Developing or refreshing your business vision
Making changes, whether it is to follow through on the seeds of a business idea or making a significant life change is a challenging process. You are excited, but equally it can be a scary time. Change requires us to move out of our comfort zone. It takes courage, bravery and at times you will feel very vulnerable. You feel inspired but you might also doubt yourself, you question everything including if you are the right person to do this, let me re-assure you in my experience of working with thousands of clients this is all normal and breaking through is the key.
Find the right people, friends, family, professionals to help. Be willing to ask and receive. You will have plenty of time for giving later! Trust yourself. It requires you to grow your own self trust and self belief, find ways of doing this that work for you. This is your life and by following your heart you will be more satisfied and feel more fulfilled.
Tips to develop your business vision
Use tools that work for you – journaling, listening to podcasts, visualisation, creating a vision board, mind mapping. Allow it to unfold, however you do it, commit it to paper, do not get lost in trying to make it pretty, get your ideas and thoughts on to paper. Get it out of your head, this is always a useful step!
Identify your WHY? – why this idea, why now? What is your purpose? What difference will it make to your customers? Why are you here? – in your heart you know the answer, accessing it may take a little more effort and soul searching, but also action. Procrastination may be one of your repeating patterns that needs to be addressed.
Research the market – Who else is offering something similar? Who would your customer be? Can you create or deliver it at a price they are willing to pay? Learn by researching, exploring and observing.
Talk about it – Talk it through with trusted people in your life, tell them what you have learnt from doing some of the research, saying it out loud helps you refine your idea. Know your tribe, who will support you and encourage you. Be willing to hear constructive feedback and don’t take it too personally. They may have insights that are invaluable to help you to frame it and improve it. However, be mindful of other people’s fears and try not to take on their stuff, they may not have had the courage to follow their dream, this doesn’t mean you should follow in their footsteps and go the ‘sensible’ path.
Find role models – businesses or people offering something similar who are much further along their business journey and inspire you, they may be in another geographical location. Role models are not for you to copy but instead to inspire you to be the best ‘you’ version of them, it may only be one aspect of their business or you may draw inspiration from their whole business.
Be specific – Usually when we have a concept, it is more challenging than we expect to try to frame it in concrete terms and even more challenging again to try to predict what it might look like in the future. It gets cloaked in terms such as ‘successful business’,‘money in the bank’,‘happy customers’, naturally, we want all of these outcomes and more, but do try to be specific. Developing a vision which is more specific can help give you clarity, which is what we need to clear the fog.
Allow it to evolve – This may sound like a contradiction from the previous step, but it’s not! Specifics ground us, however do not hang onto your vision rigidly, give it space to grow, overtime it will change and this is important to allow it to expand and contract as needed. No business will thrive if it is static and likewise your vision is not fixed.
Your vision, gives you a destination and direction, it gives shape to your words and ideas. It is the first step to developing a road map, with an outline plan of how to get there. These combined become your framework. Your vision and your road map become an anchor and will help orientate you and give you focus. However, along the route you may take the odd diversion or you destination may even change.
Putting a time frame on your Vision
By visualising where you want your business to be in the future, 3 years’ time is a good time frame, it can give you focus, motivation, direction and informs choices you make. When I ask clients where they want to be in a years’ time, they find it harder than identifying where they want to be in three years’ time. Do what works for you, I suggest you start with 3 years forward and then peel it back to two years, then a year and then six months.
Below are a few prompts to help you keep it grounded and real.
3 Years Forward
- Where do you want your business to be? – This might be physical location/ virtual / moved on from kitchen table to what? etc.
- What will your business look like? – Team, brand, social media platforms, client base… What will it look like to your customer?
- How much do you want or need to earn from your business? Knowing what wage you need as a reward for your hard work will help you price your service appropriately and give you clarity on the level of sales you need to achieve. It is also gives you clarity on what is acceptable and not as you will have to work hard. Working hard and earning very little is not ok!
- Who is your customer?
- What is the purpose of your business? And is this purpose truly aligned with you? If you need to turn your life upside down to make it happen, plan to arrive at a better place that fits you!
And from another perspective:
✓ How do you want to feel in 3 years’ time? (Business minded? Confident? More fulfilled? Following what is right for you? etc.)
✓ What personal goals do you want to have achieved?
✓ What impact will your business have had on your personal life?