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All businesses, whether big or small, need to have well defined goals.  It is important to set long term and short term goals. Only if you achieve the short term goals is it possible to achieve the long term goals. Goals are essential to provide business ventures direction and motivation.

How to set short term goals

First step is to setup your long term goals. Then break down the long term goals into a series of short term goals. Use the SMART Method to outline your firm’s short term goals.

The short term goals should be:

  • Specific – It should not be vague – such as the firm being more profitable.  A good example: Generate profits of $10,000 in the next month. This is a clear and well defined goal.

  • Measurable – Goals should be quantifiable in order to track progress.

  • Attainable – Ask yourself if it is realistic.  Be honest with yourself. Don’t live in a fool’s paradise.   Avoid overwhelming goals.

  • Relevant – Ask yourself if this goal is in alignment with your long term business goals. Attending a seminar on non-business areas is not a relevant goal.

  • Time Based – It is important to set deadlines. It forces you to be disciplined and focused.

Don’t forget to reward yourself when you accomplish a goal successfully. Review your progress and ask yourself whether you learned anything that can be successfully applied to other areas and situations. It is imperative to prioritize your goals. A good way to be effective is to complete the higher priority and easy goals first. This saves time and ensures that the important things are done first. Leverage the 80/20 rule. The rule says that 80% of a company’s revenue comes from 20% of the customers.  So focus on the 20% of customers.

You may have to be open to adapting your goals, to changing economic and political situations.  Have a business plan and aim high in critical areas such as company branding, increasing profits, improving productivity and leveraging technology effectively.

Benefits of Short Term Goals

Achieving short term goals helps build up momentum towards achieving long term goals. Setting short term goals is a potent time management tool. The tendency to procrastinate is less as short term goals are relatively easy to accomplish. Write down your goals on paper and cross them off once accomplished. This is certainly an effective method to track your progress.  Doing an easy short term goal helps you get started on an unpleasant or overwhelming long term goal.

Remember, it is not enough to write down your short term business goals on paper. It is critical to implement them as well as continually improving the goal setting techniques.

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