Business Succession Planning: Goals and Objectives
July 18, 2019 | BY Shulem Rosenbaum
A company’s mission statement determines the objectives of a company, which impacts its value. To illustrate, when Amazon announced that it was buying Whole Foods, the grocery store stock, including Walmart, Kroger’s and Supervalu, plummeted. However, Costco – who experienced a brief dip in value – and privately-held Trader Joe’s were unfazed. Although Costco and Trader Joe’s compete in the same space, they did not employ the same business objectives as Amazon, Walmart, Kroger’s, or Supervalu.
While Amazon, Walmart, Kroger’s and Supervalu focus on cost leadership, Costco and Trader Joe’s emphasize quality and product differentiation. The market believed that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market endangered some companies more than others. However, since then – despite Amazon’s centralization of Whole Food Market’s purchasing, Whole Foods is eating into Trader Joe’s customers because it is, at this point, maintaining its mission and objective of quality over price.
A mission statement merely summarizes the company’s strategic plan, which defines the firm’s goals and objectives.
As part of the company’s strategic plan, the founder or management can establish its company scope, company plan, and operating plan. The company scope defines the lines of business and geographic areas of the business and determines whether the entity specializes in a narrow range of skill or activity or provide a broad number of good or services. A company plan sets forth specific, achievable goals or the company (e.g., cost leadership or product differentiation) and identifies qualitative and quantitative objectives that operating managers are expected to meet. An operating plan includes the product/service development plan, operations plan, organization plan, and marketing plan and provides management with detailed implementation guidance based on the company’s strategy.
An example of a company’s goals includes the management approach to employees. Some companies employ an authoritative style of leadership, while others opt to empower employees and implement a decentralized structure. The United States Steel Corporation was one of the largest corporations in the United States with more than 340,000 employees when Nucor Corporation began manufacturing steel. However, while U.S. Steel maintained the labor policies of its founder, Andrew Carnegie, the management of Nucor Corporation shared the authority and profits with its employees. This strategy resulted in Nucor Corporation becoming the largest steel manufacturer in the United States and the most profitable in its industry.