brand awareness that is recognizable and trusted by customers.

Marketing can also help businesses with specific objectives such as protect and grow their market share, and to compete effectively against other businesses.

The objectives of marketing are to identify and satisfy the needs and wants of customers.

Marketing objectives are set because they provide a clear and concise roadmap for achieving desired business outcomes and measure success.

By outlining specific goals, businesses can more easily develop and implement marketing strategies and tactics that are most likely to lead to success. Additionally, well-defined objectives can help businesses track progress and gauge whether their marketing efforts are effective.

Following up here is a list of examples of business objectives for the marketing area.

  • Ensure that at least 95% of all customers are satisfied with their purchase.
  • Increase customer loyalty by reaching 3 new purchases for the following 3 months.
  • Expand the customer base by a 5% per month
  • Increase sales in 15% per year and market share
  • Develop and maintain a positive corporate image with 5 media press releases for the following year.

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Examples of Business Objectives

As a college instructor and communication expert with extensive nonfiction and educational writing experience, Mary shares tips and advice related to a wide variety of topics.

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Once you've identified business goals, you need to determine how you will reach them. The steps you take to reach a goal are your business objectives. Like goals, objectives should be SMART - they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. There are several types of business objectives, all of which should tie directly to a goal to help you move toward it.

Example Business Objectives for Sales Goals

Most companies hope to improve sales from year to year. It's the only way to continue to grow and find success. To increase sales, your organization will have to create and execute specific strategies designed to bring in new customers.

Examples of business objectives include:

  • Create a survey to discover how the top 20% of our customers found the firm, and increase investment in those marketing strategies by October 1
  • Create a loyalty or frequent buyer program to encourage repeat customer sales by December 1
  • Create a client referral program by November 15 to increase our brand's reach

Depending on your specific sales goals, you may need to focus your objectives regionally or even internationally. You may also want to create objectives for each quarter or each month to make sure you're staying on track.

Sample Objectives for Customer Service Goals

Customer service can be what sets your company apart from the competition. Sure, many companies sell green widgets, but if you can do it with great service and a smile , people will choose to buy from you. You also don't want to spend tons of money on customer acquisition just to lose it with poor customer service.

You may choose to focus on customer service objectives such as:

  • Hire and fully train five new customer service staff members by July 15
  • Install online chat as a help option by September 30
  • By November 1, translate our most used support documents into Spanish

When you provide excellent customer service, you will not only keep customers, you can generate excellent business from referrals as well. It's like having your very own volunteer sales force!

Example Financial Objectives for Profit Goals

When you increase sales, sometimes you increase costs as well. As a result, you end up with no more cash in the bank than you started with. To really boost your company, you need to increase sales and cut costs at the same time. With the right objectives, you can meet your profit goals.

Some ways you might boost profit include:

  • Get three new price quotes for green widget suppliers by June 1, and evaluate changing suppliers to save costs
  • Create a program to ask for cost-saving ideas from employees by September 1, and include a prize for winning suggestions
  • Evaluate company travel expenses by July 15, and create a list of ideas for possible savings

You can also create objectives that review raising prices, focusing on especially profitable customers, or other ways of reducing overhead expenses.

Sample Employee-Focused Business Objectives

Not all your business goals should focus outside your organization. To succeed year after year, you must build the right team and keep your key employees engaged and happy. Multiple studies show that turnover can cost you up to twice the employee's annual salary. Avoiding these costs not only improves your profit, but it also improves productivity and morale as well.

You can create these types of objectives to focus on your staff:

  • Implement a targeted 90-day onboarding program by December 1
  • Create a system for responding to written employee concerns by May 1, and communicate the process to all staff by June 1
  • By September 1, train all managers on how to help employees develop and achieve career goals

When you invest in your employees, the benefits impact far more than your bottom line. John Deere measures employee morale every two weeks , which shows how important motivation and engagement are to innovation and team health.

Operational Objectives Examples

Business objectives sometimes focus on tangible aspects of operations. These objectives often relate to improving productivity or boosting capacity.

  • Increase widget production by 25% by December 31
  • Upgrade plant equipment that has been fully depreciated by October 1
  • Add a new production line that will be fully functional by November 15

Start-Up Business Example Objectives

When starting a new business, it's likely that the initial objectives will focus on actions necessary to launch operations. For a start-up, it's important to have short-term objectives in place from the outset in order to focus activities on those things most vital to getting the business off the ground.

  • Secure business funding necessary to launch operations by August 1
  • Secure a city business license by September 1
  • Sign a lease for office space by September 10

Importance of Strategic Business Plan Objectives

Whether your company is a start-up or an established firm, it's important to have a solid business plan that includes strategic business objectives. For business objectives to be strategic, they have to be clearly linked to the overall mission and goals of the organization. For each objective, it's important to make sure that accomplishing the objective will make progress toward the overall organizational mission and link directly to one or more overall business goal. Including strategic objectives in your business plan allows you to show not only what your business seeks to accomplish, but how it is going to do so.

Why Business Objectives Sometimes Change

It's important to review business objectives periodically, both to verify whether progress is being made and to determine of the objective might need to be adjusted. Business objectives need to be flexible enough to change as the needs of the business evolve. A variety of factors could lead to a need to change business objectives, including things like increased or decreased competition, economic factors, or technology developments relevant to the company's products or services. Savvy business leaders are constantly monitoring the internal and external business environment to determine if the company's objectives might need to be adjusted in order to maximize competitive advantage.

Implementation Is Key

To keep your business plan from being a document that gathers dust and nothing more, write a solid business plan focused on action. Break each objective into steps and assign due dates and responsibility. You may even want to assign a 'champion' to oversee each area of goals and objectives, such as a customer service champion. By holding everyone accountable, your company will be able to execute its objectives and reach its goals.

