Running your business requires more than just walking through the day-to-day. You need to keep a big picture in mind of where you want your business to be going. Your vision. The “where you see yourself X years from now”. This will help inspire both you and your team. It’s easy to lose track of your vision with the everyday challenges that come with running a business. Yet there are some ways that you can keep track of your business’ vision, and help chart the course there, taken from a great article by Rich Allen that I read on the blog youngupstarts.com:
Start at the top: Imagine how you want your business to look like in 10 years. Think of any and all particulars to make your vision as specific as possible. Include the size of the business, your locations, what you’ll offer, your business structure, your customers, and your own involvement.
Back up five years: When you’ve charted out your 10-year vision, back up about halfway. It’s that cliched “where do you see yourself five years from now” question they always ask you during job interviews. Cover the exact same details that you did when asking yourself where you’d be in 10 years. Look at where you need to be to achieve your 10-year goals. Then connect the dots to there.
Back up another two more years: With a five- and 10-year vision clearly charted, back it up to where you want to be, or more appropriately need to be, three years from now. Think about if this backs up your five-year plan.
Back up to next year: Once this is all planned out, time travel once again to one year from now. This offers you a ten-year perspective on how to get there. Ask yourself where you need to be a year from now to be on track to reach your three-year vision, using the same criteria. This allows you to set up your goalposts, so that you can structure your business for each benchmark.