10 Examples of Long-Term Business Goals to Set Now

Identify, Set, And Achieve Long-Term Business Goals For Success

Today I want to share examples of long-term business goals with you. Because thinking long-term about your business is key to its success.

One of my former bosses had a good saying. And I think it applies to long-term goals for a business.

My boss used to tell us this. “In the long run, we are only limited by our thoughts. Don’t hold back. Think big!”

So, let’s dive in and think big about our businesses…

examples of long term business goalsPin

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

First of all, here you will find today’s examples of long-term business goals list for your consideration:

  1. Expand into a new geographic market
  2. Market through a new channel
  3. Penetrate a new demographic
  4. Broaden product and service offerings
  5. Acquire a competitor
  6. Expand personnel and facilities
  7. Migrate to a new technology platform
  8. Put financing sources in place
  9. Increase earnings
  10. Improve profit margins

Next, let’s make sure we are completely aligned on today’s topic.  Identifying, setting, and achieving these 10 examples of long-term goals for a business.

Long-Term Business Goals Definition

First of all, a goal is an outcome you want to achieve. That a person envisions, plans for, and commits to achieve.

Furthermore, goals can relate to many aspects of our lives. For example, self-development, career, health, fitness, and personal finance outcomes.

But today, we are talking about goals related to your business.

More specifically, we are talking about long-term goals for a small business. Or, larger businesses too.

Typically, long-term goals take more planning. And more time to achieve. Normally, it takes 5 years or more to accomplish a long-term goal.

Furthermore, long-term goals are more strategic. And they require a vision of what your business will look like in the distant future.

While ensuring its long-term success, growth, and profitability. As you make the journey.

Finally, business goals can be non-financial. Or, they can be tied to a specific financial outcome.

Long-Term Goals For A Business Versus Other Types Of Goals

Businesses also have short-term goals and medium-term goals. Let’s compare and contrast…

Short-Term Business Goals

Short-term business goals are to be accomplished within 1 year.

Their focus is on solving today’s problems. Or, activities in the near term. That creates a foundation for long-term success.

Examples of short-term business goals include:

  • Increase on-time delivery from 95% to 99%
  • Reduce overhead costs by 3%
  • Prepare a business plan

Medium-Term Business Goals

Medium-term goals should be set and completed within a 1-5 year time horizon.

These goals are intended to move your business forward in a meaningful way. But, are too involved to complete within a year.

Examples of good medium-term goals for business include:

  • Increase market share by 5%
  • Develop and bring to market a product line extension
  • Increase shareholder value by $1 million

Next, before we touch on the examples. A little more talk about long-term goals for a business…

The Big Picture View Of Long-Term Business Goals

long term goals examples for business

Today’s examples of long-term business goals are more strategic. Versus short and medium-term goals.

They are not about solving today’s problems. Or, about improving your business on the margins in the next few years.

They are for taking big steps forward. And transforming your business into something bigger and better in the future. Versus what it is today.

These goals take more than 2-3 years to accomplish without causing business instability.

They require careful thought about the direction you wish your business to take. Then planning, resources, and careful execution.

For more on these strategic topics…

consider this excellent course on business strategy and leadership.

But for now, I think about long-term goals for a business in one of three categories:

1. Extending market reach. Specifically, growing business revenue in different and dramatic ways.

2. Ensuring the ability to scale. Having success with growth means being able to handle it. In other words, scaling operations to service the new markets and customers you are reaching.

3. Balancing growth and profits. Substantial business growth is good. It certainly beats the alternative.

But rapid growth is hard to execute. And it must be done profitably.

Thus, all 10 of today’s examples of long-term business goals fall into one of these categories.

Now, let’s go through each of the 10 goals on our list. All of them can be good investments to make in your business.

list of long-term goals for a businessPin

1. Expand Into A New Geographic Market

Plan for and expand into new geographic markets. For example, if you operate in Utah. Expand into the high business growth state of Colorado.