Free Google Slides Business Model Canvas Templates

By Courtney Patterson | May 8, 2024

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These customizable Google Slides business model canvas templates are tailored for entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts, and strategic planners. Download any template to help you develop and refine your business model, establishing a solid base for growth and innovation. This collection includes a  Lean business model canvas template , a  social enterprise business model canvas template , a  tech startup business model canvas template , and more.

Google Slides Simple Business Model Canvas Template

Simple Business Model Canvas Template

Download the Simple Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides 

When to Use This Template:  Use this streamlined business model canvas template during dynamic strategy meetings or brainstorming sessions. It's particularly useful for entrepreneurs, startups, and educators looking for a fast way to kick-start planning, facilitate workshops, or clarify ongoing business strategies. 

Notable Template Features:  This template efficiently outlines key aspects of a business model, such as value propositions, target customer segments, and critical operations. The user-friendly layout ensures swift updates and engaging team discussions, making it an essential resource for visualizing and refining strategic plans. 

Access this complimentary collection of  free business model canvas templates to effectively visualize your business's fundamental elements. 

Google Slides Lean Business Model Canvas Template

Lean Business Model Canvas Template

Download the Sample Lean Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides 

Download the Blank Lean Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides

When to Use This Template:  Ideal for high-velocity environments, this Lean business model canvas template with or without sample data allows forward-thinking innovators to expedite the testing and validation of their business concepts. It focuses on refining the pivotal aspects of a business strategy to adjust based on real-time market responses. 

Notable Template Features:  This template highlights critical Lean startup principles, including the alignment of solutions with customer problems, compelling value propositions, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Its interactive and flexible design makes it a vital resource for teams striving for continual progress. Download the sample version for a pre-filled template, or try the blank version to fill in the sections with your own data.

Google Slides Business Capability Model Template

Business Capability Model Template

Download the Business Capability Model Template for Google Slides  

When to Use This Template:  Use this template to streamline your strategic planning. It is designed to help organizations assess and outline their core business functions and capabilities so that they can synchronize business strategies with operational strengths and identify areas for investment. 

Notable Template Features:  Across multiple dynamic slides, this template facilitates a thorough analysis of business capabilities, from day-to-day operations to customer interaction tactics. Its organized layout allows for a methodical review of your company's strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities, improving communication and strategic alignment across teams and sectors. 

Google Slides Social Enterprise Business Model Canvas Template

Social Enterprise Canvas Template

Download the Social Enterprise Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides

When to Use This Template:  This Google Slides template is ideal for social enterprises and mission-driven organizations that need to strategize how to balance social impact with financial viability. Use this template in brainstorming sessions or strategic planning meetings to navigate the challenges of creating social value and financial stability. 

Notable Template Features:  This template emphasizes integrating social objectives with core business functions. It includes dedicated sections for outlining social missions, evaluating impact, and building community relationships. Its comprehensive design enables you to map out both the social and economic facets of your business. 

Google Slides Customer-Focused Business Model Canvas Template

Customer Focused Canvas Template Example

Download the Sample Customer-Focused Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides  

Download the Blank Customer-Focused Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides  

When to Use This Template:  Use this customer-focused template with or without sample data when you're fine-tuning or developing a business strategy with a strong emphasis on customer insights. The template is particularly effective at turning customer needs into unique market positions and customized experiences.

Notable Template Features:  Specially crafted to highlight the role of customer perspectives in strategic planning, this template features dedicated areas for detailing customer journeys, preferences, and the feedback process. It offers a comprehensive examination of how your business model caters to customer demands, prioritizing customer satisfaction and active engagement in every strategic move.

Google Slides E-Commerce Business Model Canvas Template

E-Commerce Business Model Canvas Template

Download the E-Commerce Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides  

When to Use This Template:  Try this e-commerce template when you need to elevate your presence in the digital retail space. Ideal for strategizing the launch of a new online store or refining the operations of an existing one, this template facilitates a detailed examination and improvement of an online shopping journey, from the first interaction to follow-up after sales. 

Notable Template Features:  Tailor-made for the nuances of e-commerce, this template provides a guide for strategizing around online consumer behaviors, digital marketing tactics, and logistical operations. It covers crucial strategic e-commerce activities, such as enhancing the customer experience, streamlining payment systems, and ensuring effective customer support. 

Google Slides Tech Startup Business Model Canvas Template

Tech Startup Model Canvas Template

Download the Tech Startup Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides

When to Use This Template:  Use this tech startup template during critical phases of brainstorming and entering the market or as you adjust your tech enterprise to meet the changing needs of the industry. It's designed to help you better understand the relationship between your technological innovations and market requirements.

Notable Template Features:  Adapted for the unique challenges and opportunities of the tech sector, this template emphasizes research and development, intellectual property management, and strategies for gaining users. It offers a comprehensive layout for mapping out how your tech solutions align with market expectations, with a focus on ensuring scalability, security measures, and innovation.

Related Templates

Explore these complimentary Google Slides templates rooted in business model canvas methodologies. Tailored to boost your strategic business planning, these resources emphasize strategic planning, market analysis, value proposition clarification, and customer journey mapping. 

Free SWOT Analysis Templates for Google Slides

Basic SWOT Matrix Template

Make use of these  free SWOT analysis templates for Google Slides to better understand your organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, allowing for new strategic initiatives and insightful decision-making. 

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Simple Project Plan Example Template Google Slides

These  free Google Slides project management templates offer users an intuitive way to organize, track, and present project details, timelines, and milestones, enhancing project visibility and team collaboration. 

Free Brand Presentation Templates

objectives example business plan

See this collection of  free brand presentation templates for resources to help you seamlessly integrate and showcase your brand's identity in your business model canvas, enhancing how you communicate your value proposition and market positioning. 

Free Marketing Report Templates

Monthly Marketing Report Presentation Template

Take a look at these  free marketing report templates for help analyzing and presenting your marketing efforts and ensuring that they align with the strategies outlined in your business model canvas. 

