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Developing a Vision for Your Business

Futurpreneur | June 12, 2015

Photo credit: cleantechsg.com

Before you set out to develop a vision for your business, it is important to understand why you want to start your business in the first place. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Why are you choosing the industry that you have chosen? Why did you decide on a specific service or product offering? Starting with the understanding of why you are in business will allow you to clearly communicate your company’s story and help you develop your vision.

Start With Why

In the words of Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe.” Understanding the “why” prior to writing your vision will help you clarify your overall picture that doesn’t yet exist. Having a clear purpose will also make you feel excited when you are writing your vision, which is essential when you’re trying to clearly visualize the future of your company and inspire your stakeholders (employees, clients, investors, etc.).

Get out of your house or your office

The last place you want to be is in your house or in your office when writing your vision. You want to think outside of the box (pun intended) to allow your creative juices to start flowing without the distractions of your day to day life or business. Removing yourself from these distractions will allow you to think 3, 5, and 20 years ahead without all of the mental blocks and barriers that are trying to say, “you can’t do it.” You can do it, because now more than ever, we are in a society of endless opportunity where we can leverage smarter people, smarter technology, and smarter governments to help support us on our entrepreneurial journey.

Forget about how you will implement your vision

Make your vision as large as you can imagine and work backwards from there. From a business model perspective, chances are you started your business because you either want to capitalize on a first-in advantage or you want to offer an improved product or service in comparison to the competition. Regardless of your model, your vision must clearly explain where you want to be in the future with little to no explanation as to how you want to get there.

As a general rule of thumb, I like to break it down as follows:

  • 5-20 years out: a few paragraphs explaining what your vision for your company is in 5, 10, and 20 years. This can be used as a guideline to keep you on track when making strategic decisions.
  • 3 years out: this will vary by the industry, but you should write your thoughts down on what your company looks like in three years. Consider asking yourself these questions:
    – What are your core values?
    – Do we have an office? What does it look like?
    – What positions have been hired for in the company?
    – How much revenue are you doing?
    – How much of that is profit?
    – Who are our ideal clients?
    – What territories are we operating in? If your business is online, what is the scope of the distribution online?- – What awards have you won?
    – How much money do you have in the bank?

Try to break it down using the different business areas in your company including leadership, operations, human resources, money, and sales/marketing. This will give you a sense of vision for all areas of business, and not just the exciting opportunities or areas that you as an entrepreneur specialize in.

Don’t be afraid to share your vision

Never be afraid to share your vision. At 505-Junk, we encourage our employees to talk about our vision with their friends and family to build excitement around the brand. Print your vision, share it with everybody, and you will be surprised at how inspired people are to help you fulfill that vision. Give the stakeholders in your company something to talk about so they start selling your brand for you. Leverage the internet by capitalizing on great platforms on social media so people can start the discussion without you having to be around. Build the excitement and let the people do the talking!

Written by: Barry Harman, Co-Founder & CEO, 505-Junk