If your business services the Western portion of the country. Extend it throughout the United States.

Finally, consider foreign expansion. But, understand that these are big steps. Require careful thought and planning.

Up next in the long-term goals examples for business: channel strategy…

2. Go To Market Through A New Channel

Identify all the possible channels through which your products and services can be sold. Then delivered to your customers.

Utilize one or more marketing channels that have not yet been tapped.

For example, consider a targeted social media strategy. That drives traffic to an online store on your website.

3. Penetrate A New Demographic

Your current products and services are likely popular with a certain demographic.

So, evaluate your marketing plan. To tap into demand from a different segment of the population.

4. Broaden Product And Service Offerings

Enhance and broaden your product lines. Innovate and develop new products and services.

But, be sure they fit within your company’s mission. And customer service value proposition.

So, don’t stray too far. From your business’s core strengths.

Okay.  It’s time for the 5th in our series of long-term goals for business examples: mergers and acquisitions…

5. Acquire A Competitor

Acquiring a competitor can be the quickest way to extend your business’s market reach. And this brings us to the “buy or build” dilemma.

You have to decide if it’s more effective to extend your market reach on your own. In other words, building out those capabilities internally.

Or doing so. by buying a competitor. Specifically, a competitor that has accomplished what your business has not. This is the reasoning behind strategic acquisitions.

When it comes to the buy or build decisions. There is no right or wrong answer.

Each situation will be different. And every business will be different. Including yours.

Okay. So the first 5 examples of long-term business goals relate to extending your business’s market reach.

Accomplish any one or more of these goals. And your business will experience revenue growth. Sometimes, rapid revenue growth.

And rapid growth requires the ability to scale. This leads us to the next few long-term goals for business…

6. Expand Personnel And Facilities

Ensure you have the team in place to handle the influx of business. Including the quantity and quality of staff. Also, management personnel.

Develop and put a personnel plan in place. Including an employee professional development and onboarding program.

Then make sure you have the appropriate facilities. That solves for the right locations, footprint, and space.

This includes production, warehouse, distribution, and office space. Depending on your specific business needs.

Also, consider business outsourcing. Another buy or build decision. As part of scaling up to meet demand.

7. Migrate To A New Technology Platform

Don’t forget about technology. Because most successful businesses run on an enterprise-wide system.

If your business does not have the appropriate technology in place. Or, its capacity is limited.

Then make improving your technology infrastructure a long-term business goal.

8. Put Financing Sources In Place

If you have one, your CFO should be in charge of this goal.

Because growth by extending market reach. And putting the people, facilities, and technology in place to service it. Requires one very important thing.

What’s that? It is cash.

Because it takes money to make money. And investing in growth doesn’t come for free.

Where your cash comes from. Be it debt financing, equity financing, or internally generated funds. Don’t let access to capital derail your long-term business plans.

Okay now. Our final 2 examples of long-term business goals fall in the third category.

Specifically, balancing growth versus business profit goals. Since growth without profit, or at the very least, profit potential. Is no fun when operating a business.

long term business goals examples

9. Increase Earnings

So, set a long-term earnings goal. And first, put it into dollar terms.

For example, increase pre-tax income from $250,000 to $750,000. That’s a big jump in profit. And why it’s a long-term goal for a business.

But, make sure you have accurate financial information. To do so, consider outsourcing your financial management. Assuming you aren’t up to doing it yourself.

Now, it’s time for our last example of long-term goals in business. Then I will wrap up…

10. Maintain or Improve Profit Margins

Then, make sure your business’s profit margin is stable or even increasing. When I say profit margin, I’m talking about pre-tax income divided by revenue.

Continuing the example from above. Let’s say you did $250,000 in pre-tax profit on $1 million in revenue. So, your profit margin is 25%

Your long-term goal should be to at least maintain that margin. Therefore the new income target of $750,000. Should be generated from no more than $3,000,000 in revenue.