Free Change Management Strategy Templates

Change Management Strategy Presentation Example Template

Check out these  free change management strategy templates to help you effectively plan and execute organizational changes, ensuring they align with your strategic objectives. 

Free Go-to-Market Strategy Templates

Go-To-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Explore these  free go-to-market strategy templates when you need a targeted strategic approach for launching a product or service. 

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Dive into these  free project timeline templates to help you map out the key milestones and timelines for your strategic initiatives, aligning them with the broader goals outlined in your business model canvas. 

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Discover these  free annual plan templates and yearly planning templates to assist you in setting annual goals and strategies that are in harmony with your long-term objectives. 

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Check out these  free Google timeline templates to help you effectively visualize and plan the chronological development and execution of the strategies outlined in your business model canvas. 

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Project scope management: Plan, template, and guide

Scope management plan article banner image

A scope management plan outlines the processes involved in executing your project and serves as a guideline to keep the project within specific limits. In this article, we’ll explain what a scope management plan is and how it can assist you in the planning phase. With effective scope management, you can set you and your team up for success.

Managing the scope of a project is like driving a car. If you don’t keep your eyes in front of you, the car veers off the road. Similarly, if you don’t control your project scope, the project gets off track. A scope management plan outlines the processes involved in executing your project and serves as a guideline to keep the project within specific limits. 

As a project manager, it’s your responsibility to guide your team through the project life cycle. In this article, we’ll explain what a scope management plan is and how it can assist you in the planning phase. Once you understand the scope management process, your plan will set you and your team up for success.

What is project scope management?

Project scope management refers to the process of defining and controlling what is included and what is not included in a project. It's about understanding the project goals, milestones, tasks, deadlines, outputs, and costs and ensuring everything is aligned to meet the objectives of the project. A well-defined scope management plan is essential for successful project execution, as it helps prevent scope creep, makes sure resources are used efficiently, and keeps the project on track.

Phases of project scope management

This plan is a roadmap for stakeholders to understand the boundaries of the project and helps keep everyone on the same page from start to finish.

The initiation phase sets the groundwork by identifying the part of the project that needs focus and the primary objectives. During this phase, you engage key stakeholders, assess project feasibility, and develop a clear statement of work or project charter. The initiation phase creates a solid foundation for all subsequent project activities.

During the planning stage, the project team collaborates to develop a comprehensive approach that outlines the project timeline , scope baseline , and project budget. This is where the scope definition becomes crucial; it's the process of breaking down the project into manageable tasks and subtasks, which makes it easier for the team to deliver on expectations.

In the defining stage, you create precise documentation of the project's exclusions, clarifying what is outside the project's scope to prevent misunderstandings and scope creep. This documentation provides a clear reference for what the project will deliver, so all project stakeholders and team members have a cohesive understanding of the project objectives.


Verification involves regular reviews with project stakeholders to confirm that the project remains aligned with the scope baseline and to make adjustments as necessary. Verification is vital for managing changes and avoiding scope creep, which can derail project success.

Controlling the project scope

Finally, controlling the project scope requires continuous monitoring and management of the project's progress against the original plan. This entails keeping tabs on the project team's performance, controlling the project budget, managing cost overruns, and making sure all stakeholders are aware of and agree upon any changes to the project timeline.

Importance of project scope management

Understanding the importance of scope management is pivotal for avoiding project pitfalls like delays, budget overruns, and stakeholder dissatisfaction. A well-crafted project scope management plan acts as a blueprint that guides every decision and action throughout each part of the project.

For example, consider a project to develop new customer service software. When a stakeholder suggests a feature not originally included in the scope, the project manager can refer to the project scope management plan to firmly explain why the new feature cannot be accommodated. This decisive stance ensures the project remains focused and on track.

What is the purpose of a scope management plan?

The purpose of a scope management plan is to create project structure by documenting the resources required to achieve the project objectives. Your scope management plan will also reduce the chance of scope creep. 

A scope management process helps you avoid common problems, including: 

Constantly changing requirements


Wasted time

Failure to meet deadlines

What is project scope?

Your project scope sets the boundaries for your project and defines the project goals, deadlines, and deliverables. When you clarify your project scope, you’re structuring your project around what your team will and won’t do and providing goals and objectives for them to work toward.  

The entire team should be involved in defining the project scope. This means communicating with key stakeholders and writing up a project scope statement that outlines requirements of the project. For example, if you’re defining a scope for a new advertising campaign, you’ll want to ensure the design team, the content team, and the digital marketing team all agree on the details in the scope statement. 

What is scope creep?

Scope creep occurs when your project exceeds your initial scope statement. For example, scope creep may occur if a stakeholder adds an additional project deliverable after the project has begun. 

What is scope creep?

Unexpected project changes can lead to increased project risks like missed timelines, increased budgets, overwork , or a low-quality end product. There are various reasons why scope creep can occur. Some reasons include:

Unclear project scope

Unrealistic project objectives

Too many stakeholders

Poor scope management

Poor communication with stakeholders

To avoid scope creep, you need to plan against it, which is where a strong scope management plan comes into play.

How to create a project scope management plan

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) offers a standard, six step project scope management process. These six steps help you create a solid scope management plan to keep your project on track.

The 6 steps of scope management

1. Create your scope plan

The first step in the planning process involves creating your scope plan document. This document should include your scope statement, a breakdown of project requirements, and any expected deliverables for the project. 

Your scope plan document may also include a change control process , which is a process for change requests that can prevent scope creep. This is a document you can refer to in later stages of project planning. You may need this document for complex projects, projects where you think stakeholders will want many deliverables, or when there’s a lot of flux in what your deliverables might be. 

Tips for creating a scope plan: 

Incorporate expert judgment : To create your scope planning document, you need to consider all parts of the organizational process. Check in with cross-functional and executive stakeholders to ensure you have all of the information you need.

