What’s your vision? Where are we going? What are we doing? What’s the plan? Questions that commonly arise in business, and as your company grows they become difficult to answer and even more challenging to communicate clearly.
One of the big challenges when it comes to company vision is all the noise and garbage that surrounds it. It’s often conveyed as a magical collection of words that encompass everything your company wants to be in the future. While there is some value in having a Vision Statement, that should not be your entire company vision nor should it be your preferred method to communicate it, especially with your team and key stakeholders. You need more and they need more.
In this post, we are going to look at my preferred way to create your company vision and communicate it. It’s what I call Today vs Tomorrow. We focus on the key areas of your company and look at where we are today and how that will change tomorrow.
While you’re welcome to tackle this alone, you will have significantly better results by gathering your company’s key stakeholders. Those individuals who influence where your company will be and where it is going. So get everyone together in a room or on a call, then get ready to discuss and answer 5 key questions. You’ll answer the questions about your company today first and then go back through and answer them for tomorrow.
We have an amazing FigJam template (it’s like a whiteboard) that you can use for your workshop.
What does your company do?
Don’t just start listing your products and / or services here, that comes later. Think about what your company actually does before you have packaged everything up. Think about how you explain what you do to someone completely new to your company / industry / world.
Then you’ll need to think about how this will change in the future. What new things will your company do, and what will your company eventually stop doing. If in the future, your company will aim to do something you already do, but do it better, feel free to qualify your answers with levels such as “We provide basic…” and expand what the improvement is.
Who are your customers?
Next: who are your customers today? You should have this information on hand going into the session. The customer segments you have today should be clearly understood by all. They might be broken down by industry, age group, company size, country, etc.
Then switch your focus to the future. How will your customer base evolve? Will you change who you target? Will you stop focusing on certain segments? Will you expand into new countries? Will you try to consolidate and strengthen your position within a specific segment? These are all questions to ask and discuss until you clearly see what your customer will look like in the future.
How do you provide value to your customers?
At the end of engaging your services or purchasing your products. How would your customers’ lives have changed? Really try thinking about this from your customers perspective. It’s not just the tangible product or result but often the intangible things that the person feels (the experience). This is often even more true with consumer-focused companies.
Then once again, switch to the future. How will your products or services impact your customers in the future? How will that customer experience evolve? And it’s worth remembering at this point that sometimes things don’t change!
What are your products or services?
Now it’s time to list your product or services. Definitely use some common sense here. If you sell hundreds of products - try organising them by category. It’s pretty difficult to frame a conversation around hundreds of products.
You guessed it! Now do the same for the future. What products or services will your company offer in the future? By the end, you should have a clear view of today vs tomorrow for what your offerings might look like.
What is your company's revenue breakdown?
Now the final part, your revenue. You’ll want to bring this along with you for the session. Seeing your revenue breakdown across your product categories and / or services paints a clear picture of where your company currently is.
Our tomorrow view for revenue is a little different, as it’s more of a prediction of “With the changes we’ve listed in the other sections, our revenue would / should / could look like this”. It takes a bit of imagination and guesswork, but it should ultimately help solidify your vision for everyone.
With each of our sections filled for both today and tomorrow, we now have a clear vision for our company and the changes you will work to make in the future. This worksheet should serve as a reference guide, and follow you along, so you can inform all other methods of communicating your vision including presentation, vision statement, and more.