Skip to main content
Join Now

< Back to All

Eight questions to help you get a grip on your business and grow

April 13, 2018

By Marisa Smith

Every January I hear from business owners who were disappointed by their entrepreneurial experience in the previous year. The complaints I hear are similar—there’s not enough profit, their customers are driving them crazy, their employees don’t understand or follow through or they can’t seem to break through to the next level. What everyone has in common is a feeling that their business is controlling them, instead of the other way around. Put simply, they’re not getting what they want from their businesses.

As a Professional EOS Implementer, I help entrepreneurs and leadership teams to clarify, simplify and achieve their vision using the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. Created by a Detroit entrepreneur named Gino Wickman, EOS® is a simple set of practical tools that is used by tens of thousands of companies worldwide to get more of what they want from their businesses.

Answer These Eight Questions to Clarify Your Company Vision
The first step to getting what you want from your business is to get clear about what you want. One of the foundational tools of EOS®, the Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO), is designed to help your leadership team get on the same page about where the company is going and what the plan is to get there. This two page tool is used to document the answers to eight key questions, forming the foundation of your company’s vision and a plan to achieve it:

1. What are Your Core Values?

Define the characteristics everyone in your company must share in order to build the culture you want. Once these are defined, you’ll use these values to hire, fire, reward and recognize your people, eventually getting all of the right people in the right seats to help you achieve your vision.

2. What is Your Core Focus™?
Many companies try to do too many things and end up spread too thin with mediocre results and burned out employees. Identifying your Core Focus™—your “why” and your “what”—will enable you to make better decisions, stay laser-focused and help you avoid “shiny stuff.”

3. What is Your 10-Year Target™?
Your 10-Year Target™ is your big goal—the thing that gets everyone excited about the future, even if you’re not quite sure how you’re going to achieve it. Agreeing on this target will help get everyone rowing in the same direction and will assist with short-term planning to help you hit your target.

4. What is Your Marketing Strategy?
Once you know who you are, why your company exists and where you’re going, you’ll need to focus your sales and marketing energy on attracting customers who will help you achieve your vision. Defining your Marketing Strategy helps you identify your Target Market and clarify the messaging that resonates with these buyers.

5. What is Your 3-Year Picture™?
The 3-Year Picture™ helps your leadership team visualize what you want your company to look like in three short years. As you look three years into the future, agree on revenue, profit and other measurable goals along with 10 to 12 key points that define a shared vision for the future.

6. What is Your 1-Year Plan?
With the 3-Year Picture™ clear, you’ll be able to do better short-term planning. Looking to the end of the year, agree on your annual revenue and profit targets, then select three to seven goals that must be completed by the end of the year to help you make progress toward achieving your long-term vision.

7. What are Your quarterly Rocks?
Companies running on EOS® use the term “Rocks” to describe their quarterly priorities—the most important things that must get done in the next ninety days. Focusing on three to seven Rocks each quarter will help your team accomplish more and will enable you to make incremental progress toward your long-term vision.

8. What are Your Issues?
Finally, spend some time thinking about all of the obstacles and barriers standing in the way of achieving your vision. Put them all on the issues list. Then identify any ideas that you’d like to pursue someday and add them to the issues list. Come back to this list each quarter and use the list as a starting point when you’re selecting your Rocks for the upcoming quarter.

Agreeing on What You Want is the First Step to Getting It
In most companies, the issue is not that there isn’t a vision. It’s that there’s a lack of agreement on what the vision is. If everyone is seeing something different, you’re likely to experience a lot of friction and wasted energy as your team goes in different directions. Spending the time to get everyone to agree on the direction of the company can feel like a big investment in the short-term, but it saves an incredible amount of time and energy in the long-term.

Marisa Smith is an experienced entrepreneur with a passion for helping leaders learn how to run their businesses, build healthy teams, drive growth and live a balanced life. Using the EOS® process and tools, Marisa helps entrepreneurial leaders clarify their vision, become more disciplined and accountable and create healthy and cohesive teams.

To learn more about the Entrepreneurial Operating System, access free EOS® tools and request a free 90-Minute Overview of EOS® for your team, please visit

Share On: