Using the GOST Model for Strategic Budget Planning

It's time to start thinking about how you'll achieve your goals and win in 2021. The GOST model will help you do that! (That's GOST, not GHOST!) Learn more now.

We encourage using the GOST model for strategic planning when creating your 2021 budget. “GOST” stands for Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics; goals and objectives address what you want, while strategies and tactics describe how you’ll get it. Businesses often use the GOST model for just about any endeavor that involves working toward a goal, and it fits for any approach to business planning. It can help you and your team clarify and organize their thinking about their financial, marketing, sales, operational and administrative plans and activity.

It’s about knowing why you're doing what you're doing. Your GOST is a roadmap for achieving your goals. The most important part of any coordinated, purposeful action is to know what you wish to accomplish. Begin with the end in mind: knowing where you want to be helps to guide and inform the decisions and actions that are meant to get you there. Yet, even highly motivated, intelligent business owners may not have a well-defined plan for their company’s future. All too often, we encountered franchise owners whose business appears uncoordinated or not guided by an overarching plan. Those who have no plan aren't immune from success, but having a plan gives you a significantly greater chance for achieving your goals.

Step 1:  Define what you want: GOALS  A goal is a broad description of what outcome you hope to realize. An example for you might be, “$1.25M in sales with a $100,000.00 net profit for 2021”.

Step 2:  Define what you want: OBJECTIVES   A goal is the broad statement of the desired outcome, the objective is its specific description. Because it’s specific, it’s often quantifiable. A corresponding objective to the goal of $1.25M in sales might be, “Develop a Stronger, More Diverse Business Mix."

Step 3: How to get there: STRATEGIES   A strategy is a broad description of actions that will help achieve the goal. Continuing with our example, one strategy could relate to building diversity, such as: “Increase 2020 Residential Maintenance by 20%" There can be more than one strategy for objectives – for instance, strategies related to growing Commercial Maintenance or introduction of a new profit center like Holiday Lights could be included.

Step 4: How you’ll get what you want: TACTICS   These are specific descriptions of actions – the details of tasks, research, calculations, record keeping, and so forth – that you’ll actually do. There are often multiple tactics that serve specific strategies.

The vast majority of business owners have never taken the time to create a formal plan for their company nor have accumulated strategies along the way to further their efforts. The GOST model provides a means for organizing, clarifying, and sharpening the company’s focus. It helps the you, the owner reveal, and capitalize more effectively on, areas of strength while mitigating identified areas of relative weakness.

Be careful! When using doing any kind of planning, it can be easy to get bogged down on trivial details of definitions. When using the GOST model, remember that it’s meant to serve your efforts, not the other way around. Its whole purpose is to help you consciously and meaningfully align your efforts with your goals. There is no "wrong" answer, as long as your analysis produces a plan that can credibly help you achieve your goal. Make sure to keep the end result in focus throughout this planning exercise.

The GOST model gives you a roadmap for thinking things through, hopefully such that you improve your chances for success. When we clearly and specifically know why we’re doing what we’re doing, we’re in a better position to make optimal decisions in real time that carry us closer to our ultimate goal.


Work with your FBC on your GOST planning. It is a critical part of the budgeting process from sales to marketing, expense management, labor management and profitability.

Topics: Technical Training



see all

Popular Posts

From the Blog...

The Grounds Guys US Blog

The Grounds Guys Canada Blog

We live our Code of Values® by...

...Treating others as we would like to be treated.