Vision is passion documented. And passion is a powerful motivator. In a previous post titled Why So Many Small Business Owners are Unhappy, I discussed how many entrepreneurs get distracted by the day-to-day operation of the business and lose the passion that drove them in the beginning. The reason this happens is because they have never taken the time to clearly define their vision.
Vision is one of the most important factors to business growth. In fact without it, it can be nearly impossible to grow and here is why.
Improve Delegation with Better Communicaton
First, is because to grow you must include others. In Neil C. Churchill and Virginia L. Lewis in their Harvard Business Review whitepaper entitled The Five Stages of Business Growth they stress the importance of delegation as a required skill of a business owner. Communication is key to delegation and vision helps you communicate the “why” of any tasks, assignments, or projects that you delegate to others. Just like you are driven by passion, others are driven by passion too. By understanding the “big picture” people get motivated by understanding how their work contributes to the vision.
Evaluate Ideas More Effectively
A second benefit of vision is it becomes a litmus test for evaluating new ideas. Most entrepreneurs are great idea people. Some even have an idea a minute. This is both a blessing and curse. It become s a curse when it distracts the entrepreneur from focusing on the core business. If an idea is not contributing to both the top and bottom-line it is draining time and resources away from the core business. It doesn’t take long for this to stagnate or destroy a business. A clear vision will allow you to rapidly evaluate your ideas and place them into 1 of 3 categories:
- pursue it now as part of the business
- file it away for a later date
- put it in the trash and forget about it for ever
Make Better Business Decisons
The third benefit of a clear vision is faster and more effective decision making. When you are face with a decision what is the process you use to make it? Do you make a list of pros and cons? Do you run through a hundred questions in your head? What you’re really doing is evaluating the problem or opportunity placed in front of you. To evaluate something you need to have a set of criteria from which to make a decision. Your vision is the long-term criteria you use. Your annual goals and objectives will be (see First Step to Success – Creating Goals That Motivate) will help you evaluate the short-term viability of your decision, but it is your vision the will help you evaluate the long-term subjective aspects of your decision. No matter what technique you use the process goes faster and is more effective when you solid criteria on which to base your decision making.
Here is a perfect example with real client case of how a clear vision helped focus decision making. .The client owns more than 7 different businesses. All 7 businesses made sense, but because there wasn’t a clear vision they seemed to be wandering aimlessly for years. Over a 6 month period we refined a clear vision while we stabilized the core business. From there it was easy to develop annual business plans for all 7 businesses and a 3 – 5 year strategy to drive all 7 businesses.
The owner has great ideas all the time. I called it “shiny object syndrome.” But, he spent way too much time looking at every idea he had. Once we solidified his vision he had some very simple criteria he could use to evaluate each new “shiny object” that came his way. Now he spends 5 minutes instead of 5 weeks looking at new opportunities. And in the process is able to look at more opportunities. The difference is he only focuses on the one that make sense for the vision. It looks like the 3 -5 year strategy will be completed in 18 – 24 months rather than 3 -5 years.
So tell me, is this worth the time and effort to develop a vision to get there 33% – 60% faster? If you have already develop your vision statement share how it has help you grow your business faster so that others that may not quite be there yet can benefit.
If you are ready to get started on refining and solidifying your vision DE, Inc.’s Personal & Business Goal Assessment service is designed to help you accelerate this process. Let us know how we can assist you with your small business growth.