New Year, New Goals: How To Set and Achieve A Small Business Vision
Start the year right with a new vision for your business. Whether your business is fairly new or you’ve been at it for years, starting fresh with a new vision can help pull your team together and get you all working toward the same future. A vision serves as a guiding light for business growth.
Setting an intentional vision for your small business offers you and your employees a defined purpose. Instead of working toward some vague picture of what growth might look like, a vision defines your business’s role in the marketplace and society. It also helps you see a path forward that works for your life as a business owner.
Here’s how you can set and achieve a vision for your small business.
Writing a Vision Statement
Start by writing out a vision statement. A vision statement is a short declaration that explains your business’s current and future objectives. While a vision statement is different from your business’s mission statement and values, it will inspire stakeholders in your business as it grows. It explains what your mission means going forward. It is the story of your future.
The first step in writing a vision statement is brainstorming. Think about your highest hopes for your business. Where do you see your business in 5 or 10 years? How would you describe your business on its best day? Use a brainstorming method that works best for you. Word clouds and brainstorming webs can help you pull together and organize your ideas. If you’re more of a visual person, try creating a vision board.
Some business owners choose to invite their teams to participate in this process. Collaborating with your team helps you incorporate the perspectives of the people who help run your business every day. Your team might fill in holes and generate new perspectives on your ideas. This process will also help to build buy-in around the new vision.
The brainstorming process will help you give shape to your vision and bring it to a higher definition. Once you feel comfortable with these fuzzy but true thoughts, describe them in one or two sentences. Focus on diction and include words that really align with your business and vision. Keep reworking your statement until it feels perfect for your business.
As an example, check out VaVa Virtual’s vision statement:
We are the premier community for growth-oriented professionals to maximize their full potential.
Getting your Team Behind your Vision
The most important part of setting a vision for your business is getting the support of your team. As mentioned above, involving them in the process of developing your vision statement is a surefire way to get your team behind your vision. Whether or not you choose to include your team in your process, sharing the final version of your vision statement is absolutely necessary. Have an open discussion about the vision. Answer any questions, and provide your rationale for the vision.
Similar to how you might use your mission statement as a foundation for building a strong company culture, incorporate your vision into any conversations you have about the broad future of your company. Remind your team of your vision when it makes sense. Encourage them to incorporate your vision into how they think about their work. Ask them what it means to them. The more your team gets behind your vision, the more creative they will be about finding ways to participate in making it a reality.
Bringing Your Small Business Vision to Life
Now that you have a vision statement and the support of your team, it’s time to plan how you will make that vision a reality. Many business owners choose to create a strategic plan that outlines all the steps needed to reach a successful version of that vision.
Since your vision is an ultimate snapshot of where you hope your business ends up, it gives you a kind of endpoint to work backward from. What steps will be needed to reach this supreme version of your business? Will you need to add product lines, move into new markets, change how you operate, partner with other businesses, or expand your storefront?
Write out each and every step, being as detailed as possible. If you see multiple paths toward the same goal, define a plan A, B, and C. Once you have all of these ideas gathered, create a clean strategic plan that you can easily go back to and reference when the time comes. (Our eBook talks about strategic plans and other ways to grow your business.)
Working at Your Goals and Staying on Target
Having a vision doesn’t work unless you do! Try to keep your vision statement and strategic plan in mind at all times. Maybe even print out a copy of your vision statement and hang it up in your office or somewhere you’ll notice regularly. This will help you avoid getting lost in the day-to-day and straying from the path you hope to forge for your business. You worked so hard to define that path, now use your tools to keep pushing forward.
One of the best ways to stay on target with your vision is to always have a SMART goal in place. This gives structure and timing to your plan. It offers you doable steps in a timeframe that makes sense. Many business owners set SMART goals quarterly or at the beginning of the year. Once you have your SMART goals defined, add them to your calendar. Set aside time in your schedule for vision work. This will keep you motivated and on track to grow your business.
Moving Forward With Support
Intentionally growing your small business is a difficult and sometimes confusing process. Sometimes you’ll know exactly the right move to make next, and sometimes the market will transform in an unexpected way and leave you guessing. Either way, as a busy entrepreneur, you likely won’t have a lot of time to figure out how to work toward your vision most effectively.
With the help of a Virtual Assistant, you will have more freedom in your schedule to focus on that important vision work. Keep in mind that nobody but you can do that! Someone else (your VA) can always check email, organize your calendar, do research, and so many other daily tasks. As a business owner, only you can make the major decisions that actually push your business forward. Your VA is the support you need to enable that important work.
Learn more about how a Virtual Assistant can help your business.
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