24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

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long term business plan example

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I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

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As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. To me, the same logic applies to business.

If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

long term business plan example

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

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First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, and only include the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry.

You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

I like this example because it uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are.

After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. 

This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

Use this section to describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

I’d also recommend building a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

I like the example below because it uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll need to review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.

Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use. It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. 

For this reason, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

I like how this business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

To me, this section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more.

 According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll need to include in the financials section of your business plan.

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. 

So, I’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business.

You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. In my opinion, internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some of my favorite templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow.

Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why I Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it.

There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders.

It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis.

The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made.

Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (I always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

I absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service.

You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of my favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business.

Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you.

It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things I love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, I especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan.

Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue.

I included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives.

This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact. Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best.

For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement  should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University .

While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more.

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. 

This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. 

Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission.

The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. 

You can use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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long term business plan example

The 7 Best Business Plan Examples (2024)

So you want to start a business . Kudos! You’re doing big things.

One of the first steps to building a strong foundation for your new venture is to write a rock-solid business plan . When done right, your business plan can pave your path to success, all while helping you to smoothly cruise through any obstacles that may come up.

Plus, a good business plan can help you secure critical partnerships and funding that you might need in your early stages.

If you’re unsure how to write one, a great place to start is to learn from the pros. In this article, we’ll look at companies that built incredible business plans.

Take notes on the structure, format, and details. Hopefully you’ll leave with plenty of inspiration to write your own.

long term business plan example

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long term business plan example

7-part template for business plan examples

We’ll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick review of those parts:

  • Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
  • Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
  • Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
  • Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
  • Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
  • Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
  • Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, here’s the place to discuss your request and needs.

7 business plan examples (section by section)

In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together. 

  • Executive summary

Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information.  

In ThoughtCo’s sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:

business plan executive summary

  • Company description

You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:

  • Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
  • Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market. 
  • Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
  • Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
  • Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.

You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan. 

company description business plan

  • Market analysis

Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis we did for a hypothetical ecommerce business: 

marketing swot example

You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component for your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition. 

  • Products and services

This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here —a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.

long term business plan example

  • Marketing plan

Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. As such, it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt. 

Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:

marketing section template for business plan

Logistics and operations

This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, production, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state. For example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

financial plan example

It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:

  • Funding needs
  • Project cash-flow statement
  • Project profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet

You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. 

Types of business plan (and what to write for each)

A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized.

  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financials 

A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea —market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points.

  • Market research: in depth
  • Financials: in depth


Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal.

  • Market research


A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan. 

Mix and match to make a killer business plan

The good news is: there’s no single right way to write a business plan. If you’re feeling unsure about how to craft yours, pull bits and pieces that you like from other examples, and leave out the parts that don’t apply or make sense for you.

The important thing is to clearly communicate your reason for starting the company, what’s needed to operate it, and how you plan to make it work in the long run.

When you can convince others that you have a killer game plan, you’ve nailed it.

Want to learn more?

  • Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
  • Bootstrapping a Business: 10 Tips to Help You Succeed
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
  • 101+ Best Small Business Software Programs 

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How to set up and achieve long term goals for a business

Download our free Strategic Planning Template Download this template

What are long-term goals for business?

Long-term goals for business are the high-level goals of your strategy that you aim to achieve in the next 3-5 years or even longer. They are the objectives that, once reached, bring you closer to your vision.

They are the milestones for your vision.

They tend to be resilient to environmental changes like technological, political and others. Long-term goals determine the direction of your company and solidify your strategy regarding your position in the market and the industry. In other words, they outline the high-level objectives you choose to accomplish to bring your vision to life.

Free Template Download our free Strategic Planning Template Download this template

Why it’s important to set long-term goals

They provide clarity ..

A business with weak or non-existent long-term goals is like a leaf in the wind.

It moves in no particular direction and is subject to every and any change in the environment. It jumps from trend to trend without understanding what causes them, trying to get as much benefit out of them as possible. Sometimes it succeeds, others not so much. As a result, its performance is a roller coaster and its future unpredictable and uncertain. These kinds of businesses move fast towards nowhere.

A business with no long-term goals is in reactive mode .

On the other hand , organizations with long-term goals deriving from their vision have a more steady course. They have clarity on what they wish to become in the next 3-5 years, which guides their decisions. It’s easier for them to spot meaningful trends and take advantage of them in the short term to succeed in the longer term.

Clarity in the organization’s future state, when combined with a concise view of its current state , is a powerful tool. It enables an accurate gap analysis and the grounding of the strategy in reality.

A business with solid and aligned long-term goals is in proactive mode .

How short-term and long-term goals differ

Long-term goals differ from short-term goals in four key traits:

  • Short-term goals are malleable .
  • Short-term goals are specific .
  • Short-term goals are measurable .
  • Short-term goals are sacrificable .

short term and long term goals difference infographic

Short-term goals change often. As they should. They correlate to the tactics you choose to pursue your strategic objectives. And your tactics change when the environmental circumstances change, e.g., your competitors launched a new product, a global pandemic came out of nowhere, your country leaves a state union , or a new tech disrupts your industry. All of these changes force you to adapt your short-term expectations and tactics. Your long-term goals are more resilient to these changes.

Short-term goals love specificity. This is goal setting 101. Remove ambiguity and make sure that everybody interprets the goals the same way. Make your language simple and your description longer if you have to. Clarity in goals informs decisions. Of course, long-term goals should be clear, as well, but they don’t have to be so specific. 

Short-term goals have numbers in them. They are not metrics or KPIs because they’re lagging indicators of your progress. But they are indicators nonetheless. They inform you whether you and your people did a good job to achieve them. Long-term goals don’t need numbers if they don’t make sense. For example, “Dominate our category” could be accompanied by a number like “Own 70% of the market”, but that doesn’t exactly sum up what “dominating a category” really is.

Short-term goals are sacrificed for the company’s greater good. We’re past the time where quarterly numbers are the holy grail of strategy. Leadership with a clear vision recognizes that sometimes you have to make short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term success. It’s how you build sustainable and stable growth. The reverse is what creates soaring short-term results but destroys the culture and leads to ethical fading.

How long are short-term and long-term goals

The scale is relative.

A colossus like Amazon can’t really keep up and survive with a strategy shorter than 3 years . The bigger the organization (and its market cap), the longer the span of its long-term goals. Planning for so long ahead allows the company to manage its resources efficiently and direct its effort towards the most promising big move.

In his book “Invent & Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos,” Jeff Bezos says that each quarter is baked three years earlier .  Not three months. Not three quarters. Three years. Which means that the numbers of the latest quarter indicate the quality of the company’s 3- year-old strategy. And it makes sense. It’s impossible to coordinate over a million employees if you change the company's direction with every small trend you spot.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the strategy doesn’t adapt to environmental changes.

Complacency is the enterprise killer . Large organizations might be more resilient to threats, but they can become irrelevant very fast, remember Blockbuster and Kodak. However, with size comes one huge advantage. Data. Large organizations have access to huge amounts of data that can generate market insights, spot trends and almost “predict the future.”

Short-term and medium-term goals are decided based on those findings. Due to their dependence on environmental conditions, short-term goals can’t be yearly . Even longer than quarterly is stretching them. In a time of a crisis, short-term goals could be as short as daily and in more peaceful circumstances as long as quarterly.

