Business Goal Vs. Professional Goal: What's The Difference And How To Set Them

I hear you asking, "What's the difference between a business goal vs professional goal?" And how do you set them?

A business goal is an objective that helps you grow your business. It can be anything from improving customer service to cutting down on waste, increasing sales, or reducing costs.

A professional goal, on the other hand, is a more personal growth-oriented objective that aids career development, whether you are employed or run your own business. It is crucial to know the difference, as they are both very similar but cover different areas. One is your business, and the other is your career.

Additionally, a key thing to note is that professional development goals aren't to be confused with personal goals; personal goals are aimed at you as an individual and your personal life.

In this article, we will cover the big differences, examples between the two, and how to set a business or professional goal.

Differences Between Business And Professional Goals

Business and professional goals are somewhat different because of the area they are objectively trying to help. Yet, the way they are set out and achieved is very similar. What's more, both have a common goal: to achieve success in their respective fields.

The most obvious difference between business and career goals is how they are defined.

A business goal is an objective that will benefit the company as a whole. It can be anything from increasing sales to improving customer service.

Whereas a professional goal is something that will directly affect you as an individual. This could be anything from getting promoted at work, starting your own business, or even just learning new skills.

Another important difference between business and professional objectives is their time frame. While businesses usually implement long-term goals and spread them over a number of months, professional goals are commonly somewhat shorter simply due to the reduced amount of time they can be achieved in.

What is a business goal?

A business goal, sometimes referred to as organisational goals, defines what you want to achieve with your business and where you want it to go. This could include increasing profits, cutting down on expenses, or growing your client base.

Business goals are not just about money; they also have to do with the people who work for you, your customers, and your clients. If you’re going to be successful in any industry, you need to know how to motivate your employees, keep them happy, and make sure that they’re doing their best work every day.

For example, if you want to increase sales, you need to make sure that your employees are happy and motivated so that they can sell more effectively. If you want to cut costs, then you need to find ways to reduce the amount of time and resources needed to complete tasks.

What is a professional goal?

These are goals that will make you more effective in your jobs and careers, whether that is as an employed individual or a creative entrepreneur. It is a goal that is centred around you as a person and about how you want to develop.

Professional goals are usually centred around your career, but they can also apply to your personal life. For example, if your goal is to get promoted at work, you may want to consider taking up some new skills that will help you advance your career.

If your goal is to start a family, then you might want to look into starting a small business that allows you to spend more time with the people that matter most in your life.

designer at her desk

Examples Of Business Goals

Below are a few examples of what some great company goals look like and some tips on how you could implement them.

Increase sales

Increasing your sales is probably the most common goal for any business owner.

However, there are many things that you can do to improve your sales. You can offer better physical products, online courses, and services. You can also advertise more often and use social media platforms to promote your brand.

Team goals could be used to incentivize staff to have a more performance-based mindset, which could also result in further sales.

Reduce costs

Cutting back on unnecessary expenses is a great strategic goal and a great way to save money.

You can try to streamline processes, automate certain tasks, and outsource some of your work. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate with suppliers for better pricing or more favourable terms.

Improve customer satisfaction

You can also strive to provide excellent service to all of your customers. They will appreciate it when you make the extra effort to listen to their needs and solve problems quickly.

Positively, surprising customers can be a great way of improving customer satisfaction, such as by sending them a 20% off discount code or even a free box of brownies on their birthday.

As a result, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to others, which will result in additional sales.

Grow your team

Another great way to grow your company is by hiring talented individuals. Hiring someone else means that you don't have to worry about doing everything yourself.

It also gives you the opportunity to delegate responsibilities to other people, which frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Employee goals are a great way to motivate your team members and keep them engaged. They can be used to reward positive behaviours, such as completing projects on time, being punctual, and following directions.

Improve the working environment.

A positive working environment is one of the most important factors in determining employee productivity.

This includes having a comfortable office space, providing healthy food options, offering flexible hours, and ensuring that everyone has access to the tools and technology they need to perform their job well.

Google hasn't spent thousands on putting slides and a fireman's pole into their offices, for no reason, it is all aimed at improving the working environment, which in turn improves the creativity and output of the teams.

Additionally, you can encourage your team members to participate in activities outside of work, such as sports teams, clubs, and volunteer groups.

Develop a new product

Creating something from scratch is always exciting!

However, it can be difficult to find the right idea that will bring in enough income to support your business. It's important, when setting strategic goals, to keep an open mind and think creatively about different ways to create value for your clients.

For example, you could sell a digital version of your physical product instead of creating a whole new one altogether.

Make more money

If you want to achieve your financial goals by increasing your profits, you can either reduce your costs or increase your revenue.

The first option involves cutting down on expenses so that you can afford to pay higher wages. This will allow you to hire more employees who will help you achieve your goals faster and, in turn, generate greater streams of revenue.

Alternatively, you can raise your prices and charge more for your products and services. However, this might mean losing some customers if they feel like they are paying too much.

Improve your brand image

Your organisational goals of improving your brand image are a vital part of your business. It helps potential clients identify what kind of business you run and how trustworthy you are.

