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
Receiving grant funding as a social business

Receiving grant funding as a social business

Ben Atkinson-Willes received a £5,000 grant from Kingston University and £100,000 in match funding from...  

Running a Business
How to run a business from multiple locations

How to run a business from multiple locations

Richard Prime discusses how to successfully run a company across a range of sites....  

News
Call for high streets to find new ways to improve performance

Call for high streets to find new ways to improve performance

Local authorities and town centre managers are being urged to consider new ways to bring...  

Blog
Self-assessment tax returns causing stress at home for business owners

Self-assessment tax returns causing stress at home for business owners

Tax returns are probably the bane of your professional existence, and they're not so great...