Why Vision Is Vital for Business Success

A good vision parallels and drives a company’s values, purpose, and mission

Any business owner knows the importance of consistent performance, efficiency, and steady growth. But just as important as these considerations is your business’s vision. Without a clearly defined vision, teams won’t be aligned around a common goal. You may not know what the future looks like. And purpose can get lost in the everyday shuffle.

Why is a vision statement so vital? And where do you begin? Here’s much of what you need to know about creating and sharing your vision.

Why your vision is important

A vision identifies your purpose, aligns the team on a collective goal, and helps you define future success. Without knowing where you’re headed, it will be challenging to set short-term (and long-term) goals that keep your business growing.

Creating a vision also helps you and the team nail down why you’re doing what you’re doing. Implementing one builds motivation, providing a core for what every single goal and desired outcome should be working towards. But remember—the vision statement shouldn’t include a detailed road map, nor every step that will make that vision come to life. A vision is the dream itself.

A clearly defined vision inspires, motivates, grounds, and unifies.

Defining your purpose

Your business vision identifies your why, your future, and why it matters.

Important questions to ask when creating your vision: What’s the purpose of the business and its products or services? What inspired you to start it in this industry? What problem does your business address? What are the future aspirations of the organization? Where do you envision the entity in three, five, and 10 years?

Make a list of the key values of your business and of the team members. Close your eyes and examine the mental picture that comes to mind for your future. What does success look like?

Thinking through these questions gets you on the right track to creating a clear vision that outlines where you’re going and why.

Aligning the team

Once you’ve set your vision, align your team. A clear vision means that all team members are 100 percent on the same page. They know where the business is going and how their role fits into the bigger picture.

Even better, involve your team members when you’re coming up with the vision statement. What do they view as their purpose? What do they find most important about the business? What does their picture of the future look like, both individually and as a team? Gathering this information opens a discussion about the company, and also where each group fits within the overall goals.

When hiring new team members, look for candidates who value the same ideas as your company. Share the vision with them in interviews and ask them how they approach their work—what their “why” is for what they’re doing.

Bringing your vision into hiring and recruiting helps you assemble a group of like-minded individuals who will be committed to your cause.

Communicating the vision

Next is finding a way to communicate your vision, both internally and externally. Engage the help of a writer and designer. Incorporate images on your website, newsletters, and marketing materials to better tell your story and share your purpose.

Every company communication and meeting should keep the vision in mind. The answer to the question “What are we working towards?” should govern decision-making sessions and strategy decisions. It will help you identify which areas to focus on the most within business operations.

A vision statement identifies the purpose of your business and where it’s headed. Involve your team members in nailing down the vision so that everyone is aligned. Make sure all materials and decisions keep this idea in mind, creating consistency for your audiences.

Helping you define your vision and align your team is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), which Provident CPAs incorporates into its business growth and profit management services. The EOS helps you strengthen your purpose and ensure that every team member is on board. The EOS model outlines Six Key Components of any business: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Processes, and Traction.

Contact the team at Provident CPA & Business Advisors to get started with improving your processes. We begin with a 90-minute meeting, which gives your leadership team an overview of the EOS model.

How Keeping Score Can Crush Poor Performance

Learn why keeping track of the numbers with scorecards will keep you on the path to growth

If your team is suffering from poor or dwindling performance, there may be a simple solution that just takes a little planning. Create a scorecard for your business so you can track the numbers and use them to monitor and improve performance.

How do you start? Nail down the core processes for your organization, involve each department and team member in planning and start holding everyone accountable with tangible measurement strategies.

These tips will help you focus your scorecards and implement a strategy that works for everyone.

Know how to define your measurables

While each aspect of the business, and each department, should be tracked and measured, don’t include too many numbers in the scorecards. With too much going on, metrics won’t be decipherable or valuable.

Focus on a handful of measurements. What are the few core processes and goals of your business? Start there.

Don’t overcomplicate the process. Measure actual indicators of performance, including revenue, new customers, customer satisfaction, marketing wins, and response times, just to name a few examples. Nail down benchmarks for each task and area of operations so that it’s clear when something or someone isn’t up to par.

Involve team members in planning

Keep in mind that some employees may be stressed out or anxious when they’re faced with analyzing their work metrics, or knowing that you’ll be examining them. Instead of improving motivation and performance, it could have the opposite effect.

To address this problem, involve workers in creating scorecards. Ask for their feedback about how they currently measure their performance or productivity. Take their answers seriously and come up with metrics that work for both their concerns and those of the company. Stay open and in communication about scorecards.

Workers will start to see how effective measurements are in improving their performance and the business’s success. When goals are set in numbers, outcomes are more transparent and attainable.

Create different scorecards for each team

Depending on the size of your business and the number of teams within it, it’s smart to create scorecards for each department. Start by thinking about what is driving the performance of each group. What work can be measured? Which outcomes are most important in this department to drive growth for the entire business?

Within every department, further outline scorecards for each team or each individual on the team, as applicable. Employees should have factual knowledge about what they’re working toward.

