growth

Smart Long-Term Goals for Startups

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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:

Nathaniel Seevers

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.

Gretchen Ardizzone

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.

Shannon Blair

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

Growing Our Business: A Look Ahead

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When we started this little experiment we had several goals in mind: everyone will always be treated with respect, clients will always receive our best counsel, we will never take on a project just for the money, and we will create a culture where people get to showcase their talents, love what they do and love where they do it. Oh, yeah…and we will not compromise on any of these points.

So far we’ve done pretty well, but now comes growth.

Rightly or not, what we’ve created feels like a recipe of well-blended ingredients, but now we need to add in some new people, new skills and probably a new office. What’s this going to do? How do we add to the mix but not loose the flavor we’ve created?

At this point we’ve made two decisions about Shout Out’s growth, people are everything. Finding the right people with the right personalities and skill sets is absolutely essential, and in a showdown personality always trumps skills. Skills can be improved, but it’s a little tougher with personalities.

Secondly, we want to make sure we continue our philosophy of taking what we do very seriously, but not so much with ourselves. We need to stay true to ourselves. To manage this we have proclaimed Nathaniel our company Oracle; the keeper of the flame, our personality barometer. His sense of what is right and wrong for us is spot on, and last but not least it’s because we love calling him The Oracle.

Actually we’re going to do what every organization out there does: do the best we can. But, we’re going to journal this process of growth and see what we do learn. If you have any interest please join us and ask us any questions you have along the way.

Photo Credit: ortizmj12

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