So, you know where you want to take your business in the future, but you feel stuck focusing on immediate priorities like sales and staffing? It’s a familiar story, whether you’re a large enterprise, small business or somewhere in between. Right now, it might not feel like it, but it's possible to look ahead without losing overview of the present. The best way to do this is by using your long-term goals to inform your short-term objectives, and vice versa. Here’s how to go about it.
Developing long-term goals
Start by devising the long-term goals of your business. Think about your mission statement and the reasons for founding your business. What's really important is to focus on the bigger picture: what do you want your business to do, become or earn? Where do you want your business to be in three to five years’ time? Perhaps you want to increase sales and achieve a particular revenue target, expand into a new market segment, improve customer service or even develop stronger ties with your local community.
Setting short-term goals
Once you’ve figured out your long-term goals, it’s time to break them down into actionable parts. Setting SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely – short-term goals is a popular strategy.
For example, if your long-term goal is to achieve a 30% increase in revenue, you might set short-term goals to gain 10 new high-yield clients (specific) and keep accurate client records (measurable). You could split new client acquisition among four senior employees (achievable) who target potential clients that have operated in your industry for many years (relevant). As for the time frame, you might commit to recruiting one new client each month for the next 10 months (timely).