Short term and Long term?
I was asked recently a valid question by a worried small business owner: which did I think more important, directing a company's short term or long term?
Interesting, like a cliché: which came first the chicken or the egg?
My thoughts were that both were important and each needed care and attention. You must look after the short term to ensure:
- your products or service is seen as relevant and can be sold profitably
- your operations deliver work efficiently to your clients
- your back office can handle sales and purchase orders in a timely fashion
- you measure your key performance indicators accurately and in know exactly what
But then the long term:
- where do you want to be in the next 3, 5 and 10 years?
- how can you increase margins in the future?
- what changes are afoot in the world and in your sector?
- what other services can you bring to your clients & how can we gain new clients?
- are we funded efficiently?
- do we have all the expertise we need?
In summary a business owner or director needs to be aware of what their client sees and thinks, what his competitors do, what changes he can lead to market, to get the higher margins there and most importantly, how he can deliver a better service at a better margin. Seek out the experience and knowledge of experts in each area to help you get a competitive advantage in your sales, operations and back office to ensure your pounds and your business stretch further.