Examples of Long- & Short-Term Goals for a Business

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Growing a business requires setting short- and long-term goals. Often the short-term goals are the steps necessary to achieve the longer-term goals. You can choose related areas such as advertising and revenue, and base short- and long-term goals within these categories.

An example of a short-term goal is to increase your advertising budget each month for the next three months. An example of a long-term business goal that the short-term goal helps achieve is to double business revenue by the end of the fiscal year.

Revenue Goals and Supporting Goals

If your long-term revenue goal is to double revenue by the end of the current fiscal year, another example of a supporting short-term goal is to contract an advertising consultant for one month to help you analyze and capitalize on your customer's buying trends. Another short-term goal example is to spend the next month learning your primary competition and brainstorming on what you offer that they don't. You can us this research and design a new advertising campaign that highlights the unique points about your business or products.

Customer Service Goals

One long-term goal for customer service would be achieving at least 95 percent positive customer feedback. An example of a supporting short-term goal is to redesign the customer service research process to include new questionnaires and incentives, such as monthly drawings for free products or discounts on future purchases for customers who take the time to respond.

Employee Appreciation Goals

Some businesses establish a long-term employee appreciation goal of awarding an employee of the year award to the employee who provides the most creative input during the year in terms of practical ideas to improve the company. Supporting short-term goals are to award employee of the month designations each month throughout the year to mark the progression of creative input, and to include more employees in the reward process than is possible with a single annual award.

Community Outreach Goals

Building the company's name recognition within the community through community outreach projects is a popular long-term goal for businesses. Examples of short-term supporting goals are to reward employees who volunteer with designated community programs with additional time off, bonuses or gift cards. Another short-term supporting goal is to choose one or two high-profile annual charity events to sponsor.

Website Traffic Goals

A long-term goal regarding web traffic is to increase traffic to your company's site by at least 50 percent by the end of the current fiscal year. Supporting short-term goals are to research and purchase web traffic analysis software to better pinpoint current traffic trends, to hire a web consultant for one month to propose and implement programming changes to make the site appeal to a broader audience than your traffic trend research suggests currently exist.

Another example of a short-term goal is to select a medium for advertising your site other than the Web, such as a bus campaign where you advertise your site address on the side of city buses for one month, or billboards, where you lease a billboard in a conspicuous place in town for one month.

An attorney for more than 18 years, Jennifer Williams has served the Florida Judiciary as supervising attorney for research and drafting, and as appointed special master. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Jacksonville University, law degree from NSU's Shepard-Broad Law Center and certificates in environmental law and Native American rights from Tulsa University Law.

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Short-term vs. long-term business goals: comparison + examples

Not unlike the recipe for your mum’s famous chocolate cake, the recipe for business success calls for various ingredients and steps plus time and patience. It requires short-term work (baking) to yield long-term results (happy tummies). 

In business, short- and long-term goals are used tactically to help a business move forward. But what are they? And how are they set? We’ll define and compare short-term and long-term goals and show you 15 examples of what they look like in business. 

What is a long-term business goal?

It’s all in the name — long-term outcomes are what your company wants to achieve in the long term. They’re high-level goals or strategies you want to accomplish in the coming years, driving you closer to your vision. Good long-term goals should be adaptable to technological, political and other environmental changes.

No exact period defines long-term goals, but most organisations think of them as goals you aim to achieve in the next one to ten years. While ambitious, they inform short-term goals and day-to-day business flow and vice versa. Knowing a general direction is essential, but keeping a bottom-up approach that supports adaptability, creativity and more input into decision-making is still crucial.

What is a short-term business goal?

The term ‘short’ is key in describing short-term goals. They define business goals you want to achieve in the near future, which can span from a week to a year, depending on the project and organisational preferences. They focus on the present, promoting productivity and good time management.

Short-term goals are clear, easily actionable and geared toward individual or team efforts rather than overall strategy. That being said, short-term goals should still be set with long-term strategy in mind — to set short-term goals, you need to know generally where your business is heading. In simpler terms, short-term goals are the steps you need to take to get where you want to be and a tool to check you’re heading in the right direction.

Short-term vs long-term goals

Short-term and long-term goals may differ, but it’s not quite David and Goliath. Below we’ve listed three key factors that set short- and long-term goals apart.

The biggest difference between short-term goals and long-term goals is their purpose. Long-term goals are strategic — they’re a plan for the future of the business. Short-term goals contribute to business success but have more to do with your current performance.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to defining what’s considered short-term or long-term, but generally speaking, short-term goals are more likely to be measured by weeks or months and long-term goals by years. Long-term business strategies require many short-term goals to meet.


Short-term goals and long-term organisational goals are also different in adaptability. Short-term goals are typically more clearly defined and actionable, whereas long-term goals are flexible to changes in strategy.

Examples of both short- and long-term goals in business

Looking for some real-world examples to help you write business goals? Using the SMART methodology — which requires goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound — we’ve compiled some examples of long- and short-term business goals that are easily adaptable.

Short-term vs long-term marketing goal examples

A long-term marketing goal might sound like this:

And the short-term goals that support this long-term strategy might look like this:

Short-term vs long-term finance goal examples

The following might be a long-term finance goal:

And to support the long-term strategy, short-term finance goals may look like this:

Need a detailed strategy for your goals?

Tability can generate a detailed plan in seconds, including all the steps to take to reach your objectives.

Short-term vs long-term HR goal examples

Long-term HR goals would include:

Whereas the short-term HR goals for the long-term strategy may look like this:

Short-term vs long-term sales goal examples

A typical goal for long-term sales growth may look like this:

In contrast, the short-term goals for sales might be as follows:

Short-term vs long-term customer service goal examples

An example of a long-term customer service goal might be:

Whereas customer service short-term goals are more likely to be specific:

How to set short- and long-term goals with OKRs

Whether you’re 20 years into trading or in the early stages of business, getting past the ‘vision’ part of goal setting is not always easy. You may know where you want to be, but getting there is the hard part.

A goal-setting framework like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) bridges the gap between vision and strategy. It uses short-term targets to support medium- and long-term goals. 

