Does it have what it takes to generate long-term wealth for you? Could it be attractive enough to sell one day or will it always depend on you to generate income?
Business mentor Laura Humphreys believes every business owner can build a business that will feed them financial freedom in the future. Each month Laura shares key strategies from her own experience and invites guest entrepreneurs to share their success tips with you.
Exit Strategy 1: Be a visionary
I’ve interviewed many wealthy entrepreneurs as part of my mentoring programme, always seeking to learn what makes them so successful. How do they build businesses that achieve such growth and generate such great financial returns?
The number one trait that comes through without exception is their ability to look into the future and see what their business looks like five, ten or 15 years out. Successful business people have a really clear picture of their business when it’s ‘complete’. They can see where it is all heading. Rarely do they start a business without a clear idea of where they will take it. They do not randomly wander into business, nor randomly wander out or give up when it gets too hard or they run out of money. Successful entrepreneurs know where they are going.
One of the first things they’ll do is create a vision for their business that’s set firmly in the future. They are very clear that the business is separate from them – it must have a reason for being that is bigger and more inspirational than the owner/s of the business.
When I started my advertising agency I knew it needed a higher purpose, something clearly articulated that would attract clients and talented staff and give us something to strive for. We set out to ‘change the face of our industry by setting a new benchmark for agency service and quality of results’. This vision kept us focused and ultimately created the success that attracted a multinational company to want to buy us.
What is your vision for the future of your business?
Laura Humphreys built her advertising agency from scratch and sold it to Ogilvy Group within nine years. In that time it grew to over $15 million in billings. Her online mentoring programme (www.liber8me.com) teaches you how to build a business that will one day set you financially free.
This month’s top tip by Rod Drury
Create a vision that gives your business a reason for being.
A vision is a common purpose, a reason for being. Your vision is not what you do, it’s the reason your business exists and how it makes a difference.
Xero is a fast growing company. We’ve hired 200-plus people in five years and are expecting to double this again over the next several years. For us it is critical to have a common purpose that current and new staff can align to.
Our vision is ‘to make small businesses more productive’ – that’s what we exist to do. New Zealand’s small businesses make up $50 billion of our GDP. If we can make a five percent difference that adds $2.5 billion to our economy which in turn creates better schools and hospitals, making better lives for people.
Our team has a vision that is something they can feel good about and is purposeful. As we grow quickly we have something strong that unifies people, that’s about more than making money. From a CEO point of view your role is to keep focus on the vision to drive the business forward.
Get great people around you, people who can execute the vision with excellence.
Ultimately your company vision is what unites your people around a common purpose that goes beyond the money. It’s about doing something you love and wanting to change the world.
Rod Drury is co-founder and CEO of Xero (www.xero.com). With over 250,000 subscribers in 100 countries, Xero has revolutionised small business accounting making it easier for small business owners to manage their accounts online.