You have a dream of what you stand for and what you believe in. This document articulates the values and beliefs of the business. It outlines your strategic pillars and the products or services that you sell and how you sell them. It speaks of your customer promise, the market you operate in, and how you'll scale and be profitable. Imagine what your business will look like in five years, and how many customers or suppliers you will have impacted.
- Having dreams, hopes, aspirations? Do you remember what it feels like when you start your business? Or maybe when you bought it or took on a franchise, have all these great visions, and then you get caught up in the daily grind. But it's so, so important to document your painted picture. Now your painted picture is not a plan. It's a dreaming document. It's the I wonder what it would be like if. It was Jim Collins who said, "What makes a business built to last is actually the planning, the dreaming, the setting the future." Your words define your reality.
Powerful words produce powerful outcomes. But one of the businesses I know in Australia, she produces uniforms and these fabulous aprons, and Gwyneth Paltrow picked one up and loved it, and adored it and put it on Instagram. She's like oh my goodness! But imagine what it would be like if somebody chose your product, and put it on Insta and made it Insta famous. Allow yourself to dream it. It doesn't have to be push, push, push. Just allow yourself to have fun and enjoy. But let's talk specifically about some of the areas of painted picture you might like to cover.
You are definitely going to have your purpose in there, it's going to be right up at the front. I've also put some quotes that inspire me right there. Things that I think wow that's absolutely aspirational. And the reason I do that is because when I want other people to read them I want them to feel something, and you'll probably use this document with key partners or stakeholders, definitely your team, because I want'em to feel that as well. So right there you put your purpose. The other thing is you'll speak to your values. How do you do business? What can we count on you for? What is your belief system? What do you believe in? And it is very much a we believe in this, and you put your belief statements: we believe in sustainability, we believe in social responsibility, we believe in having fun while we're doing it.
Whatever your belief statements are in fact in my blog, I have my own personal beliefs saved on the About Me page so you know what I stand for, what I believe in. The next part might be your pillars to success and we'll definitely talk about this is the business that we're in. So you've gone from the why, to the how, and now we're talking about the what. I'm in the business of and you define it because one of the hardest things in business is staying focused because there's so many ideas.
You're like oh we could do this, or we could do this. No no, we said we were doing this and we were going to be the world's best at it. So once you've got your pillars, you'll also want to have some highlights. I found a great way of doing this is literally having dreaming days, and people would have post-it notes and they'd write imagine what it was. So there's a big sign that says imagine when and then people would fill in whatever it was. So now you've got the first draft of your painted picture. Let's reverse engineer it. Say well if I wanted to get there, what would I need to do? So if I want to have stores around the country, well then I would need to be rolling out how many stores per year, how many new franchises would I need to put on, and you begin to work backwards.
So you reverse engineer. So it's not that it's impossible, maybe improbable, but you might say what are the critical things that are going to stop me getting there? It might be a piece of infrastructure, it might be some capitol, but there will be a bottleneck in your growth. Whatever it is, the reverse engineering will help you find that bottleneck. So your painted picture doesn't need to be war and peace. In fact it's much better if it's shorter.
I'd suggest no more than three pages in length. You want people to consume it, to be inspired by it, to not think oh my goodness another thing to read. In fact when we did our first we made sure it was really visual with infographics and pictures so that people could get, and really consume it, and own it. Remember you write this document not just for yourself but for your team, and for others. This is a document for leaders to support them in bringing everybody with them on the journey. So make it easy and fun.
Put some personality into it, your personality. I'm most happy to share one of the first ones that we did with you; happy to share. But it's what we created. It's not a cut and paste job. This is about you doing the work yourself. It's your document. Happy to share it so it's got a guide because you know we all like to see what other people did, and it might just add flavor to this whole section, but it is your job to do the work. It's my painted picture. I'd love to see yours.
- Finding your purpose
- Keeping the passion alive
- Setting the framework for success
- Ensuring that your people are aligned to your goals
- Setting your priorities
- Promoting your business effectively