In this post, I want to talk to you about the importance of having a vision for your business, I’m also going to give you a free worksheet with 12 questions that will start you on the path to creating a better business.
Most people that start a businesses will simply go through the motions of setting up their shop, store front, or service. They’ll start reaching out to friends and finding clients. Work starts coming in and they’ll get busy doing the work. They’ll go home at the end of the day, and then the next day they get up and do it all again.
Things are great at first, and why wouldn’t it be? You own your own business! You’re the boss, you don’t answer to anyone but yourself. Hot damn!
But eventually, they’ll hit a plateau with the business and will struggle to keep the needle moving. The business comes to a impasse and it regardless of the amount of work you’re putting in, or the amount of work you’re taking on, you just can’t seem to grow.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the product or the service is fantastic enough that you’ll strike gold and blow up huge to the point that you hire staff and you’re making tons of money… but the chances of this happening are about as close as you winning the lottery tomorrow. (If you’ve already won the lottery, then why are you reading this post? Go enjoy the world!)
There’s a myth that if you start a business and you work hard, you’ll find success. But the truth is, if you don’t have a vision for your business, very few will find the success you were hoping for. Eventually, you’ll just end up burnt out and resenting the very business that was supposed to give you the financial freedom and independence you had longed for.
This is why having a vision is so very important. As a business owner, you should 100% have a “road map” of where you want to go and highlight the path you plan on taking to get there. After all, how will you know that you’ve made it, if you don’t actually know where “IT” is??
Without a vision, without know where you want to go or how you plan to get there, without knowing what those goals or how you plan to tackle them, you are literally just getting up every day and going through the same motions and hoping to find success.
If you haven’t created a plan to be successful, it’s very much the equivalent to going to a gym. If you don’t have an exercise training plan to follow, then how will you know what the next exercise you should do is? How will you know how much you should be increasing the weight? How will you know once you’re actually doing the right exercises that will lead to muscle growth?
Sure, some people will go 5 days a week and use a bunch of machines that are all lined up, they’ll see a little bit of muscle growth or weight loss and think they’re heading in the right direction. But more often than not, that’s all they’ll experience, a pound off here, and inch off there, but no real success.
I see people at the gym all the time, and they’re just going from machine to machine without a plan and hoping for the best and thinking if they follow the machines in the order they’re placed, eventually they’ll get fit.
In order to create a better life and make a sustainable business that grows, you need to have a vision of where you want to take that business. So how do you create a vision? It’s a simple a series of questions you can ask yourself so that will help you discover your plan forward.
Some of the questions you can ask yourself include:
- Why did you even start this business?
- Was it to pay bills?
- Was it because you wanted a 3-day work week?
- Did you want to invest more into retirement?
- Did you want something to leave to your children or your grandchildren as a way to create income for them?
- What was your goal behind creating your business in the first place?
- How much money do you want to make?
A lot of people don’t like to talk about money but the truth is, at the end of the day you need to decide how much money you want to make!
- Is it $100,000 and then after taxes you’re taking home 60 grand?
- Do you want to make $250,000?
- Do you want to scale and have 10 employees? (Because 10 employees will probably cost around 25- 40 grand a year each. That works out to between $250k and $400k just in salaries alone! (Not counting, taxes, expenses and your own take home pay!!)
- How much money does your business need to make in order to sustain all of that those employees? Those expenses? That storefront?
- How much money do you realistically need to make in order to be successful and to make a profit?
Let’s be honest, if your business is not making a profit, it’s not sustainable, and you’ll be doing your customers a disservice! We need to be profitable so we can continue to serve our customers, if we’re not profitable, we go away! Who is going to serve your customers if your gone? Certainly not you!!
- How much time do you want to work a day? A week? A month? A year?
Those are all BIG questions that will contribute to your vision!
- Do you want to work 30 hours a week? Do you want to work 40 hours a week? Do you want to work 10 hours a week and have someone else do all the work?
- What will you do with the extra time that you have?
- Do you have a plan for the extra time?
- Do you want to you know work 20 hours a week and then spend 20 hours a week hiking and biking and spending time with family and friends?
Again all of these things contribute to your vision, and in order to achieve those goals, you need to know what they are and then figure out how you are going to work toward them.
- What do you want to accomplish with your life? Because if you succeed with your business, it will help you reach those goals in your life.
- Who do you want to help and what do you want to help them with?
- How does your business help them get there?
These are all things that are part of your vision!
- What do you want to learn along the way?
- Is there something specific you want to help people with?
- Do you want to help raise money for a local community a charity?
- And if you do want to help charities, what are you going to spend your time learning along the way to help you reach that goal?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Out of those weaknesses, what do you want to work on?
- How will working on that weakness help you get to your vision in your business?
- And finally, the BIG one – What will success look like when you actually achieve it?!
Now I’m going to throw a curve ball your way. I know what you’re thinking, “Geeze, Sheila, enough with the questions! My brain hurts thinking about all of this!”. Sorry guys, visions aren’t supposed to be easy, if they were, everyone would be rich and famous!
So let’s say after answering all of the above – You’ve decided that you’d like to work 3 days a week and invest 20% of your income into a retirement fund. You want to create a sustainable business with 10 employees. You want your business to generate $600,000 a year. And you want YOUR take-home income to be $100,000 after all the bills, expenses, taxes and employees are paid.
- How do you know you’re on the way to reaching that goal?
- What are your milestones and markers along the way?
- How do you look back on them and see if you are achieving that goal?
- Where will you need to course correct or make changes in order to reach it?
Again, taking the time, I mean, really sitting down and thinking about these questions are exactly what is going to start you on the path toward creating a vision for your business and finding success. Once you know that vision, everything you do should be working toward reaching that vision. And anything you’re not sure of, ask yourself the simple question:
Will this move me toward my vision?
If the answer is no, stop it. It’s not something that will move the needle, stop wasting your precious time! We only get 24 hours in a day. We can’t get time back. Every decision you make about your business once you have realized your vision should be something that moves you toward it. Everything else is just white noise in the background.
Going through life and having a business without having a plan will leave you on that plateau where you are putting in long hours for little pay, and you keep telling yourself you just need that one big client to get over the hump and your business will take off.
Let me tell you a secret, the more work you take on, the more you’ll feel like you just can’t seem to get ahead. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve landed that big client, you’ll find that you still can’t seem to make enough income to actually sustain yourself and all that work was for nothing.
Start with vision, you’ll thank me for it.