Starting a new business is no piece of cake. You put your blood, sweat, tears, and I’m sure a bit of money into it, but the reality is that all that hard work isn’t done once you’ve launched your business. Setting long-term goals is the only way you can plan for success. If you’re starting up a business, here are some smart long-term goals to consider:
The long-term vision for your startup might be grand. That’s perfectly ok. Think big. But to get to grand you have to be able to sustain the marathon that is building a business. One important long-term goal should be cash flow consistency. Now you might think cash flow is an important short-term goal and you’re right; maintaining the right balance of cash flow against expenses over time, as you grow, is where sustainability happens. When you’re hitting new levels of revenue is often when it’s easiest to overspend. You can help yourself hit cash flow control goals by frequently reviewing expenses and calculating how new costs and investments will contribute to increased revenue.
Long-term goals should not only gratify you as the founder of the company, but your employees too. Meaning, you can’t just up and decide one day that you want to sell X, because you see potential in the market, when what the business was originally created to do is to sell Y. Not sure how employees would’ve felt if Steve Jobs had announced Apple was going to sell irons. Yes, they’d probably be the coolest irons in the market, but I’d call that jumping the shark for brand, and employees probably would agree.
You need to make sure that your employees are aligned with the direction of the company from the very beginning and as it continues to grow. They will be the ones to help you achieve the short-term goals along the way that get you to reach the overall company goals. I’m not suggesting don’t change direction or expand upon your offering, but make sure you get buy-in from employees and the changes you make are relevant to your brand.
So you’ve started a company, and now you want a few long-term goals to go along with the short-term ones. A long-term goal should be to understand your potential for growth. Clients, employees, and office space should be a few on the top of your list. To plan for growth in clients – you need to plan for more employees, to plan for growth in employees – you need to plan for a bigger office space. You have to plan accordingly to this growth and set a few short-term goals to reach this over-all long-term growth.
What long-terms goals would you recommend to someone starting their business? Share your advice in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Roxanne Elise