by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
Many small business owners go into business by accident. They saw an opportunity and grabbed it. The original excitement of the opportunity and even some early success may have sustained them for a while, but sooner or later, the need for hard slog becomes necessary. What happens next can make a huge difference to your business.
When the hard slog starts, most business owners just keep slogging a way in the direction they started, using brute force to build their business. Long hours, lots of money spent on advertising, and sheer persistence. Then after a number of years, they find out what they have is not what they want. Only then do they step back and do what their smart colleagues do right from the start.
The smart business owner creates a vision for their business. This will be in alignment with their own personal objectives. It could be to retire in 10 years with a million dollars. It could that it will generate enough income so they need only work 3 days a week and can take 3 months off overseas each year. To achieve these personal goals, the business must meet certain goals – to produce the income required and to operate in a way that allows the lifestyle desired.
This vision for the business then must become more specific and describe what the business does, who it does it for and how it does it. The business must be built upon the strengths of the owners and the opportunities they see. At this stage, the vision may still be cloudy, but you must start somewhere. Only once this vision for the business has been created, can goals and plans be developed.
Creating such a vision can be difficult for many people, but there is a simple free tool that owners can use to develop their vision. The Mission Statements Made Easy Tool steps you through a process to create your own vision, and then enables you to produce a certificate that you print, frame, and place where you can see it everyday, so you will have a constant reminder of why you started your business, and where you are going with it.
With a vision clearly defined, when the slogging gets tough, the owner can step back, re-affirm their vision: that they are on the right track, or whether there is a better path to take to achieve their objective. With a vision, you have a compass for the business, so that the owner does not spend years building something that they don’t want.
Dr Greg Chapman
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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.