If your long-term vision is to grow revenue, your quarterly OKRs may look like this:

Objective: Improve monthly sales revenue

Read more on how to set OKRs here .

Simplify goal setting with Tability

Set, share and track goals without a hitch using user-friendly software like Tability . Tability's easy-to-use tools and check-in emails support team buy-in, making it easy for your business to adopt it. Give it a go with a free trial today.

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short and long term objectives of a business plan

What are Short and Long-term Business Goals?


A critical aspect of having a successful business is its functionality and goals. Having a business goal is essential to an entrepreneur or organization because this helps them to measure success and foresee the longevity of their business.

Business goals are preferably the things that a company expects to accomplish during a specific time period. They guide you in the proper direction and motivate you to take the necessary steps to get there. Setting business goals is beneficial to both large and small businesses. However, when it comes to establishing goals, you need to identify the purpose of short-term and long-term goals.

Table of Contents

What are short-term goals in business?

Short-term goals are something you wish to achieve in the  nearest future.  The term  nearest future  refers to the current day, week, month, or year. Short-term goals are sometimes known as smaller goals because they have a shorter time range. The time range for short-term goals is usually substantially shorter for when the time span exceeds a year, you’ve reached the level of long-term goals.

What is a long-term goal in business?

Business goals establish a clear understanding of what a business wants to accomplish over a given period of time. They help establish the desired result that employees can work towards and observe the progress being made, which boosts morale. Contrary to short-term objectives, long-term business goals are things that you want to achieve in one, three, five years or more into the future. Any successful business has clear and defined long-term business goals that set the direction of the company.

Importance of business goals

Business goals are clearly defined steps and processes to achieve significant business objectives within an established time. For all employees participating in the business, goals must be precise and clearly stated. Having clear, well-communicated business goals, especially when you run a small business allows all employees to be on the same page for how you want the company to operate and reach the goal in the most effective way. Here are a few additional reasons why businesses require business goals.

Defines Success

One importance of business goals is to define success. But, in order for you to achieve business success, you should define what success looks like to your employees. Also, you need to consider what you believe your company is capable of when setting business goals.

Keep team working together

With goal setting, the management team can develop strategies and methods to enhance the performance goals of the team. Having the ability to keep the team working together around set goals is one of the most important advantages of utilizing business goals.

Maintain accountability

You can break down your business goals to the individual level once you have established them. Having business goals can help you to maintain accountability for all the levels of the organization, from the highest management all the way down to the individual company members. When team members are given responsibilities of their own, it is easy for managers to monitor how they are performing and when if they need further assistance.

Improve decision making

If your organization tracks both its short-term and long-term business goals on a regular basis, you can utilize previous goals to guide your decision-making and planning. For example, if your company implements a new marketing strategy to measure its growth and success, you may use the information to develop a performance-based business strategy for the future year.

How to set a goal?

Determine your goals.

The first stage in developing both short and long-term business goals is to identify the things you want to achieve in the following years. Many people believe that creating goals set for ten years is good, but you can create goals that can be achieved as soon as one year, five years or as far in the future as thirty years. Set business goals as you can for your company with the time frame you choose.

Think SMART goals

Your employee/s contributes a lot to the success of your organization. Perhaps, if you want to serve a bigger market in your industry, make sure that you think of SMART goals. SMART goals are one that is designed to make goal setting easier. SMART goals include all of the following factors to help you focus your efforts and increase your chances of success.

Specific: A goal should be defined that is both clear and explicit. If the goal is not clear, you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel motivated enough to attain them.

Measurable: Maintaining a record of your progress will help you keep on track, remain motivated, fulfill deadlines, and take pleasure in the feeling of excitement of getting closer to your objective.

Achievable: While planning a realistic goal, you may discover new and untapped opportunities or resources that can help you attain it. Of course, a larger goal means larger opportunities open with technical skills needed, so keep in mind all the time the precautionary steps you need to take in order to attain a goal.

Relevant: You do not want to create goals that are not relevant to the industry that your business belongs. As a result, ensure that your methods and plan will be in the right direction and also guarantee that you reach the goals related to the business.

Time-bound:  Every goal requires a deadline to focus on and something to work towards. Give classification to your plan and categorize it if it is a short-term goal or a long-term goal. by doing you can set and arrange them according to priority.

Arrange your goals according to priority

Many businesses have a number of long-term goals they intend to achieve. As a result, it’s critical to prioritize the goals on which you want to reach out first and devote your company’s resources to achieving them before moving on to other objectives. Setting priorities will help the people involved in the business environment to keep their center of interest and effort to the ones that shall be done first while still making progress for the long-term goal.

Make an action plan

Your goal will never be accomplished if you do not put any action into it. When listing setting business goals, make sure that you also have an action plan on how to attain them and perform specific actions in response to your listed business goals.

Track your progress regularly

Regularly tracking short and long-term goals is a key part of reaching them. It’s easy to forget about long-term goals or lose sight of the end goal because they can take a long time to reach. Keeping track of your progress toward each objective can help you stay on track and make any required changes.

What are three examples of long-term goals?

You already have the meaning and purpose of a short-term and long-term goal, yet we do not stop there. You are about to know the three popular examples of long-term goals, the following are the details:

Personal Goals

Whether it is for business or own life, personal goals are essential. Setting personal goals can help you improve your life. In this way, you will feel satisfaction in achieving your dreams, overall happiness and well-being. But before you set your personal goals, make sure that you identify your purpose or what you want your life to be in a few years.

Professional goals

Professional goals are what you set so you can retire satisfied with your career and business life. In other words, they are your long-term career goals. Setting a long-term goal for your business identifies its success. Let’s take an example of the fast-food chains, many of them started way before the ’80s or ’90s, but up until now, they are still in service. Do you wonder how it happened? It is because they set an amazing goal for their business and pass it through generations. If you want your business to reach this level, make sure that you set a concrete goal for it.

