If you thought I’m going to share a snazzy tool or swish new piece of software, you’d be wrong. If you were hoping for a ninja-esque approach to marketing, you might be disappointed. BUT what I’ve got is much better than any single tool, tip or bit of software. My business secret weapon will set your business off on the right path (the one that leads to money and happiness) and will keep it on that path, despite obstacles, barriers and temptations designed to lead you astray.
What the heck is this thing?
Well, it might sound tame, but my business secret weapon is a Business Vision.
I know, it sounds pretty innocuous and even a bit tree-huggy (not that I’ve got anything against tree huggers, I love to hug trees, too) but it’s actually the opposite. If you like a bit of woowoo then this will work for you – it helps you to set a really clear intention that will supercharge your manifesting. If what I just said sounded like hippy speak to you, and you are a much more practical kind of girl, then it’s still great news because this will work for you too. It will keep you on the straight and narrow and it will be the quickest path to success and riches.
And yes, we’re still talking about a business vision. Let me explain. A vision is what gets you up on a morning. It’s what gets you through the bad days. It’s what keeps you going when people put you down. It’s what gives you energy when you’re so tired that you feel you can’t go on, but you do.
A vision is what makes the difference between having an OK business and an amazing one. It’s what will help you double and triple your business. That’s why I start all of my coaching programmes with it.
Why do I Need a Business Vision?
One thing all successful business owners have in common is that they have a vision for their business. And sadly the BIGGEST REASON by far why many women business owners never achieve the level of business they want is that they don’t have a business vision.
[Tweet “A successful business owner starts with her end results in mind. #tgmb #bizitalk”]
Her vision is higher—more prominent and powerful—than any obstacles she might come upon in her journey to reach her ultimate goal. This is why your business vision is perhaps your most important tool for success. There’s a great quote by Mohammed Ali that says “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill”
[Tweet “Having the WILL to succeed is more valuable than having the SKILL to succeed #tgmb #business #success”]
What he’s saying is that you don’t have to be the best at what you do to be successful. It’s about having that powerful vision and the determination to succeed, much more than being the best beautician in the world, or the best trainer or photographer. That is WONDERFUL NEWS because it means that any of us can be successful. You can be successful.
You can build the business of your dreams.
I have a number of female business owners that I coach and mentor and when I start working with them I ask them what their business and life vision is, their medium to long term plan, and they often look at me with a mixture of confusion and mild panic.
So I say to them “why are you doing this? What was your dream? Why did you set up your business in the first place? What did you want to get from it? Were you looking for a job that fits around your family? Were you looking for something which will give you a retirement option? What did you have in mind when you set up and what are you aiming for now?”
I’ll be honest. It’s quite rare that I get a confident, definitive answer from my female business owner clients first time around. They mostly set up in business because they want control over their life, they want to earn a living by doing something they love and not be restricted by the constraints of being an employee. They don’t really think much further ahead than just covering the bills as soon as possible.
But pretty soon they are so overloaded and overwhelmed with work, clients, family, and other commitments that they just plough on day to day, keeping their heads down, booking parties, opening the shop, seeing clients, making sure they hit their deadlines and appointments, and rarely looking up.
They are usually really busy with hardly a moment to spare, but they are always short of cash and there are never enough hours in the day. They think to themselves “it’s okay, all I need is a few more clients or more customers and it’ll be fine, I’ll fit them in somewhere along with the marketing and paperwork and then I’ll have the money I’m missing.”
By this point, they have lost the joy they experienced by having their own business, they can’t remember why they are doing this and they are seriously wondering whether they ought to go and get a job again!
Does this sound familiar? If this is you, then you’re not alone. Many people set up in business without any kind of target or end goal. If they had a business vision they would know what they are aiming for and it would keep them going through the challenging times.
The Perils of Having No Business Vision
If you don’t have a vision for your business then you’re doing it the hard way! Business owners that don’t have a business vision:
- Often have no idea whether they’re doing well or badly
- Don’t know whether their business is profitable and to what extent it might be profitable
- Don’t know whether they are doing better or worse than in previous years, other than some kind of gut feeling and a vague sense that they might have more money to spend this year.
- Have no measurement in their business and they have no direction.
- Don’t know if their business is scalable, or whether it is ‘sellable’ in the future and
- Don’t know if the future numbers stack up.
If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your business and what you want it to look like in a few years, how can you make decisions about it? How do you know if you are moving your business forward through that decision or holding it back? You can’t hit a target that doesn’t exist! If you don’t have a vision for your business, how can you make marketing decisions?
[Tweet “You can’t hit a target that doesn’t exist! #business #tgmb “]
Let’s turn that on its head.
If you DO have a vision for your business you are very clear about what you’re trying to achieve and by when. This in turn means that you can make decisions based on whether you think it will take you closer to or further away from your vision. If you DO have a vision you will be able to work out who your ideal customer is – it will be the one that brings you closer to your vision.
If you are not clear on your vision and ideal customer then this is probably quite tricky for you.
How do you know what constitutes GOOD business? Or BAD business? Not all business is equal but the gist of it is that some customers or clients are bad for your business. They take you further away from your big vision as opposed to closer to it.
Let me give you an example:
I have a client who is a marketing consultant. Her vision is to create a £100k turnover business working with large corporates, helping them with tricky employee engagement challenges. She has already had one of these projects and she’s spotted a gap in the market for her business – these are her ideal clients, they pay well and they need her.
So if a small café comes and asks her to help them with their marketing, she knows straight away that this doesn’t fit with her vision, it’s not going to get her closer to her vision.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, she would have taken on the work because she doesn’t like to say no and she would have hated turning down work. These days she tells them that she’s really a big company specialist and she refers them on to a couple of small business specialists she knows.
Your Business Vision
Having a vision makes a really tangible difference to the way you run your business. Can you see that you need to understand what you want to achieve from this business or you will not be able to make decisions based on that goal, and you won’t know if you hit it?
This is really, really important.
I believe that this is the key to fulfilling your potential as a woman in business. It is the only way that you will be able to get that laser focus that propels you forward and helps you to achieve all of your goals and dreams.
[Tweet “You can’t get laser focus with blurred vision. #tgmb #bizitalk”]
So I want you to think about your business, whatever business you are in. I want you to think about your business vision – I mean really think about it, and answer these questions:
- Why are you running your own business?
- What do you want to achieve with it financially and otherwise?
- What are your business’s BIG numbers – the targets that you want to achieve (turnover, profit, units sold, etc) and by when?
- Who is your ideal customer – the one who is a great fit for your business and takes you closer to your vision?
I don’t care if you’re selling jewellery through home parties, or you have a gift store, a website selling paintings, you’re an HR consultant or you do Angel card readings for a living. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there and how will you know you’ve got there? Without these big targets, or business objectives, you’re just coasting aimlessly and that’s a waste of time and energy. Who’s got time and energy to waste? Not me! I need all the time and energy I can get!
So, you get the message. If you don’t have a vision for your business, now is the time to change that. In our next blogcast episode I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to get your vision out of your head and onto paper, even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body.
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.