Creating a vision for your business is the most important step you can take when starting. It is an opportunity to clarify where you want your business to be in, say, one-five- or ten years and how you will get there.
It is the point at which you can create a visual interpretation of all your aspirations, what you want your brand to stand for, how you want to be perceived and the difference you want to make or the value you want to add to someone else’s life.
It’s an opportunity to think big as if nothing is standing in your way.
An example of how a well-thought-vision would help is if you can imagine backpacking around the world. Where your focus is on freedom and flexibility, you leave the comforts of your home, throwing caution to the wind and jumping on a plane full of excitement but apprehension about what to expect.
Getting older, you have got wiser, and you realise how important having a well-crafted itinerary and being prepared would eliminate so many unknowns and open the door to more invites, options and opportunities.
Having a well-thought-out vision will ultimately serve you in a more significant way.
Let’s look at how you can create your vision.
Step 1 – Know the big thing you want to be known for in your business.
Is your idea profitable? Get involved in online groups where your ideal client is hanging out, and ask questions to get feedback. For example, I tested my area of expertise by working with pro-bono clients. It was great validation. I learnt so much through the process.
The sooner you craft your vision for purposeful leadership, the longer you’ll have to turn that vision into reality!
Step 2 – Prioritise your ‘Business’s” top 5 values
Values that define the way you live your life and how you operate your business.
- What does success mean to you?
- What are your principles?
- What legacy do you want to leave?
Your values should be so prominent in your business that they will be what people say when they talk about you. Your values should be based on truth but can have some aspirational tendencies. Once you have brainstormed and narrowed down your values, highlight the flow-on effect these values will have and incorporate them into your brand story. The best way to find your values is to track your time over a week.
Look at the tasks you set yourself.
- What do you naturally gravitate towards doing?
- What lights you up?
Step 3 – Narrow down your business’s personality traits.
These will help you determine the standout qualities and value you deliver. Look at your product or service and the value each brings to your customer.
- What are you selling? i.e. “dependable”, “compassion”, and “enthusiasm”. These could also be your standout values.
- How do you want your clients to decide that you are the best person to handle their work?
- What characteristics of a successful business are you attracted to?
- How would you like to bring these characteristics into your business? Accessible, trustworthy, openness.
Expand on your values to see how you can demonstrate these. How you present, your standout qualities will be how you can develop a personality that builds customer loyalty.
- Look at the tasks you set yourself. What do you naturally gravitate towards doing?
- What lights you up?
Step 4 – What is your role within your business?
Get clear with how you see yourself fitting into your business’s model, both now and with your future vision.
Ultimately you will want to scale your business to secure its future success. Once in this position, you will have the luxury of deciding what to work on and what to delegate.
Think about how the growth of your business will support you with the future vision you have for yourself. What do you see yourself doing?
By doing this, you are ensuring that the vision you want for your business aligns with the work you want to focus on personally.
Step 5 – Who do you help?
With each service you offer, whom do you help?
- Why should your clients choose you over your competitor? It is essential to know who your industry competitors are. Look at what your competitors offer and what you can do to stand out. It may be as subtle as the way you communicate with your clients. Is it your warmth, your patience, or your attention to detail? How do you make them feel? Is it – safe and looked after?
- Whom do you admire? It is not about comparing. It is about being confident with where you position yourself. This step is about getting clear with your ideal client.
- What do they want, and what do they need?
Once you have a solid understanding of your positioning in the marketplace, through the following:
- Your one big thing.
- Your values.
- Your business’s personality traits.
It’s time to create your long-term vision.
It can be 3, 5 or 10 years.
Think big. Nothing is standing in your way.
- What would you be doing, and whom would you be working with?
- And how?
- How big will you grow?
- What opportunities will it create?
Now may be an excellent time to create a vision board.