Financial goals

Long term financial goals differ from personal and professional goals because it has a purpose in both personal and professional aspects. In business, financial goals play a big role when lifting your feet off the ground. You started your business small, so you will begin receiving pennies in return, but in the long run, when you have already overcome the system, you will indeed receive big among in return for your hard work. While for professional reasons, you surely want to retire early and not worry about expenses during those times so, it is good to have long-term goals for your finances.

What can hinder the business goal?

Some concrete examples that can hinder a business goal are the sudden changes in how the business works under a government ruling. Many businesses did not expect this to happen, just as they did during the first few months of the pandemic. But when you have a business goal, you can adapt and be prepared for such circumstances that might occur.

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short and long term objectives of a business plan

Dividends Diversify

10 Examples of Long-Term Business Goals to Set Now

Identify, set, and achieve long-term business goals for success.

Today I want to share examples of long-term business goals with you. Because thinking long-term about your business is key to its success.

One of my former bosses had a good saying. And I think it applies to long-term goals for a business.

My boss used to tell us this. “In the long run, we are only limited by our thoughts. Don’t hold back. Think big!”

So, let’s dive in and think big about our businesses…

examples of long term business goals

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

First of all, here you will find today’s examples of long-term business goals list for your consideration:

Next, let’s make sure we are completely aligned on today’s topic.  Identifying, setting, and achieving these 10 examples of long-term goals for a business.

Long-Term Business Goals Definition

First of all, a goal is an outcome you want to achieve. That a person envisions, plans for, and commits to achieve.

Furthermore, goals can relate to many aspects of our lives. For example, self-development, career, health, fitness, and personal finance outcomes .

But today, we are talking about goals related to your business.

More specifically, we are talking about long-term goals for a small business . Or, larger businesses too.

Typically, long-term goals take more planning. And more time to achieve. Normally, it takes 5 years or more to accomplish a long-term goal.

Furthermore, long-term goals are more strategic. And they require a vision of what your business will look like in the distant future.

While ensuring its long-term success, growth, and profitability. As you make the journey.

Finally, business goals can be non-financial . Or, they can be tied to a specific financial outcome.

Long-Term Goals For A Business Versus Other Types Of Goals

Businesses also have short-term goals and medium-term goals. Let’s compare and contrast…

Short-Term Business Goals

Short-term business goals are to be accomplished within 1 year.

Their focus is on solving today’s problems. Or, activities in the near term. That creates a foundation for long-term success.

Examples of short-term business goals include:

Medium-Term Business Goals

Medium-term goals should be set and completed within a 1-5 year time horizon.

These goals are intended to move your business forward in a meaningful way. But, are too involved to complete within a year.

Examples of good medium-term goals for business include:

Next, before we touch on the examples. A little more talk about long-term goals for a business…

The Big Picture View Of Long-Term Business Goals

short and long term objectives of a business plan

Today’s examples of long-term business goals are more strategic. Versus short and medium-term goals.

They are not about solving today’s problems. Or, about improving your business on the margins in the next few years.

They are for taking big steps forward. And transforming your business into something bigger and better in the future. Versus what it is today.

These goals cannot be done in the next 2-3 years. Without causing business instability.

They require careful thought about the direction you wish your business to take. Then planning, resources, and careful execution.

For more on these strategic topics…

consider this excellent course on business strategy and leadership .

But for now, I think about long-term goals for a business in one of three categories:

1. Extending market reach. Specifically, growing business revenue in different and dramatic ways.

2. Ensuring the ability to scale. Having success with growth means being able to handle it. In other words, scaling operations to service the new markets and customers you are reaching.

3 . Balancing growth and profits. Substantial business growth is good. It certainly beats the alternative.

But rapid growth is hard to execute. And it must be done profitably.

Thus, all 10 of today’s examples of long-term business goals fall into one of these categories.

Now, let’s go through each of the 10 goals on our list. All of them can be good investments to make in your business .

list of long-term goals for a business

1. Expand Into A New Geographic Market

Plan for and expand into new geographic markets. For example, if you operate in Utah. Expand into the high business growth state of Colorado .

If your business services the Western portion of the country. Extend it throughout the United States.

Finally, consider foreign expansion. But, understand that these are big steps. Require careful thought and planning.

Up next in the long-term goals examples for business: channel strategy…

2. Go To Market Through A New Channel

Identify all the possible channels through which your products and services can be sold. Then delivered to your customers.

Utilize one or more marketing channels that have not yet been tapped.

For example, consider a targeted social media strategy. That drives traffic to an online store on your website.

3. Penetrate A New Demographic

Your current products and services are likely popular with a certain demographic.

So, evaluate your marketing plan. To tap into demand from a different segment of the population .

4. Broaden Product And Service Offerings

Enhance and broaden your product lines. Innovate and develop new products and services.

But, be sure they fit within your company’s mission. And customer service value proposition.

So, don’t stray too far. From your business’s core strengths.

Okay.  It’s time for the 5th in our series of long-term goals for business examples: mergers and acquisitions…

5. Acquire A Competitor

Acquiring a competitor can be the quickest way to extend your business’s market reach. And this brings us to the “buy or build” dilemma.

You have to decide if it’s more effective to extend your market reach on your own. In other words, building out those capabilities internally.

Or doing so. by buying a competitor. Specifically, a competitor that has accomplished what your business has not. This is the reasoning behind strategic acquisitions.

When it comes to the buy or build decisions. There is no right or wrong answer.

Each situation will be different. And every business will be different. Including yours.

Okay. So the first 5 examples of long-term business goals relate to extending your business’s market reach.

Accomplish any one or more of these goals. And your business will experience revenue growth. Sometimes, rapid revenue growth.

And rapid growth requires the ability to scale. This leads us to the next few long-term goals for business…

6. Expand Personnel And Facilities

Ensure you have the team in place to handle the influx of business. Including the quantity and quality of staff. Also, management personnel.

Develop and put a personnel plan in place. Including an employee professional development and onboarding program.

Then make sure you have the appropriate facilities. That solves for the right locations, footprint, and space.

This includes production, warehouse, distribution, and office space. Depending on your specific business needs.

Also, consider business outsourcing . Another buy or build decision. As part of scaling up to meet demand.

