Do you have a company vision? If I asked you today what your vision for your business is, could you describe it for me in detail?
Company Vision Defined
For clarity’s sake, let’s define “company vision” as who your company aspires to BE and what it intends to accomplish along the way.
Put in layman’s terms…
- Who do you want to be when you grow up?
- What would you like the “highlight reel” to look like when you get there?
Ultimately, it should encapsulate your company’s 5 W’s + H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How).
A proper Company Vision has three key components:
- “Purpose“… it’s your WHY
- “Mission“… your WHAT by WHEN
- “Core Values“… these are the beginnings of your HOW
Let’s dig a bit deeper into each.
Purpose (Your "WHY")
Why do you do what you do?
In his bestselling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” author Rick Warren starts out by making the bold yet powerful statement, “It’s not about you.”
In other words, “Well, hello ‘ego.’ I hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s not about you” – Wow, what a blow to our egos that is! And you know what? I wholeheartedly believe Rick Warren is right. Now while he appears to be referring to the purpose of our individual lives, I believe that his statement is equally as essential and accurate for our businesses as well.
Simply put, “Your purpose must be bigger than you!”
So then let me ask you…
Why are you in business in the first place?
Why are you taking up space? OUCH!
Now, if you answered something like, to earn a decent living and support my family– a VERY NOBLE cause– I guess that all you’re getting out of your business is a decent living and just enough to support your family. You put your intention out there, and the Universe responds accordingly – that’s the Law of Attraction.
Now I’m not here to pass judgment on you. However, I believe that the Universe intends abundance for all of us and that the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves.
Additionally, your purpose of earning a decent living and supporting your family does not inspire me to take action to do business with you. Yes, I dare say it. I want to be touched, moved, and inspired by your purpose, and I’m sure your target market wants the same.
All things being equal, who would you rather do business with. Company ‘A’ who never discusses its purpose and blends in with everyone else? Or company ‘B’ whose larger purpose is one that you can identify with and care about, such as ending world hunger or, helping others live lives of abundance and prosperity?
I think the answer is obvious.
People prefer doing business with people they like and can identify with.
So let me ask you the same questions again, but let me rephrase them.
- What’s your higher purpose?
- What’s your true calling?
- How will your business add value to this planet?
Take the time to think this through and document your answer. Then so long as you are coming from a space of authenticity and not manipulation, don’t be afraid to share your higher purpose with your target market. I believe that you’ll be pleasantly surprised how this can magnetize you and draw like-minded, supportive people toward you.
People love being part of something big, something larger than life. So why not become a conduit for that to happen? In essence, use your marketing to share your higher purpose so you can ultimately make a more significant contribution to the higher good.
This will, at a minimum, differentiate you from your competition and magnetize you, so you begin to draw your perfect Clients toward you.
You know—the ones meant to be served by you.
Keep in mind that your target market must be able to relate to, as well as appreciate, your higher purpose. Once again, it must not be blatantly self-serving, and it must be bigger than you.
So, if you haven’t yet declared the “Purpose” component of your Company’s Vision… in writing… take the necessary time to do so now.
Mission (Your "WHAT" by "WHEN")
Where is your business is going in a year... 3 years... 5 years... and beyond?
Alright, it’s time for some absolute honesty.
Are you proactively and purposefully creating your business’s future, or are you reactively allowing it to happen to you?
Think about this one for a few moments because it’s critical that you get this distinction.
To achieve greatness and fulfillment in business, it’s critical to know where you’re going prior to setting out on your journey to get there! Otherwise, it’s like being on a cruise to nowhere – floating around aimlessly until you run into something by happenstance. And trust me, that something may not be something you want to bump into.
So let me ask you…
Are you currently on a cruise to nowhere?
If you are, the first thing you can do is forgive yourself.
It’s not what you’ve done in the past that matters; it’s what you do from this point forward that does!
Your Mission going forward
So the first thing we should do here is some real soul searching. Let’s uncover what the ideal mission for your business would be. To do this, ask yourself point blank and often avoided questions such as:
What exactly do I want to have happen this year, in 3 years, in 5 years, and beyond?
Where do I want my business to be?
Think in terms of desired market share, revenue, staff size, the impact we want to make on the world (so to speak), etc.
Are there any causes we’ll align with?
What does the “perfect” Client look like? And how many of them do I want to serve continually?
How many Prospects do I want in my pipeline at all times?
What would I dare to dream if I knew anything were possible?
Failure to clearly answer questions like these leaves it to chance that you’ll ever be happy in your business. I don’t know about you, but I spend an awful lot of time each week both working on, and in, my business not to get the most enjoyment and benefit I can out of it.
Be Honest with Yourself
When answering these questions, permit yourself to be open, honest, and, dare I say, vulnerable – this is the only accurate way you can define what you really want from your business. They will focus you on your true core desires. These core desires will clarify for you your ideal destination. Additionally, they will eventually dictate how you’re going to get there.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how could you ever establish a plan to get there? You simply couldn’t!
Now pay close attention here because it’s critical that you get the following distinction. Just because you want something today doesn’t mean you have to live with that choice forever – go with your mission so long as it serves you. But, then, when it no longer serves you, change your target – create a new destination—a new Mission!
So, if you haven’t yet declared your “Mission” in writing, take the necessary time to do so now.
Core Values (The Beginnings Of Your "HOW")
What do you stand for?
Or to take it from another angle…
What do you stand against?
Core values begin the conversation of “HOW” you will achieve your Purpose and Mission.
It sets the framework of how you intend to show up for your audience and how we intend all team members to conduct themselves and behave.
Typically, core values consist of anywhere between 3 to 7 words—each followed by a short phrase that defines the space your company will operate from—your words to live by or your modus operandi, so to speak.
For example, if the word Integrity is one of your core values, it would not serve you well to conduct unsavory marketing practices to obtain new Clients.
Another example might be if one of your core values was the word Transparency. You would be congruent if you chose a marketing strategy that leverages case studies and testimonials. Or, maybe institute a formal referral program as one of your core marketing strategies.
The critical component here is that YOUR ENTIRE TEAM must operate from these core values.
Sometimes the best way to teach something is by showing an example. The following is an example from my company Online Marketing Muscle.
What are the 3 to 7 Core Values that your team MUST and WILL operate from?
Company Vision: The Wrap Up
Small Business is not meant to be so hard. However, not being crystal clear on where you are going with it (and why) will make it much harder.
So please, do yourself a favor. Get clear on your Company Vision! Put it in writing. Post it on your website. Share it with all who will listen. Most importantly, live into it every day!
Once again, in a nutshell, your Company Vision is a combination of the following key components:
- “Core Values”
Already have a vision for your business? Revisit it. Does it still fit? Does it touch, move and inspire you (and your team) into massive action? If not, consider going back to the drawing board.
I don’t say (or take) this lightly. After logging well over 10,000 hours coaching small business owners around the globe, I’ve seen way too many businesses be held back and not reach their potential. Don’t do that to yourself, your team, or your target market.
Trust me on this one, and get it done immediately!