If you've ever been involved in a startup, you're familiar with the growing pains. They start after the initial excitement of your venture wears off. You need to grow, but you're worried you'll lose sight of your company's vision as you take on new employees and projects.
90% of startups fail. It's a daunting percentage, but that doesn't mean you can't make it to the 10% that succeed.
Most startups fail not because their ideas are bad. Nor is it because they can't secure funding. Most fail because they get so involved with building their business, they lose sight of why they started it in the first place.
Here's how you can keep control of your company vision while you grow and change.
Keep Dreaming Big
Entrepreneurs are dreamers. But given the day-to-day reality of running a venture, it's tempting to worry only about what's happening next month instead of what's happening next year.
When you spend your days putting out fires, it's easy to lose track of your long-term vision. It's okay for your operations to change and adapt to the times. But that doesn't mean you should lose track of what's important.
It's not uncommon for large corporations to take drastic measure to return to their core vision. Some conglomerates sell of entire sectors of their operation just to get back to their roots.
You don't have to make sacrifices to control your company's vision. But don't just follow the money. You should take your vision into account every time you make a major decision.
Document Your Vision Statement
Your mission statement should describe why your company exists. For example, a social influencer who focuses on healthy living might have a mission statement like: "To inspire families and communities to take better care of their bodies."
A vision statement is different. It should explain what you hope to achieve in the long term. It should also help people understand what your company's core values are.
For example, that same social influencer might have a vision statement like: "To become the most respected source of health and wellness information for American families."
By documenting a vision statement, you'll be differentiating yourself from other companies. In one study from the UK, 52% of the UK employees surveyed couldn't cite their organization's vision. 49% of them couldn't recite their organization's values.
Most entrepreneurs understand why their idea is great. Not many know what they want their idea to become in the future.
Set a Time Frame for Your Company's Vision
If you've ever been in a job interview, you may have been asked where you expect to see yourself in 10 years. You can ask the same question of your company and your company's vision.
Once you've documented your company vision, set a time table for it. When do you expect to reach the goals you've set for yourself?
Make sure your time table is realistic but also challenging. You may not be able to take over the world in a couple of years, but you could do it in ten.
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