In your Business Travel Agency or any small business for that matter, do you really know what you are building? This is a very important question because how can you successfully build or grow anything without having a vision for what it will be once completed.
As a business coach I have asked this question, “Do you know what your business
will look like in five years?” What I have discovered is this. Most business owners cannot articulate even three areas clearly in answering this question. Conversely, your clear vision of what your business will look like five years into the future can set you on the path to greatness. Clarity of future = maximum success. Why?
Because motivation, desire, persistence and overcoming any hurdles happens naturally when your vision is clear on what you want. Your clear vision is the starting point to greatness. It should inspire you, motivate you and give you the reason why. The reason why is essential in knowing “why” are you doing this game of business. What is your motivator?
Creating a list of why you are in business is your very first step. I encourage you to get to twenty five items if at all possible. Having a clear vision is simply setting the ideal YOU and YOUR business into the future. Planning out your ideal business is a great and powerful exercise and I know you will benefit greatly from this exercise.
Please think out to a point in time x years out. I believe five years is a perfect starting point as it is easy to see and not too far into the future. Please try to visualize in detail what your business looks like? The more detail the better. Think big, aim high and do not be too conservative. Create your ideal business.
Can you see it clearly already? If not, writing it out on paper helps to crystallize it. Take your time to reflect and answer these questions below. Going through this process can be the foundation of clarity and give true purpose to your working life. Remember direction and clarity equals future success.
1. How big is your business? The number of clients, annual revenue, annual profit being generated, your income…. What is the value of your business at this point and time? And why would someone else want to buy your business?
2. On a physical level, what does your business look like? Where is your business located, Do you have multiple locations?
3. Why is your business different for from all your competition, what makes you unique? What makes you the best at what you do? What products and services do you offer and at what prices/fees? What type of customer service do you offer?
4. What does your organization in your business look like? How many employees do you have? What roles do they play? Do you have additional partners/ junior partners? What role do you play in the business? How many hours are you working? How many days are you working? What are some common traits and characteristics of your employees? What is the culture of your business like?
5. Who is your target market? Depict your ideal clients? Why does a client rave about your business? How are you perceived in the business community?
6. What functional areas of the business of your business are systematized with processes and procedures? Be specific.
7. What outsourcing do you know and in which areas of your business travel agency?
8. How do you market your business, what are the primary methods/strategies that you use to market your practice? What % of your new customers comes from client referrals? How do you insure that your clients provide referrals? Where else do you receive referrals? What types of businesses do you partner with for referrals? Are there any businesses that you have strategic alliances with?
9. What is your exit strategy? Are you selling to new owners, existing partners? How much will you sell it for? Will you leverage your business to create passive income?
Please take the time to put in as much detail as possible! Write it all down on one or two pages in if you possibly can. Once you have short sentences and paragraphs I recommend you frame it, hang it on the wall prominently, and send a paper copy out with quotations.
But more important than externalizing your written vision of the future, is the internal acceptance of visualizing your future success every day or weekly by re-reading or re-writing it over and over.
So you now have a set of short statements which deeply captures your total vision and the mission of your business travel agency.
In the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, it is made clear that hopeful entrepreneurs start out with great zeal but little real focus on what it takes to be a successful business owner. Talented workers make the often fatal assumption of being great at their technical skill is all you need. Wrong! You need to start with a strong vision of what it is you are building. A vision of the first five years is imperative and in your business travel agency, upon doing this, you have set your sails on the path to greatness.