7. Migrate To A New Technology Platform

Don’t forget about technology. Because most successful businesses run on an enterprise-wide system.

If your business does not have the appropriate technology in place. Or, its capacity is limited.

Then make improving your technology infrastructure a long-term business goal.

8. Put Financing Sources In Place

If you have one, your CFO should be in charge of this goal.

Because growth by extending market reach. And putting the people, facilities, and technology in place to service it. Requires one very important thing.

What’s that? It is cash.

Because it takes money to make money. And investing in growth doesn’t come for free.

Where your cash comes from . Be it debt financing, equity financing, or internally generated funds. Don’t let access to capital derail your long-term business plans.

Okay now. Our final 2 examples of long-term business goals fall in the third category.

Specifically, balancing growth versus business profit goals . Since growth without profit, or at the very least, profit potential. Is no fun when operating a business.

short and long term objectives of a business plan

9. Increase Earnings

So, set a long-term earnings goal. And first, put it into dollar terms.

For example, increase pre-tax income from $250,000 to $750,000. That’s a big jump in profit. And why it’s a long-term goal for a business.

But, make sure you have accurate financial information. To do so, consider outsourcing your financial management. Assuming you aren’t up to doing it yourself.

Now, it’s time for our last example of long-term goals in business. Then I will wrap up…

10. Maintain or Improve Profit Margins

Then, make sure your business’s profit margin is stable or even increasing. When I say profit margin, I’m talking about pre-tax income divided by revenue.

Continuing the example from above. Let’s say you did $250,000 in pre-tax profit on $1 million in revenue. So, your profit margin is 25%

Your long-term goal should be to at least maintain that margin. Therefore the new income target of $750,000. Should be generated from no more than $3,000,000 in revenue.

Your profit goals should be part of your financial planning . And, included in pro-forma financial statements.

Make sure the financials encompass all of the economics. Of whatever goals you choose to set.

Finally, I always recommend that business owners keep their personal finances. Separate from their business finances.

I use Personal Capital to track all of my spending and investments. And keep them separate from my business.

Best of all, Personal Capital is free to sign up and use. You can learn more about Personal Capital here .

Next, a few words about setting business goals. Here’s the best way to go about it…

How To Set Long-Term Business Goals

Business long-term goals should be set using SMART . A SMART goal includes the following 5 attributes…

Specific. Make your goals as detailed as possible. Outlining exactly what you want to accomplish.

Measurable. Determine how you will measure success. Both the interim steps and the completion of the goal.

Achievable. Stretch yourself and your organization. But don’t waste time with goals that can’t be achieved.

Realistic. A goal may be achievable. But it may not be realistic. Determine this by looking at your constraints.

For example, a goal may be achievable. But if it requires an amount of capital that you are unable to obtain. Then it’s not realistic.

In this case, access to capital is the constraint. Other constraints include the ability to attract employees and overall market conditions.

Time-bound. Set a deadline for when the goal will be accomplished. A long-term business goal should be out at least 4-5 years from now.

Finally, be sure to align your goals from short to long term . As a result, they will complement each other.

Since the complexity of long-term goals leads to long time horizons. Achieving these goals is challenging.

So, set yourself up for success…

How To Achieve Long-Term Business Goals

getting results from business planning

Students of goal-setting use three more steps. After setting goals using the SMART system.

Specifically, businesses that achieve these examples of long-term goals for business do 3 more things.

Specifically, they plan, act, and monitor (PAM) to successfully achieve goals .

Plan. Long-run goals require a plan. Those step-by-step actions, deliverables, and accountability that must be completed on the path to success.

Action. This should speak for itself. But it’s important. Get the planning done. Then, act. Furthermore, involve your employees in goal-setting processes.

Because people tend to delay working on long-term goals in a business. Thus, time management is critical for success.

Monitor. Finally, it’s important to monitor progress against the plan. Every 3-6 months.

Work through the SMART and PAM goal systems. Document as you go. Commit to all your goals and plans in writing.

Research shows that a written goal. Has a much higher success rate. Versus a goal that is not.

Then appoint a person who has the overall task to see the goal through to the end. And give them the resources required to be successful.

Lack of focus and lack of accountability diminishes the chances of success. When pursuing your organization’s goals over a long period.

Okay. Let’s wrap today’s article up with a summary…

Summary: Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

10 Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals include:

In my opinion, any of these 10 objectives are good examples of long-term goals for a new business. Or, a mature business that has been operating for a while.

They are perfect complements to this…

course I really like about business strategy

…it’s full of great lessons on how to take your business to the next level.

Categories Of Long-Term Business Goals

These business goal examples fall into 1 of the 3 broad categories:

In the case of the first two categories. A business owner will be confronted with the options to buy, build, or outsource.

Finally, all goals should be set with an eye on the third category. That is balancing growth and profit.

Setting Long-Term Business Goals

Make SMART goals for your company . They should be:

Achieve Your Long-Term Business Goals

Achieve your goals with PAM:

Document your goals and your plan. By committing to them in writing. Then get to work on your long-term goals for a business.

More Reading About Setting And Achieving Goals

short and long term objectives of a business plan

Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. However, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial counselor, real estate agent, or tax professional. Instead, I’m a 50-something-year-old, early retired CPA, finance professional, and business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY dividend investing experience. I’m here only to share my thoughts about essential topics for success. As a result, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment, financial, tax, or real estate advice. This site’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. Thus, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this website. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

Setting Short- and Long-Term Goals for Your Business

Setting Short- and Long-Term Goals for Your Business

People use goals to motivate themselves in all areas of life, including sports, school, and their career. However, goals are just as important at any stage of running a business. In fact, Harvard researchers have looked into the importance of goals and found that those who set goals are  10 times more successful  than those who don’t. In other words, goals provide us with a sense of purpose and a path forward. It gives us something to work toward, which helps keep us focused on the task at hand.

Setting goals for what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur and what you want to achieve with your business can make a tremendous difference in your likelihood of success. To create a strong business plan, develop a marketing strategy, and lead your business forward, you need to set critical goals for your business development.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to have a few different types of goals for your business. You will have goals ranging from tasks that you want to accomplish tomorrow to what you would like to achieve in the next few years. Your goals might also change as your business develops and you see new potential areas for growth. You may even realize that you have different goals from when you started your business journey.

