Are your sticking to your vision for your company? Or maybe the real question is, do you even have a vision?
When I first bought Real Property Tax Advisors in 2002, I didn’t have a vision. It was my first company acquisition and I was just excited to be a business owner. Never mind the fact that that I had no idea what RPTA did, much less how we did it! I was ready to get started and make my mark on the company.
Developing A Vision Statement The Wrong Way
The idea of having a “vision” was tossed around back in the early 2000s. People were encouraged to write down their visions and mission statements. But back then, a vision seemed like a touchy–feely, intangible thing with little value.
I thought it was one of those things that a business owner did to check the box. I dutifully spent 10 minutes composing my vision and it sat on the shelf, never to be referred to again. I know I was not alone in my approach.
For the next few years, I was the enthusiastic entrepreneur, ready to do business with anyone and everyone who crossed my path. We were creating services left and right, based on demand. While many of these services are core to our model today, there were a few that served only the passing needs of one or two clients.
We responded to every single RFP without regard to the cost – dollars or man–hours – and I talked to anyone who would listen. In spite of this entrepreneurial buckshot approach, we were successful and learned a lot about the industry, our company, our clients and ourselves.
Learning How To Use Our Vision Statement The Right Way
Several years ago, I had the time to take stock of everything. The real estate market was flat for the first time in recent history, and there were limited opportunities to appeal assessments. Everything started to change: our industry, our competition and our clients. Many of our competitors did not survive. All of our clients changed their business models to ensure their survival, just as we did. For the first time, I felt a sense of urgency to map out a way forward for RPTA.
I began to analyze every aspect of our company to see which direction we needed to go. I ran report after report, figuring out our year-over-year key performance indicators, our most profitable clients, our diversity of clients, our most profitable services, our average success rate for appeals filed and our average tax savings. I figured out how many square feet of assets we were contracted to manage annually, and then separated our clients as investors or corporate owners and identified who had hired us.
My “aha” moment was the realization that our vision had been defined for us by our work, our success and our clients. I just had to verbalize it and stick to it. It actually took a while to get it right, but now this statement guides our work every day:
Real Property Tax Advisors helps companies manage and control the risk of owning commercial real estate, machinery and equipment that are part of operating their businesses.
Everything that we want to do at RPTA must fit squarely within our vision. Our platform, processes and procedures, communications, marketing and sales are directed by our vision. We have learned that we have to say “no” sometimes in order to be true to our mission vision and continue our growth and success.
So let me ask again – do you have a vision for your company? And if so, do you stick to it?
Learn more about how RPTA uses its vision to secure tax savings for our clients. Schedule a free consultation now