Long-term goals examples

The further you look into the future, the more uncertain it becomes. The closer your milestones are to your vision, the less specific they become.

Let’s take, for example, The Walt Disney Company . Disney’s vision statement is:

“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.” When Bob Iger took over as Disney’s CEO, his strategy was summed up in three priorities, 3 long-term goals :

  • Create content of the highest quality
  • Adopt cutting-edge technology to create content & connect with the customers
  • Expand globally

These goals are specific enough to guide the decisions of everyone inside the company and are vague enough for everyone to interpret them differently. In other words, they are contextualizing the content of the rest of the strategy.

Other long-term goals examples are:

  • Dominate our category
  • Create a community-like culture
  • Lead the sustainability transformation in our industry
  • Create the most comfortable/cheapest/easiest to use [product]
  • Digitize our processes

Short-term goals examples

Short-term goals are very specific.

Each department, team and individual has its own short-term goals to meet. What’s important is to have all of them aligned, some shared between teams and people and none isolated. Choosing short-term goals is the last step of your strategy’s implementation and should derive naturally from your strategic priorities.

Here is a list of short-term goals:

  • Increase our revenue by 15% by the end of Q1 owned by Jane Doe.
  • Reduce safety incidents by 70% by the end of Q1 owned by John Doe.
  • Increase customer retention by 30% by the end of Q2 owned by John Doe.
  • Hire 5 new salespeople by the end of the month owned by Jane Doe.
  • Increase ad conversion by 10% by the end of the next month owned by Jane Doe.

How to set long-term goals

Long-term goals have 3 important components:

  • Duration (NOT deadline)
  • Specificity to dictate choices
  • They are memorable

They don’t have a specific deadline. They have an estimated duration. You don’t “Dominate your category” by Dec 31, 2025. You “Dominate your category” in the next 3 years. If in 3 years you haven’t achieved your goal, then something went wrong. That’s how you should think of your long-term deadline, not as a hard date but as an estimated duration.

They dictate choices. Long-term goals outline the company’s strategy and inform every employee’s decision-making process. Ideally, when a team leader needs to make a decision, crucial or not, they can easily align it with the company’s strategy simply by visiting the long-term goals. That’s why they can’t be overly specific because they will only inform certain types of decisions and be useful to only a limited part of the organization. Thus, creating a big risk of internal misalignment.

They are easy to remember. If your people need to check the company’s long-term priorities every time they make a decision, they won’t. Make sure everyone understands and is on board with your priorities by simply making them memorable. In the end, you want the priorities to provide context, not represent all of your strategy’s details.

Benchmark the duration of your goals externally

Take as much guessing as possible out of the process. Have a hard look at your industry’s history and how long it took certain players to achieve their long-term aspirations. Find out what were their strengths, weaknesses and mistakes . Contrast them to yours and then make an educated estimation of your goal’s duration.

Do better than “best”

Shy away from generic goals like “be the best/first/most innovative.” Nobody perceives these the same way. For example, specify your ideal customer so your people know who NOT to target. Specify your product’s niche , e.g., “perfect scale models” instead of “just toys.” In essence, provide a context to decisions that will dictate a clear set of choices on every organizational level.

Write them for 5-year-olds

If a young child can’t understand your long-term goals, chances are your people will have a hard time remembering them. Simplify the language, avoid jargon, use verbs and be specific in your adjectives . Go beyond 3 goals and you risk giving your people contradicting priorities. Clarity unifies collective effort towards one direction .

How to achieve long-term goals in business

With shorter-term goals.

When you write your strategic plan , start from the end and work your way backward from your vision towards your current state. Here’s how to think about your plan:

  • Your vision is your destination.
  • Your long-term goals are your milestones.
  • Your shorter-term goals are your odometer.

how to achieve long-term goals in business infographic

Your strategic plan also contains your Focus Areas and your strategic objectives . They break down your direction even further. 

Starting with the end in mind gives your shorter-term goals a predictive power

So basically, your strategic plan works like a roadmap towards your long-term goals. Here’s how to think about tracking your progress: if you complete all of your strategic objectives, will you have achieved your long-term goals? If you haven’t achieved at least an 80% progress towards them, your tracking is off. You need to revisit your strategic objectives.

This tracking process cascades from the top of the strategic plan to the bottom. Check out how Cascade brings this strategic model to life and aligns your people’s day-to-day work with your company’s vision as a goal management software .

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11 Tips for Creating a Long-Term Strategic Plan

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7 min. read

Updated October 29, 2023

Strategic planning is a management tool that guides your business to better performance and long-term success.

Working with a plan will focus your efforts, unify your team in a single direction, and help guide you through tough business decisions. A strategic plan requires you to define your goals, and in defining them, enables you to achieve them—a huge competitive advantage.

In this article, we’ll discuss 11 essentials for creating a thorough and effective strategic plan. Each tip is a critical stepping stone in leading your business toward your goals.

  • 1. Define your company vision

You should be able to define your company vision in 100 words. Develop this statement and make it publically available to both employees and customers.

This statement should answer the key questions that drive your business: Where is your company headed? What do you want your company to be? If you don’t know the answer to these questions off the top of your head, then you have some thinking to do! If you have the answers in your head, but not on paper—get writing.

If you have them written down, congrats! You’ve completed the first and most critical step in creating a long-term strategic plan.

  • 2. Define your personal vision

While your personal vision is just as important to your strategic plan, it does not need to be shared with your team and customers.

Your personal vision should incorporate what you want your business to bring to your life—whether that’s enormous growth, early retirement, or simply more time to spend with family and friends.

Aligning your personal vision with your company vision is key to achieving your personal and professional goals. Just as with your company vision, have your personal vision written down in a 100-word statement. Know that statement inside and out and keep it at the forefront of your decision making.

  • 3. Know your business

Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. By knowing where your business is now, you can make more informed predictions for how it can grow.

Questions such as “Why is this business important?” and “What does this business do best?” are a great place to start. A SWOT analysis can also help you plan for making improvements.

Questions such as “What needs improvement?” and “What more could the business be doing?” can help guide your strategic plan in a way that closes gaps and opens up opportunities.

For more on completing a SWOT analysis, see our SWOT analysis guide.

What’s your biggest business challenge right now?

  • 4. Establish short-term goals

Short-term goals should include everything you (realistically) want to achieve over the next 36 months.

Goals should be “S.M.A.R.T.” (specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and timely).

An example of S.M.A.R.T. goals include “building out a new product or service within the next year” or “increasing net profit by 2 percent in ten months.” If you’ve already conducted a SWOT analysis, you should have an idea of what your business can reasonably achieve over a specified period of time.

  • 5. Outline strategies

Strategies are the steps you’ll take to meet your short-term goals. If the short term goal is “build out a new product or service,” the strategies might be:

  • Researching competitor offerings
  • Getting in touch with vendors and suppliers
  • Formulating a development plan
  • Outlining a marketing and sales plan for the new offering
  • 6. Create an action plan

An action plan is an essential part of the business planning and strategy development process. The best analysis, in-depth market research, and creative strategizing are pointless unless they lead to action.

An action plan needs to be a working document; it must be easy to change and update. But, must also be specific about what you’re doing, when you will do it, who will be accountable, what resources will be needed, and how that action will be measured.

Action plans put a process to your strategies. Using the previous example, an action plan might be: “CMO develops competitor research packet for new offerings by 9/1. Review packet with the executive team by 9/15.”

