How These Four Timeframes Will Help You Accomplish More in Your Business

Long Range Business Planning

When it comes to business planning, how far ahead do you look? One quarter? One year? Five years? Ten years? In other words, should you be looking at the here-and-now?  Or should you focus out into the future? You probably intuitively know that the best companies create both short- and long-range plans.

However, sometimes the planning can feel more complicated than the execution.

Here are four simple timeframes to help you hit your highest goals—simply and easily.

When we help companies implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System, we establish the following:

A Ten-Year Target – In their book, Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras found that organizations that have endured for decades share a common practice: They all set massive long-term goals. That’s what the ten-year target is all about. This is an aspirational goal that you’re reaching for. It’s a point out on the horizon that you and your organization are working toward. After all, how do you know you’re heading in the right direction if you don’t know where you’re supposed to be going?

A Three-Year Picture – A three-year picture takes this larger target and makes it real for your team. It allows them to truly "see" your vision and how they fit into it. Once they can see this vision, they’re much more likely to be able to help you realize it. Additionally, a three-year picture also makes it simpler to understand what you need to do in the next 12 months to ensure that your business moves forward.

A One-Year Goal – This timeframe brings your long-range vision to the ground and makes it real. Many companies make the mistake of trying to accomplish too many goals in a single year. They end up accomplishing very little—and they end up frustrated. The one-year goal allows you to establish three to five milestones for the year, which opens the door for you to achieve more by focusing on less.

A 90-Day Frame – In my last post, I showed you how a 90-day frame works with human nature to help you maintain focus throughout the year. Human beings naturally stumble, get off track and lose focus roughly every 90 days. By creating a 90-day world, you can refresh your focus when your team needs it most, keeping you on track for the year.

When you can break down your planning into these four simple timeframes, you’ll find it much easier to capture and communicate your vision—the first crucial step in realizing it. You’ll also empower your organization to achieve your long-range vision with manageable short-term goals that move you closer and closer to creating the business you’ve always wanted.

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