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.