Smart business owners and managers know that the key to business success is to strive for growth-oriented results that will challenge you and your employees to achieve more. We’re going to increase profits 20% in 90 days. We’re going to reduce our overhead costs by year’s end. We’re going to hire high-caliber, positive people for our new department. The list is endless. Yet in the quest for higher profits and increased customer satisfaction, many owners and managers put their big vision on the back burner in exchange for a short-term goal. As a result, their business stays the same year after year, with little indication of any growth at all. What went wrong?

Some company leaders blame the organization’s lack of growth on outside events. They claim that the competition, the economy, their clients, and even their employees did or did not do something that made the goal fall short. Others blame their own goal-setting strategies, believing their objectives were too lofty for any company to achieve. The fact is that when it comes to positively changing your business, traditional goal setting is not enough. The key is to look inside yourself and your company and determine not what you want to achieve in the next few months, but rather, what kind of organization you want to become for lasting results.

What Does Your Company Stand For?
When owners and managers say they want to achieve some business goal, they naturally look to outside factors for support, advice, and direction. For example, they can only increase profits if customers spend more; they can only reduce overhead if the suppliers lower their prices; they can only hire high caliber people if they get better job applicants.

The mentality is: “As soon as…then…” However, when leaders decide to positively change their perception of what the organization stands for and choose ownership instead of excuses, then they hold themselves personally accountable for their business’s future and don’t need outside factors to guide them. They can add high achievers to the payroll because instead of continually searching for the right employees, they are committed to their big vision and as a result only attract those people with similar ideals.

In order to change your perspective of your business and reach your organizational goals, you can follow a simple three-step process that enables you to turn your future vision into current reality. By doing so, you create your company’s future today and assure that the coming months and years will be different and grander if you choose.

1. Create your vision.
If you could design the ideal business, what would it look like? Who would your best employee be? What kind of customers would you attract? What level of revenue would you be bringing in? What countries would you be doing business in? What would you tell yourself to ensure your vision would become real? Whatever it is you create for your business, that’s the vision you need to focus on to bring the future to you now.

When you neglect to create your company’s vision, you essentially allow outside factors to determine your organization’s success. Creating a vision is about taking control of your business and accepting responsibility for the choices you need to make. It’s a proactive approach to business that says you refuse to let external circumstances get in the way of your success. By keeping your vision firmly in mind and sharing it with those who work for and with you, you give yourself and your employees the strength and conviction to transform beliefs so you can finally become the kind of company customers seek out.

As you create this initial vision, take the time to examine other areas of your company and then determine the focus for each individual aspect. For example, you could have a vision for your products or services, your employee relations, your community contribution, etc. The more focused you are on how each aspect of your business should be, the more clarity you have on your future direction.

2. Create your company identity in relation to your vision.
What three qualities or values do you want to own or possess to make your vision real? Some examples are “customer-oriented,” “innovative,” “unstoppable,” “strong,” or “committed.” Because your external world is a reflection of your internal world, what you create in your business will only be as strong as who you and your employees are inside.

Identity is about taking ownership for your vision and for what you want your company to become. Without identity come excuses – all those reasons why you can’t make your vision real. I can’t build my business because I’ve tapped out my market. I can’t improve customer satisfaction because I can’t find good employees. I can’t reduce overhead because I don’t own the building and rent keeps going up. All these excuses occur because of a lack of an empowering identity. A business’s identity is a powerful force within the marketplace. Why not choose one that serves you and your customers?

When you choose the qualities you want your business to possess, you prohibit outside factors from slowing you down. You choose to expand your market so you can grow your business. You choose to be a market leader so you can attract qualified employees. You choose to think creatively so you can reduce expenses without sacrificing quality.

Essentially, your competitors, your stakeholders, your employees, the economy, and even current events can no longer dictate your company’s direction. Creating your organization’s identity frees you from others’ control and enables you to finally act upon the goals you have set and achieve the desired results. It’s a matter of realizing that there is no becoming; there is just the declaration of all that your company is right now.

3. Commit to your vision.
Nothing happens without action. The same is true for making your vision a reality. With your vision and your identity clear, you now must take the steps that will positively impact your business and transform it into the company you have chosen it to be.

When you commit to your vision you take daily steps that will bring you to your goal. Daily reflection upon your vision is necessary for achievement, as are weekly morning visionary meetings that measure your progress. Some company leaders choose to find photos that remind them of their vision, and they reflect on the pictures daily; others prefer to read or recite affirmations that help them connect to precisely what they want.

For example, if your goal is to expand internationally into select countries, you could find travel brochures of those locations and post them in your office, or you could remind yourself each day that “I am in charge of an international organization with headquarters in the U.S., Hong Kong, and England.” When the mind can envision the completed goal, you will be more eager to do what’s necessary to achieve the desired result. The mind does not know the difference between real or imagined. Why not create an empowering reality?

Finally, give yourself checkpoints so you can assess your business’s progress. Regularly ask yourself questions such as, “What is different in my business now compared to one year ago?” “What steps am I currently taking to help my company become the market presence I want it to be?” and “What can I do to bring my vision closer?” If possible, have an accountability partner who asks these questions for you, who helps point out ways that you may be sabotaging your goals, and who reveals ways that are serving you to bring your future to you today.

Seize Your Opportunities Today
Simply stating goals is not enough to dramatically change your business. You must also decide what your company’s ideal future looks like, what qualities you or your employees need to attain it, and finally what daily steps will bring you to your desired outcome. Without such a plan, you’ll have nothing concrete to run towards and you’ll be content to stay where you are.
By following this simple three-step process you can ditch the business school goal-setting process and create the organization of your dreams today. Then, instead of looking back at the end of the year and wondering, “What happened to my goals?” you can further challenge yourself and ask, “Where can I take my business next?”

Live Your Dreams
Resources for living a life most people only dream of
Subscribe to our f^ree ezine

You have permission to publish this article as long as the Resource Box is included with the article.

All Rights Reserved 2003 Jacqueline International, Inc.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author:
Jacqueline Cornaby is the Founder and CEO of Jacqueline International, Inc. an enterprise for implementing business and life strategies for individuals and organizations to live an extraordinary life. Jacqueline is an international speaker, author, and life strategist offering strategies and techniques for immediate results with fulfillment.To request more articles or speaking engagements contact:

Live Your Dreams
Resources for living a life most people only dream ofSubscribe to our f^ree ezine