Hold scope kickoff meetings: Before you lock your scope document, make sure you have buy-in from all stakeholders. Share your scope plan document asynchronously , or host a kickoff meeting so that other managers and team members involved in the project can contribute to the initial scope statement.

2. Collect project requirements

In this step of the process, you’ll identify stakeholders’ needs so you can meet project objectives. Your goal should be to gather an in-depth list of requirements from stakeholders so that you can prevent scope changes down the line. 

Tips for collecting project requirements: 

Create a project charter: Create a project charter , or an elevator pitch, so stakeholders can clearly understand the project and ensure their expectations match the project's objectives. 

Hold focus groups or workshops: Hold focus groups or workshops to give stakeholders a better understanding of your project. Communicating your project objectives to stakeholders is essential if you want them to buy into your project scope.

Develop prototypes: Develop a prototype of your project deliverable before presenting your project to stakeholders. This way, stakeholders can visualize the end product, voice their concerns, or list additional requirements early on.

3. Define scope

Once you’ve collected requirements from stakeholders, turn that information into a well-defined scope and a detailed product description. This document clarifies the expectations and deliverables for the project so that all team members know what they must accomplish.

Tips for defining scope:  

Try product analysis: Before you can define your scope and write a detailed product description, you need to do an in-depth product analysis. Analyze the product you plan to create from the eyes of the customer or client in order to determine whether it will meet their expectations. 

Generate alternatives: You’ll also want to generate alternatives in case your project encounters risks. For example, how will you meet stakeholder needs if you’re planning a new product launch and your launch date gets delayed?

Facilitate workshops: Host brainstorming workshops to clarify the scope of the project and to encourage collaboration among team members. 

4. Create a work breakdown structure

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a way to divide your project into levels of tasks. When you create a WBS, your team can clearly visualize each component of the project and assess what needs to be done. 

Levels of a work breakdown structure

A work breakdown structure creates a hierarchical structure of tasks. From there, you can schedule, monitor, and control your project.

Tips for creating a WBS: 

Decompose your project objective: A WBS decomposes, or breaks down, your project objective into dependencies and sub-dependencies. These smaller groups of tasks are often referred to as work packages. Once you break your tasks down, you have clear insight into everything your project needs, including the hours, equipment, tools, and expenses.

Automate workflows: Automating team member workflows can streamline coordination on projects and enhance project visibility. Using software to automate these workflows will also reduce manual information-gathering and duplicative work.

5. Validate scope

Validating your scope simply means getting sign-off from all stakeholders involved in the project. Make sure stakeholders clearly understand your project deliverables to avoid future scope creep. If possible, get feedback or advice on any changes and improvements. 

Tips to validate scope: 

Inspect your plan: Because validation is the final sign-off for your scope management plan, you’ll want to review and inspect it thoroughly. Team members can help you inspect the plan before sending it off to stakeholders, but stakeholders should also participate in a final inspection so that the plan gets as many eyes on it as possible.

6. Control scope

The last step in your scope management plan is scope control. As your project continues into the execution phase, monitor the status of the project and manage changes to the scope. The best way to streamline scope control is to use project management software. These tools can share feedback, files, and status updates on your project, so you’re aware of any scope changes in real time.

Tips to control scope: 

Analyze variance: In this part of the scope management plan, assess how much variance in scope occurs. Analyzing the actual performance of your scope versus the planned performance will give you insight for future projects.

Refer to change control document: You created a change control process earlier in the planning phase. Remember to refer to this document so you can track the flow of information when it comes to project changes.

Tips for effective project scope management

Effective project scope management is crucial for the success of any project. It combines strategic planning and work management techniques to ensure that objectives are met efficiently. 

Here are several tips to guide you in keeping your project on the right path from start to finish:

Clearly define the product and project scope. Begin with a precise definition of both the product scope—detailing the features and functions of the product or service being developed—and the project scope, which includes the work required to deliver the product. A clear distinction between these scopes helps prevent misunderstandings and scope creep.

Engage stakeholders early. Involve key project stakeholders early in the planning process. Their input can help refine the project scope and ensure it aligns with business objectives and stakeholder expectations.

Develop a detailed scope management plan. Create a comprehensive scope management plan that outlines how scope changes will be identified, evaluated, and implemented or rejected. This plan is your roadmap for navigating scope challenges.

Implement change control processes. Establish formal change control processes to manage requests for changes to the project scope efficiently. These processes help assess the impact of changes on the project timeline, budget, and resources.

Document everything. Keep detailed records of all project meetings, decisions, and changes related to the project scope. Documentation provides a clear reference point for all project participants and can be invaluable for resolving disputes and informing future projects.

Incorporating these tips into your project management practices can lead to more successful outcomes. Effective scope management is about balancing the detailed planning of product features and project work with the flexibility to adapt to changes.

Simplify your scope management with project management tools

A project scope management plan creates a clear structure for your team to follow during project execution. Scope management planning is easier if you use an online tool because you can share your plan with stakeholders, automate internal workflows, and easily break down project objectives into tasks. With project management software, you can streamline your processes and feel better prepared for what lies ahead.

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IT Services

How to build a scalable IT budget

Ben Brigden - Senior Content Marketing Specialist - Author

How much business could your business do without IT?

These days, “none” is far and away the most common answer.

Yet many organizations struggle with how to approach spending and budgeting related to IT. Information technology may be the backbone of a business, but it usually isn’t front and center in strategic discussions and high-level decision-making. And whatever spending is happening, the budgeting process underneath it often doesn’t scale well.

We know that IT budgets are growing: 57% of CIOs expected their IT budgets to increase last year. An effective IT budget is about more than just spending more money. It’s about spending that money wisely — and determining how much money should be spent on IT in the first place.

How often should an IT budget be evaluated?  

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Many organizations with established IT budgeting procedures evaluate that budget yearly. 

