Business is like a journey, you need to know where you are going...
"Why?" I here you ask, "I just want to see where the journey takes me, see what opportunities turn up"
I will admit that is one strategy, but how do you know if where you end up suits you as a person if you haven't at least set out some guidelines?
Let's be honest, we don't all know where exactly we want our business to be in 5-10 years. We can plan as much as we like but as one army guy (Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke) said that "no plan survives first contact with the enemy". (This quote was later picked up by Dwight Eisenhower)
In other words it doesn't matter what we plan, it will change as it adapts to the obstacles we will inevitably run into. And when you are in business things can change very quickly... just look what happened over Covid restrictions, many industries were turned on their heads.
But what we can nearly always account for is what environment will we feel comfortable in? What does a great day look and feel like? I have met many a business owner who had an idea of what they wanted when they first started out to find that what they ended up with was something quite stressful or no longer loved.
If we go back to the journey idea, we will probably know if we prefer a hot or a cold climate, lots of wide open land or lots of little islands along the coast line. Do we want to end up on a beach somewhere or the top of a mountain. We will certainly know what mode of transport we would like to take.
Translate that into a business scenario and we will want to think about things like ...Do we love the idea of a small, intimate team that only works with a handful of clients? Or does large business sound exciting rather than overwhelming?
Do we prefer a lot of client face to face interactions or are we more comfortable behind a sales team or online service?
Do we enjoy the selling more than the creating / designing?
So even if we don't know the exact destination, we should have a clear idea of whether we are getting warmer or colder.
And this is often greatly helped by getting to grips with what the business values are, what does the business stand for, what is it known for. What experience have we promised clients in our marketing, and does our fulfilment with products and customer service deliver on that Brand Promise.
Business Values are like your Northern Star, they will guide you in the right direction, especially when you are unable to take a direct route.
Otherwise we are somewhat like Alice in Wonderland where she asks the Cheshire Cat which way should she go.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
If you would like a quick exercise on pinpointing what business values are truly close to your heart, please fill in the contact form below and we will be happy to share with you directly a simple process to help you get there.