Starting a small business is not only exciting but can be very demanding at the same time, so it is important that you have a long-term perspective and be able to stay focused during and beyond the ramp up period. If you stay focused and achieve your short and medium range goals, then you’ll have a better chance of making it in the long run or what I refer to as long-term.
The problem is that some people are just not able to think long-term. They come from the job world and can only think in terms of two weeks to a month, because this is how they’ve been programmed. The thought of thinking past the end of the month is beyond them. So when we talk about developing a small business to the point where it creates full-time income or expands beyond one location, they just don’t get it.
If this is you, then let’s break it down into a more digestible format that you will be able to comprehend. In order to look at the long-term, we sometimes need lay everything out on paper or on a word processor. I want to encourage you to do this and then think in terms of the following three time frames.
These time frames should be what you work on for your small business, if you intend to stay focused and develop a long-term vision for your business:
1. Short range or what I refer to as less than 90 days are the immediate and most important goals and objectives that you need to accomplish in order to keep your business running. This is where you want to start. If you need help building out your websites; then focus on this first? Do you need additional traffic to your websites; then work on driving traffic? You see, it’s all about prioritizing and accomplishing the tasks. Once you get the immediate out of the way, you can move onto the big picture.
2. Medium range, or what I refer to as 90 days to 12 months, are the goals that you reach by achieving your short- range objectives. Midrange plans are based on what you have put in place on a monthly and quarterly basis. If you have a sales and revenue goal for the year, then this is falls into the medium range category.
3. Long range is what I refer to as two to five years. This is where you should end up if you are planning, taking action and diligently working on your short and medium range goals. Expanding your existing location or hiring people to take on work that you no longer want to do, falls into the long range category.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles and writings, to start a business is one thing; to make it past the 12 month mark is another. Remember that in order to keep your business running and profitable, you need to stay focused and action oriented. If you do this, you should achieve your short and medium range goals and make it to your long-range destination. It’s the one day at a time philosophy, so take it one day at a time and eventually you should reach all of your long-range goals.