Building an advisory business requires making a decision to grow your business and to what extent you want to grow. To effectively manage the successful growth and evolution of your firm, time needs to be dedicated to the strategic planning process. Once you have committed to this ongoing process, begin by defining the vision for your business.
If you own your own business, you likely have a vision of where you want your firm to be in the future. If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind of what you want your business to look like in 5-10 years, you should begin with this step. Define, in detail, what the successful version of your business looks like in the future- pick a date 5-10 years into the future. Don’t be afraid to be a little over the top on this step. It is better to shoot too high than to set your goals too low.
The questions that need to be answered that create a good vision are:
1) Defining who and what your organization is.
2) Where it is going?
3) Developing how it is going to get there?
Once you have answered these, put it all on paper. Don’t keep this only in your head, you must get it on paper to make it real. This also helps clarify the vision. Once you have clarity of your vision the decisions you need to make regarding hiring staff , implementing processes, formulating strategy, working with clients, adding technology, and handling financial matters become easier to make. Each of these decisions will be driven by your vision- the correct decision to these issues will be the one that best helps you reach your vision.
Another reason to get your vision out of your head and on paper is so it can be shared with your staff. Business owners can have a clear vision for their firms, but then fail to share it with the staff. The very resources that can be leveraged to help them reach the vision don’t know where and why they are going and how they are going to get there!
You probably have heard the phrase “rowing in the same direction” as it relates to everyone an organization working toward common goals. Once your staff sees your vision as clearly as you do, the entire organization can all work toward this common vision. Issues will get solved more quickly and creative ideas will flow more freely.
Another benefit that often results from the sharing of your vision for the company is that everyone in the company can see where you (and they) are going. Those who don’t want to go where you do are more likely to remove themselves. Over time, you will end up with a staff where everyone is “rowing in the same direction” which creates momentum toward reaching the vision and goals of the firm.
Define your vision and put it in writing to set the direction for your firm; use this vision to guide your firm’s strategic decisions. Doing this is a great start toward having the type of firm you want.