For a business owner to be successful, he or she needs to have a vision. In other words, what is driving your business? Without it, how do you measure what you have created against what you originally intended? How can you empower employees if they fail to see where you want to take your business? Having a vision for your business means you can then develop strategies and a corporate culture that embodies everything in which you believe. Many entrepreneurs start a new venture with a vision, but quickly lose sight of it over time. For example, you may have started a business to be your own boss, and ultimately gain your freedom by having control over how hard you work.
But few entrepreneurs actually realize that goal. They fail to step back and objectively analyze what it was they initially wanted to create and how that vision needs to be changed. When you’re working flat out, you’re on a treadmill that can seem great while it’s moving, but can burn you out and leave you wondering what happened. Hard work built the business, but continuing to be immersed in the day-to-day operations puts you at risk of losing sight of what’s going on in and outside the business. The key is to work ON your business, not IN it. If you aren’t formulating a strategy for the future, then what are you communicating to your employees? If you don’t have a goal, neither do they. And if they fail to understand your vision, they will not have a good grasp of their role within the firm and will approach their jobs with little or no passion. Some key tips for a successful business are:
- Plan for success. Develop a vision or a set of goals and formulate a realistic action plan. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Make sure the action items are achievable.
- Set priorities. Don’t try to do everything at once. Make a list of action items and then boil the list down to the top three. This will be more manageable and allow you a greater chance for success.
- Set a deadline. Without a deadline, there is a danger that action plans are put on the back burner and nothing gets accomplished.
- Provide the tools. Identify the resources that are required to carry out the action items and make sure those resources are put into play.
- Put someone in charge. Either delegate this to someone within the firm, or bring in an outsider, to ensure the process is completed. Redefining your business is not something that is done overnight. The process can take months or years. Just as it took years to build the business, it will also take time to redirect, redefine and change the focus of your business. In the end, however, a well-defined vision with clear objectives provides a road map to success.