Why yearly? Because the process can be lengthy, involving numerous stakeholders and significant amounts of documentation. And the larger your organization, the more complex this business process gets. It’s not uncommon for the evaluation process to take months, so it’s impractical to shorten the budget lifecycle.

For IT services firms supporting clients in the IT budget evaluation and creation process, a yearly cycle can prevent overburdening your team and allow you to stagger clients throughout the calendar year.

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Who should be involved in the process?   

Keeping the right stakeholders involved in the IT budgeting process helps ensure that the budget is holistic (covering everything necessary), realistic (within the company’s overall financial means), and well-managed (administered and allocated responsibly).

The personnel involved should include any of the following, where they exist:

Chief information officer (CIO)

Chief financial officer (CFO)

IT managers, IT directors, IT department heads

IT project managers and project leads

Representatives from major divisions/departments

If the organization has a project management office (PMO), that group should also play a role.

It’s worth noting that entities outside the CIO and IT domains play an increasing role in IT budgeting as the process gets democratized across lines of business. Teodora Siman, an IDC research manager , elaborates:

“We’re seeing more influence come from outside of IT, where the CIO orchestrates technology across the business, and [technology decisions] are a collaborative conversation with business leaders who are focused on outcomes and customer-centricity.”

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  • Key items to include in an IT budget

Organizations differ in where certain expenses fall in the budget, but most IT budgets should include at least these five areas:

Physical employee equipment: IT money is used to purchase laptops, desktops, printers, phones, networking equipment, servers, and other hardware.

Staff salaries: Employees within the IT department or division are typically paid out of the IT budget

Cybersecurity, backup, and disaster recovery (DR): Preventive expenditures here help to hedge against disasters, natural or otherwise.

Infrastructure and maintenance: Money is allocated to repair and upgrade devices and infrastructure and to pay for ongoing IT infrastructure operational costs (internet access, cloud services, software licenses, etc.).

IT project management: IT project management costs that are not accounted for in your overall project management budget should appear here.

How to plan a budget that serves the future of the organization  

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Planning an IT budget can be relatively simple for a startup or small professional services firm, a massive months-long process at an enterprise level, or anywhere in between.

Whatever the size and scope of your IT budget planning, we’ve boiled the process down to six key elements. Below, we’ll provide clear, concise planning tips to help you create an IT budget to propel your organization forward.

Assess the current landscape (internal and external)

One key strategy for planning is considering the context around your IT budget. Is business booming? Is your industry more broadly in flux? Are you growing (and if so, how quickly)? Or is this a year where it’s clear the purse strings need to tighten?

And what about the technology landscape? We aren’t necessarily seeing quantum leaps in computing power at the individual user or device level. But consider the capabilities of AI and machine learning to churn through data or for generative AI to enhance workflows and extend human capacity.

Any successful IT budget needs to be grounded in these realities. They inform how much is likely to be available and what sorts of changes that budget needs to accommodate.

Integrate business objectives and cross-department goals

Next, remember that your IT budget isn’t an island or a destination. It’s a way to achieve goals and objectives. So make sure your budget doesn’t live in a silo. Instead, it should be built atop existing business objectives and priorities. 

Including business objectives and cross-departmental goals in budget planning ensures that your IT division is growing with, not against, the broader organization. By building your IT budget around the business’s core objectives, you can avoid unnecessary spending on IT projects that don’t further the mission.

This improves the organization’s financial health, affects employee morale and effectiveness, and can even advance market competitiveness. 

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Set clear guidelines for expense categories

One principle is consistent for any kind of budgeting: the more clarity, the better.

It’d be preposterous to lump your entire IT budget into a single line item: you need to know where the money’s going more specifically than that. But true clarity requires more than a few vague expense categories. You’ll need to get as specific as possible and set clear guidelines with team members on what expenses go where.

With clearer and more numerous expense categories, it will be easier to understand IT spend after the fact, helping you create progressively more accurate IT budgets year after year.

Consider flexible purchase options

IT costs can be inconsistent and spiky: it’s easy enough to plan for an upgrade cycle on PCs for your workforce, but the cost of replacing a server is a different beast. Big technology investments are sometimes needed, and the larger your organization scales, the more unwieldy these IT expenditures can become.

So, as you plan your IT budget, consider flexible purchasing options for your IT investments, including fair market value leases, consumption-based billing, and installment payment agreements.

This is one reason so many organizations are turning to the cloud: procuring your computing and software needs from a cloud provider tends to flatten out these spikes. Managed IT service providers can provide a similar cost-leveling function, and in the right situations, this business model can deliver notable cost savings alongside better IT support and the broad expertise needed to meet diverse IT needs.

Use KPIs to monitor effectiveness

Next, make sure to track the effectiveness of your IT budget processes by tracking the right metrics. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help here, but the trick is finding the KPIs that deliver the right information in the right way.

For example, IT project team efficiency , on-time project completion percentage, average hardware age, software utilization rate, and a few dozen other measures could all be helpful — but not all are helpful all the time. 

Which KPIs are right for monitoring budget effectiveness depends on what your business is trying to achieve. Cost savings, increased efficiency, greater accuracy, and better customer responsiveness are all fantastic priorities, but they may compete against one another in some ways. 

So first, you must establish which priorities take precedence. Only then can you select the KPIs to help you measure progress on those priorities. 

Educate stakeholders about IT spending

Last, make sure you continually educate stakeholders in the IT budget about how spending works in IT. You’ll be working with people across a spectrum of specialties and skill sets, and not everyone will be a financial or IT expert. 

It’s up to you to invest in these stakeholders. By teaching them about the mechanisms for IT spending (such as those flexible purchase options), your budgetary goals, and the tools you’ll use to measure success, you’ll garner better support and get more useful feedback.

Manage your IT projects and budgets effectively with 

For a successful overall IT strategy, businesses and IT leaders must prioritize the IT initiatives that best fit a company’s business goals and strategic needs — while staying within appropriate levels of IT spending.