However, the critical component lies in making sure that you regularly set goals and revisit your milestones so that you can gauge your performance, adjust when necessary, and continue to inspire yourself to keep moving forward. This article will dive into the importance of having a short- and long-term plan and provide tips for setting goals for your business.

What are short-term goals?

Short-term goals refer to goals that you would like to accomplish in the near future. The near future might include any period of time up to about a year. You might have a series of short-term goals, such as a goal for the day, week, and month, and then your longer-term goals for the year. 

It can be a challenge to work only with long-term goals. Often, the endpoint for your long-term goal will be further off in the future, so creating short-term goals helps you remain focused on the task at hand. It will help give your brain that little reward for reaching a smaller goal on the path toward your longer-term goals. 

You will also be able to measure progress as you pass the milestones indicating that you are getting closer to reaching your long-term ambitions. You want the goals you set to be specific so you can concretely know if you’ve accomplished them. Your short-term goals should also outline the time frame in which you’d like to accomplish the goals. 

Examples of Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals can take various forms depending on your particular industry. Consider the different areas of the business that you need to develop. You might have short-term goals like: 

These types of goals can often be reached within a few weeks and will help you gauge your progress as you begin to build your small business.

What are long-term goals?

Long-term goals describe the milestones you want to reach further in the future. This is where you begin to articulate your one-, five-, and 10-year plans for your business. You want to think about your final ambitions for your business and what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur.

Like your short-term goals, your long-term goals should be specific and have a defined amount of time in which you want to accomplish them. Keep in mind that your short- and long-term goals should work together. By setting your long-term goals and knowing what you want to accomplish professionally years into your business, you can start to set short-term goals that will give you stepping stones to follow along the way. This form of working backward benefits many people as they set their short- and long-term goals. 

Examples of Long-Term Goals

As a small business owner, your long-term goals can look at different aspects of your business growth and development. You might have long-term goals like:

These goals help you see where you want to take your business, providing you with the motivation to stay on course.

Tips for Setting Goals for Your Business

Every entrepreneur will need to set goals that matter to them. Only you know what you want to accomplish with your business and what you want to focus on as a small business owner.

Regardless of your goals, though, there are a few strategies to help you make the most out of your goal-setting. We recommend that you:

Set realistic and stretch goals

Prioritize your goals, use smart goals.

SMART goals are those that follow the  specific criteria  of being:

This method helps to develop milestones that provide you with the most information and make it easier to gauge your progress. However, it’s important to understand what SMART goals aren’t. For example, goals like creating a new website, hiring an assistant in the next week, or increasing sales all fail the SMART goals guidelines. 

The first doesn’t give a deadline, which means it’s not timely. The second will be nearly impossible to do in a week (you need to post the job, screen applicants, conduct interviews, and make an offer), which means the goal is not achievable. Finally, the last goal doesn’t provide any means of measuring success — how much do you want to increase sales by and in what time frame? You have no way of knowing if you succeeded.

Remember that one of the most important points of a goal is to motivate you to keep working toward success. Therefore, you want to make sure you employ two main categories: stretch goals (that you must reach to achieve the goal) and realistic goals (that you know you can accomplish with some hard work).

Your realistic goals will help you maintain motivation by providing you with steady, positive feedback. As you reach these goals, you’ll build your confidence and drive to keep moving forward. At the same time, your stretch goals will challenge you to see what you can do. They will not allow you to get complacent but will push you to keep striving. Together, these two goals will help you accomplish more. 

Many entrepreneurs make the common mistake of jumping in with their business and charging forward without taking the time to set these types of goals. However, without them, it’s easy for small business owners to get discouraged when they don’t achieve noteworthy success very quickly. By trying to do everything at once rather than focusing on a specific goal path, these entrepreneurs can find themselves burning through their budgets and personal energy reserves. It’s also easy to become distracted while working without a clear goal in mind to keep moving forward.

As you begin to develop your goals, you’ll find that you have a number of milestones to hit across various areas of your business. Since you can’t work on different projects and areas of your business at one time, you need to prioritize your goals and know where your focus should lie.

To help yourself, develop a list of your goals and consider the following questions:

Prioritizing your goals will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed in response to different action items vying for your attention. You’ll be able to focus on the tasks that have the biggest impact first and work your way down the line. 

Revisit your goals and your prioritization order regularly, as well. For short-term goals, consider checking in weekly or monthly. Just five minutes to read over the list can help you see if listed items need any adjustments. For long-term goals, look at your progress and milestones every six to 12 months. See how well you progress and what needs adjustment. 

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Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals: Making Business Planning Effective

Business goal setting

Making goals is something we all do, whether that be in our personal or business life.

From deciding that we’re going to read one chapter of a new self-help book per day, right through to increasing turnover by 50% or more.

The problem is that most of us never get around to actually writing these goals down and making the plans and adjustments necessary to attain them.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso

Hardly surprising then that 92% of New Year’s goals (i.e. resolutions) fail by January 15 th ! This and other stats can be found in this article by Alex Mace.

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What are goals.

At the most basic level a ‘goal’ is a desire, objective or outcome you wish to achieve. For example, losing a few post-Christmas pounds, running a marathon, increasing income.

The trouble is, unless you write these objectives down and give yourself a timeframe and a methodology to achieve them, they are basically just desires/dreams.

People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than people without goals .

Not only that but you need the will power and management team to actually get the job done. You can have the best plans known to man but you absolutely need that management team, a.k.a the right people, to make it happen .

This also means hiring the right people .

Currently the most commonly used methodology for goal setting is SMART – an acronym for:

We talked about this in the article What Are the 5 Main Elements of Managing Employee Performance?

Targets and goals will obviously change and develop over time, often dependent on the success (or otherwise!) of previous goals.

For example, if you set an outcome of increasing turnover by £10,000 in Q2 but managed to achieve this by Q1 then you would consider imposing a higher target for Q2, maybe £15,000 or even £20,000.

