ALL BUSINESSES, whether small or large, need to have some long-term goals so that the owners can have a clear vision of what they are working toward.  If you are a business owner or plan to become one, financial goals are essential for the success of your business’ operations. Before you start setting your long-term goals, there are a few things you should consider. The first would be to establish the exact state of your business’ current financial status. Once you have this in mind, you can start setting your goals at monthly intervals. This will then spill over to quarterly intervals, followed by yearly intervals; before you know it, you will have your business’ long term goals. Breaking the goals up into these segments enables you to clearly align your operational goals with your financial goals so that you can have the overall goals for your business. Also, by keeping your finances firmly in mind, you won’t overextend yourself financially.

When you are setting the long-term goals for your business, ensure that they are practical. If you are not pragmatic, then chances are, you will not achieve these goals and that will give you a sense of failure. Not to mention, the business will probably go under as well, which is the exact opposite of what you want. The first thing you should do is establish some cornerstones that you can use to gauge the rate of performance of your business. The most logical options would be the sales figures as well as the revenues that the business is making. Some companies prefer to use their monthly or even yearly net income as one such cornerstone, while others will concentrate on the costs of running the business. The truth is that it is entirely up to your discretion what you would like to use to measure your business’ progress in attaining long-term goals because you are the person that set the goals in the first place. The bottom line is that you can’t know if your business is progressing in the right direction if you don’t know explicitly where it currently stands. That is why you need to know how to measure its performance levels.

The next step would be to create financial goals in relation to the financial performance of the company in its last business year. For example, if it cost you $10,000 to run the business last year, set a goal that in the current financial year, it will cost you $7,000. Then, if the business made $20,000 in profits in the last financial year, set a goal for $25,000 for the current year. The main aim is to set goals that will decrease your expenditure while increasing your income and thus, your business will be profitable.

Lastly, do not set goals but stay in the same work routine. Streamline your staff and increase your work hours if it will mean attaining the long-term goals for your business. Failure to do this may interfere with the progress of reaching your goals. However, ensure these goals are realistic. Growing a business is like running a marathon, not a sprint.