Hints & Tips Blog
Is Your Business Vision Clear? Can You Translate it to Strategy and Concrete Plans?
When I meet a new client, this is often the first thing I ask them. Their answer will demonstrate the direction the company wants to take, and pinpoint the focus of its actions. From that basis, we can work together to help improve alignment within their business.
I’ve worked with many businesses, and most of them have demonstrable objectives. They’ll provide a “road map” laying out the route to achieving their key objectives, and/or a “business plan” that includes some critical figures. Both of these tools focus on strengthening the company’s performance in order to deliver growth. They’re definitely useful for planning, but too commonly don’t show how the everyday behaviour and activities of the business will work.
So how do you make them more inclusive?
The process of change is simple, and all it requires is that you approach your business planning differently. This involves dividing the whole into smaller parts, following this three-step process:
The most successful business ventures begin by formulating their “vision”. This vision sets out your long-term goals and determines what precisely your business is going to be. The business vision establishes a template for decision making and corporate behaviour, it helps you form connections with your customers and encourages employee commitment.
Ideally, you want your vision to be inspiring, challenging, and purpose-driven. It should also be focused on the future, and will ultimately shape your business strategy. So what is your vision?
The next step is to translate this vision into a clear business strategy, which will eventually become your business plan.
You can start by defining your longer-term goals and creating some key objectives to achieve them. These should be quantifiable, wherever possible. Next, try to prioritise your objectives realistically. It’s important to recognise that you can’t do it all at once: you’ll have to think carefully about what decisions you’ll need to make to achieve your objectives and the resources you’re likely to require.
It’s also important during this stage to consult important stakeholders in your business, as they’ll want to feel the strategy is theirs too.
Go back to your business plan. By now you should have established some clear long-term goals in line with your vision. A business plan never has a template that’s “right or wrong”: what matters is that it should work for you. You do, however, need to include these important aspects:
- Business overview, showing what makes you different;
- Definition of your product and services
- Market analysis, identifying your opportunities
- Sales plan, concentrating on opportunities and implementation
- Marketing plan, demonstrating support for the sales plan
- Operational activities, stating capital and resource requirements
- People plan, defining structure and culture
By following these steps I’ve seen many businesses regain their energy and drive, re-engaging with their employees and achieving a better performance.