Long-Term VS Short-Term Goals
Last time we talked about some ways to find time to begin working on your business instead of for your business. But before you can actually start to create effective headway, you must create a direction for your work. You must know what you are trying to achieve and what it will look like if you are successful. Most commonly, this direction comes through setting goals. Goals are a written statement of what you are working to achieve and they usually provide a description of what success will look like once you have accomplished the goal.
But goal setting is tricky. Too often those who set them don’t understand that long-term goals will not be enough to get a successful outcome. Successful goal setting means understanding the relationship and need for both the long and the short term aspects of every goal. Long-term goals give you the vision of what you are trying to achieve- a clear picture of where you want to be. Short-term goals breakup that final destination into achievable parts, leading you to the long-term results.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that one of your long-term goals is to have a 20% sales gain for your company within 24 months. That sounds like a good plan, but just setting a goal based on positive results will not be enough. Next you need to create short-term goals which will help you achieve this sales gain. Those short-term goals should focus on smaller, result orientated outcomes which when combined with other short-term goals, will help you to achieve long-term goals. In our example of a 20% sales gain, short-term goals may include improving the average ticket of custom sales and achieving a higher closure rate for sales opportunities.
If we achieve each of these short term goals, then we are much more likely to experience a sales gain. But will it be a 20% sales gain? If could be if you set very specific short-term goals that are based on your past history. For example, if you know that your company has done about 100 projects per month and that you have had an average ticket of $300, then you can calculate exactly how big the average ticket increase needs to be to help achieve your long-term goal. You can also calculate the sales impact on closing more of your sales opportunities at the new average ticket rate. Once you do the math, you can set very specific short-term goals. The really cool part is that once you reach your short-term mini goals, you will have automatically achieved the huge positive impact of the 20% sales gain.
Specific, short-term goals also let you understand the achievability of your long-term goals. For example, if your calculations showed that you would have to increase the average ticket of sales by $100 and close 99% of all sales over the next 24 month in order to achieve the 20% sales gain, you may realize that a 20% sales gain is not a realistic long-term goal.
Goal setting is vital to positive growth and improvement. But long-term goals are slightly more than just a wish if they aren’t supported by achievable and specific short-term goals. So figure out where you need to take your company and then create smaller, measurable and specific goals which will bring those huge results.