15 ways to build a vision for your business in Nigeria Whenever great entrepreneurs tend to start great companies, the first thing that they usually start out with is the vision. Not the products, not the services, just the vision. The seed idea that will germinate in the hearts of men and will become the harbinger of profit and values that are espoused by the now existing organization. “Why is this so?” you may ask. It is so because people always need something great to believe in. The rest of the details will fall in place after the casting of the vision in the hearts and minds of the men and women that will change the course of history as they see fit.
Before you start any business, even in Nigeria, ask yourself this question: Why am I starting this business? The reason behind this is that when you know why you are starting the business, then what product to sell or service to deliver will not be a problem thereafter. This is because anything you do after understanding the vision and the reason behind the vision for setting up the business in the first place will fall in line with the vision.
All that you have to do then is to make sure that all the activities that occur in the business fall in line with the vision. If they fall in line, then the business will outlive you. Most Nigerians do not setup business for the purpose of leaving a legacy amongst other things. Profit is the main driving force behind many businesses. This is why most businesses die after their founders have gone because there is not transfer of the values of the founders to the next generation who will then hand it over to those after them and so on and so forth.
In order to build a vision for your business in Nigeria, you must have first written your vision statement. This statement is a summary of the guiding principles that led you to start the business in the first place. Once the vision statement is then in place, you then write your mission statement. This is the purpose for the business. Also, you then define the values of the business. Which is an extension of your personal values. It is only after you have your vision, mission and values penned down that you can now start building the vision n strategies that are depicted below:
- As you recruit staff, look for people who can carry your vision: When conducting interviews, you will know if an individual can carry your vision or not. People do not tend to hide when they are prodded to give emotional responses. Get the applicants to give emotional responses and pick your candidates. Make sure that the screening process is very thorough so that the chances of making a mistake are minimal. After all, who wants people on his or her team that will sink the boat instead of paddling it?
- Create internal training programs within your organization as it grows: Even if you start with just one person, continue driving that vision into the person’s brain until the person knows it by heart. When the business starts to grow, and more staff are added to the team, that staff will transfer the vision to the rest!!
- Create an environment that is unique to your organization: This should depict the values of the organization: the creation of such an environment will include even the office logos, corporate colors, office spaces, corporate communications, and staff interactions and so on and so forth. This will create the required atmosphere for making the staff to be able to believe in the vision.
- Create among your staff unique terminology that would make them to feel like they are part of something that is special, elite, privileged and closed: That way, you have your staff commit to your cause like they are committing to a religion. This is very important because in order to transfer the fervency of the emotions that the founder may have, there have to be systems in place that make the staff to actually believe not only in the founder, but in the vision! Make sure that these terminologies are used all the time when the staff are on duty and when they are off! This will serve as a tool of reinforcement of the vision. Religion functions very much in the same way!
- Use of songs, pledges and affirmations: During your staff meetings, use corporate songs, pledges and affirmations that reinforce the vision, mission and the values. This is another form of reinforcement that yourself and your staff cannot escape! If you must build a vision for your business, then you must be able to communicate it to everyone working there that the vision comes first! Every other thing comes second!
- Create a big goal and stick to it: This is another tactic that can be used to build the vision of your business. When you outline a goal that is so big that the staff become afraid when you first mention it, then you’re creating a system that will keep your people committed to achieving your goal. All you have to do is to keep following them up and to motivate them. That way, the dream now becomes a collective one. Instead of “you” or “I”, it now becomes “we”. And we is so much more powerful!!!
- Give up every other thing to achieve that goal: This will be the most powerful statement that can be made even to the public as to the seriousness of the goal. At that point, the staff are so caught up in the company that even if tough times come, at that point, most will stay and build together with you the project founder!!
- Celebrate the success of the staff: Celebration of staff success is even though mostly motivational, still serves as a tool for the creation of the family effect. Which is the pivot upon which the company will now run. Creating the family effect will allow the staff members the ability to contribute now based on what they can give and not what they are being paid to do.
- Always stay true to the values that you have espoused: Nothing gives a dream potency like consistency. Consistency in thought, consistency in word, deed and even character. Consistency has enough power to pull resources that hitherto never existed for the mere fact that one thing has been done over and over again. Staying true to the values is not only for the benefit of the staff, it is also sending a powerful message to the public that you’re building an organization that stands for something. Once that is settled, watch how your organization will begin to takeoff in terms of sales!!
- Try everything: When sales are taking off, it is time to start looking at the development of new products or services that are in line with the vision of the company. The easiest way to find out what will work will be to try what is working and what is not working. Use what is working and discard what’s not. That way, new products are ready for launch anytime anyday.
- Start preparation for the next generation: One day, we must all leave this big blue ball that we like to call home. The best way to preserve the legacies that we have built is to be prepared for the final outcome before it occurs. This is where the creation of succession planning comes into play. Be it a family ,member, mentee or just some guy across the street, when you want to choose your successor, make sure that you do it early enough so as to forestall a decline or destruction of everything that you have worked so hard to build.
- Tolerate some mistakes, punish others: Any honest mistake made by your staff can be forgiven. However, any mistake that involves a breach of the company’s values and code of ethics should not be treated lightly. This is because once someone gets away with such, the likelihood that others will too is strong. So, it is better to cut off the head of the snake while it is still young. This is because anyone who has the guts to breach the code of ethics of the company can destroy the company that took so much sweat, tears and blood to build.
- Constantly use written and audio visual material to reinforce the companies’ vision: This is where the importance of repetition of the company’s vision, mission and core values comes into full effect. BY now, the organization should be able to consistently deliver one thing that the vision promises? These are questions that such printed materials and audio visual materials should seek to answer.
- When you achieve the first big goal, set another: This is a method used to keep the company in constant perpetual motion. This will allow anyone who has a knowledge of the company’s history to now know that this moment is the moment when the vision has finally become reality.
When it comes to vision and implementation of vision, people are needed. But more importantly the core values must be values that will stand the test of time. That is the only way that a legacy can be built while the vision becomes reality. So, do you know of any other ways to build a vision for your business in Nigeria? Please do not hesitate to talk about it!!