It’s unlikely that you started your company by absorbing or inheriting a longstanding business. Companies are typically built from the bottom up by somebody with a vision and massive goals. As you begin to create your business, you just do the best with what you’ve got.

You’re most likely not beginning with an all-star team and it could be years until you reach that level. While you’re growing, you’re concentrating on all the ideas and strategies you should be tackling every day. You’re a jack of all trades — handling everything from administrative tasks to selling and support.

It will undoubtedly be easy to get lost in busy work as your revenue starts to grow. While this is often a typical path, it’s not necessarily the best way to build a business. There’s an important piece that’s skipped in the beginning, and for some, even years later. If you’re aiming to build a business that’s larger than just you, what you need is clarity.

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.

Greg Reid

The Big Picture

From day one, or even day 927, you have to understand what the vision and measurable goals are for your company. Where you are currently in your business is okay. However, that’s not the way you should be building. Another approach is to create a business consistent with where you’re headed — not where you are today.

Let’s say you own a small fincancial planning firm. You’re probably the one handling everything right now. But that’s not where you see this business headed. What you want is a large firm with a full staff, working with global companies.

Your branding, positioning, platform and the way you do business should reflect that. You shouldn’t be branding the company as yourself, with all of your marketing focused on how you can help clients. Consider branding as a firm now. The firm has a name, and you are the CEO of that firm. Your website, social media, and marketing should show that to the world.

No one sees what’s happening behind the scenes but they do see how you appear to the world. Branding and doing business as a firm would help you stand out and instantly appear more experienced. That, in turn, could lead to bigger clients and as a result, your business grows. When you present your company in this official capacity, others will view it as such. Everyone on the outside looking in takes their cues from you.

The Vision

The same principle applies to all types of companies. Build according to where you’re going. You might not be there with all the pieces in place yet but that shouldn’t stop you. There are adjustments you can make right now that present your business with the level of respect you feel it will be deserving of in the future.

We’re all so focused on the “right now” work. That’s a fine start but the goal is to move beyond where you are now. Get clear on your biggest goals and what the future company could look like. If you want your business to stay small with a couple people on staff, that’s okay, but go ahead and add that extra touch of professionalism. Make it seem larger than it is right now.

If the goal is something bigger than just you, structure your foundation to achieve that. You have to get clear on what you want for your life and your business. You should see where it’s all going.

If you’re not clear, make an effort in the coming days and weeks to gain some clarity. Write down those goals. Talk it through with a partner or closest confidants. Think about the high-end clients you want to land and the corporations that will hire you. Look at your competitors that are a few steps ahead in the process. Use it all to create a concrete vision of the future of your future business.

Then, start making those requisite changes to your foundation. The steps that might take your business from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation. Your business name might change from your name to something that scales, and establishes where you’re going.

Only you know what makes sense for where your company is headed. Don’t let your current situation get in the way of growth. Build your future now with some adjustments and a solid vision.