..if you don’t have a vision where are you going?
You have to start with in your mind
I know you’ve probably heard or read that, vision is not always a great place to start (As you may not be clear of where you business will go) but if you don’t start with the End mind how you going to plan where you need to go. (Your Vision may develop and grow as your business grows)
It’s really important to understand your vision, what it is you want to achieve, so you can start laying out the steps to where you need to be .
Your vision helps you make better decisions, when you need to make a choice around growth, budgets, staff, marketing plans or day-to-day focus in your business, it all goes back down to your vision.
I had a Client who, had an import and distribution business. Obviously the product came in from overseas, they were down to their last item in stock, this particular item, had damaged packaging, now the guy doing the picking looked at the item and because of the vision said wait a second I can’t send this out like that. He decided on his own accord to contact the client and inform them that their order will be late, that he was not happy with the packaging of this product and he was going to repackage it for them. He went ahead and repackaged it. The order went out a bit late, not a day late but rather a couple of hours late.
Why am I telling you this story, the reason that made this person realize that he couldn’t send it out like that was because of the company’s vision, the vision spelt it out, what they were doing, why they were doing it and what had to be the end goal. Now if somebody that is just a picker in your company can make decisions based on your vision, then you have a clear vision. All decisions in a company should come down too, does it fit in line with our vision? Does our vision allow this to happen? If not it shouldn’t happen. If it fits within the vision go ahead make that decision.
Your vision sets the road map to the future of your company. It sets the Destination.
Many business owners, go into business without a clear vision of what it is that they need to achieve, what it is they want to achieve, what is it that their business needs to be at the end of the day.
If you understand what your business needs to be at the end of the day, when you want it to be there by, it’s a lot easier to achieve your goals, it’s a lot easier to achieve your growth, it’s a lot easier for your business to become successful.
Achieving your vision should be something that’s far out into the future, imagine that 100 years to come. Imagine how great it would be to get there! When you can see the picture is clear. Then it’s very important that you go ahead and put the plan together
Whether you do it by a dream board or a business plan strategy it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clear to you and to those that work for you, with the marketing company that works with you. (They must truly understand your vision, so that they can put your vision into the market) Everything we do in and on our businesses should go back to the vision.
It’s a vision that creates your success
As your business goes through the journey, your vision should be there to inspire you to keep going when things get tough, when sales are down, when you lose focus, it’s what will pull you back, or when things are financially tight, it’s your vision that will help pull you through.
You will hear this question so many times, “Well, why did you go in business in the first place?”
Is the vision that you’re trying to set a legacy, that you would like to leave behind?
Think about this, once you decide to leave the business, what will people say about you and your business, what will people remember about your business, these are important things to take note of when you set your vision, because it tells you clearly of how you will be seen in the market ,because being seen in the market is one thing. Practicing and doing are something else. Your vision should help combine the two together, so that you are living your vision, you are living your dream.
If you take your dreams and your goals and I always say cast them in stone.
You may hear people say, “You don’t change your goals” That’s not 100% correct, well what does change in your goals, is the process , could be the dates , could be the times, could be that you learnt something new, but the ultimately your goal remains, if that goal is true and it means the right thing to you.
Think about this, if you were going on a holiday; you were travelling from Joburg to Cape Town, you would go and plan everything; am I flying, am I driving , were will we must stay, do I hire a car, what will we can do , what will we visit, you wouldn’t climb on an airplane and not have any idea where you’re going? Yet we do it with our business, we just trade and trade and trade and not think about are we on track are we where we need to be.
Another important part of your vision is your purpose, what are your values, what is the culture that you bring into it. If we don’t have core values in place and the purpose to drive us there to achieve our vision, it will just be something that’s stuck on a wall or put on a board.
Over the last few years, every time I walk into a company, one of the first things I do is, I look at their vision, often you’ll find it up on some wall framed and I always stop and read it. The interesting thing is, I can tell if it was written by the business owner or by the marketing agency. How do I tell? Well the language that you used to put the vision in place, when it’s written by marketing company it often has most outrageous words and meanings that the average person working in that company would not understand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running down marketing companies! The point I’m trying to make here is your vision must be clear and understandable for the lowest person within your organization. Lets face it, in South Africa, language is a barrier for many of us, so make sure that the language used is easily understood by each and every person in your business.
Your vision, there’s so much more I could put into writing.
So start with the end in mind, dream it, out goals into place, learn what you need to, plan, what you need to do, and just to it. Don’t be care to make small adjustments, and share with your team.
Ps: Why did you go into business?