Objectives are the common denominator of all planning activities. Nowadays, however, organizations of all kinds are going through a paradigm shift. It’s no longer about hierarchies of plans and SMART objectives. Now it’s about maximizing human satisfaction: consumers and employees.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Profitability is a key concern of all organizations. Why? Profits are one measure of success for any business. They fuel growth and development and generate greater earnings for shareholders. Profits are also a key factor in budgeting. And, among many other things, a clear indicator of how well your business is doing.
It is debatable whether businesses develop for the purpose of generating profits. Or whether profits are necessary so that businesses may survive. Let us not dwell uselessly on the ultimate goal of a business. Profitability is, to many, a key factor to understanding what a business does and why. Moreover, that’s a very clever way to debunk start-up myths.
Modern theorists would argue that profit is an essential business objective. Independent from its potential to drive growth and development. That profit, in particular, is the ultimate goal of any business. Because it is the foremost factor in maximizing the wealth of the shareholders.
Key element here: higher profits shouldn’t just be the ultimate goal. In fact, you should consider making profits sustainable as the main goal of your business.
Ensure customer satisfaction
The main factor in the success of any business is customer satisfaction. Without customer satisfaction, any other endeavor is futile. Without a decent level of customer satisfaction, any business will fail. That’s just common sense.
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Customer satisfaction is a threefold matter. Firstly, increased quality at decreased prices. Secondly, brand loyalty. And thirdly, social and public responsibility. Classically, the accent fell on the first part. To clarify, how to increase quality while decreasing prices. Which is a bit counter-intuitive.
To be fair, it does seem like ensuring customer satisfaction counteracts higher profits. This is only apparent: customer satisfaction can be a really strong drive for profits. Especially when you develop brand loyalty and improved client retention. Moreover, when your business practices and community involvement show that you care.
In terms of customer satisfaction, you should follow two main objectives objectives. Firstly, ensure that your customer is happy with your product. Secondly, make sure they appreciate the care you invest in your business.
Social and public responsibility
Consumers expect you to be socially responsible, it impacts buying behavior. This is in no way surprising. Rather, it is a direct consequence of how businesses interact with consumers. And, in the same fashion, the world.
However, passive corporate social responsibility,is something that people expect. In truth, it’s how a company or business attempts to do as little harm as possible. Or maintain such harm within the legislated limits. Hence, it is especially important.
Modern consumers have raised the bar on corporate social responsibility. Which now has to be active and effective. Businesses should take active measures and meet community issues. Obviously, with business-related, business-affected or business-relevant projects and activities.
Being passive is dated, being active is the new standard. Developing the right social and public responsibility is now part of your brand. And therefore part of your customer satisfaction.
Main point: Make sure you’re 100% where you need to be with your policies.
Productivity is always a measure of efficiency. It compares the output generated by a certain input. This calls for an internal-external dichotomy:
- Internally, productivity implies getting the best total value out of the talent. Maximizing value of man-hours from employees. Along with the potential output of equipment. And the overall output of a business in terms of production costs. In a word, making the team more productive.
- Externally, productivity also factors in the market value of the outputs. Several other factors are included, but they are supplementary to the internal factor.
If you want to optimize productivity, you need to know what and where and how to tweak. Either developmentally or via clearing redundancies.
Developmentally, this could mean training employees and. In addition, purchasing new equipment and implementing new technologies. Or even methods which shortcut the process flow.
Sometimes, however, greater production is unnecessary. The market is fixed on its demand and there isn’t much more that you can sell. Decreasing overall costs, however, is a straightforward way of dealing with clearing redundancies. Or, essentially, to make production more cost-efficient.
As for team productivity, modern technologies enable a whole new range of solutions. Which means that you can eliminate redundancies and increase overall outputs. In effect, you can be more productive.
Make your employees happy
Teams are more than the sum of individuals. Achieving synergy affects everything, from productivity to your branding as an employer. Add to this employee retention, creativity, sharing knowledge and talent, effective communications, everything!
And it is mostly experimental from here onwards. Starting with Apple’s exquisite new HQ, and to Google’s free haircuts. Companies are doing their best to make their employees as happy as possible. Surely, not all businesses have such preoccupations. To say nothing of budgets that can cover what industry leaders have to offer.
Some places, however, have figured out a different solution. Rather than spending money on employee perks, Sweden has gone a different way. They reduced the working day to six hours. Unsurprisingly, the happiness of employees has increased. The new working hours reduce work related stress and anxiety. Hence, employees get to work harder and perform better overall. At least in Sweden, it makes employees more productive.
To conclude, you can surely focus on a lot of other objectives in order to make your organization better. Improve marketing: determine consumer preferences and buying trends. Moreover, analyze markets and establish consumer behaviors. In fact, focus on your branding. Or, perhaps, try a rebranding.
In addition, invest in new media and new types of advertising. In time, develop predictive models, strategic partnerships. Cover more of the market, in effect. Or you could focus on financing. And on ensuring sources of capital that cover your business endeavor. Here, however, you have the essentials on what your business needs the most in order to be successful. Investing in people.