It’s equally possible that expectations may have to be revised downwards.

The point is, it’s vital to continually revisit goals, to tweak, adjust or even entirely re-evaluate them in line with actual progress . There is little more demoralising than consistently missing out on achieving goals and targets.

Be prepared for things to change , have contingencies in place to mitigate them and don’t get too upset if you don’t reach the goal first time around; it doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily failed; it doesn’t mean the goal or target was unachievable; it might be the goal was too ambitious or that circumstances, the market or market conditions changed during the period.

We speak more below about what might impact your goals but a familiar quote springs to mind: “The only constant is change” so be prepared to re-work your plan if necessary.

Keep the end vision in view, even if that seems tricky at times.

Remember, success is rarely linear; even the most profitable and successful people, entrepreneurs and businesses will have experienced ups and downs .

Business success trajectory

Short-Term Goals

Breaking your goals down into time related chunks makes them more achievable…remember the ‘ T ’ in the acronym SMART relates to time .

Short term goals are generally defined as those which can be achieved within two or three months but this very much depends on what it is you’re planning: sales targets (how much growth?), new recruits (how many people?), learning a new skill (is two months realistic to learn coding, part-time, from scratch?). So make sure your goals are also realistic.

“Dream big dreams, but never forget that realistic short-term goals are the keys to your success” Mac Anderson

If we look at the example of increasing turnover used earlier; increasing turnover by £1k per week for a quarter could be classed as a short-term goal.

Breaking it down under SMART shows the target is:

Specific – £1k per week

Measurable – income is trackable

*Achievable – you have researched/verified this is possible

Relevant – increasing turnover is VERY relevant to business success

Timely – you have set a deadline

Setting the goals isn’t the end of the story though!

If they aren’t * achievable, if you haven’t put the plans in place to ensure the increase in turnover is possible then no matter how amazing your goal setting is, you will never reach them.

If it was simply a case of coming up with the targets and following through by setting them down in writing, we’d all be successful. You need to have a framework in place to ensure that the target, in this specific instance increasing turnover, can be met.

That may mean employing an extra salesperson, paying overtime to production operatives, putting in more hours yourself – even putting up prices. Give yourself the best possible chance of success and do not rely on chance .

Medium-Term Goals

A short-term goal is achievable within a few months, a medium-term goal however is designed to take several months to up to five years to reach fulfilment.

Increasing your turnover (the short-term goal mentioned above) may cause you to set another goal to relocate to larger premises within five years. This would be classed as a medium term goal.

Similarly, an increase in personnel, a revised remuneration package, internal organisational change and reducing production costs via economy of scale, would also fall under the banner of medium-term goals.

Your medium-term goals will often be set as a result of achieving short term targets – in fact they are often driven by the achievement of short-term goals. Think of the chicken and egg scenario – could a relocation be achieved without increased turnover: would a relocation work without increasing staff? Everything is interlinked so make sure your goals are too.


We help businesses make better decisions through planning, goal setting and motivating teams.

Long-Term Goals

As the name suggests, long term goals are those which will take many years to come to fruition – usually between 5 – 10 years.

Planning any more than 10 years in advance is notoriously tricky (at least without a crystal ball or a time machine) but that’s not to say you can’t set such long term goals – especially in terms of an exit plan for example – just be prepared to continually adapt and adjust to take account of changing situations.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never change the goal.” Unknown

Long term goals can be achieved by using a series of short- and medium-term goals as stepping stones along the way to the end point. Breaking down your longer-term targets into a series of smaller (and thus more achievable) steps is a great way to ensure your ultimate success.

How to Go About Goal Setting

The obvious start is to know where it is you want to end up!

Have a clear goal (or series of goals) in sight. For example:

The easiest way to arrive at goals is to simply sit down and write down ALL your personal or organisational dreams and aspirations for the next 10 years or so (personal and business) – it doesn’t matter how far fetched and impossible any of them may seem and at this stage you don’t need to work out how you will achieve them. Just write them down.

Once you have your list – it may contain only a few items or it may be pages long – it’s time for a brainstorming session to refine some of the ideas lurking in your mind. If you have a management team this may be a good time to bring them in.

There’s lots of different ways to brainstorm:

Mind mapping can be extremely freeing and useful. Start with the goal or target, write it on a large piece of paper and surround it with a ‘bubble’ then simply jot down anything that comes to you (or your team) when you consider the initial idea. This could be words, images, other ideas.

Brain dump – similar to mind mapping but even less structured! Simply write down anything and everything that comes to mind.

List making – focus on one goal at a time and create lists of what may be required to achieve it – including breaking it down into smaller steps and goals.

A useful way to look at goal setting in your business (and personally) is to use the ‘staircase’ method to figure out the necessary steps.

Start with ultimate GOAL – let’s say to achieve a £million turnover within 10 years – put that as your top step.

The bottom step is where you are now – £250k for argument’s sake.

Then work out how many steps you will need to reach the top stair, the goal of £1million.

Each of these steps can become a goal along the way to achieving the end result.

Goal setting staircase method

“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.” Stephen Kellogg

Strategy vs Tactics

Once you know where you want to end up it should be easier to work out how to get there. As previously mentioned, you may have to make several corrections along the way and even your ultimate destination may change slightly but you have an end goal in sight.

What you need to achieve the end objective are strategies and tactics.

Now, the words ‘strategy’ and ‘tactic’ are often used interchangeably but they do however have very distinct meanings. Tactics  are the actual means used to attain an objective, while  strategy  is the overall plan.

To put it more succinctly, tactics are short term actions whereas strategy is the long-term vision. Strategies may have to change and adapt to take into account external influences, whilst tactics are mutable and will change to reflect your strategy.

In our example of increasing turnover, the strategy is the overall plan to increase income; the tactics employed to do this could be any number of things from price rises to employing more people to buying another business and these will change depending on their success factor.

What Might Scupper These Plans?