Because while digital transformation is key to continued growth, it’s neither easy nor inexpensive.

For most professional services firms, managing IT projects and budgets well requires understanding and adhering to the business’s strategic plan and creating a technology roadmap that supports the overall business strategy. It also demands the ability to plan, visualize, strategize, organize, and ultimately execute projects well. is project management software that’s perfect for IT project management — including IT budgeting projects.

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  • How often should an IT budget be evaluated?
  • Who should be involved in the process?
  • How to plan a budget that serves the future of the organization

Ben Brigden - Senior Content Marketing Specialist - Author

Ben is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Having held content roles at agencies and SaaS companies for the past 8 years, Ben loves writing about the latest tech trends and work hacks in the agency space.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy and Plan [2024 Guide]

Learn how to get more clients for your law firm with our effective strategies!

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By Ivan Vislavskiy

The legal sector presents unique marketing challenges, with many firms facing difficulties in gaining ethical exposure and developing a distinctive brand identity. Strategic planning is essential for purposeful connections with prospective clients. While ‘strategy’ and ‘plan’ are sometimes used interchangeably, they are distinct concepts that contribute to long-term success in different ways. A thoughtfully crafted strategy provides a clear direction, while detailed planning ensures an effective execution.

This article aims to clarify the differences between these marketing components and empower you to develop a comprehensive strategy and plan. We will also delve into the essential elements of a successful law firm marketing strategy and explore practical ways to implement and measure these strategies.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy vs Marketing Plan

A law firm’s marketing strategy and marketing plan are two distinct yet interconnected components that form the backbone of a successful marketing initiative. Each plays a critical role in shaping the direction and execution of your marketing efforts.

A law firm marketing strategy is the overarching blueprint that outlines your firm’s long-term objectives, target audience, and unique selling proposition (USP). Furthermore, it defines the guiding principles and approach that will shape your marketing efforts. A marketing strategy is the foundation that sets the tone for your marketing plan and ensures your efforts align with your firm’s goals.

A law firm’s marketing plan , on the other hand, is the tactical roadmap that translates your strategy into actionable steps. It details the specific law firm marketing budget, tactics, timelines, and performance metrics to achieve your marketing objectives. It outlines how each tactic will be executed, who will be responsible, and when it will take place.

Comrade Digital Marketing Agency can help you with the above if you’re unsure how to go about it. Schedule a free consultation.

Key Elements of a Law Firm Marketing Strategy

A well-crafted strategy considers the firm’s unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis), as well as the competitive landscape. But that is not all. You also need to do the following: 

Identify marketing goals and objectives

Define your target audience

Conduct market and competitor analysis

Determine services, pricing, and unique selling points

infograph with points above

Identifying Marketing Goals and Objectives

Identifying what you want to achieve through your marketing efforts is essential, as this will guide the development of all subsequent marketing tactics and initiatives. Without clear goals, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of marketing activities, wasting time and resources on initiatives that may not be aligned with your firm’s overall objectives. 

When identifying marketing goals and objectives, consider the following:

What are your firm’s overall business objectives? (e.g., increase revenue, expand services, improve brand reputation).

What specific marketing goals do you want to achieve? (e.g., increase website traffic, generate leads, boost social media engagement).

What metrics will you use to measure success? (e.g., website analytics, lead tracking, social media metrics).

Defining Your Target Audience

Your target audience is the group of people most likely to need your legal services, and understanding their needs, pain points, and motivations is essential for creating effective marketing messages and tactics. Targeting can be based on demographics (age, gender, income level, education level, and occupation), psychographics (values, interests, and lifestyle), and buyers’ behavior.

example buyer persona

Consider creating client personas to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience. A client persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client, complete with demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics. This will help you develop marketing messages and tactics that resonate with your target audience and identify opportunities to engage with them and build relationships.

Conducting Market and Competitor Analysis

Market and competitor analysis provides valuable insights to shape your marketing strategy. Competitor analysis involves researching your peers’ strategies, services, and online presence.

By examining market trends and consumer behavior, you can make data-driven decisions about your target audience and marketing approach.

semrush screenshot

Tools like SEMrush and SpyFu can help you analyze their SEO performance and keyword rankings. Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses helps you identify gaps in the market and opportunities for your firm. Use the data from your analysis to inform your marketing strategy. Determine your unique position in the market and craft a message that sets you apart.

Delivering Business Results: Our Digital Marketing Case Studies

Barr & Douds Attorneys

Determining Services, Pricing, and Unique Selling Points

Clearly define the services you offer and their pricing to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. Consider whether you provide specialized legal services or have a general practice.

Understanding your service offerings helps you craft a compelling message and identify your target market.

Your unique selling points might include aspects such as experience, expertise in a specific area of law, personalized client service, or innovative approaches. These factors help differentiate your firm from others and should be communicated effectively in your marketing materials.

Implementing and Measuring Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy

Measuring your law firm’s marketing strategy can be challenging, with so many options and metrics to consider. But with the right approach, you can create a plan that delivers results and helps your law firm stand out in a crowded market. You can:

Create a timeline for execution

Track progress and adjusting the plan

Measure marketing goals and KPIs

Creating a Timeline for Execution

Once you have a solid marketing plan in place, it’s important to create a timeline for execution. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals. Your timeline should include key milestones and deadlines for each component of your marketing plan, such as content creation, social media campaigns, and email marketing. 

timeline example

For example, if you’re launching a new website, outline the steps involved, such as design conceptualization, content creation, and technical implementation. Assign each task a reasonable deadline and ensure your timeline is realistic and achievable.

Tracking Progress and Adjusting the Plan

As you execute your marketing plan, it’s important to track your progress and adjust your plan as needed. This will help you identify what’s working and what’s not and make changes to improve your results. Some key metrics to track include website traffic, leads generated, client retention rates, and revenue. It’s also important to track your marketing spend and calculate your return on investment (ROI) to ensure that you are getting a positive return on your marketing efforts. 


