A characteristic of many successful businesses (both online and off-line) is that they have a vision for their business.
They know what they are working towards, and they are creating a business that will be like their vision of the future. It is always a good idea to stop every so often and reconsider what your vision is for your business.
So how do you create a vision for your online business?
The first step is to ask yourself what you really want to create with your business.
Imagine the ideal business that you want to own. Do not be distracted by what is or is not possible and do not evaluate whether it will work. Just consider the possibilities and how aiming for what you want will be unique to you. No one else will be able to copy it because it will be yours.
Some people will be inspired by a desire to create something new and different. Others will want to create a second income. Some will want to create a new shopping experience for their customers while others will want to create new products or services that better meet the needs of people today. Others may just want to get rich.
Once you have imagined your ideal and have a vision of what you want, spend some time considering how you will make a difference. Will you be setting a standard of customer service that will be the envy of other businesses? Will your product or service meet a need so fully that your customers will tell their friends and generate business for you? Will you be an inspiration to all those who come in contact with you so that they will want to stay in contact and follow your recommendations? The list of how you can make a difference is endless.
Write a short statement setting out your vision for your business and how you will make a difference. If your vision is based on assumptions, spend some time testing those assumptions to make sure they are valid. Keep the vision before you so that it guides your decisions and plans for your online business.
Make sure you breathe life into your written vision statement. Use powerful language that is strong on stories, or metaphors or examples. Ensure that you speak from the heart and work to make the intangible tangible. Use symbols, themes, slogans, etc., to make it come to life and be real for you, your employees and your customers.
As you move towards your vision, ensure that you listen first and often. Your customers and your employees will be able to provide you with ways to achieve your vision through their feedback. Listening in a non-defensive and uncritical way can be very enlightening which will enable you to be better able to define the needs of your customers and to satisfy those needs.
Over time, you will need to adjust some of your actions and tactics as they will not be taking you closer to your vision. Through listening to the feedback you have received, and monitoring the results you have achieved, you will know which actions or tactics need modification or change. By way of a simple example, the results of an ad may improve with one headline but not with another. Change to the one that is providing better results.
Some businesses have experienced tremendous success through having large audacious goals. Remember that large goals can take a long time to achieve. However, if your vision is driving you strongly, you will thrive on taking the actions required to achieve your vision over a long period of time. Also, some visions are so powerful that they rewrite the industry rules and create a new competitive space.
Make the time to develop your vision for your future online business success. Know what you want to achieve and ensure that all your actions are taking you in that direction. Listen to the feedback you receive and monitor the results you are achieving so that you can change tack if necessary as you move closer to your vision. Dare to be different and to make a difference with your online business.