To build a strong brand, you need to consistently communicate your message through various mediums, including advertising, marketing materials, websites, social media channels, etc. Here are 16 unique strategies to improve your brand.

Male creative designer working on laptop

Examples Of Professional Goals

Here are a few examples of what some great professional goals look like and some tips on how you could implement them.

Improve your core skills

Think about what your professional development goals are, and then consider what your current skill set is. How do you plan to improve upon these? Could you improve your presentation skills?

What additional training would help you achieve your goals? Do you know anyone who could serve as a mentor or internship supervisor? Are there any courses you'd enjoy taking?

These questions should lead you to the best ways to develop yourself professionally.

Build your professional network

By growing your professional networks, you can learn from other's experiences and gain valuable insights into new opportunities.

You can also meet people who might be able to introduce you to potential clients or employers.

Climb the ladder in your company

Advancement in your organisation can mean changing positions or departments, but it doesn't always require a promotion.

You may be able to change roles or departments without having to go through an official promotion. Think about when and why you'd like to advance and what skills you need to get there.

Get better credentials

If you want to be successful in your career, one of the best ways to achieve that success is by gaining additional education and experience.

You can gain these things through higher degrees, certifications, and even volunteerism.

Make more money

When thinking about earning more money, consider where you want to be financially in five years' time. What is your current income level? And how can you earn more money? What qualifications do you need to earn more money?

If you're currently employed, think about ways you could improve your career path. You may not be able to make more money right away, but you can increase your chances of getting promoted or moving up within your company.

Pursue a different line of work

You may wish to consider pursuing another profession altogether. A new field could offer you greater personal fulfilment and greater financial rewards. Think about what your ideal profession is and how you can get there from where you are today.

Reach out to friends in other fields to see if they know anyone who might be able to help you find work in your dream industry.

Become an expert in what you're most passionate about

Being an expert in your field may open up many career paths for you.

Think about what credentials or experience current business leaders possess and how you can obtain them. You might be able to get some advice from people who already know what they're doing by asking them questions or seeking out their help.

Get promoted to leadership

To obtain a leadership role at your workplace, consider what kind of role you'd like to attain and then decide whether your current employer provides such an opportunity or if you may need to seek out a new job.

Speak with your manager during a performance review to ascertain what you need to do to get out of your current position and climb the ladder.

Get recognised for your achievements in your field

Achieving success in any field requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. In order to win awards in your chosen profession, you must put effort into your career on a daily basis.

You should also consider what kind of recognition you desire. Do you seek out professional awards? Or do you simply wish to gain exposure for yourself and your company? Whatever your goals may be, they will take time to achieve.

Find out how to use an industry tool

Advancements in technology often provide new and innovative ways to solve business challenges.

By learning about them, you could gain an edge over other job applicants and increase your earning potential. So consider the latest technologies and see if there are any jobs where they might be used.

Collaborate better

To be successful at your job, you need to collaborate well with others.

Learning to work effectively in teams and communicating clearly with people who may not share your beliefs or values can help you succeed at your job. Look into courses or training programmes that could improve your ability to collaborate with others.

Get better at managing your time

Time management is an essential part of being productive and efficient.

Learning more about time management through mentors, time management workshops or courses, or personal research can help you plan your time and develop your own unique approach to managing your time effectively.

You can also learn more about time management and goal setting through mentoring, workshops, or courses.

You may find that having a mentor who works closely with you can provide valuable guidance and feedback on how you're doing, and what you could do better.

You can also create your own personalised time plans and strategies based on your needs and interests.

Set a new industry benchmark

Many professionals strive to innovate their field by creating new industry practices. A production line manager may seek to improve his/her company's efficiency by developing a new system for tracking inventory.

Innovation can also give you an edge when applying for jobs.

Researching new ways of doing things can show employers what skills you possess and how much experience you've gained. Take advantage of opportunities to showcase your expertise and gain valuable work experience.

Build a personal brand

When establishing a personal branding strategy, consider what your brand might look like, how you could leverage it for advancement within your current field, and what skills you'd require to solidify your credibility.

Join a mentoring program

You can be an expert at something without having any formal education or training.

Being a mentee or a coach can give you the chance to learn from someone who has been doing the job longer than you have. It can also allow you to meet new people and expand your professional network.

Find a job you enjoy doing

If you're looking for a career change, consider what your ideal career would look like, whether it's doing something completely different from what you currently do or going into a particular field.

Think about what skills you'd need to get there and how you could start building those skills now.

Eliminate downtime and distractions

Identifying personal distractions, such as social media, and brainstorming ways to reduce them could increase productivity by allowing you to focus on tasks instead of wasting valuable hours on social media.

You may decide to completely eliminate these distractions or limit the number of times you use them per day. Another way to stay focused in you work is to regularly exercise, learn how simply moving benefits your mental and physical health here.

Create a new work routine

You can use new work practices to improve your productivity and develop good work habits for professional advancement.

For example, if you work as a copywriter and want to get promoted at your job, you could write an additional article each week to boost your weekly output.

