There are many challenges when setting up a business, which is why it is important to have clear goals and strategies on how to achieve them in mind.

Establishing objectives and key results (OKRs) is a great way to create targets that everyone can work towards, and allows managers and business owners to easily track their progress. So, how should start-ups use OKRs to get their businesses running?

What are the overall goals?

The first thing to do is work out what the company’s goals are. It is important to keep these realistic, so you are more likely to achieve them. Instead of aiming for 10,000 new followers on social media in the first month, for instance, you could aim for 1,000 within eight weeks. This makes it more achievable, boosting morale and helping the business to upgrade their goals.

Also think about what publicity you want, how many new customers or clients you wish to gain, and how many projects you want to complete within a set timeframe. Having a target means you have a greater chance of progression.

Make goals measurable

Instead of putting down ambiguous objectives, such as ‘gain more business’, focus on measurable goals. This way you can monitor whether you are close to achieving them. You won’t know if you’re advancing if you can’t measure your progress. It also helps when it comes to updating your OKRs, as you’ll know what figures you need to exceed.

Have clear deadlines

Your company might be able to make $1 million eventually, but it is important to have deadlines so you can identify how long goals took to achieve and see whether targets can be met quicker as your business grows.

Having a timescale also spurs the team on to work harder leading up to the deadline, so they achieve it. If they were allowed to take as long as possible, the lack of pressure or pride of reaching it within a certain amount of time means they are less likely to put as much effort in.

Set priorities

When starting up a company, it is important to explain the priorities to the rest of the team. Make sure it is understood what is most important to you and the business, whether this is boosting figures or acquiring publicity and awareness. The latter might not improve business in the short-term, but it could be better for the long-term strategy, so make sure your priorities and objectives are expressed clearly.


The only way to ascertain whether the OKRs are working is to regularly review them. Have periodic meetings to go over results and update strategies as necessary.

You could then raise some targets, make alterations regarding how the goals could be met, or adapt them entirely depending on other company updates and progress.

Do not forget to celebrate achievements, making the team feel proud of their work and giving them an incentive to put as much effort into the next set of OKRs.

Entrepreneurs wanting help with setting up their business would do well to seek advice from an OKR coach, who has the experience and expertise to establish achievable goals and encourage growth.