For example, consider a customer service team. Create a target for employees answering phone calls within a certain number of rings, or one limiting hold times, and give that goal a numbered rating. Anyone falling behind that goal, or making a customer wait more than two minutes, will receive a lower score for that interaction. Set numbered goals based on these measurements for each day, week, and month.

This helps individuals, teams, and the business track what’s actually happening. Metrics help you determine weak points. Identify areas or employees that need additional training and support, strengthening the team as a whole and filling in any gaps in productivity.

Improve accountability

Scorecards help you improve accountability for teams and individuals. By setting clear expectations, workers can reach goals, measure performance, and succeed. Numbers provide much-needed clarity to keep employees motivated and working toward the company’s collective vision and the path to growth. Deadlines, work completion rates, and time tracking are vital efficiency metrics for each employee and team.

Accountability requires that metrics are tracked on a regular, ongoing basis. This improves the likelihood that everyone will deliver consistently—and only then will performance keep moving forward.

Even if employees are keeping their own scorecard, their manager needs to host regular check-ins so that each worker has someone to hold them accountable. According to Gallup data, employees who believe that their supervisor holds them responsible for their performance are 2.5 times more likely to be engaged in their position.

Accountability motivates people. And motivation helps drive the business to continued growth.

These suggestions will help you create and launch scorecards across your business. Bringing in the actual numbers on performance and efficiency will help you monitor success and reach objectives as a team.

The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) is employed by the team at Provident CPA & Business Advisors. We help clients implement the EOS model, keeping teams on track and in alignment with the brand’s vision.

Get in touch with Provident today to learn more about our growth and profit-improvement services.

The Liberating Effect of Setting Time-Based Targets

The word deadline can cause stress and panic. But when a business masters the time-based target, teams unleash their potential to improve productivity and performance.

Many entrepreneurs know that they must create SMART goals: those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Details must be clearly defined and attainable so that a goal is anything but vague. Otherwise, teams won’t be aligned and desired outcomes simply won’t be realized.

Making sure that goals are measurable and timely means that your team is setting a realistic deadline for each task or milestone, as well as the project as a whole. Even though deadlines can sometimes feel overwhelming, they actually free your mind and hone your focus to hit your targets. Here’s how.

Improve productivity

Without deadlines, projects can feel more overwhelming, impacting motivation. If there’s no end date, how much should be completed each day? What’s driving workers toward staying on task instead of procrastinating? A deadline can also be viewed as a challenge for a team member, which can inspire creativity and innovation.

Clearly defined deadlines and milestones help you better plan out what needs to be done and when. Otherwise, there will be too much freedom. It also helps to include deadlines for small steps within the timeline to keep momentum along the way.

Monitor progress

Milestones help you and the team monitor progress, which is especially crucial for long-term projects or initiatives. For example, hold a weekly check-in meeting to track and discuss where the project is currently and what’s left to be done. Just like checklists help us manage our thoughts and to-dos each day, milestones keep us focused on where we are and where we need to go.

Even top talent needs feedback and encouragement, and regular check-ins will provide that. These meetings also give the team deadlines to work toward throughout the week—they’ll want to be able to show something they’ve accomplished.

Hold the team accountable

Deadlines enable you to hold individuals accountable. When targets aren’t being met, it’s crucial to find out why and address the problem. If there are no end dates to projects—or milestones within them—it’s challenging even to identify the problem, much less nail down the cause.

With more information about where teams fall short, you can learn where you need to put your attention. You may discover the need to work closely with one particular employee who needs some extra guidance to stay on track.

While actual penalties aren’t always necessary or effective ways to motivate employees, it’s worth noting that you can still acknowledge how something could have gone better when a deadline isn’t met. And, of course, consistently missed deadlines call for a more serious conversation.

Generate better data

When you set measurable goals for your business, you’re giving yourself the ability to collect better data. This information can be used to make better business decisions based on facts and results. Milestones support consistency, which is another requirement for continually meeting goals.

For example, one measurable goal may be to grow your customer base by a certain number every month. Teams can check in to see which months have met this goal and which haven’t. What changed in the marketing strategy that could have made an impact? Was a new campaign launched that increased customer engagement?

Compare this measurable outcome to a vague goal where a company “wants to increase customer loyalty.” Without having clear milestones in the timeline, it’s just not possible to gather data that will lead to the results you want.

Be strategic and prioritize

Keep in mind that it’s not enough to start setting deadlines for each project without assessing what’s realistic for each milestone or goal. You have to be strategic in setting target dates.

Start by prioritizing tasks. When you sit down to create deadlines, you’re forced to think about what has to be done first so that the rest of the project can continue. Focus on only the most essential milestones here—don’t get too detailed in priorities; otherwise, you’ll have too many deadlines in your timeline.

Acknowledge accomplishments

Tracking deadlines for each milestone means that you and the team can celebrate when a task is completed on target. Make sure to acknowledge wins, not just failures. Reward workers for staying on track and working hard to meet a goal. Share positive changes in business data with the team and keep them involved in the continued planning and strategizing process.

The professionals at Provident CPA & Business Advisors work with a range of business owners to improve productivity and sustain long-term growth. We help implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) model, which helps entrepreneurs learn how to build the foundation of a successful business. Get in touch with Provident to learn more.