State your long-range goals and the milestones you will have to pass to achieve them. Then make a timetable for accomplishing specific short-term business objectives that will enable you to reach your larger goal. As an example, your long-range goal may be “to be the largest manufacturer of computer furniture in the Northeast.” First you must decide on your definition of “largest manufacturer.” It may mean the largest gross sales, the largest number of employees or the most diverse product lines to meet the customer’s needs. Perhaps it means all of these, but to get there you must put into place logical, carefully considered steps to reach your goal.
Be realistic when making short-term objectives. If a reasonable estimate of your first year’s gross profit is $100,000, do not set yourself a $500,000 goal. Give yourself achievable targets in a limited time frame, and then write a plan for meeting them. A successful business not only looks forward, but reevaluates its past, so it is in your best interest to compare your actual business performance to your written goals on a continuing basis.