Having worked with over 250 SMEs for the past decade, I’ve identified 10 key areas of business that are vital to success. If any of these areas are overlooked or neglected, they cause businesses and business owners to experience slower progress, delays, stress, and problems.
The first one of my 10 key areas is a business direction
What goes into setting your business’ direction?
There are four components that contribute to your business’ direction:
#1 – Purpose. This is the starting why. It asks the important question, “Other than profit for the owners, why does the business exist, what are we trying to achieve and why does it matter that our aim is achieved?”.
Taking UK Growth Coach as an example, our purpose is:
- To simplify the business of business for company owners in order to close the gap between their “potential” and “real world performance”
- To be the positive catalyst that drives meaningful personal change, business growth, and life results
The outcome of our efforts will be…
- Fewer company failures, and more business successes
- Greater enjoyment and happiness for the owners, their teams, their clients, and others they influence
#2 – Vision. This is what you intend your business to look like when it is finished. What size will it be? How will it be spoken about by your target market? Where will it be positioned in the marketplace?
Taking UK Growth Coach again as an example, our vision is to have more than 100 business coaches across the UK, positively impacting the performance and results of more than 2,000 business owners and their companies every week.
#3 – Mission. If you Google “mission statement” you will find many different versions and interpretations of what that term means.
My personal take on this is that a better term would be “service mission statement”, if we have done a good job with the purpose statement and the finished business vision. For me, a “service mission statement” tells the intended experience of working with, and for, your business.
An example “service mission statement” might be what you intend future client testimonials to say about their experience of working with you, but before you have gone and done that. It acts as a statement for customer experience intention and a benchmark against which team members and service experience can be assessed meaningfully.
#4 – Values. The values or ethics are about how you are going to deliver the above elements. They state the way in which you will do business and how you are going to think and behave.
Again, taking UK Growth Coach as an example, we have five core service values:
- Educate to unlock potential
- Provide accountability
- Support and lift-up
- Speak the necessary truth
- Emotionally invest in the success of your business
Why is it important for businesses to have a clear direction and vision?
It is simple to see how these activities may turn into checkbox tasks to fulfill the requirements of a company strategy. But when carried out correctly and with the appropriate motivation, they are among the most effective instruments for fostering corporate growth.
Why is this:
Clarity: They provide the business’s employees and customers with the direction, conduct, behaviors, and ambitions with the much-needed clarity they require.
The goal and vision make the trip much simpler, which minimizes unexpected turns along the road, which may be upsetting and perplexing.
Expectations: The service’s purpose and values define what is expected of clients and customers, how the company will run, and the actions and advancements your team should be making.
If somebody deviates from those standards, you have a clear course of action to bring them around.
Recruitment-Recruitment is one of the most frustrating and time-consuming tasks for company owners, just behind managing the workforce.
Having a defined purpose, vision, service mission, and set of values offers a foundation for choosing personnel who will support your company goals and have the correct attitude.
This is why a non-monetary goal is crucial since your staff is unlikely to be driven by making more money for the company owner.
Motivation– Motivating yourself and your team by letting them know your goals for the future. This is particularly important in difficult times, and we’ve all experienced a couple in recent years. The levels of passion and dedication may be maintained by being driven and understanding where you’re headed.
Much has been written about how money is not a motivation, that it is a basic requirement, but that it seldom inspires devotion or enthusiasm.
Our best advice for developing your company’s vision
#1: Don’t get too caught up in the language. We may have explained the differences between vision, mission, purpose, and values, but others may refer to these concepts differently.
What matters is that you have these bases covered; you have documentation outlining the company’s direction, why it is important, how you will get there, and what success looks like.
Critically, they must be understood by all relevant audiences, including your team, staff, and clients.
#2: Make sure everything is interconnected. Your purpose should be directly related to your vision, and your mission should be directly related to your values. The team won’t be able to accomplish them if they don’t connect smoothly and clearly.
Since the team is responsible for displaying and embodying these values and achieving these results, they cannot succeed if the many facets of your company strategy don’t align and link.
#3: Evaluate your performance in light of your values and progress toward the vision. Business direction statements are often just vain assertions that are only ever recalled during company strategy meetings. They should be used often, if not daily, to evaluate development.
Examine how your company has performed about your values while analyzing its performance, and consider how your company’s overall development compares to your vision.
Reasons why having clean eyesight is crucial.
Do you carefully analyze a map before starting a lengthy trip to a place you’ve never visited, receive a hazy set of instructions, input them into the SatNav, and trust it to bring you there, or do you do nothing at all and simply go?
All except the first scenario will result in tension, erroneous turns, uncertainty, and maybe even completely missing the final destination. This is how having a clear vision and direction helps you and your company prevent it.
Business coach Tim Rylatt is co-founder of UK Growth Coach, which provides business owners with coaching to help them simplify the business of business.
Tim’s coaching background comes from working with the world’s largest business coaching firm for over a decade, and since then, from running his own profitable coaching enterprises. He has worked with around 250 companies throughout his career and is a published author on the subject. Alongside being a co-founder of UK Growth Coach, he is also a Director of two award-winning marketing agencies and has real-world experience of being a business owner too.