Monday, December 12, 2011

Vision Casting for the Solopreneur


By Akia Garnett, MBA
Are you a small business owner with little – to – no staff?  If you are and haven’t written your vision statement try doing the following:
-Carve out a few hours and write what you see for yourself and the company.
*Try not to focus on making it pretty, just clear
*Try not to focus on any formula in terms of the number of words and tenses
*Simply write what the company looks like in a perfect world
Once you’ve done that then:

-Select a trusted advisor, someone you know well who doesn’t know a lot about your industry.
-Ask them to spend a few moments with you and read them the vision statement.
-Ask them if you’re able to send it to them and request it back from them with any suggested changes or comments within five days.
-Call and ask three to four of your business advisors to participate in a mini focus group (if you don’t have any business advisors, now is a good time to appoint some).
Consider the following agenda:

-Purpose of meeting
-Your passion and why you went into business – keep it brief, but make your points very well
-Review of main activities, products and services the company focuses on today
-Review of draft vision statement you’ve worked on with your trusted advisor
-Review of your vision statement publishing timeline – give it a few weeks from when you meet Keep the meeting to approximately one hour – preferably around the lunch time hour.  Provide them with written copies to take home with them, and request that they send any requests for clarification within two days.  Remember that you’re not asking for approval of your vision statement.  You’re simply allowing others to request clarification from you so that the vision statement makes sense, reads well, and most of all conveys what you mean it to and what you told them when you described why you went into business.
Once you have received feedback from your focus group attendees, then focus on editing the statement to rid it of any typos and inconsistencies.  Run it by an editor or someone who will catch whatever you didn’t and publish it!  You’ll need to review your statement every year during your budgeting process, and it should also be ever present in your office, Website, marketing collateral, where space provides, and other touch points for both you and your clients. Once you are done, I would like to hear your vision statement writing story. Send it to help@bestpracticesforsmallbusinesses.com

Akia T. Garnett, CEO Brandbuilder; CoAuthor, Seen and Sustained: Best Practices in Communication that Increase the Visibility of Small and Diverse Businesses
Complete an entire vision and mission mapping process. Order a copy of Seen and Sustained: Best Practices in Communication that Increase the Visibility of Small and Diverse Businesses for $19.95 plus taxes and shipping.  Find out how. www.bestpracticesforsmallbusinesses.com.
Seen and Sustained is on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

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