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Measuring Marketing Goals and KPIs

Your KPIs should be metrics directly related to your goals, such as law firm website conversion rates, email open rates, and client satisfaction scores. Analyze these metrics regularly to understand your marketing performance and make informed decisions. Use analytics tools to track your progress and evaluate the effectiveness of individual marketing initiatives.

How to Build a Marketing Plan for Your Law Firm

Building a comprehensive marketing plan for your law firm is the key to attracting and retaining clients in today’s digital age. It’s about crafting a strategy that speaks directly to your target audience, aligns with your business objectives, and delivers measurable results. In this section, we’ll discuss four key strategies for measuring your law firm marketing plan.

Plan structure and components

Setting SMART goals and objectives

Client-centric approach

Budgeting and ROI Considerations

infograph with points above

Plan Structure and Components

Creating a marketing plan begins with structuring its framework to align with your law firm’s goals and objectives. This structure ensures your marketing efforts are cohesive and focused.

Develop a clear brand message that communicates your firm’s values and offerings. Identify your target audience based on demographic and psychographic factors. Select the marketing channels best suited to reach this audience. This may include digital channels like social media and SEO or traditional methods like networking events.

Setting SMART Goals and Objectives

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Adhering to this framework can create actionable goals that drive your legal marketing plan and ensure your efforts are focused and effective.

Examples of SMART goals for law firms include:

Specific : Increase the law firm’s website traffic by 50% within six months through targeted SEO and content marketing strategies.

Measurable : Achieve a 10% increase in the number of qualified leads generated from the website each month.

Achievable : Develop and implement a referral program that results in at least 15 new client referrals within the next year.

Relevant : Improve social media engagement by 25% within three months by posting engaging content and promptly responding to comments and messages.

Time-bound : Through a comprehensive SEO campaign, rank on the first page of Google search results for three targeted keywords within six months.

Client-Centric Approach

Placing your clients at the heart of your marketing strategy empowers you to create meaningful connections and stand out from the competition. Understanding your clients’ needs, preferences, and challenges allows you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

A client-centric approach humanizes your firm and fosters trust and rapport.

By focusing on the client experience, you can develop targeted solutions and cultivate long-term client relationships.

Budgeting and ROI Consideration

Budgeting for marketing can be a delicate balance, requiring careful consideration of your law firm’s financial capabilities and marketing objectives. Determine how much you’re willing to invest in marketing, considering the potential return on investment (ROI).

what goes into ROI

Measuring ROI helps you understand the effectiveness and profitability of your marketing initiatives. Evaluate the cost per acquisition (CPA) of your marketing campaigns to understand the expense of acquiring each client.

Return on investment can be calculated by dividing the gain from your marketing efforts by the amount of money spent on them. This metric helps you analyze the profitability of different law firm marketing strategies and adjust your budget accordingly.

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Law Firm Marketing Plan Examples

Examples of marketing plans for law firms are readily available online and can be a great source of inspiration for crafting your own. We will also highlight 2 of them below. However, remember that the best marketing plan for your firm should align with your unique goals and target audience.

Executive summary: Smith & Co. Law Firm is a mid-sized law firm with a strong reputation in the community. Founded in 1990, the firm has 20 attorneys and 30 support staff and focuses on family law, personal injury, and estate planning. Despite its strong reputation, the firm has struggled to attract new clients and has seen a decline in revenue over the past few years.

Increase new client acquisition by 20% within the next 12 months.

Increase revenue by 15% within the next 18 months.

Improve the firm’s online presence and reputation.


Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and social media marketing.

Create a content marketing program to educate clients and prospects about the firm’s services and expertise, including blog posts, newsletters, and email marketing campaigns.

Host a series of community events and seminars to build relationships with potential clients and establish the firm as a thought leader in its areas of practice.

Develop a referral program to incentivize current clients to refer new business to the firm.

Example 2: 

Executive summary: The Law Office of Maria Garcia, a solo practitioner specializing in immigration law, aims to increase its visibility and attract more clients in the local Hispanic community. The firm’s mission is to provide compassionate and affordable legal services to help immigrants navigate the complex immigration system and achieve their dreams of living and working in the United States.

Increase website traffic by 50% in the next 6 months.

Generate 20 new leads per month through targeted marketing efforts.

Increase client retention by 10% in the next year.

Develop a bilingual website and marketing materials to serve the local Hispanic community better.

Leverage Facebook and other social media platforms to engage with potential clients and provide valuable information about the immigration process.

Offer free consultations and workshops to educate the community about immigration law and demonstrate the firm’s value proposition.

Participate in local events and community organizations to build relationships and establish the firm as a trusted resource.

Implement a client referral program to incentivize current clients to refer new business to the firm.


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Build both Law Firm Marketing Strategy and Plan with Comrade

Creating and implementing a law firm’s marketing strategy and plan can get exhausting, especially for small or solo law firms that may not have the resources or expertise to do it themselves. That’s why partnering with a law firm marketing agency like Comrade Digital Marketing Agency can be a game-changer. Our expertise in digital marketing for law firms can help increase your visibility and establish your firm as a trusted legal authority.

We offer a full suite of legal marketing services, including SEO, PPC, web design, and more. We carefully work with each client to understand their unique goals and create a marketing plan tailored to their specific needs. Our team will work closely with you to implement the right strategies, track your progress, and adjust your plan as needed to ensure that you are achieving your business objectives.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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Strategy background


Risk Management Action Plan

objectives example business plan

Many business owners, companies or even those who run universities can tell you this hard fact. There is always any kind of risk when you plan to do something . When managing a company, a business or even a university, there is no greater problem than having to find yourself in a lot of hazards and risks that may present itself. A lot of people would often think that with a lot of risks and hazards, what is the whole point of doing business? Of course some may say that when doing business risks are always present and that is true. But it does not mean that because you think it may be risky, you would simply give it up. 

