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.

The Fine Art of Constructive Criticism in the Workplace

When you’re expanding your business, there will be lots of growing pains along the way. Diplomacy is a key factor in a successful team-management strategy.

It’s never fun delivering criticism to your employees. But there are many times when it’s a necessary part of running a business. Entrepreneurs and business owners must harness the art of constructive criticism to manage a successful team. This means you’re not being aggressive, condescending, or controlling when offering guidance and feedback to employees.

These strategies will help you approach the team with diplomacy and a level head while getting the right points across.

Be straightforward

All too often, managers beat around the bush with passive-aggressive communication tactics. It’s much more useful to everyone involved when you can communicate a constructive criticism in a detailed, straightforward fashion. This way, the employee doesn’t leave the conversation confused about what they’re supposed to change or what you think of their performance. It also means you should talk about the specific ways the behavior can be reversed, making your expectations for the next steps clear.

Try asking questions to make sure they fully understand the review, especially if the issue is something that they weren’t aware of before you talked.

Be conversational

Being straightforward and honest doesn’t mean you have to be belittling or even stern. Show employees that you’re going to hold them accountable while approaching the conversation with a positive attitude. Depending on the issue at hand, try being more conversational instead of setting up a very serious discussion (unless the problem is, of course, very serious).

Relay positives first

It’s always a good idea to start a feedback conversation with the positives. This lets the employee know that you appreciate their work and that they are bringing a lot of value to the workplace and company. Then, get into the things that could have been done better.

Even if the meeting is solely to address the criticism, it’s still a good idea to start out positive. Otherwise, the employee may feel attacked and less motivated to improve.

Give feedback in private

Never embarrass employees when providing constructive criticism. Avoid giving any negative feedback in front of other team members, unless the comment is meant for the team as a whole. Your point will be missed when you embarrass someone, leaving them feeling resentful, angry, and ashamed.

Constructive criticism means you’re delivering your message in a positive way that will actually help the team member improve and do things differently next time. Meet privately, so you both feel more comfortable sharing how you really feel.

Focus on the facts and the issue at hand

Make your constructive criticism applicable to the individual, without it being about the individual personally. Why is this task or behavior important for this employee’s specific job duties or even career goals? What role does this person play at the company that you can relate to the criticism? Stick to the facts about the problem.

Focus on the issue at hand, and not the employee’s personality traits or habits. Make it about the business and the person’s professional performance, instead of calling out someone’s personal shortcomings.

Avoid punishments

We’re all adults. Unless something majorly inappropriate has happened, avoid punishing employees when they make a mistake. Often, constructive criticism will address a problem that the worker doesn’t even know exists, so it’s unlikely to be a recurring problem. Unless an employee has overstepped again and again or clearly had questionable motives, treat your team members like capable adults.

Be willing to keep the discussion going

Some employees won’t take criticism well. It’s just part of having a team of diverse individuals with different professional priorities. If you sense that a conversation is going down a negative or hostile path, or you can tell that the person is becoming upset or uncomfortable, table the discussion—for now. Check back in when the dust has settled to assess questions or concerns or finish the conversation you started.

Don’t continue to push employees until they become angry or frustrated with the conversation. Doing so will make the criticism much less effective.

When you need help aligning your team with your vision or creating a successful business model, get in contact with our team at Provident CPA & Business Advisors. We use the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) model to help you work through the six key components of any business: vision, people, data, issues, processes, and traction. We also help with growth and profit-improvement strategies designed to enable long-term business success.