13th Sep // 2018
We’ve been going through a period of transition in Fabric and as part of our growth plans we’ve been looking at our business strategy.
While it’s one of the first questions I ask new clients - where do you see yourself in twelve months time and who will help you get there, it’s actually a question I found really hard to answer. I’ve been working with a business coach, Ann Bach, and while I could answer the questions about what I CAN do, I had to really think about what I WANT to do. I also found it really hard to look at WHO I would like to work with.
After a few weeks not really being able to come up with anything coherent on my own, we sat down together and spent some time brainstorming. Having someone to talk to and bounce ideas off made all the difference.
I’ve always been very marketing focussed and one thing I had thought about was a strap line that fitted the business, “harnessing the power of the web.” Talking it through with Ann helped me realise that, while it was a great strap lime, what we actually needed was a vision. One we had the strap line, I went through the process of identifying what I CAN do for clients but, as usual I came at it from a service angle. Ann then asked me to look at the services from the angle of how a client would BENEFIT. For example, explaining technology can make them less stressed and solving problems can make them more efficient. Once we identified the benefits, we started writing some ideas down to come up with a vision.
Reviewing examples of other visions was also useful. We used the usual format of WHO, WHAT and WHY to come up with:
It took a few revisions to get to this but the whole process took us just over an hour. But it was a really valuable hour as the vision is clear, focussed and understandable. The crafting of the words was really satisfying. We’re targeting "people in business", whether they are sole traders or multi nationals. We "enable" rather than help and we have a clear purpose that they should "benefit." I think the really clever bit is “evolving and emerging.” While evolving takes into consideration changes to existing platforms and systems, emerging allows me to research new areas of web technologies to find out how they can benefit clients. Some examples I’ve been looking at recently are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the use of Block Chain in smart contracts. I’ve been doing this anyway but now that it’s part of the vision, I have a purpose for doing it. And because it’s a core part of the business I can plan time around it.
As we start growing again and taking on staff, they will also have a clear idea of what the vision is and what they need to do to fulfil it.
The vision has helped with answering questions about where I want to be in twelve months time, who can help me get there and how I find them. Basically it has been the trigger for a detailed marketing strategy. I now know how many clients I would like to get per month, the type of client and where I can find them. The marketing strategy also helps with considering how many people I need to engage with to convert the required number to clients.
If you don’t have a vision, it’s really worthwhile spending some time putting one together. It acts as a focus for your business and, if you have staff, it gives them a reason for working with you. It inspires and motivates. No matter how big or small your company is, a vision will help your clients understand what you are all about and why they should work with you rather than someone else. If you do have a vision, consider whether it is clear and effective and whether it needs any explanation - a good vision should not.
Some of the lessons we learned during our process can help you come up with or tweak yor own vision:
We hope this helps you with your vision. If you want to know more about our process or you have any questions please contact us or give us a call on 0161 348 7348.