Long-term vs short-term business goals: Why both are essential
As a kid, adults probably asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. Your mind raced through all of the things you loved to do, and you imagined your life 20 years in the future. You can do the same as a small business owner from the beginning of building your organisation.
Setting long- and short-term goals for your business encourages a clear vision, aligned team members and much more. But if you have a vision for your business future, are short-term goals necessary? What about the opposite? To follow are reasons why both long- and short-term are absolutely essential for the well-being of your business.
Long-term goals are the foundation
Envision what you want the future of your business to look like. Imagine that everything is going perfectly for the next 10 to 20 years.
Now, ask questions like these:
- How much are we making annually?
- How many customers or clients do we have?
- How many employees do we have?
- What do my customers think of my business practices?
- Do I want to sell it or pass it on?
Start to see how these questions can help you align your day-to-day practices with what you just imagined for yourself and your organisation. Your mission statement is a clear and concise sentence that communicates your company's future. At the start of every business, your mission should be top of mind.
Implementing long-term plans will set the foundations for your business. From the decisions you make to the people you hire, having clear company objectives will help your organisation succeed.
Short-term goals are the building blocks
A short-term goal can be defined as small but valuable steps towards achieving your end objective. Each decision you make as a company can help set the building blocks or puzzle pieces for the bigger picture. That is where short-term goals come in.
Think of a short-term goal by its benefits:
- Set KPIs.
- Manage monthly budgets.
- Stay motivated and focused.
- See day-to-day progress towards your mission.
- Build your team's confidence by reaching company milestones.
Make your short-term goals precise and measurable. These can be as simple as gaining one new customer a week or introducing yourself to one investment firm a month. Be realistic, strategic and timely for best success.
Costs of not setting goals
With all of the benefits of setting goals, some may still choose to "wing it" or make plans without the end in mind. While this may seem tempting, it will inevitably cost you time, money and customers.
When you don't set goals, your business will look like a meandering ship lost at sea. But with tangible goals, your marketing plans will be consistent, your customers will connect with your mission statement and your employees will get the chance to learn and grow alongside the business.
In the digital world, customers have a lot of options. You don't want to waste any of your efforts on something that will not help your business succeed.
Using goals for successful business development
We all can think back to the days when the world seemed wide open to us. With great vision and perseverance, you got to where you are today with your small business. Focussing that compass a little more will launch you into the next level.
A business advisor is your key.
Wilson Porter and Associates has decades of experience and have worked with dozens of different industries. We can help you with budgeting, creating clear milestones and empowering you to reach your business goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you plan your long- and short-term goals.