– Determine your long term goals first. Your long term goals should be aligned with your mission statement in your business plan. They are the reflections of the reason why your business was founded. Entrepreneurs can categorize these goals into three general fields such as service, profit, and growth. You can visualize these goals by assigning measurable metrics and terms such as the percentage of profit growth, the number of employees and the amount of service/money your give back to the community.
– After figuring out your long term business goals, it is time to turn your attention to the short term business goals. These short term goals are set to accomplish your long term goals and they need to be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely.
- Specific: Concrete numbers and detailed descriptions will efficiently guide you to accomplish daily jobs and keep up your speed in completing projects.
- Measurable: Figures, values and other measureable outcomes give you the indication of what whether you are reaching your goals.
- Action-Oriented: Action items and schedules need to be defined for each goal and will yield more efficient results.
- Realistic: Your short term goals should be rational and achievable yet challenging.
- Timely: A goal is not a goal unless you commit to by when it will be accomplished.
Entrepreneurs should check their short term goals very often to make sure that they are hitting these targets on time and adjust appropriately if they are not. They should also go back to their long term goals periodically to ensure that their short term goals are still aligned with their long term strategy. Lastly, be sure to articulate your long and short term business goals in a business plan for efficient implementation.