In business it’s natural to focus on the immediate or next quarter, however, if you want to achieve long-term success, it’s important to shift your focus from short-term gains to long-term planning. Planning for the longer-term, by which I mean more than one year, can help you create a roadmap for success, anticipate potential obstacles and prepare for growth.
To be able to do this effectively requires a mindset shift, especially if you’re in the cycle of planning for 90 days. To have a plan in place for the next 90 is essential, but for the overall business vision, a longer plan is much more beneficial.
Here are four reasons why planning for longer is better than planning for one quarter:
Helps You Identify Long-Term Goals
You’re able to identify long-term goals for your business. This means that you can set objectives that extend beyond just the next quarter. For example, you might want to increase your client base by 50% over the next three years, or expand your services to include more high-end ticket offerings.
By identifying long-term goals, you’ll be able to plan your resources, time and investments more strategically. This can help you prioritise projects and avoid the mistake of focusing too much on short-term wins at the expense of long-term success.
Allows You to Anticipate Potential Obstacles
When you plan for one quarter, you’re focused on the immediate future. However, when you plan for longer, you’re able to anticipate potential obstacles that may arise over the next few years. For example, you might anticipate changes in market trends that you’ll want to follow or economic conditions that could impact your business. You may have personal changes on the way that need to be factored in.
By anticipating potential obstacles, you can create contingency plans. This can help you avoid the stress and uncertainty that often comes with unexpected challenges.
Provides a Clear Path to Growth
When you plan longer term, you’re able to create a clear path of growth for your business. This means that you can identify the key milestones that you need to achieve in order to reach your goals.
For example, if your long-term goal is to increase your clients by 50%, you might identify specific milestones, such as launching a new marketing campaign, developing a new service, or working on affiliate schemes.
By creating a clear path to growth, you’ll be able to focus your efforts and resources more effectively. This can help you avoid distractions and ensure that you’re making progress towards your long-term objectives.
Helps You Make Informed Decisions
You’re able to make more informed decisions about your business. This is because you have a more complete picture of your long-term goals, potential obstacles and path to growth. I am a bug advocate for the 30,000ft view of your business and how beneficial it can be see the bigger picture.
For example, if you’re considering a new service, product or even collaboration, you can evaluate how it fits into your long-term plan if you can see the overall picture. This can help you avoid making short-sighted decisions that may not align with your long-term goals.
The Benefits of Taking a Long-Term View
Taking a long-term view of your business can help you achieve greater success over time. Here are a few additional benefits (if you needed them!)
Creates a Stronger Sense of Purpose
When you focus on the long-term, you’re able to create a stronger sense of purpose for your business. This means that you can align your efforts and resources with a larger mission or vision.
Helps You Build Stronger Relationships
You’re able to build stronger relationships with your clients, team, audience and network. This is because you’re able to create a shared vision of where your business is headed and what you want to achieve. This can help you build trust, loyalty and commitment over time.
Taking a long-term view of your business can also help you increase your resilience in the face of challenges. This is because you’re able to anticipate potential obstacles and prepare for them in advance.
Enhances Your Reputation
Finally, taking a long-term view of your business can enhance your reputation over time. This is because you’re able to build a track record of consistency and a commitment to your values and mission.
While it’s important to focus on the short-term and take action, taking a long-term view of your business can help you achieve greater success over time. You’ll be able to identify long-term goals, anticipate potential obstacles, create a clear path to growth and make more informed decisions. You’ll build a stronger sense of purpose, build stronger relationships, increase resilience and enhance your reputation.
So, take some time to think about where you want to be in three years and start planning for that future today. Your future business will thank you for it!