Long-Term Business Planning Basics

Articulate long term business goals for the direction of your business

Long-term business plans include periods that range from five to 50 years - it just depends on the type of business and leadership preference. Even if a long-term plan reaches for 50 years, an effective plan requires annual revisiting to review, assess, and adjust objectives. Flexibility is the biggest indicator of successful businesses; be open to changing goals in order to remain successful.

Planning is more than just a written list of hopes; it is paying attention to the market, the competition, customers and trends, so you stay on a forward track to reach long-range goals. To understand long term business planning basics, keep the following in mind:

1. Vision sets the direction of long-term business plans.

2. Processes of long term planning in business depend on leadership.

3. Long range planning is the most important factor that supports your vision.

State your long term business goals vision clearly

Long-term business development depends on clarity, so spend time constructing the vision of your business. The vision is the purpose, expected outcome, or impact you want your business to have, and it answers "why" your business exists. Articulating your vision is an effective guiding force that gives direction to leaders, so they plan and coordinate decisions with efficiency and clear focus on the desired result.

Choose your business planning leadership carefully

Your leaders hold the responsibility of ensuring your vision becomes a reality, so choose a mix of people who bring talents that complement each other from diverse specialties. A leadership team supports your vision, challenges your ideas and remains active from beginning to end, so look for people different from yourself to get a balanced view of the business.

Make meeting and planning time count for long term business goals

The planning process for long term business goals involves many meetings with the leadership team. Stay focused. If you have a large leadership team, split off into smaller groups to accomplish more in a shorter time period. Invest time with the leaders to build your plan and finalize your goals to turn your vision into reality.

  • In today's economy of quick change and Internet capabilities, the definition of long term is industry dependent. Sometimes 90 days is long term planning. Be flexible.

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