Predicting the Future: Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
It is difficult to predict how markets will change, how competition will develop and whether the value of your product or service will endure the years. Setting goals is a reliable approach to achieve your ambitions, and helps to efficiently organize your time in striving towards your most fulfilling future.
Accordingly, it makes sense that companies at various stages of development need to strike a balance between short-term expectations and long-term forecasting. In this article, we’ll discuss the logical question that comes to mind: What is the right balance between short-term and long-term company goals?
Having a sturdy ship
Before setting any ambitions, you need an idea or concept that will survive the tides of your business field. So, for our purposes here, let’s consider your business idea/concept as your ship. Before it has any chance of sailing the unforgiving oceans and faring the storms safely, it must undergo thorough testing and scrutiny.
As an entrepreneur or start-up company, genius ideas are only as valuable as the market need that they procure. To set any type of goal, be it long or short term, there must first be a monetizeable demand for your concept. The number one reason for start-ups failing is that there is no real market need for their idea, so this must be top of the list before any immediate or long-term aspirations.
Now, with your ship in working order, you can start plotting a route. The majority of company aims will be looking at the near future, because there is no point in projecting a decade ahead if your money runs out in just a few months. In keeping with our metaphor, goals for the near future are what keeps your organization afloat.
Competitive market features
When establishing your short-term objectives, make sure to consider the following:
- Consider how you can learn from competitors and those who have gone before you. We all make mistakes, and that’s essential to progress. But, making the same mistake twice is just careless!
- Think of how your short-term objectives will combat direct competition and safeguard against rival businesses and client poaching.
- Don’t just avoid making the same mistakes as prior competitors; also learn from their successes! Thriving companies distinguish themselves by working efficiently and optimizing their experience into resilient strategies.
Taking note of these strategies form solid incentives for your short-term operations.
In drafting your short-term goals, also consider the following market pressure features:
- Really get to know the financial market that you will be operating in. While high-growth markets offer great opportunities for investment, a wider immediate choice of investors challenges you to pick the right one from the crowd.
- In affluent times, banks offer lower interest rates. This makes investors keen on moving their money into businesses. Conversely, in depressions lending and investing opportunities are few and far between. Taking heed of your current financial climate is vital for orienting realistic and successful short-term goals.
What defines as a ‘long-term goal’ is of course relative to the size, success, and lifespan of a company. A business that has operated for fifty years may consider ten-year targets as a long-term goal, whereas a business in its embryonic stages is likely to consider one or two-year targets as long-term goals.
When setting your long-term goals, we’ll discuss some age-old business truths to help you on your way.
Being is Becoming
- To develop into a successful long-term company, you’ve got to act like one from the get-go.
- Begin with establishing accountability around key performance indicators (KPIs) across your platform.
- Design, implement, and maintain a dedicated strategy for tracking incoming and outgoing money.
Taking heed of these 3 rules will prevent you from having to play catch up when your company starts to grow. Moreover, they ensure that the structure that you develop from is easy to adapt, measure, and develop.
- To succeed generally requires that you specialize in one field. The better you do in this field, the higher potential income that you receive. However, the more time you invest into one product or customer base, the more vulnerable you become by relying heavily on a small group for income.
- Thus, as far as resources allow, long-term goals should aim at diversifying the company portfolio so you can distribute your income sources, spread your risk, and hence reduce your vulnerabilities.
So, we’ve covered some essentials for navigating both the near and far future. Consider these tips as guidelines rather than absolute rules. Whether you’re building a company from scratch, or run the same company that you have done for years already, make sure to keep a keen eye on the future!