Read this section to understand the process a business would use to develop and implement a strategic plan.
Set Goals and Objectives
Your mission statement affirms what your organization is generally committed to doing, but it doesn't tell you how to do it. So the next step in the strategic-planning process is establishing goals and objectives. Goals are major accomplishments that the company wants to achieve over a long period (say, five years). Objectives are shorter-term performance targets that direct the activities of the organization toward the attainment of a goal. They should be clearly stated, attainable, and measurable: they should give target dates for the completion of tasks and stipulate who's responsible for taking necessary actions.
An organization will have a number of goals and related objectives. Some will focus on financial measures, such as profit maximization and sales growth. Others will target operational efficiency or quality control. Still others will govern the company's relationships with its employees, its community, its environment, or all three.
Finally, goals and objectives change over time. As a firm reassesses its place in its business environment, it rethinks not only its mission but also its approach to fulfilling it. The reality of change was a major theme when the late McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo explained his goal to revitalize the company:
"The world has changed. Our customers have changed. We have to change too. Growth comes from being better, not just expanding to have more restaurants. The new McDonald's is focused on building sales at existing restaurants rather than on adding new restaurants. We are introducing a new level of discipline and efficiency to all aspects of the business and are setting a new bar for performance".
This change in focus was accompanied by specific performance objectives – annual sales growth of 3 to 5 percent and income growth of 6 to 7 percent at existing restaurants, plus a five-point improvement (based on customer surveys) in speed of service, friendliness, and food quality.
In setting strategic goals and performance objectives for Notes-4-You, you should keep things simple. Because you know you need to make money to stay in business, you could include a financial goal (and related objectives). Your mission statement promises "high-quality, dependable, competitively priced class notes," so you could focus on the quality of the class notes that you'll be taking and distributing. Finally, because your mission is to serve students, one goal could be customer oriented. When all's said and done, your list of goals and objectives might look like this:
Goal 1: Achieve a 10 percent return on profits in your first five years.
Objective: Sales of $20,000 and profit of $2,000 for the first twelve months of operations.
Goal 2: Produce a high-quality product.
Objective: First-year satisfaction scores of 90 percent or higher on quality of notes (based on survey responses to three measures – understandability, readability, and completeness).
Goal 3: Attain 98 percent customer satisfaction by the end of your fifth year.
- Objective: Making notes available within two days after class, 95 percent of the time.