Setting Your Company Vision
From previous live EDU trainings, we know that on average less than a third of the trainees who owned or worked in businesses did not have a formal business plan. Many entrepreneurs and even established businesses don’t feel the need to develop a comprehensive plan, after all it can be pretty time consuming when you have so many other things to do.
Adventure travel professionals are also likely the types of people who want to get started straight away with the operational side, while planning can sound rather dull. I understand that, I am very similar. However, repeated surveys and studies have shown that having a business plan will increase a business's chances of survival, boost growth and profitability and improve business efficiency in many ways. From my experience, I know that whether or not you have a formal business plan, it is vital that you do plan your business activities thoroughly and systematically.
Visualize Success - What Are Your Personal Goals?
If you are the business owner, it's best to start by considering your own personal goals. What do you want to achieve from your business? To be your own boss? To work outdoors and continue to enjoy your favorite activities? Or do you seek personal growth, wealth or prestige? Maybe you would like to retire early?
Your business will not be sustainable if you don’t enjoy what you do. So it is important to think about what you want, how you want to live and what you want to achieve. What will get you out of bed at a crazy hour on a cold and wet morning? What motivates you?
For example I left a highly paid city career to set up an adventure business. Why? … it wasn’t for money.
I wanted to make enough money to support my family of course, but more importantly, I wanted to run my own business. I wanted to enjoy what I did every day – in my own way. I did not want investors or to be answerable to shareholders.
I wanted a business which would offer wonderful travel experiences to my clients, similar to those I had enjoyed during my own travels – so innovation is key for me, not to copy but to lead with my ideas.
I wanted to feel good about my work, which puts sustainability (the protection of wild and undeveloped places) high on my priority list.
Taken together this helped us with our company vision, which in its most distilled form, is to become “the most innovative adventure travel tour operator in the Western Balkans.”
I would like you to take some time to think about what you want to achieve through your company, even if you feel you have a clear vision, its worth renewing this from time to time, (our priorities change as we grow). Think about 'the specifics', the details of what you want to achieve.
I want you to visualise your future, what your business looks like and what it will provide for you. Take some time to think about all of the details. How many people will you employ? What will your offices look like? What services and products will you offer, and to whom? What equipment will you own? What hours will you work, what will a typical working day look like for you? As you describe your ideal business say 5 or 10 years from now, think about why it will look as it does, why will it have that number of employees, why offer those products, what benefits will it bring to YOU?
Be realistic, it would be great to offer camping on the moon, it would be great to be a billionaire (I guess for some), but think about what will truly make you feel fulfilled. Be optimistic and aspirational as well, if you want to take control you need to be motivated and have clear objectives to steer towards.
You also need to think about your personal circumstances, what about the important people in your life, family and friends, will they be left behind?
A visioning exercise can have important effects on how your life and business will change, think of it as a way of cutting through all the chaff, to help you see clearly what you really want to achieve. So take some time, in a quiet setting, with a hot drink and music if you like, and write about your future company. You can use the task sheet provided.