When The Alternative Board, Bradford West  Director Andrew Hartley was responsible for designing and delivering a three year, $10m environmental business support program, a full and detailed action plan was required for funding.

“That action plan allowed me to 1.) manage and measure the evolving program, 2.) ensure resources and staff were where they needed to be, and 3.) track whether the design of the program was working and delivering the level of results we were contracted to deliver,” says Hartley.

“Even I was surprised about how helpful that action plan was,” he says. “I cannot image approaching any significant project or business without one.”

  • 7. Foster strategic communication

To align your team, you must communicate strategically. Results-driven communication focuses conversations and cuts out excessive meetings. Every communication should be rooted in a specific goal.

Include the how, where, when, and most importantly why every time you deliver instructions, feedback, updates, and so on.

  • 8. Review and modify regularly

Check in regularly to make sure you’re progressing toward your goals. A weekly review of your goals, strategies, and action plans can help you see if you need to make any modifications.

Schedule time in your calendar for this. Weekly check-ins allow you to reassess your plan in light of any progress, setbacks, or changes.

  • 9. Hold yourself accountable

Having a business coach or mentor is great for this. If you have a hard time sticking to your plans, you’ll have an equally hard time meeting your goals.

According to The Alternative Board’s September 2015 Business Pulse Survey, the number one reason business owners choose to work with mentors is accountability.

“Having a close—but not too close—space for advice and accountability is really valuable,” says TAB Member Scott Lininger, CEO of Bitsbox. “Someone who is too close to your business (such as board members) often have a perspective that’s too similar to your own. Over time, your coach comes to know your team, your product, and your business, and they help you work through all kinds of challenges in a way that’s unique.”

“All too often I find that leaders accept underperformance against their strategic plan too easily,” adds Hartley. “A coach can rekindle the resolve and ambition of the leader, resulting in a recovery of lost margins, sales, or output.”

According to Hartley, a coach can build accountability by questioning what’s working, making sure everything’s on track, pointing out areas of underperformance, and asking what corrective action needs to be pursued.

  • 10. Be adaptable

Remember: You can’t plan for everything. Just as challenges will arrive, so too will opportunities, and you must be ready at a moment’s notice to amend your plan. Weekly reviews will help enormously with this.

“A strategic plan will likely need to be changed very soon after approval because nobody can accurately predict anything but the very near term future,” says Jim Morris, owner and President of The Alternative Board, Tennessee Valley. “You stay adaptable by monitoring the plan every day. The wise leader will be constantly looking for opportunities to exceed the strategic plan by being opportunistic, creative, and by exploiting weaknesses in the competitive market.”

By doing this, Morris was able to exceed forecast results of every strategic plan he ever approved. “The times when I needed to be flexible were when we met strategic plan goals ahead of time and had to rewrite the plan to keep it current and relevant.”

It’s important to be adaptable because nothing stays the same. “It’s more important to be agile and take advantage of opportunities that weren’t foreseen and make adjustments,” says Morris. “This and a continuous improvement mindset is the best way to exceed plan goals.”

  • 11. Create a strategic planning team

As a business owner, you should never feel like you have to do everything alone.

A strategic planning team can help with every phase of the process, from creating a company vision to adapting your strategy week-to-week. Compose your team of key management staff and employees—some visionaries and some executors.

If you think you’re “too busy” for start strategic planning, then you need strategic planning more than you know. Having a focused plan allows you to focus your energies, so you’re working on your business, rather than in it. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to steer the ship, not put out day-to-day fires.

Yes, creating a strategic plan is challenging, and it’s certainly time-consuming, but it will make all the difference in achieving your long term goals. You’ll avoid making bad decisions and expending more effort than you need.

Try these 11 tips to get started, and then be flexible in your ongoing approach. You’ll be amazed at how much more streamlined your business processes will become when you are working with a long-term strategic plan.

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Content Author: Jodie Shaw

Jodie Shaw is The Alternative Board (TAB)’s Chief Marketing Officer. She brings over 20 years of B2B marketing and 10 years in franchising to the role. Prior to to her work with TAB, Jodie served as the CEO and Global Chief Marketing Officer of an international business coaching franchise, serving more than 50 countries.

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Examples of Effective Short-Term, Mid-Term, and Long-Term Business Goals

By Kate Eby | September 7, 2023

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Setting effective goals is vital to your business’s success. Good goals help organizations move forward and keep employees on track. We’ve talked with experts and gathered examples of solid short-term, mid-term, and long-term business goals.

Included on this page, you’ll find examples of long-term , mid-term , and short-term business goals and how they work together. Plus, check out an easy-to-read chart on which framework is best for setting time-based goals and a free, downloadable goal-setting worksheet that can help your team create your goals.

Common Time Ranges for Different Business Goals

Companies set large overarching goals to achieve in two to five years. To attain long-term goals, set goals with shorter time frames that work toward the long-term objective. Depending on the type of goal, some experts might refer to it as a strategy or an objective . However, there is a difference between a goal, an objective , and a strategy. 

Examples of Long-Term Business Goals

Long-term goals focus on the big-picture vision for the future of the organization, generally covering two years or longer. They typically don’t cover more than five years, since the business and technology environment can change drastically after that time frame.

long term business plan example

Long-term goals are more aspirational and might not have the specificity of short-term and mid-term goals. “These goals ought to be aligned with the overall vision of the company,” says Izzy Galicia, President and CEO of global professional services firm the Incito Consulting Group and an expert in Lean enterprise transformation.

The long-term goals also must be realistic. “We know from the literature and practical experience that you want goals that are challenging, but they're also achievable. You don't want to have a goal that people don't buy into at all, or it's just so outrageous that you can't possibly achieve it,” explains Lee Frederiksen, managing partner of Virginia-based Hinge Marketing and former Director for Strategy and Organizational Development at Ernst & Young.

Here are four examples of long-term business goals:

  • Increase Sales: A common long-term goal is to increase sales significantly. A company might establish a long-term goal of increasing total sales by 40 percent in three years.
  • Become Niche Leader: Another company might have its sights on becoming dominant in its industry. It would set a long-term goal of becoming the leader in its market niche in four years.
  • Expand Company Locations: Adding storefronts over the next few years is also a common long-term goal. A company with that aim would set a long-term goal of expanding its one restaurant location to four locations in four years.
  • Create and Develop a Non-Profit Entity: An organization or group of people can also establish a long-term goal of establishing a successful nonprofit organization focused on environmental conservation.

Examples of Mid-Term Business Goals

Mid-term goals help an organization meet a long-term goal. They can take an organization six months to two years or so to reach. 

Here are examples of mid-term goals that will help a company reach a specific long-term goal: 

A company’s long-term goal is to open three more restaurants in the next four years. These examples are some of the mid-term goals they would need to achieve first:

  • Systematize Standard Operating Procedures for Running the Restaurant: The mid-term goal would be to document and systematize its standard operating procedures to efficiently operate its original restaurant within a year.
  • Develop a Hiring Process That Attracts Talented Employees: The company sets a goal of developing and implementing a hiring process to attract committed employees in the next 14 months. 
  • Research and Evaluate the Best Locations to Open the New Restaurants: The company would set a goal of continually scouting and evaluating possible locations for new restaurants over the next two years.