It doesn’t matter how fantastic your strategy and planning towards your overall objective is – there are always outside influences that could affect the achievement of your goals:

This is why you must continually reassess and re-evaluate goals and be prepared to change direction if necessary. Nothing is ever really set in stone in the business world and a failure to change could result in a failure to succeed. Think about Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster and Polaroid (amongst others) whose failure to adapt to a changing world ultimately led to their demise.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius

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Short, medium and long-term plans with a career.

Whilst we’ve concentrated mainly on goal setting in a business environment, it would be remiss not to point out that short, medium- and long-term goal setting can also be applied in a personal career development sphere .

Creating a personal development plan takes time but we go about it in a similar manner. Consider yourself a little business (or a big business of you prefer).

Maybe you want a career change or there are specific reasons you have to change path .

Take becoming a partner in a firm of accountants as an example:

Becoming a Chartered Accountant and a partner may be the long-term goal but to get there will take several steps; the necessary ‘A’ Levels; University degree; a job; completing the ICAEW exams etc.

Just as with a business, external influences along the way may force changes in direction. Failure to get high enough grades initially may mean an apprenticeship route instead of University, but with the ultimate goal in sight the tactics change but the destination is the same.

Use the SMART goals, the Staircase method and do some brainstorming of your own to work out how to get to where you really want to be in 10 years’ time!

“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” George Lucas

In business and life goals are what drive us to succeed.

We all need something to aim for to keep us focussed and feeling alive. That includes businesses.

But a goal that is not written down nor supported by any sort of planning is basically just a dream and, whilst we can all dream of bigger things not all of us actually achieve them.

“Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” Wayne Huizenga

Jo Rosser, MD, Success Stream

Jo founded Success Stream. With over 30 years experience in hotels, leisure, technology and sales she has worked in many a stressful and demanding environment. She now focuses her time on helping others overcome stresses and hurdles in their lives and ensuring they reach their true potential.

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Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Goals & How They Work Together

The thought of switching careers, building a new business, or managing a team through a pivot can seem daunting and nearly impossible to achieve. Yet big, audacious stretch goals are essential to moving forward in our personal and professional lives.

When we hope to achieve something new, we typically start with a broad idea of what we want — for example, becoming a better leader or improving personal productivity. Goal-setting transforms these initial ambiguous ideas into concrete plans and actionable tasks you can tackle to achieve success over time. 

Long-term and short-term goals help visualize and shape the future — for yourself, your teams, and your business. They break down big ideas and aspirations to help you channel your focus and resources into what you can do now to achieve your desired outcome. 

This article shares all you need to know about long-term and short-term goals for individuals, teams, and businesses. We'll answer the following questions: 

What is a short-term goal?

When should you use a short-term or long-term goal?

How can you set goals with your team.

Finally, we'll share examples of short-term and long-term goals and discuss how to use them to design a purposeful and successful life and career/business. 

A short-term goal is a goal you hope to accomplish soon, typically within a year. It may be a part of a larger, long-term goal or a complete goal on its own. 

For example, a creative consultant with a long-term goal to triple her company revenue in five years may break it into short-term goals, like: 

Each of these short-term goals is directed toward achieving the long-term goal of tripling the company revenue in five years. 

The consultant may also have other short-term goals, such as earning a hobby-related certificate or learning to drive. These are complete short-term goals by themselves, not a part of a larger plan to achieve something. 

Short-term goals inspire action in our personal and work lives. They motivate us and align our daily tasks and activities with our big-picture plans. 

In organizations, leaders and project managers can use short-term goals to prioritize projects, create monthly schedules , and guide teams to focus on what’s most impactful. Short-term goals create a sense of urgency that is usually missing in long-term goals. 

What is a long-term goal?

A long-term goal is a goal that shapes the future. It's an intentional quest or outcome you want in your personal life, career, or business. Long-term goals take more than a year to accomplish. They typically range from three to ten years. 

Long-term goals provide purpose and direction. They take you from playing a passive role in how life pans out to an active one where you conceive and work towards what you want. 

These goals should be revisited and revised regularly to ensure they stay relevant and incorporate changes in your environment. For example, a business's long-term goal at the start of 2020 may have included opening new offices in countries across the world but is now adjusted to having only two offices located in their most active cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Setting long-term goals helps combat short-term thinking in your work and personal life. These goals provide a guide for what you, your team, or your company are working toward.

Setting both short-term and long-term goals is beneficial for individuals and businesses. They are powerful when used together to determine daily tasks and focus and expectations of the future. 

When to use long-term goals

Long-term goals clarify what we want and are willing to work on over a long period. Use them when envisioning an extended timeframe in your life, career, or business. 

Think about what you want to achieve in three, five, or ten years and how you would like your life and business to evolve. Will you create new products and services? Change career paths? Move to a new city? Expand and cross into new industries? 

Long-term goals provide purpose and direction. Things may happen differently than you plan them, but you gain more control and confidence in your decision-making when you set long-term goals. Use them to shape your evolution over time. 

When to use short-term goals

When you've established your long-term goals, break them into smaller, short-term goals you can achieve in short time frames. Use these goals to advance toward your long-term goals and ideal life.

Make your short-term goals SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound — so you're more likely to accomplish them and increase confidence in your abilities. Short-term goals are motivating. They can spark creativity and resourcefulness, causing steady progress.

Use short-term goals to stay active and assess your alignment with your long-term goals. You will know when things feel off and if you need to revise them. Short-term goals keep you focused and enrich your daily life with meaning and variety.

Setting goals with your team can be a powerful way to build connection and commitment to the organization's goals. 

It generates a wider pool of goal ideas and fosters a sense of ownership of the work. This helps create alignment between employees and the company. Team members are more likely to contribute their best and work toward a goal when they're involved from the start. 

Follow these steps to set goals with your team:

Examples of short-term goals

Below, we have curated lists of ten short-term goal examples for individuals, teams, and businesses. 

Examples of short-term goals for individuals

Ten short-term goal examples for individuals: 

Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Goals & How They Work Together 2

Examples of short-term goals for teams

Ten short-term goal examples for teams: 

Examples of short-term goals for businesses

Ten short-term goal examples for businesses: 

Examples of long-term goals

Below, we have curated a list of ten long-term goal examples for individuals, teams, and businesses.

