By now you know how important it is to create your business goals, strategies and plans as the precursor to taking action. But there is something that comes before all that; it’s your business Vision.
Think of it as if you were going to create a painting or build a house. You would envision what the end result would look like. You’d know what you are going to create before you started. You’d think through the details. The same is true in building the business you want; one that will satisfy your needs and fulfill your dreams. So how do you get started with that?
Close Your Eyes and Imagine… Five years from now, what do you see? An expanding, bustling empire? A business just as small as the day you started it? Do you have hundreds of employees or just one? Have you already cashed out to lay on the beach, drink mai tais and reminisce about business ownership? Or are you actively working in the business either full time or part time? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you’re not ready to move past this part, so get creative. Let your mind wander, see yourself and your business as you would like to be. Consider the kinds of services or products you’ll be offering, who will be your customers, your work environment, the support services you will have, the bottom line profit you will make. You might even consider writing yourself a personal letter from the future (5 years from now) detailing all of your business successes. Or just write freely about your hopes and dreams with regard to this venture and see what comes out that you didn’t already know.
When All Else Fails…Use the Q & A method. Entrepreneur.com suggests asking yourself some straightforward questions if you’re still having trouble with your Vision. Questions such as:
- How much am I willing to sacrifice to see this succeed? My own money? Long work hours and no vacations? No income for possibly years?
- If this venture doesn’t work out, then what?
- What annual revenues do I expect this business to make?
- Will this serve a niche market or sell a broad range of products and services?
- If I decide to delegate responsibilities, which will remain mine and which will I share?
- Could I work with a partner or investors? How comfortable am I under authority?
- Do I want to keep this business in the family and private or do I want it to someday go public?
Test Your Idea Against Two Major Components
Financial: If your business makes no economic sense now, it likely never will. Put your idea against financial challenges such as whether or not ( and when) you expect to see a return on your investment, what the projected profits over time might be and if you can devote yourself wholly to this venture monetarily.
Lifestyle: Your business will require a big commitment from you, but if you feel comfortable once you’ve figured out the details, you’ll know what you’re in for. Consider where you’ll live, what might happen if you get sick, if you’ll earn enough to maintain your desired lifestyle and if your family is on board with your choice.
Don’t Waver! If you can make it past this envisioning phase, then you’ll also have tested your commitment (and passed!), so remember that when things feel overwhelming. Having a clear Vision of where you are going with your small business can exponentially improve your odds of success, so take one step at a time and stick with it. Don’t lose sight of your Vision.
Want professional guidance in creating a Vision with potential for success? In 30 minutes you will have a Vision that will motivate you and become the guiding light for your future success. Request your free 30 minutes here.
If you’re experiencing challenges in your business and not sure where your priorities should be, consider downloading the Business Challenges Checklist help you see where you need to focus now.