Chances are, you had a specific goal or business vision in mind when you first set about starting your business.
Over time, though, those initial goals have a way of getting lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of keeping a business running. They may grow outdated, or the company may simply outgrow them. Regardless, you can end up with a company that is focused on running (and possibly running well) but not really going anywhere because it lacks a central vision to drive it forward.
With the dawning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to establish a new vision to drive your company to greater success. By creating a powerful new vision for your business you’ll not only reinvigorate its growth, but you may even reinvigorate your employees as well.
What Does Your Company Do?
Your company’s business vision should be related to what the company actually does.
The more specific you can get with this, though, the easier it will be to refine your vision. Look at the industry you operate in, your products or services, your end customers… everything about your business that’s a part of its function. Try and summarize all of this in one or two sentences, packing in as much detail as you can without getting too lost in the description.
It may take several revisions to get a concise explanation of what your business actually does, but the work you do now will pay off with a much stronger vision.
Analyze Your Company Values
Once you’ve defined what your company does, repeat the process to define your company’s values. Why does your company do what it does? Who do you help? What greater purpose do you aspire to? Being able to define the values of your business is possibly the most difficult part of creating a new vision, but it’s also one of the most important.
Set Strong Goals
Looking at your company values and what your business actually does, start setting goals. These should focus on expanding or improving the company’s role in its market, but should be true to the company’s values. You don’t have to set a bunch of small goals, either; while your goals should obviously be achievable, you’re looking for end goals at this point.
Develop a Plan
After you have a few ideas for your business vision, it’s time to start planning out how you would achieve them. Come up with milestones that would work toward those goals, especially if the goals seem lofty. Put as much detail into your plan as you wish, since the details will keep your goals grounded in reality.
Once you’ve laid out plans for all of your goals, you should be able to see which has the most direct path to success and which is most in line with your company’s values. Select the plan that best matches these two categories and use it as the core of your new vision.
Set a Time Frame
Now that you have an end goal in sight and a plan to get there, you need to set a time frame to complete it in. This should be realistic, but at the same time it shouldn’t be so long that you can just lazily progress toward your goal. If you really want your vision to be powerful, then your time frame should be at least somewhat ambitious.
Create Your Business Vision
You have a goal. You have a plan. You have a time frame. Now you just need to combine them and create your new vision. As before, you should be able to create a vision statement in just a couple of lines. It should be concise while conveying all of the necessary detail to let others know where your company is headed and when you expect to get there.
You can gloss over some of the details of your plan, but make sure that you keep a copy of the plan as a reference to keep your business on track.
Be Open to Change
One thing to keep in mind is that things can change as time goes by. Even if you have a very strong vision, future events may necessitate changing it or even abandoning it to take advantage of new opportunities or recover from new setbacks.
Don’t stray from your vision without good cause, but at the same time you should also avoid clinging to it so rigidly that your business can’t adapt to its environment. Your vision guides your company to where it needs to go, but if the destination changes then the vision needs to change too.