How to execute a business idea with OKRs

by Tom | Aug 16, 2021

time icon 3 mins

Firstly, congratulations! You’ve got the idea, you’ve had the ‘lightbulb moment’ – and often that’s the hardest part. Now comes the task of understanding how to execute a business idea. Where should you start? That’s where the OKR process comes in. 

OKRs will help you to outline your business goals and determine the actions needed to get there. In many ways, they’re an invaluable tool for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. We’ll show you exactly how to use them to get your business idea off the ground in this article.

Why OKRs are an essential element of business strategy execution

OKRs are extremely versatile, which is why they’re one of the best goal-setting frameworks to use. They can be applied as a new business or as part of a fresh strategy within an existing company. One rule of thumb for business strategy execution is clarity. Being specific and understanding the exact steps and stages needed to reach your overarching goals is crucial. 

These are just a few of the benefits of using OKRs for business strategy execution. Some alternative advantages also include:

  • Gets you clear on what you want and how you’ll get there: Creating a business strategy with OKRs enables you to adopt laser vision on your end goals and the multiple milestones in between. 
  • Helps you to communicate your goals to your team: With OKRs, you’ll be able to share wider company goals and individual targets with your team for enhanced efficiency.
  • Sets you up for success: Through encouraging disciplined thinking, you can move forward confidently towards your goals and feel in control as you measure and build on your successes.
  • Enables you to learn from what works (and what doesn’t): When you have a precision-engineered plan outlining exactly what you’re going to do and when, you can measure the results and outcomes. This will help you to determine which strategies worked best and which weren’t as successful as you’d hoped.

When it comes to business strategy execution, OKRs are a great way to measure progress and achievement. However, OKRs aren’t meant as performance indicators to be celebrated or punished. They’re set in stone for as long as you run through them, then they can be recalibrated if a goal hasn’t been reached. This offers up a wealth of learning opportunities to take advantage of as you grow.

How to execute a business idea with the OKR framework

Firstly, you’ll need to establish an overview of your business idea in one line. Examples of this include:

  • Become one of the top three providers in our sector by (date)
  • Reach £150,000 revenue by our third quarter

Then, you’ll outline 3-5 specific steps you’ll need to take to achieve that idea. Remember, the steps need to be action-orientated and aspirational but also SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. They should also be well-designed, challenging and realistic; enough to excite, without feeling unattainable.

Examples of OKRs for new business owners

So you’ve set out the idea and you have a clear vision of how you want things to be. Now it’s time to put OKRs in place for each step towards that goal. We have supercharged our marketing so we are in an awesome position to start creating value! 

  • Blog posts increased from 2 per month to 5 per month
  • Reduced customer churn from 20% to 15%
  • Followers on Instagram increased from 3,000 to 4,000 

A useful rule of thumb to get you started – focus not on the activities themselves, but the impact and outcomes of those activities. So instead of:

‘Send emails encouraging customers to leave reviews’

 Try:

Customer reviews increased from x to y

How can our Giants help? 

We’ve helped all types of organisations use OKRs to achieve their goals. As such, our team knows just how valuable they can be to the business strategy execution process. 

Ready to learn how to use OKRs to maximise profitability and productivity? Speak to one of our Giants today to get started.