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When you’re in the early stages of developing your agency you tend to focus on one thing: becoming profitable. So, how do you get there? Sell more, work more, do more, try more, try harder, repeat.
While all of those things are important when you’re in survival mode, it’s also important to remember that what you’re doing now is laying the foundation for your agency to grow on. So yes selling is important, duh. Yes, working more is sometimes necessary. But you’ve got to make sure you’re setting aside the time to truly build an agency.
And every building starts with a strong foundation.
In an agency, your foundation is your vision statement.
Every building starts with a strong foundation. In an agency, your foundation is your vision statement.
Why is your vision statement your foundation? It’s simple. Your vision statement will guide you through the good times and the bad. It will filter every single decision made by your agency. It will inspire and motivate you and your tribe. It will influence the way you run your agency day in and day out.
No other element in your agency will ever have this enduring power.
So, if you think that creating a vision statement is something that can wait because it isn’t a priority, you need to reevaluate.
(RELATED: Want more tips on how to be a great agency owner? Check out the 8 Traits Every Successful Agency Owner Must Have.)
Let’s quickly go over exactly what makes up a vision statement.
1. Purpose Statement: A timeless statement that can never truly be reached, but one that you can constantly strive to achieve it. It is the essence of why your agency exists, the heart of your organization.
Example: We improve the lives of those affected by cancer, now. -Livestrong
2. Core Values: The moral compass the guides your agency. Specifically, a set of “rules” or words that your agency holds near and dear to its heart.
Example: Be Bold. Focus on Impact. Move Fast. Be Open. Build Social Value. -Facebook
3. Mission Statement: A huge goal that you can cross the finish line or plant the flag on. A goal so big, and so scary, that you just might not be able to accomplish it, but you can work your ass off trying.
Example: Generate positive quarterly income on a sustained basis and be GAAP profitable. -Tesla
So now that you know what goes into making a vision statement let’s take a closer look at why you really need one.
(RELATED: Your vision statement is only one small piece of the puzzle. For more information on developing an Agile Agency Leadership framework check out our online course.)
Having a defined vision statement will ultimately empower employees. They will feel confident making decisions on behalf of the agency. They will positively represent your brand in all marketing endeavors. You will be able to delegate and trust them more than ever before. If your employees know exactly what you’re looking for, and exactly what you want your agency to become, they’ll be better suited to help you get there.
Empowered employees are happier, more productive, and more invested in your agency. When they feel like they’re apart of the big picture they begin to realize that the agency’s success determines their success too.
If your employees are making informed and ethical decisions, that are filtered through all of your core values, and help you accomplish your purpose and mission, then they should be making a good decision. Decisions that they should feel empowered to make because they are for the good of the agency. When they know what a “good” decision looks like, they’ll stop making bad ones! This should minimize risk.
As an agency owner, you can worry less about putting out fires, diffusing situations, and worrying about legal problems. It also means you don’t have to get bogged down by all of the trivial day-to-day decisions. You can focus on the big picture because you know that your employees have been educated and feel empowered to make sound decisions.
Define Your Brand
Choosing the right words will not only positively impact your organization internally but externally as well. Your employees will know how to position your agency because they will know why you’re here to serve your target audience. Knowing why you’re here for the target audience allows you to develop clear and concise branding, and focused and targeted messaging.
Your vision statement should resonate with your target audience. You should be communicating with them and letting them know that ultimately, you are here to serve them.
Motivate and Inspire
Perhaps the most important reason of all, to motivate and inspire. Your agency will ebb and flow, that’s just how life works. This means you’ll have times when you’re motivated and ready to work, but you’ll also have times when you’re tired and uninspired. Your vision statement will provide clarity and encouragement through it all.
Regardless of how you feel, you will know your higher purpose and why you’ve got to push through. You’ll always be reminded to channel your efforts and work towards the big picture.
Your vision statement is bigger than you. It's everything your agency is and everything you want it to be.
Still think that a vision statement is something you can put off? Make sure that you take the time and take the process seriously when you’re building your vision statement. Get your entire agency involved and truly consider their input. This is bigger than just you, this is everything your agency is and everything you want it to be. It’s important to sit down and think everything through because at the end of the day, words are powerful and they impact us all. For better or for worse, words will guide us. So make sure you choose the right ones.
(NOTE: Interested in learning more about your vision statement? Sign up for our free Agency Leadership Micro Course.)