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How to create a vision that will keep you focused and on track

Posted in on Oct 26, 2018

As we work towards the end of another year, here’s a question for you: what’s your focus for next year? If you have this written down, great, the tactics you take to drive your business forward will be crystal clear. If not, it will be much trickier to navigate.

If you’re not yet convinced that a vision is necessary take a read of my previous blog: Why you seriously need to consider your vision before you embark on a marketing campaign  -  and then come back  to learn from how I’m working on my own vision.

Using Doo as an example. I have created a new concept for my business and will be launching this in 2019 [sign up to my newsletter to find out what this is]. With this in mind, I have spent time mapping out what this looks like and what I need to do. I started by creating the vision for Doo and the outcome I want to achieve with a long term plan. I highlight below how you too can start with your vision, with objectives and tasks to get you there. 

Long term - 3 year vision working towards your end goal

You can aim for 5 or 10 years but I always work on 3. To me, it’s more realistic, it’s achievable and memorable to focus on this time frame. You can picture where you want to be in 3 years but 10 is just too far away to contemplate. Focus on 3 years, then revisit to stay on track or make slight changes in line with what’s happening in your world.

Example 1

My vision begins with a clear statement:  ‘To create businesses people love working with and for’

With the end goal in mind, I have the start of my plan.

How do I stick to it? First of all… it’s written down. If you write down your end goal, then you are more likely to focus on it and create the tactics to get you there. This is better than it being in your head and forgotten, or in your head and not communicated to those around you - e.g. your team, as we talked about in my last blog on why create your vision. 

Short term - 12 month plan of actions with milestones

The overall vision may feel overwhelming a long way off,even. You may think ‘How do I get there from where I am now?’ To help break this down, set yourself smaller goals to work towards in the next 3 years. Think about year 2 and what that looks like, listing key milestones to aim towards. 

From this, the focus (to get you to years 2 and 3) is to create year 1, the first 12 months. Here you should spend some time thinking about and setting objectives you can realistically achieve. Break these down into smaller steps for example into SMART Objectives for the year. These objectives being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. My example further down gives reference to one of my SMART Objectives. 

For now, take pen to paper and create a Mind Map of ALL your goals for the year. Things you need to do that will help towards your vision. Add vision as the core, the middle of your Mind Map. From the core, you can create circles for marketing, team, finance and operations as the main areas of your business for example. 

Continue with your Mind Map, then prioritise the areas on the map into what needs to get done. You can also use apps to help, such as the Mind Map App Mindly which tracks all your ideas, keeps you organised and focused on the tasks that need to get done. 

Example 2

As an expert in planning, this is how I break down my goals. One of my first tasks is to update my website, to add more content about impressing clients at every touch point, as part of the customer experience. 

The updated website is my goal. Therefore, one of my SMART objectives in the short term is:: to create additional copy for 3 new website pages on X, X and X by Friday 30th November. 

Immediate tasks - To Do List and the ultimate Success List (to get things done)

With SMART Objectives defined, you now need to fit them into your daily life. A good way to do this is to work towards your objectives with weekly and daily task lists. I use Notes on my iPhone to list the things I need to do in the week and then plan in daily so they get done. 

Click on the Notes App on your iPhone (or evernote on Android or similar note taking app) and list tasks that you need to do. The ones that make up your SMART Objectives, which are all focused towards your end goal, your vision.

Example 3

In case you think I don’t follow my own advice, here’s a typical list for Doo.

To Do List (these are known as my To doo lists)

Rewrite homepage (and 2 other pages) 

Ring web designer to chase up web map

Prepare list of 3 clients to contact for case studies 

Book XX networking event  

Send invoices to XX and XX 

Blog for November

Start XX Marketing Action Plan

This list keeps getting added to as I think of more tasks. From the To do list, I create a daily Success List.

Success List 

Rewrite homepage

Ring web designer to chase up web map

Send invoices to XX and XX 

Every day,  I work on these tasks then delete them as I get each one done. If I achieve these, then my day has been successful. I’m working towards my goals which have been designed to contribute to the vision I want for Doo. Now let’s focus on your Doo 1 Thing, which is to create your vision.

Doo 1 Thing

Give yourself time to write your vision and prepare steps to reach your end goal. Here’s what I want you to do:

  • Book a day in your diary or finish early one Friday in the next month. Make sure it’s booked as time out for you and your business only. 
  • Use this time to think about what the end goal would be for your business, what success looks like. 
  • Make notes around your end goal to create your vision statement. It will be long sentences at first but fine tune it into one or two sentences so it’s succinct.
  • Play around with the words until you are happy. Envisage yourself at this point and how you imagine feeling. Pretty good no doubt. 
  • This is the point to focus on going forward. 

Want to doo more?

My expertise is helping business owners create their vision. I start this with a Marketing Strategy Session which includes vision mapping, then create a Marketing Action Plan with SMART Objectives, as well as tasks and actions to get things get done.

If that sounds like what you need for your business,  get booked in now and be ready to attack 2019 with clarity and focus. Contact at hello@doomarketing.co.uk or call direct on 0113 869 0107.

Next blog: Make current clients your focus for 2019