You are stoked about your business idea. You get on to making mental plans, you even discuss with some friends, family members. Days and weeks later, your idea has taken root and some more planning is underway. You are trying to put together your product / service offering.
And then the best thing happens – you launch the business, maybe in a small way. And your first version of your offering is out.
While you are thoroughly convinced about your business idea, it seems like there’s more to it. It’s working perfectly well when you run it in your head.
What Businesses Need
The goal of every business owner is to build a successful venture. What’s the road to success, you may ask. There are courses, books, videos and tons of articles that detail the formula for success. When you distill the wisdom and advice coming from years of experience, one element stands out: THE NEED FOR CLARITY.
Simply put, CLARITY is that state where the path for your business is clearly defined and there is a strong sense of direction. It’s that vivid vision of the steps that will be taken to propel you ahead.
While a significant milestone was bringing your idea into the real-world, that’s when the challenges began, the complexities seemed to multiply. You as the business owner have to pay attention to product / service formulation, technology and talent, marketing and sales, setting up partnerships / distribution networks and more. And the critical need across all of these aspects is for you as a business owner to take appropriate and timely decisions to enable the business to sprout wings.
No Easy Road
But businesses don’t operate in ideal, favourable conditions. And before you know it, that initial idea has transformed from a simple to a complex equation. You have begun to question that sense of direction and if you are making the right moves.
So, how would you know your business has this need for clarity? What are some signs that indicate this need for clarity?
The Obvious Signs
The most obvious sign that you need clarity is when you as the business owner start feeling a sense of being stalled / slowed down and decision-making seems like an endless loop. It feels like progress is slow. You also start to notice there’s confusion in the various tracks you are working on. Too many things are vying for your attention and it tends to feel stressful. The joy initially experienced has started to give way to a bit of confusion. You open Instagram or LinkedIn and it starts to feel everyone has figured out their business roadmap and are ahead in the game.
There is also a feeling of being out of sync with the happenings around. You start sensing a drop in efficiencies compared to the earlier days of working on your venture.
So, what’s the way out of this?
Ok, I paused! What next?
While the need for clarity can be noticed through the kind of issues the business experiences, you as the leader will need to prioritise and drive some actions.
Having a vision and pumping money into your new or existing business isn’t enough to ensure your venture succeeds. A strong foundation can be provided via thorough reflective exercises to evaluate and determine strategies that will feed into the long and short term objectives, and also drive the quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plans of the organisation.
So, what can be done to obtain clarity and ease the process of running your business?
Clarity in Purpose
Many businesses define their vision and mission statements along with the values they will stand for. Being clear about your business’ purpose is a useful factor that aids planning and decision-making, and thus enables progress.
Run a mission-vision defining exercise. Find out what your business really exists for. This could be done independently or along with the co-owners of your business. If you already have defined a purpose for your venture, it helps to go back and check validity and if it needs updating.
Clarity in goals
Business goals need regular revisiting to check their relevance. The dynamic nature of market needs and the business environment need frequent review and updating of goals. A goal-setting exercise forces you to take a fresh look at the conditions, measure progress and freshness. In short, it’s a great way to obtain clarity and shine the light on what’s important.
For a start, use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) approach to set goals and align short and long term goals.
Clarity in Communication
Communication reveals a lot about the state of the business.
The quality of communication is the basis for how businesses portray themselves to the external world. This also defines the quality of their relationships with their customers. Communication has the power to establish trust and make or break deals.
Run a simple communications audit. Review sales and marketing material and also customer feedback (complaints can offer a huge opportunity). Ask questions to determine if the messaging is consistent across various touchpoints and throughout the customer journey. Check communication internally between the teams ( with partners) and leadership.
Clarity is key to moving the needle on things that are critical to your business’ progress and success. While you are working towards clarity on the business front, the game changer is ensuring clarity of self. As a business owner, the quality of your thinking, actions and communication are crucial to clarity on the business front. While you are reviewing clarity, introspection will do a lot of good to your business’ progress.
If you feel the need to discuss this further, please drop us a message for a no-obligation interaction.