smallbusiness.co.uk: Helping your business think big

Email a Friend

What is meant by 'short-term objective', 'medium-term objective' and 'long-term objective'?

The difference between short-, medium- and long-term objectives is the time frame of each, and the implication this has on the nature of the objectives. Short-term objectives are generally those relating to that financial year, in a time frame from now to the end of the year (i.e. up to a year away). An example might be to raise turnover by 8% and profit by 9% by the end of the financial year.

Medium-term objectives are generally those that relate to a period from 18 months to three years or sometimes five years (whichever is appropriate for the organisation and people setting the objectives). These objectives will therefore be broader, can be reviewed and may need to be amended with time. An example might be to relocate to brand new premises of 20,000sq ft by March 2009. Of course the medium-term will become short-term with the passage of time, and should be reviewed and updated with this in mind.

Longer-term objectives are generally more aspirational in nature and so tend to relate to a period of five years plus. Often, for owners and/or managers these can tie closely in with personal goals and work/life balance. An example might be to sell the business for £5 million before the owner/manager is 60.

However, it is imperative when setting business goals, whether they are short- or long-term, that they follow the principle of SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound, if they are to be truly effective.

A business plan is a great tool to help you methodically plot your business goals and objectives. Read the article here on how to write a businsess proposal.

See also: Firms 'should consider long-term cost of redundancies'

Previous article

How to design a business plan

Next article

Moving abroad: legal issues

Post a comment

1 comment

Mohamed Hassan

thank you

Related

News | Opportunities

Finances fall short for firms in deprived areas

News | Opportunities

Funds fall short for female entrepreneurs

News | Outlook

SMEs prepare for the long haul

Expert view | Employing staff

How long does a temporary contract last?

Small Business Offers

More from Small Business

Financing a Business
Should I take on an accountant?

Should I take on an accountant?

Emily Coltman of FreeAgent discusses the factors for small business owners to bear in mind...  

Running a Business
How new EU distance selling rules affect small businesses

How new EU distance selling rules affect small businesses

Rik Hellewell discusses how changes to EU 'distance selling' regulations could be problematic for small enterprises. ...  

News
Small companies losing out on profit by not having business plan

Small companies losing out on profit by not having business plan

Small enterprises that had a business plan in place last year were consistently more profitable...  

Blog
UK small businesses still struggling to stay afloat

UK small businesses still struggling to stay afloat

James Benamor questions why the business rate cap came so late for the UK's long-suffering...