essential previous learningIntroduction to Business Planning. This article is number 2 of 13 in the Absolute Best business planning process.

Goals and Objectives

Creating your future

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Develop clear and well-defined goals to help you set the direction for your business and to ensure you and your team work towards a common purpose.
  • Understand that when goal-setting, you can dare to dream big at the beginning as you can always fine tune goals during the planning process.
  • Learn how to set SMART goals that will give you the greatest chance of success.
  • Examine the case study business for examples of goals and their potential impact on the business.


“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy

Goal setting is the first major step when embarking on the business planning process. We like you to set your goals and objectives up front and then fine tune or add to them after you have finished all of your market research. When setting your goals, start by thinking about what success will look like for you and your business in 12 months time. It is important to remember that the goals at this stage are not set in stone and you can be bold in your thinking.

After doing your research, you may decide that you are aiming too high or too low in some areas, or that there are opportunities you had not previously thought of. It is likely that you will add further definition to the goals, but it is important at this point to let your mind run free. Imagine you are sitting down 12 months from now. What have you achieved? What has changed? What areas have you improved in? What does your business look like?

You can begin the goal setting process by making a list or by using the mind mapping method. You may find that you have several goals or ideas that are similar – group these together. Also keep the SMART goal-setting principle in mind to ensure your goals are not simply vague ideas or too general. To be SMART the goal must be:

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