A group of people have the goal of creating a successful nonprofit organization in five years. Here are some examples of mid-term goals they would set and meet first:

  • Establish Partnerships with Local Environmental Organizations: The group of people would like to start a nonprofit focused on environmental conservation. A mid-term goal would be to develop and establish partnerships with key local environmental organizations within the next two years.
  • Develop and Implement a Solid Fundraising Strategy: The nonprofit needs funding to be successful. The organization would set a mid-term goal of developing an effective fundraising strategy within the next 18 months.
  • Build a Dedicated Team of Volunteers: To help it reach its long-term goal of establishing a successful nonprofit focused on environmental conservation, the organization would set a goal of building a system to attract and retain volunteers for the organization within the next year.

Examples of Short-Term Business Goals

Short-term business goals encompass work that helps an organization reach its mid-term goals. These goals are often meant to be reached in a month or a quarter. Some might take six months or so to accomplish. Only one department — or even only one worker — might work on some short-term goals.

Some experts call short-term goals objectives. They might call the shortest short-term goals tactics . (Learn more about the differences between business goals vs. business objectives and strategies vs. tactics.)

Keith Speers

“If one of my goals is to develop a content strategy — so that more people are aware of my company — I can't jump into Year Three and say, ‘I have a content strategy,’” shares Keith Speers, CEO of Consulting Without Limits , which provides business consulting, leadership coaching, fractional leadership, and other consulting services. “Part of that one- to three-year plan is developing my audience, curating them, creating content, and establishing myself as someone who's a thought leader in a specific field. All of that requires establishing short-term goals or objectives.”

The short-term goals or objectives are “more about the measurable steps or actions to take in order to reach that (mid- or long-term) goal,” states Marco Scanu, a business coach and CEO of Miami-based Visa Business Plans , a consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services.

Marco Scanu

Here are examples of short-term goals to build toward achieving the mid-term goals associated with expanding a company’s restaurant count from one to four: 

  • Assemble a Team to Develop a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Document for Current and Future Locations: To help reach the goal of systematizing its SOP for running its original restaurant, the company would set a short-term goal of developing a SOP document for the company’s original and future locations by the end of the next quarter.
  • Work With an HR Consultant to Attract and Retain Qualified Staff: To reach the mid-term goal of developing a hiring process that attracts talented workers who will stay with the company, the business would set a goal of hiring and working with a human resources consultant to find ways to attract and retain employees within the next month.
  • Create an Internal Team to Improve Compensation and Increase Retention: To reach the goal of developing a prosperous hiring process, the company would set a short-term goal of forming an internal team to assess ways to improve employee compensation and retention within the next two months.
  • Research Demographic/Economic Trends in the Metro Area: To achieve the goal of researching and evaluating the best locations for new restaurants, the company would set a short-term goal of researching demographic and economic trends within neighborhoods where they want to add new restaurants.
  • Work With a Real Estate Agency to Find Potential Buildings: To complete the mid-term goal of researching and evaluating the best locations for new restaurants, the company would set a goal of hiring and working with a real estate agency within the next two weeks. The real estate agent would continually search for good locations for possible new restaurants.

Here are examples of short-term goals necessary for a group of people to create a successful environmental conservation nonprofit:

  • Research and Identify Potential Partner Organizations and Establish Connections: To reach the mid-term goal of establishing partnerships with local environmental organizations, the founding group would set a goal of identifying specific organizations that might be good partners and connecting with their representatives in the next six weeks.
  • Research Grant Applications, Methods for Individual Donations, and Fundraising Events: To reach the goal of developing a solid fundraising strategy, the organization would set a short-term goal of researching the elements of  a fundraising plan that includes grant applications, individual donations, and fundraising events.
  • Identify and Collect Contact Details of Potential Volunteers: To build a dedicated team of volunteers, the organization would set a goal of meeting and collecting contact details of potential volunteers over the next four months.

Examples of Short- and Mid-Term Business Goals Contributing to Long-Term Goals

These examples break down how to strategically set short- and mid-term goals to achieve a company’s long-term more visionary goals. “I think of short-term and mid-term goals as stepping stones to your long-term goals, things you have to accomplish to be able to get to the next goal,” Frederiksen explains.

  • Short-Term Goal: Use customer relationship management (CRM) software to gather better information about potential and existing customers.
  • Short-Term Goal: Increase production of website content.
  • Short-Term Goal: Create and implement a new Google ad strategy.
  • Short-Term Goal: Establish an engineering and product team to tweak product features.
  • Short-Term Goal: Hire a new vice president of sales. 
  • Short-Term Goal: Add three new members to the overseas sales team.
  • Short-Term Goal: Hire a rebranding consultant.
  • Short-Term Goal: Hire a contractor to lead the website redesign.
  • Short-Term Goal: Find more opportunities for the new CEO to speak at industry events.
  • Short-Term Goal: Become a key sponsor of an annual industry conference.
  • Short-Term Goal: Empower the marketing vice president to pursue other sponsorship opportunities.

Business Goal-Setting Frameworks

When setting goals, it helps to use an established framework. Experts point out that, in setting business goals, people most often use one of five goal frameworks . Those frameworks are SMART, management by objectives (MBO), objectives and key results (OKR), key results areas (KRA) , or big hairy audacious goals (BHAG). Here are details on each of these business goal-setting frameworks and which goal length they work best for:

Which Business Goal-Setting Framework to Use

Learn more about goal-setting frameworks and use goal-setting and goal-tracking templates to get started working on your goals.

Business Goals Worksheet Template for Excel

Business Goals Worksheet Template

Download the Business Goals Worksheet Template for Excel

Use this free template to guide your team in setting long-, mid-, and short-term business goals. Identify long-term goals, and then the mid-term and short-term goals that serve them. You have room to add any tasks and actions that must be completed to reach those goals. The downloadable worksheet is fully customizable.

Improve Your Goal-Setting With Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

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Free business plan template (with examples)

Alan Bradley

Sierra Campbell

Sierra Campbell

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Updated 3:37 a.m. UTC Feb. 12, 2024

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Featured Image

AzmanL, Getty Images

Starting a business can be a daunting undertaking. As with so many large projects, one of the most difficult challenges is just getting started, and one of the best ways to start is by putting together a plan. A plan is also a powerful tool for communication and can serve as a cornerstone for onboarding new partners and employees or for demonstrating your philosophy and priorities to potential collaborators. 

A solid business plan will not only provide a framework for your business going forward but will also give you an early opportunity to organize and refine your thoughts and define your mission statement, providing a guidepost that can serve as a beacon for your business for years to come. We’ve provided a business plan template below to help guide you in the creation of your new enterprise.

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Business plan template

What should a business plan include?

Regardless of the type of business you own or the products and services you provide, every business plan should include some core elements:

  • Mission statement. The definition and executive summary of your business.
  • Market analysis. A breakdown of the market segment and customers you hope to reach, built through primary (gathered by you) and secondary (gathered from outside sources) research.
  • Organization and logistics. The nuts and bolts of how your business is operated
  • Products or services. What your company provides its customers.
  • Advertising and marketing. How you intend to get your products in front of your customers.
  • Forecasting. Revenue forecasting for partners or potential investors.

Why do you need a business plan?

