Goals and vision
Having answers to the most important questions to determine the success of your business should be your key aspiration. But I reckon knowing the right questions to ask is more important. After all, you can always pay an expert to help you.
Give me money – but happiness too
There’s a business owner in South East Queensland who wanted to ramp up his business and he was asked what he wanted to get out of being in business. He came up with the typical response of money – but when drilled down into the issue, he had happiness as the end play. What a softie!
After a bit more Q & A, he finally linked a materialistic hook to his happiness dream. That gave him a chance to then connect his big life goal to what is sometimes called a BMG or big measurable goal.
What’s your BMG?
A BMG needs to be thought about and, inevitably, has to be put into words. Experts insist that dreams and goals need to be put into print and dated, so you have something to shoot for in the future. You need to picture it! Visualisation types would have you see it happening everyday until it gets out of your head and become a reality.
Aussie breast stroker, Leisel Jones, would have gold at Beijing as her written down goal while Russell Crowe, more than likely, would have his newly-acquired Rabbitohs winning the competition within three years.
This is your vision
Of course, this is all about the vision thing which should show what your business looks like. This creates a target and keeps you committed to the goal.
Okay, that’s enough of dream-land; let’s get back into the land of the living and business.
(It’s good to dream but we should as, Ali G would advise: “Keep it real!”)
Make it come true
Here are questions to help weave your dream.
o What do you sell? And how might that change as you grow?
o How big are you right now? You can measure yourself on indicators such as sales, profit, business value and employees.
o What’s your current business growth? You can use sales, profits or even goods and services sold.
o How many business locations can you see in the future?
o How important are you in the market and where do you aspire to be in the future?
o How long do you need to create the vision? Some businesses shoot for a 10-year plan while others like five years, or even shorter.
o How do you compete now and what will you have to do to make it happen? This goes to the heart of how you make your BMG come true.
It takes two
Peter Drucker, the great US business mind, gave us the ultimate lesson that business is essentially made up of two things – innovation and marketing.
It’s simple, but spot on: innovate to give yourself an edge, then market the living daylights out of it. Even use innovation again to market smart (and even cheaply) to double ‘wow’ the process.
On this subject, you need a plan, which has a purple cow ‘wow’ factor.
The colour purple
Another Yank, marketing guru, Seth Godin, says you have to make your business like a purple cow!
His story says when we go driving in the country, the first cow is a blast and will thrill young children, in particular. However, after 30 minutes, cows become a bore and that’s what happens to many of our businesses, with everyone out there with predicable marketing messages.
A purple cow would really grab a bored traveller’s attention! And that’s what you have to drum up to make BMGs come true.
All tints and shades of purple!
But you don’t only need to purple up your marketing. Why not go long on the colour purple?
Take the colour to your products, your employees’ customer service and workplace practices, the look of the business, the efficiency of the operations, etc.
Remember, everything you do in business becomes advertising if a customer sees it – so don’t tolerate anything connected to your business being second-rate.
Look at me!
A great question to make a dream come true is to continually ask: what can I do to stand out from the crowd of competitors I’m up against?
So what do you have to do? Well, try completing this template, which shows you how to put your goal into words:
“In five years time, we will sell ‘x’ products/services, worth over $’y’ million out of ‘z’ locations. We will be seen as the best business in the industry and our reputation will be the benchmark for all our competitors. However, we will never be complacent.”