The Importance of Business Vision (In Good and Tough Economies)

Jul 17, 2023 | Visioning

Over the past few weeks, I’ve fielded several phone calls from firms who are finally coming up for air from the backlog of work caused by the pandemic, and there’s a theme I’ve seen emerging over and over again; the importance of business vision.

Firms are unsure of who they are and where they’re headed. 

How did that happen? Firms found themselves in a state of abundant work for a long time. And that’s great! However, as interest rates rise, projects are slowing or being canceled. That reality, coupled with the backlog of work drying up has people looking up and asking; Where do we want to go to diversify? Where do we not want to go?

These questions are always important. The current economy is presenting a perfect opportunity to re-look at these questions and get your team on the same playing field.

Does this sound familiar?

Over the past ten years, your firm has been inundated with work. You’ve taken on tons of great projects that have kept your business in the green (and then some.) 

For example, perhaps your firm jumped on the multi-family building bandwagon. But now, as those jobs are beginning to slow you’re realizing that the relationships you had built to diversify your firm have gone by the wayside. 

Following the market isn’t a bad thing; it’s just equally important to be clear on WHY you’re following the market. And, if that is your firm’s choice, how do you stay true to your business vision?

Some important questions to consider when business visioning for the future;

  • Who do we want to be?
  • What do we want to be known for?
  • Where do we want to go to diversify?
  • Where do we NOT want to go?

Of course there are a multitude of other important questions to ask the stakeholders of your firm but the questions above are a great starting point. (If you’re looking for someone to walk you through more in depth visioning for your firm, tap here to schedule a time to chat). 

What is a business vision?

It’s been said that vision is, “a vivid picture of where you are headed to motivate others to take the journey with you.”

At the end of the day, it’s a clear path forward that defines where your company is going.

When you look at your business and you look at three years from now, think about; What’s changed and what hasn’t. And when it comes to what hasn’t – focus on the good, because THAT’S who you are. What’s changed is where you want to go and what hasn’t is the core of who you are. 

“We had a business vision, but I think we’ve lost it. Now what?”

It’s not uncommon for businesses to diversify so far from where they were ten years ago due to an abundance of opportunity. How do you know when the diversification is too much?

Here’s an example; In the past few years the commercial real estate market was performing incredibly well. At the same time, public sector market competition got steep, projects were split into smaller chunks to spread out the money, so the opportunity cost to capture them was high. Meaning, your firm may not have pursued and therefore won as much work in that sector. Which also means, your relationships aren’t as fresh.  But now the market has flip-flopped. So what now?

Take a deep dive into WHY you’re in whatever market you’re in. For example, if you’ve leaned into the multi-family market; Why is that? Is it because you want to build communities? Is it because you’re passionate about affordable housing for all? 

So what now?

Vision isn’t just about the market. It’s also about more internal values. For example, if you want to be seen as an innovator in the market, a question you may be asking yourself at this moment is how can we harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI)?

Vision is a uniting force that gets all of your team players on the same page. So, if your firm begins doing something a bit differently than they used to, it’s clear to everyone WHY the changes are happening. Of course, there should be in-depth discussions around how those changes happen. But if you can get everyone to rally around the end goal (or vision) those conversations can be infinitely more productive. 

Of course, there’s so much more to this. If you’re interested in diving into this together, be sure to schedule a chat to do that here. I can’t wait to help your firm stand out from the flock with your vision!

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