We are just into the fourth quarter of what has been a challenging year for businesses. For some, that challenge was dealing with a dramatic loss in revenue due to COVID. For others, it was a significant increase, more than they could have imagined when all this started in March. In either case, what will sustain those companies is a clear and identifiable vision for the future. In his book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Jim Collins argues that a strong Vision is critical to long term success. A clear vision statement sets priorities and direction, and, as we discussed in a recent post, it enables us to align our team.
What is Vision?
So what defines your Vision? As I work with my clients, we broadly define Vision as what you are building. More specifically, we identify what your business does, who your clients are, what products or services you offer, and how much revenue you will generate. And while where you are today matters, we want to envision where you will be in 3 to 5 years. Vision is about where you are going.
And who decides where you are going? For small business owners, the Vision is their decision. They started their company for a reason. It may have been their passion or a need; they saw an opportunity to fill. And when they started that business, they had an idea where it was going. I often find that Vision is high level and broad, and my role is to help them get specific. Why? Because when the Vision is clearly defined, it is concrete and real. High-level vision statements are easy to change and don’t specify how success will look.
Why a Clear Vision for Your Business Matters
The Vision for your business is your north star. Your path forward is set by it. Vision creates the parameters for every decision you make for your business. Whether times are challenging or successful, your actions are defined by it.
If your business is facing challenging times right now, your Vision is what keeps you on track. The Vision allows you to stay focused; it defines how you make decisions under pressure. When it’s too hard, and you want to give up, Vision draws you back in and gives you the energy to move forward.
If your business is achieving success, the Vision still gives you focus and for different reasons. With success, you can get distracted. Side projects pop up and take up energy, time, and resources. Perhaps your level of success begins to feel like it’s enough, and you can let up. In any case, the danger in early success is that it can draw you away from the Vision you set out to achieve. Keeping your Vision in front of you reminds you that there is more yet to do. It pulls you back on track when you get distracted.
Your Team Benefits from a Clear Vision for Your Business
When you have a clear vision for your business, your team benefits.
First, it improves your ability to recruit talent. Prospective employees want to know where the business is going. Is the Vision something they can align behind and see themself as part of? Do they agree with it? Vision and culture define your business, and candidates will assess if they want to work for your organization on that basis. Much like you, as a business owner, will determine if a candidate can be part of your Vision and culture.
Second, it helps with employee engagement and retention. A key driver of engagement is that the employee understands the business’s Vision and how their role supports it. If you’re not clear on your Vision for the company, there is nothing for the employee to align personally and professionally. A clear vision is something that employees want as it drives their purpose and reason for showing up every day.
If you want to get clear on your Vision, set up a Consultation Call with me, and I will work with you to get started!