A business plan is a framework for success. It provides a number of key benefits:

  • Structure. The outline around which to design your business.
  • Operational guidance. A signpost for how to run your business from day to day.
  • Expansion. A vision for the future growth of your enterprise.
  • Definition. A platform to consider every element of your business and how best to execute your plans for them.
  • Collaboration. A synopsis of what’s exceptional about your business and a way to attract funding, investment or partnerships.
  • Onboarding. An efficient summary of your business for new or potential employees.

Business plan examples

We’ve created two fictional companies to illustrate how a business might use a business plan to sketch out goals and opportunities as well as forecast revenue.

Bling, Incorporated

Our first hypothetical example is a jewelry and accessory creator called Bling, Incorporated. A hybrid business that manufactures its products for sale both online and through physical retail channels, Bling’s mission statement is focused on transforming simple, inexpensive ingredients into wearable statement pieces of art. 

Market analysis includes gathering data around sourcing sustainable, inexpensive components, aesthetic trends in fashion and on which platforms competitors have had success in advertising jewelry to prospective customers. Logistics include shipping products, negotiating with retailers, establishing an e-commerce presence and material and manufacturing costs. 

Bling, Incorporated advertises initially through social platforms like TikTok and Facebook, as well as with Google AdSense, with plans to eventually expand to television advertising. Revenue forecasting is structured around a low overhead on the basis of inexpensive materials, no dedicated storefront and broad reach through digital platforms.

Phaeton Custom Cars

Phaeton is a custom car builder and classic car restoration business with a regional focus and reach. Its mission statement defines it as a local, family-owned business serving a community of auto enthusiasts and a broader regional niche of collectors. 

Market analysis breaks down the location and facilities of other competitor shops in the region as well as online communities of regional car enthusiasts likely to spend money on custom modifications or restoration projects. It also examines trends in valuations for custom parts and vintage cars. Logistics include pricing out parts and labor, finding skilled or apprentice laborers and mortgaging a garage and equipment. 

Phaeton advertises in regional publications, at local events and regional car shows and online through Facebook and Instagram, with an emphasis on a social presence highlighting their flashiest builds. Revenue forecasting is built around a growing reputation and high-value commissions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A business plan may not be a prerequisite for every type of business, but there are few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from one. It can serve as an important strategic tool and help crystalize a vision of your business and its future.

Business plans do just that: they help you plan the future of your business, serve as a platform to brainstorm ideas and think through your vision and are a great tool for showcasing why your business works to potential investors or partners.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Alan Bradley

Alan is an experienced culture and tech writer with a background in newspaper reporting. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, The Escapist, PC Mag, PC Gamer, and a multitude of other outlets. He has over twenty years of experience as a journalist and editor and is the author of the urban fantasy novel The Sixth Borough.

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for U.S. News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

Business Eric Rosenberg

Dividends Diversify

10 Examples of Long-Term Business Goals to Set Now

December 15, 2023, identify, set, and achieve long-term business goals for success.

Today I want to share examples of long-term business goals with you. Because thinking long-term about your business is key to its success.

One of my former bosses had a good saying. And I think it applies to long-term goals for a business.

My boss used to tell us this. “In the long run, we are only limited by our thoughts. Don’t hold back. Think big!”

So, let’s dive in and think big about our businesses…

examples of long term business goals

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

First of all, here you will find today’s examples of long-term business goals list for your consideration:

  • Expand into a new geographic market
  • Market through a new channel
  • Penetrate a new demographic
  • Broaden product and service offerings
  • Acquire a competitor
  • Expand personnel and facilities
  • Migrate to a new technology platform
  • Put financing sources in place
  • Increase earnings
  • Improve profit margins

Next, let’s make sure we are completely aligned on today’s topic.  Identifying, setting, and achieving these 10 examples of long-term goals for a business.

Long-Term Business Goals Definition

First of all, a goal is an outcome you want to achieve. That a person envisions, plans for, and commits to achieve.

Furthermore, goals can relate to many aspects of our lives. For example, self-development, career, health, fitness, and personal finance outcomes .

But today, we are talking about goals related to your business.

More specifically, we are talking about long-term goals for a small business . Or, larger businesses too.

Typically, long-term goals take more planning. And more time to achieve. Normally, it takes 5 years or more to accomplish a long-term goal.

Furthermore, long-term goals are more strategic. And they require a vision of what your business will look like in the distant future.

While ensuring its long-term success, growth, and profitability. As you make the journey.

Finally, business goals can be non-financial . Or, they can be tied to a specific financial outcome.

Long-Term Goals For A Business Versus Other Types Of Goals

Businesses also have short-term goals and medium-term goals. Let’s compare and contrast…

Short-Term Business Goals

Short-term business goals are to be accomplished within 1 year.

Their focus is on solving today’s problems. Or, activities in the near term. That creates a foundation for long-term success.

Examples of short-term business goals include:

  • Increase on-time delivery from 95% to 99%
  • Reduce overhead costs by 3%
  • Prepare a business plan

Medium-Term Business Goals

Medium-term goals should be set and completed within a 1-5 year time horizon.

These goals are intended to move your business forward in a meaningful way. But, are too involved to complete within a year.

Examples of good medium-term goals for business include:

  • Increase market share by 5%
  • Develop and bring to market a product line extension
  • Increase shareholder value by $1 million

Next, before we touch on the examples. A little more talk about long-term goals for a business…

The Big Picture View Of Long-Term Business Goals

long term business plan example

Today’s examples of long-term business goals are more strategic. Versus short and medium-term goals.

They are not about solving today’s problems. Or, about improving your business on the margins in the next few years.

They are for taking big steps forward. And transforming your business into something bigger and better in the future. Versus what it is today.

These goals take more than 2-3 years to accomplish without causing business instability.

They require careful thought about the direction you wish your business to take. Then planning, resources, and careful execution.

For more on these strategic topics…

consider this excellent course on business strategy and leadership .

But for now, I think about long-term goals for a business in one of three categories:

1. Extending market reach. Specifically, growing business revenue in different and dramatic ways.

2. Ensuring the ability to scale. Having success with growth means being able to handle it. In other words, scaling operations to service the new markets and customers you are reaching.

3 . Balancing growth and profits. Substantial business growth is good. It certainly beats the alternative.

But rapid growth is hard to execute. And it must be done profitably.

Thus, all 10 of today’s examples of long-term business goals fall into one of these categories.

Now, let’s go through each of the 10 goals on our list. All of them can be good investments to make in your business .

list of long-term goals for a business

1. Expand Into A New Geographic Market

Plan for and expand into new geographic markets. For example, if you operate in Utah. Expand into the high business growth state of Colorado .

If your business services the Western portion of the country. Extend it throughout the United States.

Finally, consider foreign expansion. But, understand that these are big steps. Require careful thought and planning.

Up next in the long-term goals examples for business: channel strategy…

2. Go To Market Through A New Channel

Identify all the possible channels through which your products and services can be sold. Then delivered to your customers.

Utilize one or more marketing channels that have not yet been tapped.

For example, consider a targeted social media strategy. That drives traffic to an online store on your website.

3. Penetrate A New Demographic

Your current products and services are likely popular with a certain demographic.

So, evaluate your marketing plan. To tap into demand from a different segment of the population .

4. Broaden Product And Service Offerings

Enhance and broaden your product lines. Innovate and develop new products and services.

But, be sure they fit within your company’s mission. And customer service value proposition.

So, don’t stray too far. From your business’s core strengths.

