As entrepreneurs, we sometimes lose sight of our purpose and direction as we become more embedded in the daily tasks of keeping our business going. The danger in this is that we can easily get off course and start to wander in directions that do nothing to move our company forward. For this reason, we should stop and take time to discover our “true north.”
The true north of your business is the absolute heart of what you do. It is the purpose and reason behind why you started the company in the first place. Sit down and think back to when that first inkling of a business idea popped into your mind. What did you want to accomplish with this business? Once you have that in mind, picture your business as it is today. Do you see and feel those core values shining through? Are you still heading in the right direction to meet your goals?
If the answer is no, then it is probably time to sit down and rediscover your company’s true north. That is the first step in creating the best course for your business. Here is what you can do to start uncovering your true north:
Write it down
Just like when you wrote out your mission and vision statements all that time ago, you want to write down your true north statements. Write down a clear and simple statement that identifies your main objective for this business.
Get your team aligned
Make sure that all of the key members of your team understand what the true north is for your business so that everyone is on the same page as you move forward.
Make an honest assessment
Take a good, hard look at the things you have achieved since the business started. Does it follow the course of your true north? What has stood in the way? What has helped you stay on course?
Talk about it
Every person who has a role in your company should be able to tell anyone who asks what the true north of your company is. Having it ingrained in their thoughts means that they will carry it with them throughout their workday and keep it in mind as they work on tasks that help drive them to that true north.
Keep everyone in the loop
Each decision that gets made that impacts the way true north is achieved needs to be communicated throughout your organization. Keeping your team informed means they can make the best decisions on how they need to perform in order to keep on course.
Walk the floor
You are the leader of the brand and it is up to you to take an active role in your company. Do not be content to get information through the grapevine. Get in the store, be present and do your own assessment of how things are going in your business. Take note of areas that need improvement and also what things are doing really well in displaying all the value that you want your company to provide.
Keeping your business on course is not something that can be done on autopilot. There is always something that needs to be tweaked and adjusted in order to follow the course of your authentic brand from one port to the next. Defining your true north means that you find ways to ensure that all of the values that make your company what it is shine through in everything you do and through all of the members of your team. It is apparent in your products, your customer service, your marketing. Do not be content to let things drift along. Instead, get your paddle out and make sure you are guiding your team down the right course and follow your true north.
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