By Tamsen Garrie
A vision is a long-term view of the future which set’s the direction of the business. It includes the core values (beliefs that are shared by everyone involved) of the business, which drives the culture, and it provides a framework within which decisions are made. Most importantly a vision inspires and motivates the people in the business to take action!
I have been working with visioning for a number of years, and the power of it never ceases to amaze me. It enabled me to grow my first small business back in 2007, a time when I knew only a little about building a business and it played a huge part in the success of the Business Network I was involved in developing nationally, between 2007 and 2011.
So, why does a vision play such a key part in creating business success?
Well, quite simply because having a vision means that you ’start with the end in mind’, and in this context, the ‘end’ represents the ‘purpose’. Without purpose, directing our thoughts, feelings and energy to that which is conducive to a successful outcome is not possible. And in order to begin with the end in mind, one needs clarity on what the ‘end’ looks like. This is why a vision is so incredibly powerful.
In my experience working with businesses, those with a vision have more direction and focus than those without. They tend to set goals and they are more likely to create a plan of action to achieve them. Most importantly, their activity is aligned with their goals and they are therefore more effective at producing results.
Some of the clients I’ve worked with this year have been visibly frustrated with the lack of success in their business. They’ve described their busy diary and immense activity, but fundamentally they’ve told me that they didn’t feel they were “getting anywhere”.
I asked one client “Where specifically do you want to be getting?” She couldn’t answer me, and when we drilled down, it became clear that she didn’t have a vision for her business.
The truth is, I didn’t embark on my business journey with a completely defined vision either. But what I did have was clarity on my core values and a sense of purpose. My goals were therefore aligned with those things and as a result, my activity was activity that was conducive to achieving the things that made both the business and me successful.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re aware that your business lacks vision, don’t be alarmed. A vision doesn’t need to be perfect in its detail, it simply needs to inspire and motivate you to take the right kind of action. So, start simple. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s important to you (values)?
- What will provide you with excitement (wants)?
- What will provide you with fulfillment (needs)?
- What would you love to achieve (aspirations)?
Write down the thoughts that come into your head and then expand on them. Those things may not seem relevant to your business right now, but trust me, they are very important. Because those things are amongst the things that determine your purpose and from there, you can start to build a vision for your business that motivates you (and others) to take action!
So, what’s YOUR Vision?