The First Thing in Business Plans


One of the challenges of being a Business Coach is that people approach us with a Tactical Mindset.  They want me to tell them what I would do for their business today.  I do have people hire me that way, but I consider that Consulting and it is almost always project work.  I perform a specific task or set of tasks for them for an agreed upon price.  There is nothing wrong with Consulting and there are cases where people should hire me as a Consultant.

Coaching is not Tactical.  Coaching is Strategic.  When I meet with people, I want to talk about Vision, Mission, and Values.  This is a hard conversation because they see the Tactical.  It is natural.  The thing is that the Business is a journey.  Without knowing where you want to end up, then it is really hard to know if you are headed in the right direction.  So when people ask me about Tactical work, I know they either have a really good handle on the Strategic or no handle on the Strategic.

The place I start to investigate this is via Vision.  When I ask for a Vision from many owners, I often get a Mission Statement and I have to back up to what a Vision actually is.  A Vision is a Destination in the Journey of the Business.  For ongoing businesses, this may be a Waypoint to the next Vision.  For other people, this defines the end of the Journey as they are exiting the Business.  Either way, it has a number of S.M.A.R.T. attributes. 

One of the ways that I find that this is a Mission statement is that what I am told that they are "The Best at Some Occupation".  That can be part of a Vision, but then we need to define how this will be measured and what other Parameters can be defined.  For example, maybe I could be "The Best Business Coach" by having a specific number of speaking engagements, a specific number of books sold, or a number of blog followers.  I could also use Revenue or Number of Customers or Customer Revenue Growth as potential Metrics. 

A more typical example of a Vision would include specific Revenue, Profitability or Business Valuation.  When Business Owners write down a Vision, this is not normally where they Start.  Once a Vision is defined, there is a lot more work to do.  However, with at least this much in place we can start looking at the Tactical Work and see if it makes sense it the current content.

Have a great day!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Leadership Training, Sales Training, Strategic Planning

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