First off, we would like to say that culture eats strategy for lunch – but that post is for another day.
At New Economy, and in terms of strategy, we believe a big part of our success has been in creating and communicating compelling visions for our team.
We invest lots of time in getting everyone to see the vision of where the business is going and how we are going to get there.
Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not.
For instance, you may not have a documented vision or are struggling to create vision. Or maybe you do have vision but some staff are moving in one direction and others are moving in a different direction, causing a lack of alignment.
We believe in creating a clear vision and communicating it to everyone.
Full disclosure, we are a Company that runs on EOS, and we happen to be data experts.
The system has helped us to grow the Company 3x since graduating from implementation. Even if you don’t run on EOS, this post will surely help you out.
We know firsthand as some of the thoughts and frameworks have helped us get better.
In this article, you will learn about: lll
- 8 key questions to help you create a compelling vision
- 3 key takeaways
Let’s dive in.
8 Key Questions to Help You Clarify Your Vision
At New Economy, we love questions. We find they help us to think, reflect, and be more mindful in our approach. We have taken the time to answer these 8 questions.
The questions will help you to clarify exactly what your vision is.
If you need some background on what exactly vision is, check out Jim Collins’s article published in the Harvard Business Review entitled Building your Company’s Vision. You can find it here.
Much of this is inside work that no one can do for you. The questions we will present will help you along the way.
Here they are:
- What are your core values?
- What is your core focus?
- What is your 10-year target?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- What is your 3-year picture?
- What is your 1-year plan?
- What are your top priorities over the next 90 days?
- What are your issues?
This is a two-part post. In part 1 we will cover questions 1-4 and in part 2 questions 4-8.
Let’s run through each question.
We will provide a bit of background and provide the answer we came up with at New Economy.
Question #1 – What are your core values?
These are a small set of guiding principles for your Company that will never change. They define your culture and who you are as people.
You will hire, fire, and attract people based on these values. They will be used to make decisions and are traits that your A players exhibit. These are so foundational for your business that we could not imagine operating without them.
Our core values at New Economy are:
- Deliver awesome service
- Embrace change
- Be passionate, own it
- Continuous learning and growth
- Open and honest relationships
It took us some time to nail down our core values so don’t be discouraged. This deserves your time and attention. The things you value are right in front of you; they just got lost in the day-to-day chaos of running the business.
Here are some tips for coming up with your core values:
- Schedule time with your leadership team to specifically discuss the things you value
- Consider all the qualities that your A players exemplify
- Narrow the list down
- Make the tough decisions as to what is truly core
- Limit the list to 3-5
Question #2 – What is your core focus?
With everything going on in business, it’s easy to get off track. As a leadership team, we have focused on establishing a core focus and not letting anything distract us from it.
Your core focus is also known as your mission statement. It is your “why you do what you do” or “why your organization is alive”.
All things lead back to your mission. It prevents you from chasing shiny objects and heading down a dead-end path.lllo
Our core focus at New Economy is To Unleash the full potential of the Entrepreneur.
Here are some tips for coming up with your core focus:
- Schedule time with your leadership team to identify why your Company is alive
- Keep it to 3 to 7 words and use simple language
- Let it be bold and come from the heart
- Make sure it’s bigger than a goal
Keep working at it. This type of work takes time and comes from within but it’s worth the investment of your time.
Question #3 – What is your 10-year target?
Think about where you want to be in 10 years.
One habit of successful companies is the habit of setting and achieving goals.
In the Jim Collins article referenced above, he uses the term BHAG which stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. This helps to create a longer-term vision that is so daring in scope it might seem impossible to achieve.
Our 10-year plan at New Economy is To build a $5M Company where high performers come to achieve their full potential in life.
Since we started business at $0, it seemed to us that $5M was a stretch. We are halfway there and only 4 years in.
Here are some tips for coming up with your 10 Year Plan:
- Schedule time with your leadership team to identify where you want to take the Company
- Consider a revenue number
- Make sure everyone is motivated and on the same page
- Make sure it is specific and measurable
We had some fun creating this.
For us, we landed on $5M as that number creates some financial upside for everyone but also leaves room for a lifestyle, which is important to us. We are keen on attracting A players, which are high performers.
Have some fun with this and be bold. Reset every 10 years.
Question #4 – What is your marketing strategy?
The point of this question is to create a laser-sharp focus for your sales and marketing efforts.
We are finding the more focused we get the more we are closing on the right kind of business. This will help with creating a foundation for marketing materials, plans, messages, and advertising.
To work through this we have considered our target market and 3 uniques.
Your target market is your ideal customer.
You know who they are, where they are, and what they are. You know their demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics.
At New Economy, we keep working on this. We look at our best customers, the ones we love to work with, and seek out the commonalities.
Our Ideal Customer is:
1) A Growth Stage Co that is:
- Mission-driven, values-based, and has a growth mindset and runs on EOS
- Revenues and/or investor funding in excess of $2M
- 10+ Employees
- Located anywhere in the US
- Leverages technology and process
- Wants an engaged accounting and finance partner to help them use data to grow
- Will be able to afford $3K per month as they grow
We do our best to make sure that our new customers are meeting this criteria. The reason for this is the Company, team, systems, and technology we have assembled will best be able to serve this type of customer.
These are the things that make you different from your competitors. They make you stand out from others.
If you were to line yourself up against your competition, they might have 2 of these but not all 3.
Our 3 uniques are:
- Team-based approach
- Entrepreneurs serving Entrepreneurs
- Focus on helping you achieve your goals by leveraging data
At New Economy, we provide accounting, financial, and tax services. It’s common and often viewed as a commodity with technology.
Ok, there you have it. We have covered core value, mission, 10-year target, and marketing strategy all in one post. We have found that focusing on these topics has helped us to create a foundation to grow New Economy.
And you can too.
In Part 2 of this blog post, we will cover the concept of the 1-year plan, 3-year plan, quarterly priorities and issues. So stay tuned.
3 Key Takeaways
This is some heavy and impactful stuff. It will help you to build a solid foundation to build and grow your business. We are living proof.
Here are 3 key takeaways.
- Do the deep work of reflecting on the above questions. Don’t focus on getting it right on the first try. In fact, a better perspective is seeking the best answer. And many of these answers are within you, you just need to pull them out. This will take time so schedule a series of meetings over a 90 period and keep at it.
- Involve others in the process. We hired an EOS Implementer to help us. Also, we included our team and mentors in these conversations. Having others come alongside you as a sounding board will provide some clarity and get you out of your own head.
- Be prepared to share this information. Once you have this all solidified, your job will be to share it with your team to create alignment and have everyone rowing in the same direction. So make sure that you believe it, and can see it as you are going to be asking others to join in your vision.
There you have it 🙂
We are living proof that this system works.
New Economy Team Members are Experts in Accounting for Entrepreneurs
If identifying ways to decrease your taxes is not in your skill set or you want to gain control of your finances to make smart decisions to build and grow your business, New Economy is an excellent partner.
We’ll help you get your accounting and taxes done, and done right.
Schedule a time to meet with our Founder, Jeff, and discuss how we can add value to your situation.