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Who Do You Think You ARE Anyway?

Aug 17, 2007
In order to write a vision for your business, the first step is identifying who you really are and what is important to you.

Not what you DO or have been doing, but who you ARE.

You may be doing things that are really not in alignment with what is important to you in your business. It's critical to identify any of those discrepancies to redirect your efforts toward a successful venture.

List all the things that you don't want to see in your business. A great way to do this is to create two columns and make the list of your "don't wants" on the left and in the right column list what it is that you do want. This is sometimes referred to as the "T exercise" because of the T created by the columns.

It's easier to identify what is important to you if you think of what it is that you don't want first. We just seem to come to better choices that way. The important thing is to identify quickly what you do want without putting too much emphasis on the negative.

Areas to consider in this business analysis sound very much like ones you would include in a newspaper article: Who, What, What, Where, Why and How!

What products or services are planned? What image is important to you? What is your role as the owner? With all of these questions, first write what you don't want to have and then write the reverse to clearly identify your desires.

Next, you need to consider the location, the Where. What is the location of the business? Where do the customers come from? Where will various parts of your business be located?

The next W is the Who. You need to determine whom you don't want as customers and then clearly define who your ideal customers would be. Other considerations in this category are possible strategic alliance partners, and advisors who could be a support to your business growth.

Timing of your startup including completion of necessary facilities and systems is the "When" of the equation. A difficult area for many businesses is determining when it is the right time for expansion and delegation of responsibilities to allow for growth. The challenge is to do this without overextending their financial resources.

Probably the very most important category for consideration is the Why. Why are you creating the business? Just as important is the question of why your customers will buy what you are selling.

The How plays a key role in the climate of the business. How do you envision your interactions with employees, suppliers, and customers?

Taking all these categories through the process of writing what you don't want to see in your business and turning them around to the clear choice of what you do want will bring you to a list of desired characteristics. From this you can pull together a summary and then condense it into just a statement.

An example of a vision statement might be, "Within the next five years grow Widgets International into a $5 million international widget company providing custom-made widgets of excellent quality to makers of patio furniture." You can choose this simple format or one that is worded more in your writing style.

With the vision statement, you have a clear description of what you see your business doing in five years. You could also write this for a shorter or longer time frame.

All of the steps you worked through in this process will help you as you develop the rest of your business plan.

Your next step is to create a mission statement. The mission statement gets into more of the implementation of the vision you see. It is broad and then is broken down into the necessary goals, strategies, and plans to carry out the mission statement.

Step by step you are refining what you really envision in your business. You can start to answer that question, "Who Do You Think You ARE Anyway?"
About the Author
Exuberant Productivity Coach, Suzanne Holman, MAEd, works with financial service professionals, realtors, and self-employed professionals determined to make every hour they work truly productive so they have quality time and abundant energy for fun and family! For a FREE Exuberance Assessment and tips for increasing your productivity and having a more satisfying life, visit
Exuberant Productivity.com
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