Okay.  It’s time for the 5th in our series of long-term goals for business examples: mergers and acquisitions…

5. Acquire A Competitor

Acquiring a competitor can be the quickest way to extend your business’s market reach. And this brings us to the “buy or build” dilemma.

You have to decide if it’s more effective to extend your market reach on your own. In other words, building out those capabilities internally.

Or doing so. by buying a competitor. Specifically, a competitor that has accomplished what your business has not. This is the reasoning behind strategic acquisitions.

When it comes to the buy or build decisions. There is no right or wrong answer.

Each situation will be different. And every business will be different. Including yours.

Okay. So the first 5 examples of long-term business goals relate to extending your business’s market reach.

Accomplish any one or more of these goals. And your business will experience revenue growth. Sometimes, rapid revenue growth.

And rapid growth requires the ability to scale. This leads us to the next few long-term goals for business…

6. Expand Personnel And Facilities

Ensure you have the team in place to handle the influx of business. Including the quantity and quality of staff. Also, management personnel.

Develop and put a personnel plan in place. Including an employee professional development and onboarding program.

Then make sure you have the appropriate facilities. That solves for the right locations, footprint, and space.

This includes production, warehouse, distribution, and office space. Depending on your specific business needs.

Also, consider business outsourcing. Another buy or build decision. As part of scaling up to meet demand.

7. Migrate To A New Technology Platform

Don’t forget about technology. Because most successful businesses run on an enterprise-wide system.

If your business does not have the appropriate technology in place. Or, its capacity is limited.

Then make improving your technology infrastructure a long-term business goal.

8. Put Financing Sources In Place

If you have one, your CFO should be in charge of this goal.

Because growth by extending market reach. And putting the people, facilities, and technology in place to service it. Requires one very important thing.

What’s that? It is cash.

Because it takes money to make money. And investing in growth doesn’t come for free.

Where your cash comes from . Be it debt financing, equity financing, or internally generated funds. Don’t let access to capital derail your long-term business plans.

Okay now. Our final 2 examples of long-term business goals fall in the third category.

Specifically, balancing growth versus business profit goals . Since growth without profit, or at the very least, profit potential. Is no fun when operating a business.

long term business plan example

9. Increase Earnings

So, set a long-term earnings goal. And first, put it into dollar terms.

For example, increase pre-tax income from $250,000 to $750,000. That’s a big jump in profit. And why it’s a long-term goal for a business.

But, make sure you have accurate financial information. To do so, consider outsourcing your financial management. Assuming you aren’t up to doing it yourself.

Now, it’s time for our last example of long-term goals in business. Then I will wrap up…

10. Maintain or Improve Profit Margins

Then, make sure your business’s profit margin is stable or even increasing. When I say profit margin, I’m talking about pre-tax income divided by revenue.

Continuing the example from above. Let’s say you did $250,000 in pre-tax profit on $1 million in revenue. So, your profit margin is 25%

Your long-term goal should be to at least maintain that margin. Therefore the new income target of $750,000. Should be generated from no more than $3,000,000 in revenue.

Your profit goals should be part of your financial planning . And, included in pro-forma financial statements.

Make sure the financials encompass all of the economics. Of whatever goals you choose to set.

Finally, I always recommend that business owners keep their personal finances. Separate from their business finances.

I use Personal Capital to track all of my spending and investments. And keep them separate from my business.

Best of all, Personal Capital is free to sign up and use. You can learn more about Personal Capital here .

Next, a few words about setting business goals. Here’s the best way to go about it…

How To Set Long-Term Business Goals

Business long-term goals should be set using SMART . A SMART goal includes the following 5 attributes…

Specific. Make your goals as detailed as possible. Outlining exactly what you want to accomplish.

Measurable. Determine how you will measure success. Both the interim steps and the completion of the goal.

Achievable. Stretch yourself and your organization. But don’t waste time with goals that can’t be achieved.

Realistic. A goal may be achievable. But it may not be realistic. Determine this by looking at your constraints.

For example, a goal may be achievable. But if it requires an amount of capital that you are unable to obtain. Then it’s not realistic.

In this case, access to capital is the constraint. Other constraints include the ability to attract employees and overall market conditions.

Time-bound. Set a deadline for when the goal will be accomplished. A long-term business goal should be out at least 4-5 years from now.

Finally, be sure to align your goals from short to long term . As a result, they will complement each other.

Since the complexity of long-term goals leads to long time horizons. Achieving these goals is challenging.

So, set yourself up for success…

How To Achieve Long-Term Business Goals

getting results from business planning

Students of goal-setting use three more steps. After setting goals using the SMART system.

Specifically, businesses that achieve these examples of long-term goals for business do 3 more things.

Specifically, they plan, act, and monitor (PAM) to successfully achieve goals .

Plan. Long-run goals require a plan. Those step-by-step actions, deliverables, and accountability that must be completed on the path to success.

Action. This should speak for itself. But it’s important. Get the planning done. Then, act. Furthermore, involve your employees in goal-setting processes.

Because people tend to delay working on long-term goals in a business. Thus, time management is critical for success.

Monitor. Finally, it’s important to monitor progress against the plan. Every 3-6 months.

Work through the SMART and PAM goal systems. Document as you go. Commit to all your goals and plans in writing.

Research shows that a written goal. Has a much higher success rate. Versus a goal that is not.

Then appoint a person who has the overall task to see the goal through to the end. And give them the resources required to be successful.

Lack of focus and lack of accountability diminishes the chances of success. When pursuing your organization’s goals over a long period.

Okay. Let’s wrap today’s article up with a summary…

Summary: Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals

10 Examples Of Long-Term Business Goals include:

In my opinion, any of these 10 objectives are good examples of long-term goals for a new business. Or, a mature business that has been operating for a while.

They are perfect complements to this…

course I really like about business strategy

…it’s full of great lessons on how to take your business to the next level.

Categories Of Long-Term Business Goals

These business goal examples fall into 1 of the 3 broad categories:

  • Extending market reach
  • Ensuring the ability to scale
  • Balancing growth and profit

In the case of the first two categories. A business owner will be confronted with the options to buy, build, or outsource.

Finally, all goals should be set with an eye on the third category. That is balancing growth and profit.

Setting Long-Term Business Goals

Make SMART goals for your company . They should be:

Achieve Your Long-Term Business Goals

Achieve your goals with PAM:

Document your goals and your plan. By committing to them in writing. Then get to work on your long-term goals for a business.

More Reading About Setting And Achieving Goals

  • Level up your money game with these articles
  • Move your business to this low-tax state
  • Avoid these financial problems

long term business plan example

Author Bio : Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.


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Top 10 Long-Term Planning Templates with Examples and Samples

Top 10 Long-Term Planning Templates with Examples and Samples

Lakshya Khurana


A long-term business plan considers the company's objectives and market dynamics for a period of over five years or more. These goals represent a zeal and educated intent to grow the enterprise into the future while navigating an ever-changing business landscape.

The previous blog covered templates to help you implement short-term tactical plans that you construct from the objectives of the long-term plans. This blog covers the templates that will aid you with those. These readymade presentations will cover all aspects of a company’s ultimate goals, be it in sales, brand recognition, shareholder growth, investments, social media presence, etc.

Why Long-Term Planning?

