Getting to the next stage is not as difficult as it seems.

Every business starts with a great idea. And then comes an opportunity to make it happen – and suddenly you’re launched and you’re operating. For many entrepreneurs this is the stage at which things start to slow down. The effort of getting the business off the ground can be overwhelming – but it’s important to remember that launching the business is not the end goal it’s just the start of the story. If you’re going to create a company that is profitable and long lasting then you need to start planning business finance goals – and working out how to meet them.

The planning stages

Maybe you have competitors who can provide insight into what financial goals you need to set to be as successful as they are. Or perhaps your business is entirely new and unprecedented and you’re completely on your own. Whichever category you fall into you still need to be able to identify the next steps for your business and that necessarily revolves around financial objectives. So, how do you plan effectively?

Short-term goals – start with your objectives for the next 1-3 years. These need to take into account the obstacles you face right now. This could be establishing a customer base, building profile or covering the cost of product development. Short-term goals = the financial priorities that you face right now, which may mean borrowing to get through this period and may even require loans for bad credit situations or loans that need a guarantor.

Long-term priorities – what are the financial objectives for your business as you see it in 5 years time? If your short-term goals are basecamp then the long-term priorities are the peak of this particular mountain.

Business strategy – key to the planning stage is identifying how you’re going to get there. What route are you going to take to reach the financial goals you’re setting? Carry out a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to identify the best route to minimise risk and optimise advantages.

How to meet financial business goals

Be firm but flexible – once you’ve set a goal for your business then stick to it, stay focused on it and don’t lose enthusiasm if it takes time. Combine this with a certain degree of flexibility that enables you to find a different route to your end point if necessary.

Anticipate each stage – as with any kind of goal setting you need to anticipate each step between where you are now and where you want to be. If you can clearly see the steps along the route to the achievement you’re aiming for then you’ll get there much faster.

Take professional advice – business finances can be confusing and complicated to the uninitiated so it’s never a bad idea to take professional advice. Although it costs money to get professional support this could be a saving in the long run if it gets you to your financial goal faster.

Be hands on with your business finances – learn how to forecast, track, monitor and evaluate the business finances. The more hands on you are, the faster you will be able to spot problems and the easier it will become to identify new and more efficient routes to reaching your financial goals.