You Made It! Now What Do You Do?
Well, what a couple of years it’s been. Most of us are starting to feel (albeit tentatively) pretty good. The worst seems to be over, and the activity level is starting to surge. All good, right?
Uh, maybe. The challenge now is how to deal with the current situation of work that’s more diverse and complex while working with a lot of new people – new staff, new contractors, new clients - or not enough people, or people who are pretty burned-out…or all three! How do you make sure you continue your forward momentum and grow your business the way you want to?
Recently, a number of clients have asked us this very question, and our “answer” has been to ask a series of questions that are the same ones we’ve been asking for years, all probing to ensure you have a Business Vision and a plan that supports it.
Why is this so important?
In our experience, having a clearly defined Business Vision is the only way to maximize the potential of the agency, putting your team in position to win new business and execute at the highest level possible.
Perhaps you defined one a few years ago and don’t think you need to do it again. Ha! You know, things have changed a bit, and seriously, there’s just no way anything identified before the pandemic is still valid. (Plus, let’s be real, no one did any strategic planning over the last two years.)
Or maybe you never had a Vision since you started the business with a solid client relationship and just went blithely on from there. In any case - in fact, in ALL CASES - a Business Vision that’s supported by a plan which guides your decisions, from service offering to org structure to tools & processes, is an absolute bedrock for success.
So, here’s what you need to have in place, all of which requires leadership alignment and to be fully communicated to your entire team with a “why” behind it and a clear WIIFM:
Brand Vision: who and what do you want to be?
Brand Purpose: besides making a profit, why does your business exist (as a primer, read Simon Sinek’s Start With Why)?
Brand Values: what are the basic attitudes and characteristics that will guide you and all your employees as they work to achieve the Vision?
Service Offering: what do you do that will give focused support to the Vision?
Differentiator: what separates you from your competition and how is it aligned to the Vision?
Organization: what roles do you need to fulfill the Vision?
Tools/Processes: what does your agency need to support the Vision?
Most likely, the answers to these question will reveal some changes that need to be implemented, and that’s always hard. But since we’ve all gone through so many changes recently, now is actually a great time to initiate change in your agency.
Or perhaps you’re thinking things are so busy right now it’s hard to imagine taking the time to deal with this. So, have you stopped selling? Of course not (or hopefully not – the best time to sell is when you are busiest). Doing this work now creates clarity which allows you to make smart business decisions quickly, strategically and consistent to the Vision. You can build on the success that you are experiencing while also becoming easier to work for and easier to work with. In our experience, a well formulated and communicated Business Vision leads to more success because you’re spending your time working on the things that are helping you grow your brand and doing so as a unified team.
So, our recommendation is to get out of working in the business (for a brief amount of time) so you can work on the business. Take a day (or two half-days) with your leadership to work through each of these questions. You’ll be amazed how quickly people align to a vision and get excited by the possibilities that vision brings. Once your leadership is aligned, you’ll then be able to lay out a plan to communicate and implement the changes throughout the organization that are required to achieve the vision.
And while preparing for post-pandemic success may be what’s driving this, asking your team these questions every few years is time well spent. Nothing stays in place for very long, and the last thing you want is a business that was great yesterday but isn’t prepared for tomorrow.
Tonic Consulting Group works with live event agencies, marketing agencies and related companies providing the insights, expertise and direction necessary to create enduring competitive advantage. We work with leaders to build new pathways to growth, create
high-performing operations and develop companies people love working for.