I’ve done it! Sure I have, and more than once. I have focused on strategies that have driven short-term sales. Month end, end of the quarter and year-end and there is often a push to drive the numbers. Nothing is really wrong with this when it happens on occasion, but when it becomes the way we do business, then we are in trouble.
The problem when we focus exclusively on short-term solutions is that we stop doing the things that drive our business in the long-term.
Homer Simpson lives his life in the short-term where it always makes sense to have one more beer, two more donuts and a nap when he should be working. We do the same when we go on a crash diet or use one credit card to make the payment on another. Short-term fixes can be very painful in the long run but many businesses have made this approach part of their culture.
Networking is an activity that takes time. A salesperson can attend several years of industry association meetings before valuable relationships are developed. If the company is focusing on this month, they are not giving time to that investment.
Publishing white papers, e-newsletters (like this one), holding informational seminars, doing charity work and networking are all activities that build reputation, connections and support the brand in the long run but may do very little to add sales in the short run. These long-term activities, make the business stronger and healthier but it takes time.
Focusing on short term results puts incredible strain on businesses. The entire business is always running in emergency mode with little focus on where the company is growing. Operating this way is very hard on a business and each and every employee in it.
Find a balance between the short and long-term and
get off the immediate-results treadmill!
Short term almost never works in the long run.
This change may mean that your numbers are less than stellar for a few months but you will find that taking a long-term approach to building your brand and building your sales will pay off sooner or later.
Think about it!