EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: “Your vision is your dream with a plan.” says author of Mastering the Rockafeller Habits, Verne Harnish. Think big.
Where is your Company Vision Leading YOU? I was going to start this blog by saying that it is going to change the way you run your business…..because you will walk away with some practical tools that will help you when your business gets stuck.
But, I …..can’t……. say… that ……….. only YOU can.
Only when you’re completely fed up and have had enough of being stuck in a rut ………and want to make a positive change, can you say: “this blog is going to change the way I run my business.” In my recent ROI Business Building Tips post, I talked about 5 alarming statistics related to selling your business (link). Getting your Vision back into focus is one of the first steps you need to take to get your house in order if you plan to optimize your ROI on your investment in your business when you ultimately decide to sell.
So, what exactly do I mean by the term “getting stuck”? Every business operates in cycles. Some businesses have short cycles and life spans, others enjoy much longer ones. Cycles can leave you in a rut, stressed beyond belief, burned out or worse yet, hating your business because you don’t have control of it or circumstances affecting it.
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Getting stuck is easy. Getting unstuck is a different story. Unfortunately, when a business doesn’t “feel so good,” most owners will either do nothing at all, or just do more of the things that caused the “pain” in the first place. Wayne Mullins, the owner of Ugly Mug Marketing poses a great question on this issue: ” If a child came to you crying and saying “I don’t feel very good,” you would probably ask where it hurts and begin the process of identifying the source of the pain. So why don’t businesspeople do the same thing with their business? “
Let’s go back to one of the key causes of “getting stuck” for a moment – Lack of Direction. When you lack direction, it is usually driven by your lack of clear BHAG (Your Big Hairy Audacious Goals).
You may laugh off the concept of having a lack of direction because every day you know exactly what you are going to do – you are going to strap fire extinguisher to your hip and start putting out fires. If that isn’t direction, what is? …….. Or is it?
Let me ask you this: “Would you takes off on a 3 week vacation with a car full of kids, 2 dogs and a hamster, one small cooler of snacks and half a tank of gas in the middle of January without a road map? You would no doubt find yourselves stuck in a roundabout 10 miles down the road!
Most.… business….. owners…. do just that. They start with great ideas and a fierce passion, but no real vision backed up by a real plan on how to achieve it.
Let’s take a FIERCE QUESTION Break here: This is where I ask tough questions ………and you squirm a bit.
#1 – What is a Vision statement? It is the road map to your future. It’s a statement in which your clear spell out your long term goals, aspirations and your wildest dreams. It’s the statement that makes you shutter when you say it out loud. Vision statements can be short (Disney – To make people happy) or long – (ROI Business Group: To revolutionize and lead the market in practical business analytics for small and medium sized business owners with products and services that anticipate and fulfill their desires and needs to measure their business and personal performance and success). They can be quantitative (Walmart – To become a $125 billion company by 2000), qualitative (Avon – To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women -globally) or competitor based like Nike (Nike – Crush Adidas). They can be role-model based (Stanford U – To become the Harvard of the West), or they can be Internal Transformation statements like GE’s (GE – Become number one or two in every market we serve and revolutionize this company to have the strengths of a big company combined with the leanness and agility of a small company).
# 2 – Does YOUR company has a clear Vision Statement? – one that spells out a clear, passionate dream for the company……a road map to where your company will be in 10 years time?
#3 – What is it?
#4 – Can you say it without thinking about it?
#5 – Do you believe it passionately?
#6 – Do you drive it relentlessly?
#7 – Do you use it to guide you in every single decision your company makes?
#8 – Who else in your company knows it?
#9 – Do they use it daily? If not, why not?
Most business owners spend more time planning their vacations than they do focusing on the direction their business is going to take over the next decade.
What’s the fix? If your business is stuck for whatever reason, and not feeling well, here are four basic steps you should take for some short term FIRST AID:
- Determine exactly where your business is hurting in Key Performance areas: (ROI Business Analytics)
- Dig deep (I mean really deep) to find the cause of the pain. It may not be what you think it is. It rarely is.
- Treat the cause of the pain, not the symptoms. NO BANDAIDS (http://www.roibusinesscoaching.com/group-coach/)
- Avoid the cause of the pain in the future.
How do you stay “unstuck”? Use your VISION for guidance and direction – it’s your exclusive road map to a great future.
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch, Former CEO, GE