3 entrepreneur tips for long-term and short-term target setting
We all have long-term and short-term targets. Maybe we don’t call them exactly that, maybe we have different definitions of what is long-term and what is short-term and maybe also the nature of our targets and duration is different – depending on whether we are employees or entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur, you need to have a strong WHY and a positive mindset when starting a company. It is easy to be caught up in these and other massive tasks and not take time to sit down and define targets. Yet you can only manage what you can measure and especially if there is no one to measure you like a boss, you need to be good in planning and brutally honest to yourself.
It is vital to have long-term business goals from the very beginning, before you open your doors or sell your first product. The long-term planning process can help you understand what your business needs are, so you can set realistic financing and other goals from the outset. Long-term objective examples for a business can include launching a range of products, opening a number of stores or helping clients with particular needs.
From the long-term goal that is connected to your WHY you can start breaking it down.
As with all things in life that seem like a big pile, it is advisable to break it down into small pieces. Then it becomes manageable and measurable and the tasks become tangible and achievable. It takes a series of short-term goals to add up to a longer-term objective.
As an entrepreneur it’s important to have the big picture of long-term goals but to use the momentum to work intense on short-term goals. Why? They’re easy to achieve because they don’t take you months to complete.
As everyone, I at times find it hard to break targets down, also not knowing where to start and where things will take me, so I found 3 guidelines which might also be useful to your:
Strongly divide between strategic and operational targets. The strategic targets are your long-term targets and the things you do on an operational daily basis are your short-term goals. So, ticking of a list is a relief but keep in mind that you might get caught up in those and not follow your long-term objective
Have a mind map or poster on your wall. Ideally this is not written in permanent ink but can be altered along with your business. The important thing is that you always have your WHY and your long-term goal visible and that you can check whether your short-term action points are bringing your closer to your long-term objective.
Establish a tool to enter, track and measure your short-term goals. There are tons of tools and planers to use both online and offline. Sometimes a combination is good.
I use an excel file to enter all my targets – more explicitly put: action points. So, for example if my short-term goal might be to organize an event, among the first task will be to call up venues and negotiate date and price. So the excel file will not say “organize event in venue” but subtask 1 “calling up venue A” subtask 2 “emailing location B” and so forth.
Why do I use excel and recommend it? First of all, it’s there on our computers, it’s easy to add dates, sort, filter, add columns and rows, work with colours and assign tasks to different people. On a sheet of paper, I might write down how I add them to my other daily tasks as going to do sports, buying groceries etc. It’s easier to carry a sheet of paper around town than opening excel on your smartphone.
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