Your profit goals should be part of your financial planning. And, included in pro-forma financial statements.

Make sure the financials encompass all of the economics. Of whatever goals you choose to set.

Finally, I always recommend that business owners keep their personal finances. Separate from their business finances.

I use Personal Capital to track all of my spending and investments. And keep them separate from my business.

Best of all, Personal Capital is free to sign up and use. You can learn more about Personal Capital here.

Next, a few words about setting business goals. Here’s the best way to go about it…

How To Set Long-Term Business Goals

Business long-term goals should be set using SMART. A SMART goal includes the following 5 attributes…

Specific. Make your goals as detailed as possible. Outlining exactly what you want to accomplish.

Measurable. Determine how you will measure success. Both the interim steps and the completion of the goal.

Achievable. Stretch yourself and your organization. But don’t waste time with goals that can’t be achieved.

Realistic. A goal may be achievable. But it may not be realistic. Determine this by looking at your constraints.

For example, a goal may be achievable. But if it requires an amount of capital that you are unable to obtain. Then it’s not realistic.

In this case, access to capital is the constraint. Other constraints include the ability to attract employees and overall market conditions.

Time-bound. Set a deadline for when the goal will be accomplished. A long-term business goal should be out at least 4-5 years from now.

Finally, be sure to align your goals from short to long term. As a result, they will complement each other.

Since the complexity of long-term goals leads to long time horizons. Achieving these goals is challenging.

So, set yourself up for success…

How To Achieve Long-Term Business Goals

getting results from business planningPin

Students of goal-setting use three more steps. After setting goals using the SMART system.

Specifically, businesses that achieve these examples of long-term goals for business do 3 more things.

Specifically, they plan, act, and monitor (PAM) to successfully achieve goals.

Plan. Long-run goals require a plan. Those step-by-step actions, deliverables, and accountability that must be completed on the path to success.

Action. This should speak for itself. But it’s important. Get the planning done. Then, act. Furthermore, involve your employees in goal-setting processes.

Because people tend to delay working on long-term goals in a business. Thus, time management is critical for success.

Monitor. Finally, it’s important to monitor progress against the plan. Every 3-6 months.

Work through the SMART and PAM goal systems. Document as you go. Commit to all your goals and plans in writing.

Research shows that a written goal. Has a much higher success rate. Versus a goal that is not.

Then appoint a person who has the overall task to see the goal through to the end. And give them the resources required to be successful.

Lack of focus and lack of accountability diminishes the chances of success. When pursuing your organization’s goals over a long period.

Okay. Let’s wrap today’s article up with a summary…

Summary: Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

10 Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals include:

  1. Expand into a new geographic market
  2. Market through a new channel
  3. Penetrate a new demographic
  4. Broaden product and service offerings
  5. Acquire a competitor
  6. Expand personnel and facilities
  7. Migrate to a new technology platform
  8. Put financing sources in place
  9. Increase earnings
  10. Improve profit margins

In my opinion, any of these 10 objectives are good examples of long-term goals for a new business. Or, a mature business that has been operating for a while.

They are perfect complements to this…

course I really like about business strategy

…it’s full of great lessons on how to take your business to the next level.

Categories Of Long-Term Business Goals

These business goal examples fall into 1 of the 3 broad categories:

  1. Extending market reach
  2. Ensuring the ability to scale
  3. Balancing growth and profit

In the case of the first two categories. A business owner will be confronted with the options to buy, build, or outsource.

Finally, all goals should be set with an eye on the third category. That is balancing growth and profit.

Setting Long-Term Business Goals

Make SMART goals for your company. They should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Achieve Your Long-Term Business Goals

Achieve your goals with PAM:

  • Plan
  • Action
  • Monitor

Document your goals and your plan. By committing to them in writing. Then get to work on your long-term goals for a business.

More Reading About Setting And Achieving Goals

conclusions about setting long term business goals

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals