The importance of business targets

No matter what business you’re in, you should know broadly what you want that business to look like – your vision. To achieve that vision you’ll need to set some strategic objectives to get you there. You might, for example, need to drive more sales, improve customer service, or reduce lead time.

But what does ‘more’ or ‘better’ look like? And how do you know that you’re heading in the right direction?

You need targets to measure your performance against – key performance indicators, or KPI’s, in “business speak”. Sounds simple, but getting targets right is quite a skill.

You may have heard the acronym SMART. As acronyms go, it’s actually a really good one. It’s often applied to targets or objectives, and serves as a reminder that they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. If you can cram all that into your target, you’ve got a good one that, if used correctly, will help drive your business in the right direction.


Using appropriate targets as part of a continuous business improvement plan actually works – I’ve seen it! What gets measured gets done. To move your business forward, you need to define the key measures that will drive the right behaviours. It’s a waste of time having aims for your business if you can’t measure actual performance delivery.

I help businesses identify where they need to focus their efforts to drive the growth they want. I helps them define their objectives and create the right targets to help them reap the rewards.

Things to remember when setting targets

I’d like to share three top tips to to remember when setting targets:

Firstly, you need to know you’re measuring the right things, not just things that are easy to measure.

Secondly, you need to communicate those targets so the right people know what they need to achieve.

Finally, your targets need to include just the right amount of ambition. Having something to aim for can be a real motivator. It’s OK to challenge staff with your targets, but ask too much of them and it’ll have the opposite effect.


Well-defined targets should form a really key part of your business plan. Written and implemented correctly, they’ll help you achieve your goals. If you need help setting the right targets to help your business grow, please do get in touch!