Importance of Planning: Why Business Goals are so important

6 Nick May


Previously I discussed ‘Websites, and where to begin?’, but it’s important that the right level of importance is given to your goals during an ecommerce or website project so that the whole journey remains focused.

Business Goals

To help keep the project on point we carry out what we call ‘Scoping Sessions’ that allow us as an agency understand our clients’ business needs, as well as the project.

This is a process that you can carry out internally as well to make sure that everything you are doing has the right focus.

The first topic we always cover in our Scoping Sessions is that of the ‘Business Goals’.

What is a Business Goal?

A Business Goal helps detail what you are looking to accomplish from your project over a period of time.

During our scoping process, we look to outline the objectives for the business not just that of the current project. By doing this we can make sure that all decisions throughout the project (such as a new Magento website), will not hinder the overall business aims.

Why are Business Goals Important?

Businesses should be prepared to set goals to help give direction and measure the success of a project, there are a couple of key reasons why:

1. Quantify Success – All businesses should be looking to grow and improve their offering, this is only achieved by being able to clearly measure the changes to make further informed decisions.

2. Defining Expectations – Business Goals are an invaluable way to help make sure that all stakeholders are on the same page. During our session, we help to make everyone aware of the aims of the project. Allowing for future decisions and day to day activities to be correctly aligned.

What Business Goals Should Avoid

Don’t be unrealistic – It is important to make sure that the goals being set are realistic. An unrealistic goal carries with it not only a slim chance of being achieved, but also tends to become ignored whilst people focus time and effort around more achievable goals.

Don’t be vague – By not providing enough actionable data to base a goal around you run the risk of not being able to ascertain whether a goal was truly met.

How to Set Business Goals

We now understand what a Business Goal is and some key things to consider when creating them… but what is next?

We first outline the goals of the business and look in to how these could be measured or tracked. Ideally a Business Goal would be something that can be monitored via the use of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

An example for a new Ecommerce website goal could be; “We want to make more sales”. It is also measurable so that gives us the KPI of “Number of sales”.

To best make sure that the project has been a success we will want to determine the ‘Current Value’ (such as 100 sales per day).

We then need to consider a realistic ‘Target Value’ such as increasing the number of sales to 150 per day.

To help with expectations a ‘Target Date’ should be set where this goal will be assessed, whether this is 6, 12 or even 24 months after project launch.

This gives us our key aspects to apply to each of our Business Goals:

• Target (Goal)
• KPI
• Current Value
• Target Value
• Target Date

Measuring Success

It is important that the Business Goals that have been defined are closely monitored and the ‘Target Date’ is kept in mind so that the respective targets can be assessed to see whether they have been met. If a goal has been achieved there is no reason why a new one should not be put in place that can later be measured to keep an aim in mind for future business growth.

Also goals won’t always be successful, but it is key to review why this is the case and implement any required changes to make sure that these targets are still worked towards in an appropriate timescale.

Time to Start Defining Your Business Goals

Here are a few examples that may help you get started:

Defining Your Business Goals

You should now be aware of the process to produce Business Goals so try putting together some for your business.

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