This is step 2 in a series about how to develop a Strategic Vision Board for your business.
In this post, I discuss why building strong relationships is important in strategic planning and how to identify your Ideal Customers.
Do you have trouble visualizing abstract ideas like “goals,” “vision,” and “strategy”?
If so, the Strategic Vision Board can help. It uses the Feng Shui concept of the Magic Square (also known as the Bagua Map) as a framework to define a clear strategic vision.
In this post, we’ll discuss the second step in the 9-square process, Relationships.
I will be explaining:
- the Main Concept,
- the corresponding Color,
- a natural Element,
- the Season,
- suggested Essential Oils,
- a Focus Area,
- its Purpose,
- the main Goal,
- some Keywords,
- a Main Question,
- Practical Applications to get you started, and
- some Real-Life Examples.
Square 2: Relationships
This is the top-right square, Relationships (also called “Love” and “Family”).
Feng Shui number
The number assigned to this square is: 2
Keep in mind that this number is designed to be used in conjunction with the other squares in a row or column. When added together, any 3 numbers on a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal will add up to the number fifteen. For example, 4 (Abundance) + 5 (Center) + 6 (Journey) = 15.
Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, and Sandalwood
Watch my free 9-video series about how to use these essential oils in your strategic vision board!
Connect with others more deeply
Home, Partnerships, Employee Engagement, Customer Satisfaction
“Which connections should we improve?”
Here are 3 ideas for how you can enhance Relationships in your business including how to recognize Ideal Customers, develop a Customer Avatar, and create Healthy Feedback Loops.
Evaluate your Ideal Customers
This is an individual who:
- arrives to appointments on time
- is upfront about her/his symptoms and concerns
- respects your policies and procedures
- pays you without complaint
- responds well to services or treatment
- is a pleasure to serve, and
- agrees with your philosophy and beliefs.
Create a Customer Avatar
Once you know who you’d like to serve, think about the attributes and characteristics they have in common. Then develop a composite that includes:
- Demographics (age, gender, relationship status, children, income, education level, political views, financial status)
- Work roles (owner, director, manager, employee, specialist, or stay-at-home parent; work status, job title, employment status, and responsibilities; industry and sector)
- Psychographics (hobbies, interests, values, personality type, learning style)
- Media (most frequent and/or effective way to receive information, favorite books, TV shows, magazines, websites, news sources, social media sites)
- Goals (what success looks like; ultimate dream; desired end results such as financial stability, wealth, generosity, luxury, freedom, recognition, comfort, etc.)
- Pain points (top 3 barriers standing in the way of success; what keeps her/him up at night)
- Fears (Worst thing that could happen; what results they’re not seeing; potential dangers)
- Objections (top 3 reasons they may not buy from you; expectations and needs)
Define Healthy Feedback Loops
The most effective way to generate high-value ideas is to use a 5-step system:
- Empathetic Leaders. Experience the pain of those you serve (especially your Foundational Staff).
- Non-Retaliatory Culture. Make sure you welcome ideas, even if they are not pelasant to hear. Intimidation is never a proper response.
- Structured Feedback Mechanism. Consider how your feedback is collected. Make sure you are monitoring and testing them regularly.
- Analytic Framework. Decide how you will analyze and evaluate the thoughts and experiences being collected.
- Visible Follow-Through. In order to make lasting change, make sure you are communicating the decision and monitoring the new process.
Consider the close relationships, friendships, and emotional support system you need to run as successful business.
Example 1: Onboarding Process
One of my clients was getting ready to hire an office manager, since her current one was leaving for another opportunity. As part of the strategic review of her business, I helped her to consider the Onboarding steps to introduce a new hire into her company culture. During her interviews, she took extra time to find out about the potential hire’s personality type and strengths. Once she found a great candidate and offered her the position with a scheduled start date, the business owner also established some boundaries and a clear training process to introduce her new hire into the culture and processes of the company.
Example 2: Honesty is the Best Policy
If you had the choice between hearing the truth about why your employees (or clients) are leaving, and remaining blissfully unaware… which would you choose?
Although it may be easier to ignore the facts, I find that the most successful and financially stable businesses are run by owners who are not afraid to hear the truth about what is really going wrong. The truth can hurt; but if you are willing to hear it and committed to making adjustments, the results will be well worth it.
Here are some questions to ask as you consider building stronger relationships with your stakeholders:
- How would your staff describe your company if they were totally honest?
- What do customers say when they decide to stop using your services?
- How do you handle negative feedback—with empathy and curiosity, or with aggression and defensiveness?
In the next installment, I will explain the significance of the 3rd square: Center.
Are you a business owner who feels frustrated about planning for the future?
Schedule a free 30-minute call so we can discuss ways you can regain control.
Grace LaConte is a Strategic Risk Expert who helps service business owners find and fix organizational vulnerabilities. Using her experience as a Risk Officer in the healthcare and technology fields, Grace shares a refreshingly honest approach to uncovering hidden risks and opportunities. Learn more at http://laconteconsulting.com, or connect with her on Twitter @lacontestrategy.