So we talked about “Vision” last week and further explored the notion that your vision statement should answer the question, "Where do I see my business going in the future?”….what is the ultimate state of our family business in the future?
Before we further examine and put down on paper where your family business is going, let’s take a slight detour and first answer the reason why your family business exists in the first place. You need to know why you exist before you can determine where you are going. Does that make sense? I hope so.
To help get you started, let’s look at the necessary first component required for developing your compelling vision statement for your family farm business. The reason for your business. Huh? Remember, a well-crafted vision statement serves as a guide to help everyone and anyone to understand what business you are really in beyond just the product or service you provide.
The legendary Walt Disney certainly knew the reason for his theme parks when he began and developed a vision statement: “To make people happy”. All theme-park operations, people and training are with this idea of bringing happiness to millions of people around the world.
While the Walt Disney theme-park vision is short, it indeed let’s everyone know the reason this business exists. When you work on creating your vision statement, start with a quick, simple, clear reason for the existence of your family business. It does not have to be a lengthy and sophisticated statement that sounds all Madison Avenue. Quite the contrary. If you cannot do it in a relatively short statement, say 11-22 words, you’re doing it wrong. Ha. Think about the basics…the core meaning of your family business. What do you think of this statement of purpose?
Oh, I like it! Wait. It’s already taken. It’s the purpose for my business advisory services. Ha. It’s pretty clear, short and sweet…don’t you agree?
So, what business are you really in and why does your family business exist? Try not to just rush through this exercise for the sake of checking it off some list of things to do. This is a core element in what will become your vision statement: the foundation upon which your entire family-business operations, policies, decision-making, investments, etc. are all derived from. Once you have clarified, on paper, the core reason for your family business’s existence, you will be ahead of 70% of your industry peers and developing a stronger foundation for your continually successful family business or family farm.