There are several reasons that showcase why long-term plans are critical to business success:

  • Alignment of purpose- It gives employees a sense of direction in their work to have a clear long-term goal that aligns with their short-term objectives.
  • Resource Allocation- Using projections of resource use, assets can be delegated in an informed manner to prevent issues such as overspending, production delays, etc.
  • Growth- Business expansion without a defined long-term plan is a pipe dream. With a plan, however, the business can recognize and capitalize on opportunities and create mutually beneficial partnerships that lead the company to scale up.
  • Risk Management- With time to anticipate risks, the business can create contingency plans to mitigate them.

Other benefits, like talent development, financial management, regulatory compliance, etc., enable you to make your mark in the industry and remain a formidable presence.

You will need the tools to create and share such a plan, delegate responsibilities, and deliver progress reports. Our pre-made Long-Term Planning Templates will do this for you.

How Long-Term Planning Templates Can Help?

We at SlideTeam understand your business requirements, and using this know-how, we have created content-ready and 100% editable PowerPoint Presentations that do the work for you. A team effort by the company's workforce and even beyond is needed to execute your plans, and our slides are the perfect resource to generate and maintain this momentum.

Our PPT Designs give you a starting point, a structured framework, and the flexibility to later the slides to suit your needs. This means a lot of time and energy saved for you that can be put to better use.

Let us dive into our curated list of the 10 best Long-Term Planning Templates that offer you all you could ask for.

Template 1: Short, Medium, and Long-Term Planning PowerPoint Template Bundles

Plan your business strategy to achieve your short-to-long-term goals with this PPT Deck. Contained within these slides are templates to share and execute an action plan for objectives such as delivery of products, shareholder growth, tourism, change adaptation, integrated business planning, investment, and more. Most slides serve a particular industry but can be easily transformed for your needs. Some slides provide a general strategy for long-term planning that you can use as step one. Download this presentation from the link below.

Short medium and long term planning powerpoint ppt template bundles


Template 2: Short-Term and Long-Term Planning PowerPoint Presentation Slides

This template bundle delivers a visually diverse collection to lay out your short- and long-term goals for stakeholders. Showcase the timeline that defines the nature of the objectives. This also includes mid-term and SMART goals. There is ample space to detail the goals, including delegating roles and responsibilities, KPIs to track progress, etc. You can also showcase an overview of the business, including your mission and visions, as well as graphs and charts to deliver information. Download now.

Short term and long term planning powerpoint presentation slides


Template 3: Long-Term Strategic Planning Slide Presentation Tips

Use this PowerPoint Slide to present your long-term plan with the added advantage of iterative continuous improvement. This six-step strategy includes proposing the goals and mission, examining internal and external issues, conducting a SWOT analysis, and formulating the strategy. Follow this loop to improve business operations and get closer and closer to your ultimate business goals. Download this template now.

See long term strategic planning layout powerpoint slide presentation tips


Template 4: Long-Term Growth Planning Template PPT Slides

This diagram is a visual representation that connects your annual business operations plan with the long-term business plan. The planning loop consists of plans for supplies, short-term goals, annual budget, capital budget, and sales forecasting. Download this slide to integrate annual planning within your long-term plan and execute a strategy to achieve all objectives.

Ppt long term growth planning template ppt slides

Template 5: Short-Term And Long-Term Planning PowerPoint Slide

This PPT Layout presents a planning model with different levels of government taken as an example. Break down the mayor’s vision (highest level in the local government) into local board plans for the given city. This can then be categorized for local board agreements, including a unity plan, place-based plans, core strategies, and finally, the long-term plan. Download this template to present a detailed overview of the implementation of ideas with a strategy that has been tackled from all directions.

Short term and long term planning powerpoint slide

Template 6: Career Path Planning Showing Long-Term and Personal Goals

Plan out your career with your long-term objectives supported by short-term goals. Begin by noting details like quick wins and short steps you’ve taken in the first 3-6 months, proceed by introspection on the previous year in the months 6-12, and add information on plans that would take more time to execute than 12 months. List your long-term and personal goals at the bottom of the layout for reference and motivation. Download this template now.

Career path planning showing long term and personal goals

Template 7: Personal Financial Planning Sheet with Short and Long-Term Goals

Long-term financial planning is critical to the success of a business. Convert raw numbers into easy-to-follow information with tables that deliver it as short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Detail the priority of each objective and present the total cost supplemented by the monthly cost and the duration and target date. Download this template to make the fiscal objectives more accessible to understand and achieve.

Personal financial planning sheet with short and long term goals

Template 8: Five Years Roadmap with SWOT Analysis

A five-year plan is quite the perfect duration to set and achieve long-term goals. Detail your goals in marketing, product, business support, and finance. Use your data to conduct a SWOT analysis to crack the code for achieving these objectives. The side presents them in a timeline that acts as the audience's visual reference. Download now.

Five years roadmap for long term planning with swot analysis

Template 9: Six Months Roadmap Process

This PPT Layout presents a six-month roadmap to achieve your long-term goals. Beginning with gathering facts, the tasks on the timeline are conducting a SWOT analysis, reviewing inputs, creating a strategic matrix, defining strategies, and finally conducting a review to adjust the plan. Under each step, the readymade slide presents the elements for each task. Download this template now to have the right tools for a six-month plan.

Six months roadmap with long term planning process

Template 10: Six Months Roadmap for Business Growth

Use this Gantt Chart Slide to deliver a six-month plan to achieve business growth. Detail the tasks along the monthly timeline for departments such as operation, product, engineering, and marketing. The color-coding feature of the chart helps the team understand their goals and keep tack of their work. Grab this template from the link below.

Six months long term planning roadmap for business growth

It’s Time to Plan

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”

— Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father

This quote has never been more valid than for long-term business success. Fulfilling in business for years is too hard without a definitive strategy, and failure is inevitable. But do not forget that SlideTeam’s Long-Term Planning Templates will give you the helping hand you need and even do most of the work for you (it’s already done!).

Access these slides with a single click and streamline your long-term planning process. You can choose one of our subscription services: monthly, semi-annual, annual, annual+ with a click here .

P.S. The templates in this blog are not ranked in any particular order. Pick the one(s) you like and download it!

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Long-Term Career Goals [Examples & How to Succeed]

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November 7, 2023

Setting goals is the first step to achieving anything you want out of life, and your career is no exception. Long-term career goals define where you want to be in the future and serve as an overall guide for the decisions you make about your career day-by-day and year-by-year.

This article will explore what long-term career goals are and offer examples and tips for realizing them.

What Are Long-Term Career Goals?

Definition : Long-term career goals are objectives that will be fulfilled over time, anywhere from a few years to a lifetime.

These goals are the big building blocks for your career as a whole, creating the concrete steps you need to take to reach your overarching aspirations. Long-term career goals help keep you on track on the long road to creating the work life you want to have and steer you toward the steps that will get you where you want to go.

However, long-term career goals do not need to be set in stone. They can and should evolve over time as you progress in your career. Many things will change along the course of a career—including yourself—and your long-term career goals should grow with you.

Long-Term Career Goal Examples

Long-term career goals depend entirely on each person’s interests and desires, so they are limited only by individual imagination. However, there are several goals that are very common for people to set. These can include targets such as:

  • Landing a leadership position
  • Working within a specific company or industry
  • Finding a healthy work-life balance
  • Increasing earnings
  • Working in a specific type of environment, such as a fast-paced workplace or entirely remotely
  • Landing a promotion or specific job title
  • Earning a degree or certification
  • Creating career stability
  • Becoming a mentor or coach
  • Publishing research, articles or a book
  • Becoming a subject matter expert/thought leader
  • Starting a business
  • Retiring early/comfortably
  • Building a robust professional network

Importance of Long-Term Career Goals

Long-term career goals create a framework that you can use to guide you throughout your career. The process of setting long-term career goals can help you articulate what you want out of your career and narrow your options so that they can focus on what’s most important to you.

