Step 2 - Clarify & Quantify Goals
Next we want to focus on your VISION – the ultimate goal for your company.
In order to clarify your VISION, consider what inspired you to create your own company in the first place (money, freedom, lifestyle…?) and what motivates you today to get up each morning and be the driving force behind its success.
For some, there will be a tremendous gap between the original inspiration (to change the world – at one extreme) and the current motivation (to survive the day – for many business owners).
For others, the original inspiration might have given birth to remarkable growth (unforeseen and therefore unplanned for) and the motivation each day might just be to gain control.
And for others still, there may only be a small gap between the original vision and the goals of the day but the excitement and joy may have dissipated.
Regardless of your current level of success - or stress as it may be - your first step was to determine WHY you are in business…
Now it is time to focus on what it means to achieve the level of success to which you aspire.
What is your ultimate goal for your company?
What is your VISION?
Here, it is important to ensure that your VISION is quantifiable – that you are able to communicate it in specific numbers in terms of revenue ($), units sold (#) profitability (%) AND time-frame.
In this way you will be able to give each member of your team numeric goals (revenue, cost, number of presentations to generate the revenue, number of calls to generate a presentation, required support personnel, etc.) to which you will hold them accountable.
The VISION statement for your company is an internal statement of the goals for your company. It is what you will achieve based upon your successful delivery of your MISSION.
The way you word your VISION statement is very important. If it is vague, you will not be able to strategically align the resources of your company to realize your VISION.
If for instance, your VISION is to be an industry leader - that is great! It is a lofty goal. It may even be a goal that you can rally your team around - BUT, it is not a goal that can be used to align your resources or drive the strategy for achieving it - until you translate it into a quantifiable goal.
Again, the VISION of the company should be expressed in terms of a revenue goal that can be broken down into sales units sold, profitability and timeframe. Your VISION statement might read…
"We will achieve $1 billion in revenue by 20XX by being the best at sourcing the products we sell at the lowest price."
Again, a great goal but not a great VISION statement. The more specific your VISION, the more likely you will be able to achieve it… profitably.
In this example, for instance, it will not make any sense to achieve $1 billion in sales if it costs $1.1 billion to generate those sales.
Thus, a better VISION statement would be…
"We will achieve $1 billion in revenue by 20XX by being the best at sourcing the products we sell at the lowest price while delivering them to our customers with maximum efficiency."
Getting closer. But, better still…
"We will achieve $1 billion in revenue and $400 million in profits by 20XX by being the best at sourcing the products we sell at the lowest price while delivering them to our customers with maximum efficiency."
The best so far but still not right.
And, in this instance, when we say ‘not right’, it is not a matter of being judgmental relative to the choice of words or the VISION itself, it is the practical matter of the ability to map this VISION to specific metrics to which your team can be held accountable.
What, for instance, is the definition of 'lowest price' or 'maximum efficiency'? Can you quantify this?
“we will achieve $1 billion in revenue (for a 37% market share) by selling 273,000 units of our product at a gross profit margin of 32% and an operating profit of 14% by 1/1/2017.”
The more specific, the better...
Simplistic – yes.
This is, however, absolutely critical to most efficiently achieving your VISION because ultimately, in order to realize your full potential, you must get everyone on your team onto the same page.
That means creating quantifiable goals that can be broken down into smaller and smaller goals (sales revenue, sales units, sales calls, etc.) so that each employee can see how their performance impacts the ultimate achievement of the VISION.
Everyone within your organization has a specific contribution to make to your success. If they are to work efficiently, they must be aligned.
You want everyone, not only philosophically but also operationally, aligned with your strategy which can only be accomplished when everyone is in alignment with your VISION.
Thus, it is absolutely essential to your ultimate success that you determine, in clear and quantifiable terms, your VISION for where your MISSION will take you.
And, by the way, WHO is going to take you there?
In the next step we will go into Employee Engagement - among the most important yet obviously neglected or poorly executed aspects of running a company.