“It is difficult to come up with a description of what a “common” entrepreneur looks like or acts like, or to pinpoint the necessary skills or experience one must have….but there is one thing all entrepreneurs have in common: Vision.” ~ Matthew Toren and Adam Toren in Small Business, Big Vision
If vision was a box of tools, then you could buy a kit from the local Dream Store. And that box of vision would contain all the essential things that the small business owner needs to “see” in order to dream bigger and act on it. But as it turns out, you can’t purchase vision.
No matter the size of your company, one man or woman, a small team or a hundred members – vision and what you do with it is still the key component (but not the only one) to long term impact and success. And all business owners need at least two types of vision for their business.
What’s the problem that you solve? Every successful business is a solution to someone’s pain. What’s that pain point and what’s your answer? What do you want your business to look like, feel like? What do you want your life to look like, feel like as a result of this business?
Developing a big vision is about slowing down long enough to flush out and record your dreams. You don’t have to know everything to get started, but you need a little more than a vague feeling of what you want because you have to be able to consistently articulate it on some level. Which brings me to the next type of vision.
Who’s going to help you? You cannot do it all by yourself. If success is a part of the plan, then even the smallest small business will need a team of employees and/or independent contractors. And the leader needs a vision for their team or he/she will destroy it one conversation, one action at a time. Your sustainable growth depends on the vision, the team and the systems.
A short list of people you need at some point:
- An administrator or virtual assistant to help take care of the daily details.
- A marketing assistant/consultant/coach and a marketing system for getting the word out there, because businesses don’t sell themselves.
- A customer service rep, someone who’s primary focus is taking care of client needs and concerns. In the early stages your administrator can do this. However, this person or team or the company you contract must have a deep understanding of what your company offers and a true passion for taking care of people.
Big vision requires a great team and a leader who gets it.
Vision Concept Photo via Shutterstock
Great article, Jamillah. I enjoyed reading this. I love the line “Every successful business is a solution to someone’s pain”. So true!
I really find your article helpful as we build our business, Jamillah! The 3 most recommended staff one needs to keep track of the business’s needs are just so true! BTW, I shared your article on Head Exposed’s Facebook page.. 🙂
Very well said. I loved what you said here: “Developing a big vision is about slowing down long enough to flush out and record your dreams.” In fact, after I learned the Toren’s book Small Business Big Vision had won a Small Biz Trends Gold Award, I bought the book. These two entrepreneurs keep it very simple yet extremely effective and isn’t a book like all the other ‘canned’ business books out there. Highly recommend it as it truly epitomizes what a big vision is all about. Thanks again for the great post.
I am a Big Picture guy. I like to look out into the blue and say “this is what we need or what we need to do” then the problem becomes the small details and exactly “how do we get this done”? Now if I am understanding your correctly, I need to then surround myself with people who are more into the details? I feel I am far from being able to afford an assistant or coach, are there other answers for people in my similar situation?
Jamillah Warner (MsJ)
Hi Brad, here’s a few quick answers to your questions.
Interns can be a saving grace, if you direct them AND give them what they need (a chance to learn from your real world experience).
Plus, you don’t have to look at an assistant as a permanent expense – that’s what makes virtual so cool – hire them for specific, time-consuming for you but easier-for-them tasks. There are a lot of small tasks that cost you BIG time.
And there’s always bartering (the accountant trades with the administrative assistant, the hair dresser trades with the website marketer).
However you add to the team, management is a part of the equation – it’s the price and the reward of team building.