It’s simple; I’m not getting in the car if you don’t tell me where we’re…
Three Easy Steps to Define Your Small Business Vision
A vision helps set the direction for the growth of your business and can very much affect your investment into marketing to help you get there.
Your vision represents both your short and long terms goals for your business. It is there to inspire you. It helps keep you and your team on track to get you where you need to go.
Your marketing efforts will be driven by the quest for your organisation to achieve your vision. Your vision may also influence your branding and positioning decisions, so it’s really important to have your vision articulated and understood by all.
While your vision needs to be simple to understand, it also needs to be specific to your business and goals. If it’s too generic, it won’t resonate.
Here are three easy steps that will take you through the creative process of defining your vision:
Step 1 – Stimulate your visionary thinking by asking yourself the following questions.
(You may even want to ask some of your team these questions as well to gain some broader perspective.)
- Why did you start this business in the first place?
- Why do your customers choose to do business with you?
- How would you like your business to appear to the outside world?
- Where do you see your business in ten years from now?
- What are some singular words that sum up your business?
- What are some numbers that you would like to wrap around your business? For example, annual revenue, profit margin, number of customers, etc.
If you already have a vision for your business then perhaps you can take this opportunity to challenge it with some of these questions. Is your existing vision still relevant for today and your future business? Does it resonate with your staff?
Step 2 – Compile your findings and draft your vision statement.
Once you have made some notes or collected your images and assembled your vision board, you can start to attempt narrowing these visionary thoughts into a simple sentence that sets out a future direction for your business.
It’s really tempting to overthink this so perhaps if you complete this exercise on your own then run your vision statement drafts by someone who knows your business well and that you can trust to give you impartial feedback.
If you are a visual person lay out your vision with a visual mood board. Fill it with images, words and numbers that emulate what you would like your business to look like in the future.
Step 3 – Test that vision statement.
Ok, so you have crafted a sentence that you feel confident represents your vision for the future, now test its validity against some of the integral functionalities within your business.
- Will your staff find this vision inspirational?
- Will your customers find this vision inspirational?
- How will this vision help drive profit?
- How will you communicate this vision in your branding and marketing?
- How will you know when this vision has been realised?
If your vision survives the test, give yourself a great big pat on the back and then get to work entrenching that vision across your business.
And just in case you are still a little baffled as to what a vision should look like, here are a few extra pointers to help guide you along the way.
- Be ambitious (without being unrealistic).
- Create a vision that will inspire you, your team and the outside world.
- Be as specific as you can.
- Think big.
- Use industry terminology or acronyms that not everybody can understand.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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