Setting The Vision (even in tough times)

If you don’t have a vision of where you are going, you are on the road to nowhere – especially in trying times! Anything will put you off - with predictions of economic doom all around, you will be easily dragged under.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” or “cast off restraint” or  “they stumble all over themselves."

Proverbs 29:18

TIP: Stop watching the media news reports – these are mostly filled with mis-information, (mostly written by reporters eager to get ratings) and are definitely one-sided. I recommend to business people to cut their news input by 50% and replace this with positive input. Your views will change!

Where you have no vision for the future, you return to the past.”

Dr A R Bernard


Long term

This doesn’t mean the distant future – 3 years is a good length.

  • If you don’t have an overall vision, set one!
  • If you do - take it out and dust it off.
  • Make sure it is succinct, straightforward and to the point. Make sure it is short, easy to understand, up to date and specific, not general.
  • Don’t be daunted by the current climate, this is a 3-year project.

Short term

  • Set achievable, short-term steps to head towards your vision – nominate people and completion dates for each task and regularly check progress.
  • Do a SWAT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis with your team and include actions from this to your steps. 
  • Think differently about your marketing. Don’t stop marketing!
  • Look at savings in your business. Savings on things such as telephone costs, insurance premiums or loans.

TIP: Outline the plan for the next 90 days. As you near this mark, reset the task for the next 90 days. To see real results, you will need to keep this up for 12 months.


Don’t knee-jerk!

A few companies have advised me they are cutting staff, marketing and whatever else they can. I responded, “You are closing up then?” – “No!” they exclaimed. “Well”, I said, “You’re acting like you are.”

Customers do have money, but will be more selective where they spend.

One client I advise ‘Computer Support Partners’ offer a $49 service for your computer ($69 for service under 3 days or $169 for 24hr service). Over 70% of customers spend much more than $49 on such things as extra RAM, hard drives, virus protection, etc. The company does well in a very competitive field and their customers see the service as a great deal and are willing to spend more.

There is still a market and available money for you to tap into even in tough economic conditions.

Notice: Bank short-term deposits are high. People have money – give them a reason to spend.

If you overreact when times seem hard, you will pull back in the wrong areas. Think, plan and strategise with your team - keep them in line with where you are heading.

Think differently about your business but don’t abandon the vision by overreacting.


Live it out

This is the dream everyone should be a part of, paint the picture for them, involve them in the planning and celebrate every win along the way.

  • Be passionate - Make it genuine, not just words.
  • Display the vision and mission where everyone can see.
  • Make small copies for the whole team.
  • Re-enforce it at every staff meeting.
  • Make it fun. Be creative - have competitions, quizzes & prizes for those who come up with an idea that works, achieve the goals set or simply have the most positive input.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

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