By Tim Fitzpatrick
In my last article, I discussed how to identify your ideal client(s) as one of the foundational elements of any good marketing strategy.
The next element you must nail down as part of your marketing strategy is your company vision. What is a vision exactly?
The simplest definition I’ve seen and liked is this: A company vision describes where your company desires to be in the future.
Crafting your company vision is a vital step in creating a solid marketing strategy, so please don’t skip it. You’ll want to spend some time thinking about where you want to go, why you want to go there, and how you plan to get there. When you are done with this process you should have a solid picture of your business as you see it in the future.
The following steps will help guide you through the company vision creation process. Once this is done, you’ll have a measuring stick you can use to make almost any company decision you need to make. Should you buy a new company truck? Should you hire a project manager? If a “yes” helps you get closer to your vision, then you should move forward, if it doesn’t, then put on the brakes!
Required Reading (Parts 1 and 2):
All About the Plan
Why you must focus on your marketing strategy before tactics.
The Perfect Client
How to identify your ideal client and why it’s important.
Step 1: Answer These “Guiding” Questions
These guiding questions will really help you outline where you are now and what you want your company to look like in the future.
- Where is your company right now?
- Where is your company going?
- Why are you going there?
- What values will guide you?
- How are you going to get there?
- Who needs to do what?
- What will you measure?
Step 2: Set Your Goals
It’s important to set goals so you know where you’re succeeding and where you’re not. Without goals, it will be very difficult to measure whether you are making progress. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).
I would recommend setting goals in at least some of the following categories, if not all of them, and make them one-to-three years into the future. The important thing is to make sure the goals you set and track are helping you reach your vision.
- Total Revenue: This one is pretty self explanatory. What are your sales goals?
- Gross Profit: Anything you can do to increase the profit you make on every project is a good thing.
- Number of Leads: A lack of consistent leads is one of the biggest problems integrators have in growing their business. It’s simply impossible to grow without consistent leads.
- Percent of Leads Converted: A ton of leads is great, but if you aren’t converting those leads to customers, you’ll still have problems.
- Cost to Acquire a New Customer: This one is highly relevant to your gross profit. How much is it costing you to acquire a customer and how much are you actually making from said customer?
- Lifetime Value of a Customer: How much profit will you make off the average customer for the entire time they are a customer of yours? Knowing this, you can determine how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer, which is really important.
Step 3: Craft Your Vision
Since your vision describes where you want your company to be in the future, it’s common for your vision to change over time. I usually recommend your vision be one-to-three years into the future and something you look at every 90 days. By reviewing your vision every 90 days, it helps keep you on track and notify you of any places you may need to make adjustments.
Using the information you gathered in steps 1 and 2, now it’s time to put it all together. Your vision can be in paragraphs, bullet points, or even pictures. No matter what form you choose to use, when you are done with your vision anyone should be able to read it and have a clear idea of where your company is headed and why.
What Attributes Do Great Visions Share?
Your vision should obviously be future-focused, beyond that, try to include some of the following characteristics:
- Values-based: What values are important to you and your company as a whole? Your vision should reflect them.
- Inspiring: This should be something that motivates and inspires your entire company to commit at all costs.
- Specific: You should be able to base decisions you make from your vision. In order to do this, it needs to be specific.
- Have Purpose: Similar to inspiring. Your vision should give your company purpose and encourage people to work towards achieving it every day.
- Unique & memorable: You’re different from your competition right? Your vision should highlight what makes you different and memorable.
Now that you’ve got your vision completed, the next step to finishing your solid marketing strategy is to work on your core message. That’s what I’ll cover in my next article.