Have you set any short-term goals lately? If you’re like most entrepreneurs and business leaders, you have a long to-do list. But, it’s important to stop and think about the bigger picture.
Short-term business goals you set for yourself and your business that you hope to accomplish within a short period. This could be as short as a few weeks or up to a year. The reasons why short-term goals are important are many. These types of goals provide quick wins. This means that while you are seeking to accomplish your long-term and medium-term business goals, you have shorter goals that provide small victories along the way.
Short-term goals can also serve as milestones toward your larger goals. If you have big ambitious goals for your business, you can take steps towards them by lining up smaller, shorter-term goals to accomplish.
Over the next few weeks, months, or even the next year, what do you hope to accomplish? If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few short-term business goals examples to think about.
Improve Operational Processes
Although it may seem that improving operational processes is a non-financial business goal, the way a business operates directly impacts its ability to make money. Especially when it comes to being profitable. Your operation process is how you and your business get stuff done. This means how you manage your website, develop your product, find leads, manage inventory, as well as many other things.
You may have an in-demand product or service, but if the way you operate the business behind the scenes is antiquated and disorganized, you could be wasting time and material resources.
A good short-term goal would be to improve operational processes this week, month, quarter, or year. You can start with the little things. For example, improve the way that you improve your product fulfillment process this week. Ask yourself “How long does it take to fulfill orders?” Then, seek a way to shorten that time.
Look for small improvements over the course of the year and you will eventually develop a smoother operational process that will help the business become more streamlined.
Increase Sales Revenue for This Quarter
Planning for your business to be profitable must be intentional. So, begin now by creating the goal of increasing sales revenue for this quarter.
If you’re not sure how you will meet this goal, think about these questions:
- What products are customers buying now?
- What products aren’t they buying?
- Are there seasonal trends impacting the business?
- What are our competitors doing better than we are?
There are many other ways to increase revenue as well. You can increase the prices of your most popular offerings. You can also increase your advertising and marketing budget to drive revenue. Setting a short-term revenue goal will allow you to see the hidden potential your business has. Seeing what it takes to hit short-term financial goals will help you understand what is needed to help your business scale.
Hire “X” Amount of Employees This Year
Committing to hiring the right number of employees may help you achieve other goals for your business. Not having enough employees on board will only keep you from achieving your other business goals.
For example, if your goal is to sell X number of units – but you’re understaffed – your business will miss its production goal. Or, you will pay more to your current employees in overtime costs.
Ensure you’re placing the right person in each role. These new hires can be pivotal for creating a great culture, and ultimately, cultivating a great reputation for your company. Creating a referral program for your current employees to refer their friends is one easy way of finding great talent.
Expanding your team is a key startup business goal. However, every business that wants to have the right employees on staff should set short-term hiring goals.
Improve Customer Retention
It costs more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customer. The effort and time poured into marketing and other efforts make it costly. Smart companies know that they must not take their current customer base for granted.
How can you improve customer retention? Here are some strategies:
- Marketing Through a Customer Loyalty Program – Reward customers for repeat purchases.
- Discounts and Promo Codes- While many companies have done away with coupons, some customers still use them and would be enticed by a coupon or promo code to use on a future purchase.
- Outstanding Customer Service- When employees are rude to customers or they do not seem to care, a business will easily lose customers. Not every customer will complain. Some will just leave your business and never return. After all, there is plenty of competition ready to meet their wants and needs.
Expand Online Presence by “X”
How would you describe your online strategy? Due to the importance and competitiveness of online marketing, expanding your online presence is an important first-year goal for any business.
If you’ve been doing it all yourself- then it might be time to hire an online expert. It may be time to make it a goal to expand your online presence.
Why should you make this a priority? There are several reasons. Expanding your online presence will allow you to target more customers, show more people who you are, and gain more sales.
This online presence will enhance your credibility. A basic level of trust, credibility, or familiarity must be established before many people will even purchase from you. After all, you wouldn’t just hand your money over to a stranger, would you? Customers need to know that they can trust your company. They want to know:
- Will I get what I ordered?
- Are they just going to steal my credit card information?
- If there’s a problem with my order, will they resolve it?
There are more reasons to enhance your online presence, such as:
- Reaching your target customers
- Making people aware that you’re hiring
- Reminding existing customers to come back and purchase from you again
- Converting ads to sales
Increase Employee Productivity This Month
Increasing employee productivity is another short-term goal you may set at some point. However, to ensure success in this area, make sure your employees have what they need to be successful at their jobs. Be sure your employees are familiar with any safety regulations that apply to their industry. Confirm that everyone has the tools needed to do their jobs.
Test New Product Idea the Year
Testing a new product idea is another short-term goal. If this goal is successful, it could eventually lead to the launching of a new product that could increase sales. You’ll want to test your idea thoroughly before launching it to the public.
You’ll want to think about the products you’re selling that have already been successful. What do customers already love? What similar products could you launch that would be similar? Are there products that you make – or that are made by a vendor/supplier – that could be sold as a pair to what you sell now?
Think about coffeemakers. The Keurig coffee maker has become extremely popular. But, in order to use it, you need the pods. The pods contain coffee. Is there anything you can sell that would be thought of as a pair? Think about ways that you can solve a problem or make life easier for your customers. If you can, then chances are, you may be able to create a new product that will be successful.
Diversify Revenue for the Year
If you’ve already increased your quarterly revenue, another goal to consider is diversifying that revenue. Diversifying revenue means that you are earning income from different sources. This can be done without launching a new product, however. Although that is certainly one way to do it. But what this truly means is diversifying how you make your money and where the money comes from.
One way to diversify is to simply find other places to generate money. If you have an ecommerce store you can diversify the revenue sources by also selling on marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. You can also offer products within your niche. For example, if you have a clothing brand, you can also sell accessories to complement your line.
Diversifying revenue is important for all businesses. From restaurants to tech companies. Every entrepreneur should understand that one revenue source puts a business at risk of failure if that source is cut off. As a short-term goal, finding other sources can help minimize future financial risks.
Short-term business goals help entrepreneurs increase their chances of success. By setting short-term goals, leaders will envision what they want the near future to look like, and plan accordingly.