Creating a vision for your business is the most important step you can take when starting. It is an opportunity to clarify how you want to grow your business 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.
You will need to think big, as if nothing is standing in your way. With a robust, purposeful vision, you will stay focused.
One can compare this to 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. The wiser you get, the more you realise how important having a well-crafted itinerary will eliminate the unknown and invite more options and opportunities; this is how a vision will serve you.
So, let’s look at how you can create your vision.
Get clear with what sets your business apart.
We talked about getting clarity with “who you are” in the blog post LINK HERE “5 Ways you can re-invent your brand” I encourage you to explore this stage first to get absolute clarity with your purpose and direction.
Have you tested your idea and that it is profitable?
If you still need to, consider the following.
- Get involved in online groups where your ideal client is hanging out.
- Elicit feedback. For example, I tested my area of expertise by working with pro-bono clients.
Ask yourself the following?
- Do I enjoy what I do?
- Am I making a difference with the service I provide?
- Will this idea of mine create the future I desire?
Look for that “One big thing” that is standing out! Could it be “How you communicate?” or perhaps “How you manage systems and organisation?”. Maybe your “sense of colour” will set you apart.
Prioritise your ‘Business’s” top 5 values that will steer your brand forward.
Values that define the way you live your life and how you operate your business?
You can find further clarity with this step by looking at the following-
- Define what success means to you.
- Look at your daily actions. Can you see patterns emerging?
- 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?
Narrow down your unique business’s personality traits to help determine the standout qualities and value you deliver.
Look at each service and the value each brings to your customer.
What are you selling?
i.e. Creative, dependable, compassionate, enthusiastic. 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? It could be a feeling you want to leave with your clients.
Look at characteristics of successful businesses that inspire you. How would you like to bring these characteristics into your business?
Values such as “Accessible, trustworthy, and openness” may stand out.
Expand on your values to see how you can demonstrate these.
How you demonstrate your standout qualities will be how you can develop a personality that builds customer loyalty.
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.
Think about your business’s growth and how it 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.
With each service you offer, look at your ideal client and why they should choose you over your competitor.
Get to know your competitors.
List out your competitors. It is not about comparing; it is about being confident with where you position yourself.
This step is also about getting clear with your ideal client. What do they want, and what do they need?
Now incorporate your one big thing, your values, and your business’s personality traits to understand your positioning in the marketplace.
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. It may be your warmth, patience, and attention to detail. You make them feel safe and looked after.
Now it’s time to pull everything together and look at your long-term vision for your business.
Create a vision for 3, 5 or 10 years. Think big; nothing is standing in your way.
- What would you be doing?
- How big will you grow?
- What opportunities will you create?
A vision board is a great tool to solidify your intentions in the future.