There is always a way to resolve or to eliminate risks and depending on the severity of it and the situation you are in. When you think of solutions, you think of these as something that can be done immediately or at least in the long run. You think of ways to fight or to solve the issues regarding your business or company, or even any issues when running a university. But you may not immediately associate solutions with action plans . Making a risk management action plan is the right tool to help you eliminate the risks that cause the problems. 

10+ Risk Management Action Plan Examples

1. risk management action plan template.

Risk Management Action Plan Template

2. Standard Risk Management Action Plan

Standard Risk Management Action Plan

Size: 406 KB

3. Risk Management Action Plan in PDF

Risk Management Action Plan in PDF

Size: 641 KB

4. University Risk Management Action Plan

University Risk Management Action Plan

Size: 924 KB

5. General Risk Management Action Plan

General Risk Management Action Plan

Size: 148 KB

6. Formal Risk Management Action Plan

Formal Risk Management Action Plan

7. Proposed Risk Management Action Plan

Proposed Risk Management Action Plan

Size: 305 KB

8. Club Risk Management Action Plan

Club Risk Management Action Plan

Size: 429 KB

9. Risk Management Strategy Action Plan

Risk Management Strategy Action Plan

Size: 186 KB

10. Risk Management System Action Plan

Risk Management System Action Plan

11. Risk Management Framework Action Plan

Risk Management Framework Action Plan

Size: 34 KB

What Is a Risk Management Action Plan?

As mentioned above a lot of people may not associate an action plan with the word solution for a risky type of issue. A risk management action plan is a tool used to outline in detail or in general form the goal to eliminate any risk that may threaten a company, a business or running a university. This risk management action plan consists of the following elements. Your goal, the objectives to this goal, the outlined details, the timeline and the list of strategies.

In addition to that, a good reason for using or for writing this kind of plan is to make sure that any issues, problems, hazards or risks that may threaten your goal would be eliminated. If not, at least it would be addressed as soon as possible. Another reason to be making this kind of plan is to be able to see the bigger picture. In a way that it allows you to measure out the good and the bad. As not all risks can destroy a goal, as well as not all goals have risks in it.

How to Write a Risk Management Action Plan?

Being able to know what to do to manage the risks that appear in your workplace is a good thing. But how to write a risk management action plan is another.

1. Define Your Goals

First thing is always first, defining the goals , vision and mission which can be optional in an action plan. Defining your goals means that you already have one or more set out for your action plan. Your goals can be as simple as eliminating a risk to a more complex one. Depending on how you may want to define your goal. As long as you write one.

2. Make a Timeline of Your Goals and Objectives

Once you have your goals all set up, it is time to write an outline or a timeline for your goal and objectives. The timeline helps by giving you a big picture of what you can expect to happen at a certain time. Of course others would prefer to make sure that the timeline of their goals and objectives will show them immediate results, so when plotting, you must be specific.

3. Write Your Strategic Steps to Resolve the Issues

The next step is to make strategic steps to resolve all the issues or the risks you made a list for. Making strategic steps also helps you by dictating where you should go first and where you should tread. It’s basically like a roadmap to getting a better view of what you are going to be doing and how you should do it. Without having to risk more than is necessary.

4. Setting up the Milestones in Your Action Plan

Milestones after milestones are necessary in your action plan. They give you a good view of where you went right and where you may have failed. Milestones are also a stepping stone for you to achieve your goal. Whether these milestones be small or huge, write them down.

5. Update Your Action Plan After Every Attempt

Lastly, updating your action plan after every attempt should also be a requirement. The reason for this is to make sure that what has worked for you when you were eliminating the risk may at one point work for a different kind. Especially in a different situation.

What is a risk management action plan?

A kind of action plan that focuses on managing any kind of risk. They are usually found in any kind of work or project that you may do. In addition to that, these risks presents itself in your work in any shape or form.

Why is it necessary to have an action plan made?

An action plan helps by maintaining your focus on the goal you plan to achieve. With this in mind, when you plan to have something to do, bear in mind an action plan can help you out.

Is an action plan helpful?

Yes. Depending on how you write your action plan, and how you use it. An action plan is really a helpful tool.

When it comes to finding out solutions to problems, we do not immediately think of action plans. We think of avoiding the problem, hoping it goes away. What we don’t realize is it often does not work. Making an action plan will help lessen the risks and you are able to find a solution to it. Rather than to avoid it, having to face some risks head on with plans can also be a better solution.


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Create a study plan for final exams in high school

Develop a project timeline for a middle school science fair.

Transport North East

Transport North East is now part of the North East Combined Authority. Find out how to access information about their previous work, governance documents, and ongoing commitments under the Transport portfolio. 

objectives example business plan

Transport North East is now part of the North East Combined Authority

Transport North East worked hard to deliver game-changing transport schemes and initiatives.

Their goal was to greatly improve the lives of everyone living or working in our region. The team provided strategy, planning and delivery services on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee and worked tirelessly to implement their vision of moving to a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North East.

On 7 May 2024, Transport North East ceased to exist and its role and responsibilities were merged into the new North East Combined Authority.

Transport North East logo.

Looking for something?

Transport portfolio.

Information regarding strategies, policies, projects, and initiatives that were started by Transport North East and which are still live, can be found on the Transport portfolio section of this website.

Document archive

Meeting agendas and minutes, decision notices, forward plans and other relevant governance documents published by Transport North East are now available in the document archive.

Projects and investments

Some projects started under Transport North East have transferred to the new North East Combined Authority. Details can be found in our projects collection.

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objectives example business plan


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  28. Risk Management Action Plan

    A risk management action plan is a tool used to outline in detail or in general form the goal to eliminate any risk that may threaten a company, a business or running a university. This risk management action plan consists of the following elements. Your goal, the objectives to this goal, the outlined details, the timeline and the list of ...

  29. Transport North East

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