Do you have a clear vision of where you’re going? Some business owners do and some don’t. When I start working with a client, if their vision is a blurry, vague picture, without a distinct destination or route towards it, I start by helping them clarify that picture.
Rather than giving the business owner a pair of glasses, I think of clarifying a vision as more like giving them a blank canvas, brushes and paints. With a little prompting, the paint goes on and a clear picture emerges.
This may seem outside the remit of a ‘business adviser’ or typical business advice but, in fact, it’s at the heart of what Henchards does. A business is rarely an end in itself for the owner; it’s the means to an end, a vehicle for achieving personal ambitions. Only by understanding their personal goals, can I really help a business owner develop their company to achieve those goals.
How to clarify your vision
Start with the life goals for you and your family. What do you want to be doing? Where do you want to be? What’s important to you? What legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to spend your time? Here you can be as specific as you want and include as wide a range of things as you can imagine.
You can look for inspiration within yourself and by talking with your loved ones. You can also look to others as role models. It doesn’t matter where the vision comes from and it may change over time – the important thing is that it’s yours.
As the vision of what you want to achieve emerges, it needs to be captured. How you capture your vision will depend on how you like to work and how you connect with the world. Some people like to put it in an envelope with ‘Open in 2030’ on the front. Others have it framed on their office wall. Some prefer to create a ‘vision board’ with pictures and other visual clues, while others are happy describing what they want to feel. If you’re a very numeric person, you may even ‘see’ your vision in terms of timescales and numbers.
My role as a business adviser is to help facilitate, capture and, if necessary, challenge and stimulate the creation of your vision.
Relating your business to your vision
Next, we work together to answer the question, ‘How can owning and running your business help deliver your vision?’ Your business can give you many things that contribute towards achieving your vision. Two of the most potent are time and money, but others may include contacts, skills, experiences, reputation, self-confidence or ideas.
Ultimately, how you plan, lead, grow and exit your business will make a huge difference to how close you get to your vision. The vision should therefore underpin your business plan and strategy.
So, how clear would you say your vision is? If the picture is a little out of focus, talk to us. We’ll work with you to create 20:20 vision and ensure your business plays a key role in achieving your goals. And we’ll even bring a paint set, if you like!