You can’t set a course if you don’t know your destination, and in the world of marketing, setting the wrong course can keep your business from growing and thriving.
Marketing works, but it works best when it’s done purposefully. You need to have clear goals to reach for. Those goals might be simple — increase sales by a certain percentage or decrease customer acquisition costs.
But just increasing sales or decreasing cost per acquisition, while objectively valuable, might not be the best goals for you to focus on for your business.
For example, if you plan on exiting the business in a year or two, generally ramping up sales is probably not enough — your efforts need to focus on improving the health of your business through developing processes and cleaning up problem areas.
That’s why it’s so important to start not with goals, but with vision — your vision for yourself and your business in the years to come. Your goals should be dictated by that vision.
And that vision should then be paired with where you derive personal value from your business. You need a clear idea of what you personally value about your business and base your goals around that. We call this the Vision Value Model.
For example, if you find that you get the most satisfaction from your business out of the culture you’ve built and the people you work with, then that will influence your goals for the future. Your vision might be to exit in 5 years but to do so in a way that preserves the existing culture.
That in turn is going to dictate what kind of marketing methods you put in place and what your goals are for those marketing methods.
Here’s how to apply the Vision Value Model to your business.
What Is a Vision?
Your vision where you see yourself going, an overarching plan for you and your business that is going to dictate what kind of marketing initiatives you put into place.
What Value Do You Get Out of Your Business?
Determining the value you get out of your business comes before everything else. What is it about doing what you do that is most important to you?
Here are few examples:
- The people and the culture
- The family — keeping the business in the family
- The money
- Impact on the local community
- Impact on important social issues (charity work)
- Beating the competition
- The customers/clients
Owning a business is a lot different from just having a job. You can derive value from a lot more than just the money that’s coming in the door (though it’s definitely okay if that’s your main source of value).
This matters so much because you can’t create goals for your business if you’re not clear on what’s meaningful to you from the business itself. Your vision should be directly based on your values.
For example, if you derive the most value in your business from your charity work, then that’s going to play a role in your vision. Your vision likely isn’t just going to be, “increase revenue by x amount.”
That might mean pouring a portion of the marketing budget into marketing initiatives related to that charity work. You wouldn’t think to do that if you hadn’t first identified where you were getting value from in your business.
Once you’ve identified your vision and value, you’re ready to create some goals.
Vision Value-Based Goals
Let’s say your vision is to exit the company in 5 years, but your value shows you that you want to preserve the existing culture and allow your family members to continue working in the business.
Your goals should take these things into account to tell you exactly what kind of marketing initiatives you need to focus on in the coming years.
For example, you might want to start building the personal brand of your key stakeholders and making them the face of the business while pulling both attention and responsibility away from yourself.
You might also incorporate that family culture into your outward branding so that you can attract investors or buyers who also appreciate this culture.
In other cases, you might want to do the exact opposite. Maybe the value you derive is purely financial and you want to exit leaving nothing on the table. That means your marketing goals should focus on creating reliable lead generation strategies, ensuring your sales team has the assets and processes they need to efficiently close deals and securing your space in your market.
Need a Little Marketing Help? Let’s Talk
At the end of the day, marketing is about more than just driving up revenue, and the right marketing strategy can actually help increase your business value and help make your sale or exit go the way you want it to go.
We help business owners to determine their value, create a vision, and then create a clear marketing strategy that will help them achieve that vision while preserving that value.