Examples of long-term goals for individuals

Ten long-term goal examples for individuals: 

Examples of long-term goals for teams

Ten long-term goal examples for teams: 

Examples of long-term goals for businesses

Ten long-term goal examples for businesses: 

How Wrike can help your team plan and achieve long-term and short-term goals

Wrike makes it easy to connect long-term goals to day-to-day work through project planning and task management .

Our collaborative workspace and project management platform enables team brainstorming, ideation, and project management with functionalities such as personalized dashboards, @mentions, automated reminders, and views, including lists, spreadsheets, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts. 

To begin, clarify your team’s long-term goals and create folders for each one, for example:

Include a detailed summary of each goal in its description field so that everyone involved can find important details about the goal and what's expected of them. Use custom fields to add notes like budgets, research data, and customer lists. Information entered in custom fields is restricted to specific users and groups in your organization.

Inside your primary goal folders, create sub-folders and break down your long-term goal into short-term goals and projects:

Now assign leaders or project managers to each folder or sub-folder. They will be in charge of breaking these short-term goals into projects and tasks with clear deadlines and assignments. You can also create and set your personal goals in Wrike by creating a private folder only you can access.

Are you ready to create a purposeful life and career/business? Start with our business goals template and begin planning your long-term and short-term goals with a two-week free trial of Wrike .

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Becoming more profitable

short and long term objectives of a business plan

Long-term goals and short-term objectives

Long-term goals and short-term objectives complement and support each other and are critical strategies for your business’ success..

It's impossible to achieve your long-term goals (what you want the future for the business to be) without achieving your short-term goals (the detailed actions behind the big plan). Neither can exist in isolation.

Developing business goals and objectives involves considerable introspection into what makes your business tick, and what you want its future to be.

Long-term goals can be likened to a vacation destination, and the related short-term objectives you establish afterwards act as a road map for getting there.

How do you ensure your short and long-term goals complement each other?

1. Start with determining your long-term business goals

Your long-term goals and objectives should have a timeline of about three to five years.

They should articulate your company's mission statement, reflecting the reason your company was founded. They are visionary and usually fall within four general areas:

Service: goals related to improving customer service satisfaction or customer retention.

Social: goals that focus on giving back to the community, for example through philanthropy or volunteer organisations.

Profit: goals set to increase profits by a certain percentage.

Growth: goals related to the expansion of the company through new employees, for instance.

2. Establish your short-term business objectives

Once you've determined what you want for the business in the long term, you need to work out how to get there. The best way to think about your short-term objectives for accomplishing your long-term goals is to make them SMART goals. For details on these strategies, review our guide on setting  long-term and short-term goals .

3. Understand what the long-term goal means on a daily basis

Aim to establish the goal at its most fundamental level during the planning process. If you want to increase sales annually by 24%, how many new customers or orders a day does that represent? This is your short-term objective.

4. Tie your short-term objectives into your long-term goals

You've already identified the long-term goals, so it's easier to see how focusing on seemingly small details can be a step toward achieving a broader long-term aim.

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5. Implement a much narrower timeline for short-term objectives

Increasing sales 24% a year is a pretty big number, but increasing sales say, 2% each month, seems more doable.

Create goals that are one year out, six months out, and monthly. Your first-year goals should be based on your ultimate five and ten-year ones. The monthly ones will then be based on what it will take to achieve your first-year goal.

Your immediate goals are those that are set for employees every week and every day. You can have an objective that is the same every week; for example, call prospects every Wednesday between 9am and 4pm.

6. Break down specific actions to be taken by specific people

One of the key principles of SMART goals settings is to be specific and action-oriented. Assign someone in each department involved to be accountable and to help motivate employees. Accountability and motivation are two essential components for turning goals from the abstract into reality.

7. Have a regular time for planning short-term objectives

Sit down regularly once per week – Monday morning is ideal – to set objectives for every day of the week to come. This planning time is critical. Break individual objectives down as much as possible.

8. Ensure you have appropriate employees involved in all aspects of planning

Seek and take onboard employee feedback on how individual objectives are travelling.

9. Review and revisit short-term objectives when and as needed

Don’t wait for the weekly Monday morning meeting. The business world can be a volatile marketplace, and your business must be prepared and ready to change direction. Reviewing goals will show you just how much you are achieving, what is working, and what needs tweaking, and will keep you motivated along the path to success.

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  1. Restaurant business plan goals and objectives

    short and long term objectives of a business plan

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    short and long term objectives of a business plan

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    short and long term objectives of a business plan

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    short and long term objectives of a business plan

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  1. Examples of Long- & Short-Term Goals for a Business

    A business needs to set short-term and long-term goals as part of its planning. Goals can be chosen in areas like Revenue, customer service

  2. Short-term vs. long-term business goals: comparison + examples

    The biggest difference between short-term goals and long-term goals is their purpose. Long-term goals are strategic — they're a plan for the future of the

  3. What are Short and Long-term Business Goals?

    The term nearest future refers to the current day, week, month, or year. Short-term goals are sometimes known as smaller goals because they have

  4. 10 Examples of Long-Term Business Goals to Set Now

    1. Extending market reach. Specifically, growing business revenue in different and dramatic ways.

  5. Setting Short- and Long-Term Goals for Your Business

    Examples of Short-Term Goals · Incorporating your business and filing your paperwork · Building your website · Building a social media presence for your business

  6. What Are Business Goals? Definition, Steps and Examples

    Many short-term goals are goals that further the achievement of long-term goals. Consider your long-term goals as well as what you want to

  7. Business Goals: Examples

    Short-term goals for a business are important to set in order to observe a return on work and complete more easily managed tasks. They are

  8. Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals: Making Business Planning

    Long term goals can be achieved by using a series of short- and medium-term goals as stepping stones along the way to the end point. Breaking down your longer-

  9. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Goals

    Long-term and short-term goals help visualize and shape the future — for yourself, your teams, and your business. They break down big ideas

  10. Long-term goals and short-term objectives

    Long-term goals and short-term objectives complement and support each other and are critical strategies for your business' success.