When starting a business one of the first steps is to create a business plan, which is basically the road map that the company will follow. I’ve found that over time a business can stray from this map if they aren’t constantly reviewing and updating it. Business are very much like a person in the fact that it is always growing, changing, and learning. Due to this, I’ve recently began asking my clients to describe their business to me as if it were a person. I ask them questions like:
- What qualities does your business possess?
- What type of people does it seek to work with and employ?
- What does your business stand for, where are its boundaries?
- What are the key characteristics of your company?
I think it’s helpful to think of your business as a person at times so you can help create a stronger character in your businesses “story”. I was recently reading a book with my daughter that was teaching her how to write a story. The author pointed out that when you can clearly define your character, your story is often already written for you. I like to apply this same philosophy to business. Having a very clear definition of “who” your company is helps business owner’s stay true to their original “road map” while being able to adjust and grow when and where it’s needed.
When I begin working with a new client, they often tell me they feel stuck and unmotivated with where their company is and where it’s headed. They know they can do so much more, but they aren’t sure where the problem is. Having them define their company and create a solid identity for it has allowed them to reconnect with the company’s vision and has put a spotlight on where it may have gotten off track. If we are employing people that don’t match our businesses foundations, our business will struggle to grow. If we are working with clients that are at odds with that foundation, we aren’t able to give them the service they deserve. I encourage you all to take the time to give your company a more detailed character and I think you will find that it will help you reengage and take your company in the direction it should go.