One of the more daunting challenges of management of a product line or business unit is ensuring your near-term and long-range business plans are in harmony with each other. As Peter Drucker put it, “If a manger does not take care of the next one hundred days, there will be no next hundred years.”
The goal should be to put together long-range guidelines for your business growth. These guidelines give general guidance to the thought process for business and/or product line growth. If developed with rigor, they provide a framework into which the shorter-term projects, initiatives, promotions, etc to fit.
There will always be a trade-off between or balancing of the long-term and short-term goals. One mustn’t forsake long-term and profitable growth for short-term or immediate gratification unless the business’ dire circumstances require it for survival. Conversely, one should not be so “thoughtful” about the long-term business that current performance suffers. The manager’s individual personality and experience can have a great deal of impact on this balance/imbalance such as it may be.
This balance is something I struggle with at times in some of my endeavors. Only by forcing myself to look at the current business and asking “what should I be doing to make a difference now?” do I bring the two realms back into a profitable balance.
Ask yourself, “how do I balance the short- and long-terms?” and “am I more of a thinker/planner or a doer and how can I better balance the two sides?”.