A Vision for Small Business

January 22, 2016 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Myth #1:  A vision for small business owners isn’t necessary… those are for big corporations. Besides, a vision for small business owners take too much time especially since they’re busy running every aspect of the company.

Fact:  As a small business owner, you won’t get to BE what you want to be, DO what you want to do, or HAVE what you want to have if you don’t have a business vision that insures that the business you’re running will produce the personal outcomes you want.

 

Myth #2:  It takes hours and hours to create a vision for small business.

Fact:  You can create your business vision AND a personal vision in as little as 2-3 hours.

 

vision for small businessWe’re walking through the model I developed –the Personal & Business Visions Funnel at the left—to make sure that the business you’re running will produce the personal outcomes you want.

 

A vision for small business has TWO components

 

If you didn’t read last week’s blog post, review it here to see how to create your Personal Vision.  It’s surprising how many of us don’t know what personal outcomes we want in 5 years, or 10, 15, or 20 years. Last week I showed you how to think through your desired personal outcomes, i.e. how to list what you want to BE, DO, and HAVE in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. In other words, we nailed down your Personal Vision.

 

To nail down your Business Vision, at each time interval also ask yourself what needs to be happening in your business so that it’ll produce those personal outcomes you just listed. We write this on the same flip chart pages along with your desired personal outcomes.

 

For example, if, at the 5-year interval, you want to spend 2 months a year traveling, you’ll need to have a strong leadership team operating by that time. Or if your business is at $13 million in profit now, you’ll need to be at $18 million in 5 years. If you want to climb Mt. Everest in 10 years, one way to fund the $50,000 average climb cost may be to open 2 new locations, or add another salesperson, etc. This in turn may forecast 10 additional employees, or a 2nd piece of that $1 million piece of equipment. In this way, as you list the components of your Personal Vision, the components of your Business Vision become apparent. All we need to do is pull them together in a chart or a paragraph, whatever works for you.

 

Now Steps 1 and 2 are done. You have a Personal Vision and a Business Vision. We typically do all this in a 2-3 hour session… a session that includes your significant other and any partners in the business.

 

Step 3 is at the bottom of the model—to the Starting Point. The Starting Point is your business’s current situation… where you are today. List things like profit, expenses, organization structure, key roles, what managers you have in place, employee size, equipment and facilities, marketing strategies, etc.

 

We use 2 questionnaires designed to assess your business’ health. You can also do a SWOT to help identify what strengths and issues your business has today. The goal is to get a description of where the company is today on all its key metrics and compare that to where the Business Vision describes it. Make a list of the gaps between the two. This list then becomes the content for the 4th and final step.

 

The 4th and final step, the Goals, Strategies, and Actions, takes us to the nuts and bolts, the tangible accomplishments necessary to fulfill our visions. It’s the roadmap. I have several blogposts on how to identify Goals, determine Strategies, and create Action plans—all designed to make sure that your business produces the specific personal outcomes you have for tomorrow and the remainder of your life… here’s one. 

 

We’d love the opportunity to help you create a vision for small business that aligns with your personal vision. But if you don’t call us to help, please, do it yourself—grab your significant other and a flipchart and get it done this week!  Download the detailed description from the Free Resources tab.