January 22, 2022

Starting objectives for new online businesses

by YourOnlineJourney

January 22, 2022

Starting and running any business, including online businesses requires focus. These starting objectives for new online businesses can be adapted to work for your business.

If you have a suggestion to improve / adjust these, just leave a comment or get in touch. We want to keep improving this OKR framework to help new online businesses get started.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to stay focused for success.

Defining objectives and tracking key results creates team alignment and engagement around measurable goals. It clarifies what you are working towards, how you will get there an if you have been successful.

Not all OKR’s will be met. Many proponents of OKRs suggest they should feel uncomfortable and stretch you.

John Doerr proposed objectives and key results (OKRs) in his book Measure what Matters. They are a variation on the MBO (Management by Objective) proposed by Peter Drucker. MBO’s balance the organisations and employees needs, while OKRs are more collaborative process involving employees and widely adopted in Agile businesses. You can read more about OKRs in Agile businesses on the Atlassian Agile Coach site.

What are OKRs

What are objectives and key results?

Felipe Castro, (OKR coach) summarises the two components of an OKR:

  • Objectives: memorable, qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve. Objectives should be short, inspirational, and engaging. An objective should motivate and challenge the team.
  • Key results: are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the objective. For each objective, you should have a set of two to five key results. More than that and no one will remember them.

OKRs are a part of your overall strategic goal setting, mission and vision. The video below gives a great 5min overview.

What are good startup objectives for new online businesses?

When starting any business (including a new online business) there are lots of tasks to do: registering business names, domain names, setting up email addresses, creating a budget, sales planning, branding, marketing, etc.

It’s very easy to get lost in the doing. Focus is key to success.

According to the Harvard Business Review the key questions any business owners need to focus on in the startup (existence) stage are:

  • Can we get enough customers, deliver enough products and services well enough to become a viable business?
  • Can we expand from one key pilot / customer to a broader sales base?
  • Do we have enough funds to cover the startup phase?

Let’s flip these to objectives and key results

Objectives can be created by using the sentence: I will ________ as measured by ____________. They are meant to ‘stretch’ you and be uncomfortable while also being clear and engaging.

So let’s transform the above.

  • Enough funds to cover startup phase: 
    • OBJECTIVE: We will have $xxxx to cover startup phase and apply for $xxx in additional funding through XXXX
      • Discuss budget and funding with key advisors
      • Discuss funding options with banks and investors
      • Develop sales plan and targets
  • Getting enough customers / revenue: 
    • OBJECTIVE: We will get XXX happy customers in the first three months.
      • Advertising generates XXX new enquiries / leads each week.
      • First happy customer!
      • Grow email database to 5K subscribers.
  • Expanding our sales base: 
    • OBJECTIVE: We retain and increase our sales to grow our audience to XXXX
      • Advertising campaigns targeting new audiences .
      • First happy customer!
      • Grow website visitors to 5k per month.

Additional OKR resources

“OKRs have helped lead us to 10x growth, many times over. They’ve helped make our crazily bold mission of ‘organizing the world’s information’ perhaps even achievable. They’ve kept me and the rest of the company on time and on track when it mattered the most.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google

Why OKRs? The key to success is to focus our conscious brain on things we desire not things we fear. - Brian Tracey

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