Once those goals are established, they function as guideposts to influence you to make the choices that will get you closer to your desired career destination. Goals also motivate you to keep going through the work it requires to reach the next step. Finally, achieving these goals brings immense satisfaction and fulfillment.

How Do Short Term Goals Differ from Long Term Goals?

The difference between short- and long-term career goals is just as it sounds: long-term goals take more time to achieve. However, they are both key to accomplishing your objectives. In order to achieve long-term goals, you must create short-term goals that will help you reach bigger goals step by step. And short-term goals should always map to long-term goals so that you are spending your time and energy in ways that lead to your bigger vision.

Some examples of short-term goals include:

  • Taking a class or seminar
  • Learning a new tool or skill
  • Finding a mentor
  • Successfully executing a project

Setting Your Long-Term Career Goals

Setting your long-term career goals generally requires self-reflection and research. When you ask yourself the question of “What do I want to achieve in my career?” the answer may not immediately be clear, and it may take some investigation for you to come up with meaningful goals for yourself.

Here are some tips to help you through the process:

  • Start with a big vision of what you want out of life, and work backwards from there to set career goals
  • Be aware of your personal “why” for your goals
  • Learn from others’ career paths

Talking about your career goals with others can be a huge help. Family and friends can offer personal insights, while colleagues and your manager can provide a more professional view. Having a career mentor can be an invaluable resource as well—they are there to help guide you by getting to know you and drawing on their experience and expertise to offer personal guidance.

Assessing Personal Values and Interests

Your long-term goals should reflect your personal values and interests, so it pays to spend some time defining what you believe in and what kinds of things you are drawn to. This applies not only to activities and subjects, but also how you like to work and relate with people and the world around you.

Here are some questions you can ask when you are exploring possible long-term goals to see if they are a good fit for you:

  • Do your long-term goals make you feel energized? Overwhelmed? Anxious?
  • How much would you have to change yourself in order to achieve the goal?
  • Have you made the goal based on your personal vision, or on others’ expectations?

When you have set thoughtful, personal long-term goals, they should feel exciting and achievable, while giving you plenty of room to stretch and grow.


Any kind of goal is more achievable when you make it SMART:

  • Specific: Define in detail what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable: Make sure you have a way to determine whether you’ve reached your goal or not.
  • Achievable: The goal must be realistic.
  • Relevant: Create goals that bring you closer to your ultimate objective.
  • Time-bound: Your goal should have a definitive time frame.

Using the SMART framework is a standard best practice that sets you up for success in setting and reaching your long-term career goals.

Strategies for Achieving Long-Term Career Goals

While your long-term career goals should be realistic, that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be easy to accomplish. Realizing meaningful long-term career goals takes planning, motivation, and accountability. Setting clear, measurable goals is a great start toward reaching your objectives. But you also need a plan to help you keep moving toward your targets. Here are a few strategies and steps you can use to get there.

Create a Career Roadmap

A career roadmap charts your career plan, outlining how you will get from where you are now to your ultimate target. An effective career roadmap includes the actions you will need to take at each step of your career to reach your objectives. This kind of roadmap offers concrete guideposts for you as you move forward in your professional life. Some benefits of using a career roadmap include:

  • Offers guidance in making decisions that affect your career trajectory
  • Allows you to measure your real progress against your plan
  • Provides motivation to continue striving toward your desired long-term results

However, career roadmaps should also be flexible enough to allow you to change them as needed. As circumstances and goals change, career roadmaps will need to shift as well. Very few people will end up with the exact same roadmap in their later career that they had at the beginning. Align your career roadmap with any career pathing conversations you have with your managers or mentors to make sure your desires are known for your career.

Gain Necessary Skills and Experiences

All long-term career goals involve cultivating new skills and experiences that can only be gained over time. For example, if your long-term goal is to land in a leadership position, you will need to develop several skills, such as “soft” interpersonal skills, communication skills, and management skills. This could translate to actions such as participating in courses or training, seeking out leadership roles inside or outside of the work setting, or participating in a leadership coaching program to learn from experienced leaders .

Networking and Building Professional Relationships

You can’t get where you want to go in your career without the right skills, but relationships with the right people are also key to achieving your long-term career goals. At every stage of your career, a healthy and diverse professional network provides an invaluable resource for career opportunities, learning, support, and collaboration. However, valued professional relationships aren’t one-way. A great network comes with opportunities to help others. This can involve formal situations such as workplace mentoring programs or more informal relationships.

Continuous Learning and Development

Having a mindset in which continuous learning and development is an everyday part of life and work will go a long way toward helping you achieve long-term work goals. This means taking advantage of chances to learn and grow your skills. Often, employers offer these types of opportunities in formal employee development programs , but you can also find myriad ways to learn on your own.

Top Challenges to Reaching Long-Term Career Goals

Everyone faces obstacles on the road to realizing their long-term career goals. These may include:

Changes in the workplace

The pace of change in industries and markets has accelerated over the past several decades, and technology is going to continue to create evolution. That’s why adaptability is so important in setting your long-term career goals; you have to know how to roll with the punches.

Changes in your life

Even with the most detailed plan, life will present unexpected changes, both positive and negative. When these happen, it’s time to take stock of where you are, how new developments have affected your plans, and where to go from here.

Self-doubt or uncertainty

Setbacks or a lack of expected progress can sow the seeds of self-doubt about whether you can really accomplish what you’ve set out to do. When this happens, some serious self-examination is in order, and it’s always a good idea to talk to a trusted mentor or other person to get an objective view.

We all have a limited amount of time, and taking enough of it to accomplish your goals can be a real challenge. It’s easy to let day-to-day tasks monopolize your time. But if you want to reach your long-term goals, you need to consciously make sure you’re spending the time to make them a reality.

Tips for Staying Motivated and Overcoming Challenges

It can be difficult to stay motivated over the amount of time it takes to achieve long-term career goals.

Here are some suggestions for how to stay motivated:

  • Set SMART goals from the beginning
  • Have a career roadmap
  • Breaking up your long-term goals into smaller steps
  • Seeking guidance and support from others
  • Talk with your mentors about your goals
  • Celebrate when you’ve reached your goals and milestones

You deserve to enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from realizing what you’ve set out to do. A moment of reflection on what you’ve achieved also offers an opportunity to make sure your goals are still relevant, and to recalibrate if they aren’t.

Reach Your Long-Term Career Goals with Chronus

Setting long-term career goals is crucial to creating a career that is satisfying and successful—no matter how you define success. Creating these goals isn’t a simple process, but doing it right lays the groundwork for getting where you want to go in your professional life. No matter where you are in your career, you can benefit from long-term career goals. The time to begin is now.

Learn more about how mentoring programs can help you design and achieve your long- and short-term career goals.

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Jennifer Sokolowsky

Jennifer Sokolowsky is a freelance writer and editor based in Seattle. Her work focuses on the potential of technology to transform the business world and human lives.

Posted in: Best Practices , Talent Development

long term business plan example

Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.


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