I’ve been fortunate to work with entrepreneurs in different environments around the globe. While they share some similarities, each is unique to the individual. Based on my experience, I can say that having long-terms goals or plans for the start-up depends on the entrepreneur, their background, the type of start-up, and the industry.
In the beginning, long-term goals are more like aspirations than anything else because what you must first do is verify and validate the sustainability of the business, and if you have a viable business model — meaning whether or not you can repeat transactions over and over and earn a profit.
Thinking in that manner, it becomes clear that you want to think about short-term runs of aspirations that can then morph to long-term goals. You must first prove the concept of what you have started.
Why did you start this business?
Are starting because:
- You have no choice / just want something of your own
- You are an expert in your field and someone has asked you to
- You are a spin-off from a large corporation
If you start because you have no choice, creating long-term goals may not seem suitable or worthwhile — your primary focus is paying rent and putting food on the table. You may have goals of reaching a specific number of transactions/dollars/customers per day, but you are still trying to figure out if you can get even one.
Start with these two tactical questions:
- How many people do I need to speak to today to make the 10 transactions I need for the day?
- How much do I have to earn every day to pay basic expenses such as rent and food?
Please do create some long-term goals while you go after these short-term actions and goals, and you will learn that when you reach your smaller or short-term goals, you start having the confidence you need to reach the long-term goals.
BEFORE YOU GO
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
- What stage of business are you in?
- What long-term goals do you need, and how do you define them?
- How can you define them in terms of one year, five years, ten years, etc.?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.