Certainly, your business is a combination of short term goals and long-term plans, just like all businesses. Yet, we all know that at different times, one takes precedence over the other.

From a simplistic perspective, long term strategies build brand/company awareness and give sales revenue a permanent, gradual boost. Short term strategies create a temporary, immediate revenue boost by giving buyers an incentive to purchase.

By implementing both long and short term strategies particularly in the sales and marketing arena you can attend to immediate goals while building your business reputation and goodwill. Some examples of both types of strategies are included below.

Shorter-term marketing strategies:

  1. Reduced price sales: These are designed to boost revenue to encourage customers to act. Having a sale will give customers an incentive and will benefit you in the immediate term. However, frequent sales can erode profit over time as customers become accustomed to waiting for a sale instead of buying at full price.
  2. Group offers: This is an effective strategy for introducing your products or services to a new set of customers or to give important groups a permanent discount. However, you must monitor performance on this the sales increase may not offset the cost of continuous price discounts.

Longer-term marketing strategies:

  1. Branding activities: High profile activities and general advertising contribute to driving awareness and building your companies image. This can ultimately create customer loyalty. Successful branding can have a large impact on market share, but it is a gradual process.
  2. Industry relationships: Building healthy relationships with distributors and others involved in the industry gives you the connections you need. Long term, this approach can improve connections to new customers and potentially create new distribution channels.
  3. Research and development: By investing in research, you are focusing on future sales. Conduct market research with some of your most valuable customers to you are creating a product pipeline that meets their needs and ensures your future growth.
  4. Publish content: Developing a stream of fresh content like newsletters or blog posts will result in quality traffic to your site, but will also establish you as an expert in your field. These pieces do not need to be intense but commit to publishing something on a monthly basis on your site to show visitors you’re here for the long-term.

Together, long and short term strategies help achieve immediate sales goals while building your business’ reputation. A healthy balance of both is critical for ensuring your small business will prosper for years to come.

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