Additionally you could add in a 5 minute meditation to your routine, giving you greater levels of headspace and calm when you need it most. Have a read of our no nonsense guide on how to meditate here. 

Read more books about the field you want to enter

Reading is a good way to develop professional skills and learn about new industry trends.

You can use a book club membership or purchase a collection of audiobooks to help you stay motivated and finish reading more frequently.

Find someone who has been there before and can help you out

A professional mentorship or sponsorship programme can provide support, guidance, and possibly financial or professional resources for developing your own unique skill set. You should focus on your personal strengths and abilities rather than trying to emulate someone else’s style.

By doing so, you may stand out among others in your field. Join a mentorship programme or write letters to potential mentors asking them if they would consider sponsoring you.

This can also allow you to build your networking contacts within your current organization or community.

Be a better public speaker or presenter

Speaking well can help you become more confident in front of an audience and increase the impact of your presentations.

You might consider taking classes, attending workshops, or seeking out a mentor who has experience presenting publicly.

Improve your emotional understanding

Emotional intelligence is an important skill for leaders and managers because it helps you develop strong relationships with others.

It can also improve your leadership skills and inspire others to follow you. You can learn more about emotional intelligence by taking classes or reading online resources. Additionally a great way to develop your emotional intelligence is to regularly journal, as it helps you to focus on how you are feeling, what are you current blockers and what you are most grateful for in your life. When used regally, our Morning Mindset Journal can have incredible results.

female creative entrepreneur sat at desk

How To Set Business & Professional Goals

So far, we have covered the difference between business goal vs professional goal and also covered some examples of what they can look like and how they could be implemented.

Fundamentally, business and professional goals are aimed at different areas, yet the way that they work is pretty much the same.

Whether you are setting goals for your business or for your professional career, they must be laid out in a way that they can be achieved, and you must also know when you've achieved them.

Before you put pen to paper, you need to have an understanding of what SMART goals actually are:

S - Specific - What exactly are you trying to achieve in the first place?

M - Measurable - How are you going to measure it, so that you know whether you have achieved it or not?

A - Achievable - How attainable is the thing that you are wanting to gain or achieve?

R: Realistic: How realistic is it, and how does it fit into the bigger picture of what you're attempting to accomplish?

T - Time-bound - What amount of time is it going to take to achieve it?

It is important to keep these in mind, as they really help set some powerful, achievable goals.

If you don't, you run the risk of having unrealistic goals that won't actually lead to anything. Plus, if you're not clear on what you want and why it's important to you, then you'll have a hard time achieving it.

Consider them as key performance indicators; you must know how you intend to achieve your goal and how to tell when you have done so.

creative entrepreneur sat at her desk painting

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions asked by people who have just started their journey into entrepreneurship.

Can I set too many business and professional goals?

Yes, you absolutely can! If you have too many goals that you're aiming to hit, then you could end up getting overwhelmed and stressed out.

It's best to aim for one big goal per year and a few smaller goals, but if you feel like you need to set a few more goals, go ahead and do it. Just remember to keep them all SMART.

Why is it important to set both business and professional goals?

Setting both business and professional development goals is extremely useful to help generate momentum and give your life and business direction.

If you only focus on one type of goal or one area of your life, you may find yourself feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied.

To give you a visual example, not having any goals, whether they be business or professional, is like a boat sailing without an island that it's trying to get to. It will simply get blown around. Please don't be a sailing boat with no island.

How do your business goals overlap with your professional goals?

Your business goals should always be aligned with your professional goals. This means that you should be able to see where your business goals fit within your overall plan for success.

For example, if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, then your business goals should align with this. You should be able to see that your business goals are helping you reach your ultimate dream.

How long should my business and professional goals last?

This really depends on you and your situation. Some people prefer to set short-term goals, while others prefer to set long-term ones.

The key here is to choose something that works for you. Don't try to force yourself to stick to a certain timeframe because it might not work for you or your business.

You should also consider the fact that some things take much longer to achieve than others. So, if you're setting a goal to launch a new product or service, it might take you 6 months to a year to complete it. But if you're looking to build a team, it might take you two years to accomplish it.

entrepreneurial couple say working in office


In conclusion, setting realistic and attainable goals is essential for success.

Whether you’re trying to reach financial independence, build wealth, or simply become more productive, setting goals is the first step towards achieving those goals.

Many people struggle when it comes to setting goals because they either don't know what they want, don't know why they want it, or don't know how to set the goal itself so they know whether they've achieved it or not.

But now you do! You are one step ahead of the rest and one step closer to achieving the things that you've always dreamed of. Another little tool in addition to goals that are hugely powerful to help you achieve success are vision boards which help you see visually what you actually want.

One last little bit of juicy goodness: I have found that the act of reflection can be highly beneficial to help ascertain whether the goals that you've put in place are correctly aligned or require a slight bit of tweaking. So, after a few weeks or even months of having a goal, think about how well you're doing at achieving it.

I hope having read this article, I have answered your question of "what's a business goal vs professional goal?" and that you are now empowered to set some ambitious goals yourself!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment, and we'll get back to you to offer some help.



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