So, how do you build an industry-dominating business that has sustainable top line revenue with responsible margins and customers beating down your door? It all starts with defining your company's identity through your beliefs, core values, purpose, and BHAG. Your identity is the foundation that you will build the rest of your company on. Every decision you make revolves around this foundation. These decisions include who we hire, what products we sell and how we treat each other, our stakeholders, our customers, and our vendors. This is the beginning foundation of an industry-dominating business strategy.
Finding Your Company's Identity
If you haven't created a solid foundation for your company's identity, I would recommend gathering your senior leadership team (if it’s just you and another person that is fine) to really give each one of these thought. Nailing these four items will only put you ahead of the curve. If you would like to learn more about strategy, I recommend reading Verne Harnish’s book called Scaling Up. Scaling Up should be a required read for all business owners or business people.
It all starts with your belief system. Our belief at VoIP Innovations is to build a company of tremendous value with the end goal being to help others of less fortune in the Pittsburgh area. We truly love to help others and this is demonstrated through our products and services. When we first asked ourselves what our belief system was, everyone wanted to make a difference and help the less fortunate. Remember, your belief system is something that is inherently you, it’s not something you want it to be. I challenge you to dig deep and find your inner beliefs.
Your core values are the next item to put down on paper. Again, your values are who you are, not someone you want to be. It took our team 6 months to finally hammer out our core values that truly reflect who we are.
Our core values spell out C.O.R.E. The “C” stands for Cultivate, which means to encourage and support a healthy life-balance. The “O” stands for Overcome, which means to combine passion and perseverance to achieve success. The “R” stands for Respect, which means to earn mutual trust and reliability. The “E” stands for Evolve, which means to embrace the ability to adapt and innovate.
Next is your purpose, also referred to as your vision. Ask yourself, what is our vision? This question is aspirational. What do we want to become. Just as young people ask this question upon choosing a career, organizations need to do the same. Vision emerges from the sense of purpose. It forms the why, but it also embraces the future as in “to become” the best, the most noted, the highest quality, or the most trusted.
True purpose does not exist in a vacuum. It must be put to good use. Leaders communicate it as a means to fulfilling the vision, mission, and values. It also points people in the right direction so they can achieve results for the organization, for the team, and for themselves. Our purpose at VoIP Innovations is to “provide choice, automation, and control; saving customer's time”.
Setting the Long Term Goal
Lastly, you have your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Yes, this is a real business term. Think of this goal as your North Star, your guiding light to where you want to go. Allow your company to be identified by your BHAG and keep it in mind when making strategic decisions.
The BHAG should be your 10-25 year goal and should be something so audacious that you say, “we couldn’t do that...well, maybe we could”. My favorite is Microsoft's BHAG back when computers weren’t everywhere. Bill Gates said he wanted to have a computer on every desk in every home. Think about how crazy that must have sounded back then but I would say Microsoft accomplished this BHAG.
Now that you have given your company an identity by defining your company’s beliefs, purpose, core values, and BHAG, you can now move forward in completing a focused, industry-dominating business strategy. In our previous Top 10 blog post, we touched upon other elements of creating your business strategy, so be sure to read that as well. Thank you for reading! Feel free to subscribe to our blog and leave your comments below!