Although it might seem like a tedious task for entrepreneurs, every business needs a long-term goal. From business expansion to entering new territories, businesses need to have a blueprint for the long run.
They help you in establishing priorities and setting your business up for success over a specific time. By creating long term goals, you’d get a clear idea of both your present standing and where you want to end up eventually.
But before we get into the determination of long term business goals, let’s understand what are business goals exactly.
What are Business Goals?
Every business anticipates accomplishing some goals in a set period. These goals are called business goals. They can be laid down for the whole company or specific departments, employees, customers, and managers.
Business goals represent any company’s larger purpose and provide the employees with an end-goal to work towards. Unlike popular opinion, business goals do not need to be particular or have distinctly defined objections.
Instead, they are broad outcomes that a business wishes to achieve. Long term business goals are generally designed for three to five years. They require significant planning and deep commitment. Short-term goals set by any business are also in service to the long-term goals.
Importance of Setting Long-Term Business Goals
1. It provides clarity
By setting long-term business goals, you’re assured clarity in the day-to-day activities. A business goal that’s both compelling and clear provides a transparent pathway to the future and exceptional motivation.
It also allows the business owners to work backwards, fabricating a roadmap to get there. Additionally, it propels them to move towards the goals by setting deadlines and milestones to be achieved.
2. It enhances focus
The act of setting long-term business goals changes how leaders ask questions to themselves. It allows business leaders to understand what’s required in the set time than what’s possible. Once they’re equipped with that knowledge, concrete answers follow. It also gives them a practical way to move forward.
3. It leads to empowerment
Setting long-term goals is a great way to train your subconscious mind as they act as a constant reminder of what’s in hand and what’s to be achieved. They help business owners develop habits required to achieve the results while helping them grow to their optimal self. They’re also able to identify more opportunities and deal with everyday problems more efficiently.
Determining Long-Term Goals for Your Business
The key to any business’s success is knowing the destination you want to arrive at and the sources required for reaching the same. Although short-term goals are essential to any business, it’s the long-term goals that are your reason for being. They are our gate into a future reality. Here are a few ways in which you can determine the long term goals for your business.
1. Establish the goals you want to achieve in the next 5-10 years
Before getting into specific details, determine what you as a business owner want to achieve in the next 5-10 years. Many leaders believe that setting goals for a longer duration can result in a mess. However, identifying and writing down goals is vital if you want your business to grow and expand. This step requires extensive brainstorming and vast research.
2. Being specific
When you’re setting long term business goals, it’s essential to set goals that aren’t vague and be as specific as possible. Getting into the detail of what you want for your business and thinking about them in a concrete term is essential. Instead of keeping ‘Increasing Annual Revenue’ as a long-term goal, write ‘Increase Annual Revenue by 20,000’. By creating specific goals, you’d be able to measure progress easily.
3. Connecting long-term goals with core values
It’s easier to maintain a goal that you genuinely believe in. That’s why connecting long-term goals with core values is of utmost importance. A lot of business owners overthink about the result of a business goal. Instead, they should focus on what motivates them. In most cases, they are our core values.
If it comes naturally to you or you’re habitual to it, it’d be easier to achieve those long-term goals. They’d serve as a daily reminder and motivate the entire company to work diligently towards achieving those goals.
4. Break down each long-term goal into smaller objectives
Once you have your long term business goals in writing, break them down into short-term objectives. It would result in you taking action quickly and more efficiently.
For instance, if your long-term goal is to increase your brand awareness, you’d need to break it down into smaller objectives like regularly posting on social media or collaborating with influencers of your niche.
Short-term objectives can serve as a benchmark for achieving your long-term goals.
5. Involve employees
Setting long-term goals shouldn’t be restricted to the owners and top management. Some of the best ideas come from the employees of the company. Many high-performing companies align their long-term goals with the goals at the managerial level. Ask for their recommendation while setting up the framework.
6. Analysing strategies
The method by which you’re going to achieve your goals is the strategy. That is why it’s vital to analyse the resources at hand and use them in the best way possible. Building an internal sales force can be a strategy to increase your goal of increasing sales. Numerous sub-strategies can be put to play by an organisation. It requires the collaboration of both top management and the employees.
7. Tracking the long-term goals regularly
Another significant component of setting long-term goals is tracking them regularly. As they take an extended period to reach, it’s essential to track them regularly to not lose sight of the end goal. To make sure that you’re on the right path, it’s necessary to track the progress and make amendments wherever necessary.
8. Measuring short-term goals periodically
If you want to effectively reach your long-term goals, measuring the success or failure of short-term goals periodically is a must. For instance, if your business’s long-term goal is to increase online sales in a set period, you must keep a tab on the monthly or quarterly sales.
You can change the short-term goals if they aren’t serving your long-term goals. In the above scenario, you can determine techniques and strategies to attract more customers online.
9. Including timelines and designating roles
Each member of the company needs to take responsibility for the long-term goals of the business. Once the goals get identified, one can include timelines and designate different individuals’ roles and responsibilities.
Employees tend to be more motivated when they’re involved in the business goals, and, more so, when they have a role to play in it.
If things start going south mid-way, it’s vital to take note and ponder over the desired long-term goals. You must be willing to change course, or your business will face the consequences of the poor decisions.
It’s possible for the long-term goals initially set, not making sense in a year or two. In that case, it’s vital to evaluate the strategic plan and make changes in your long-term goals accordingly.
Among all the long-term goals you’ve set or plan to achieve, prioritise the ones that require your immediate attention or maximum work. Once you do that, deposit more of your business resources into accomplishing the same.
Businesses that have been successful in the past had leaders who set and worked towards their long-term goals. Long-term goals allow you to peek into the future, work on the essential things, and make amendments on the way. If you want your business to survive in the long run, determining long-term goals for your business is foremost.
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