Strategic management tends to focus on long-term objectives that can take several years to accomplish, but managers need to be aware of the importance that short-term objectives play in business strategy. Short-term strategies can fall into one of four categories. Managers should understand what these objectives are and how they can benefit a firm.
Short-term financial objectives deal with monetary goals for the near future. Examples of short-term financial objectives include increasing monthly profits or decreasing quarterly expenditures. Short-term financial goals are, often, a part of a more long-term objective. For example, increasing monthly revenues may be part of a long-term strategy for growth.
A business may have a long-term development strategy for its employees, but for people to reach long term-goals they must first meet the short-term objectives. Short-term employee objectives could include increasing monthly personal production levels or increasing weekly personal sales, among others.
Production objectives are, generally, short-term objectives. Common short-term production objectives are increasing monthly production levels, decreasing daily error rates and increasing quarterly production efficiency. Normally, these short-term goals are part of a longer-term strategy. For example, increasing monthly production might be part of a long-term strategy for regular sales growth, and a long-term plan to increase profits might call for an increase to short-term sales objectives.
Sales objectives can be long-term objectives, but normally they are focused on the short term -- often being daily or even hourly objectives. Short-term sales may be measured in either sales value or in the number of sales. Typically, short-term sales objectives are adjusted to react to a firm's long-term strategies.
Wendel Clark began writing in 2006, with work published in academic journals such as "Babel" and "The Podium." He has worked in the field of management and is completing his master's degree in strategic management.