When you are about to start up or restructure your business it is important to develop a concrete vision. The latter is the representation of a future scenario, that is a guide that allows you to indicate the route to lead all the employees of the company to achieve the set objectives.
Defines the area of intervention
Narrow the field. Before developing the vision, you should define the scope in which you intend to operate.
When developing a vision, you should usually formulate it based on the mission and objectives of the company as a whole.
On the other hand, you could also focus your vision on certain departments or portions of your company.
If by chance you are hoping to expand the business to other sectors, for example, you can develop a vision for your company in its current form or in its final ideal form.
Establish a deadline, which you think you can respect. Usually most of the visions cover a period of one to ten years, but more frequently five years.
Try to extend your vision just beyond your company’s current issues and interests.
You should still be able to visualize or imagine how this can get to the point your vision predicts.
List the current results. Set the tone for your brainstorming session by thinking about all the positives currently connected to your business.
Think about the kind of work to be done and quickly prepare a list of personal and professional achievements related to the business.
Don’t spend more than ten minutes on this task. Your list doesn’t have to be large, it just needs to focus on the positives rather than the obstacles.
Write a First Draft
Consider the key questions. Set aside at least thirty minutes to honestly ask yourself what you want your business to accomplish. There are a few basic questions you will need to consider, and your first draft should answer each of them as clearly as possible:
What should your company look like? What is its size, what does it do and what feature is it famous for? What will have to happen in your company on a daily basis? Why should everyone care about your company’s work?
What parameters will you adopt to evaluate the success of your company? How important is profitability compared to other aspects such as customer satisfaction?
What should your employees think about their jobs? How would you like them to view the company? What do you want to achieve in your company, as its founder?
What decisive role will you play as a leader in the daily functions of the company?
What kind of people will you have to hire and what role will each of them have to play?
Dream big and let your instincts guide you. Create a captivating vision. You need to set goals that are worth writing about; otherwise it wouldn’t make much sense to write a vision.
Think of it this way: if you are not excited (and perhaps even a little worried) in this first phase, it will be almost impossible to find the right stimuli as you work and struggle to realize your vision.
For your first draft, trust your instincts and write straight away. Don’t worry about what doesn’t seem realistic to you and what others will think. If you censor yourself now, you will set yourself unambitious goals.
Imagine the future. Instead of simply thinking about how you would like things to be, pretend to be your future, rethinking your company’s achievements and current position.
Project yourself ahead of five years (or the period set for your vision) and try to imagine your business in that period by wondering what it will look like.
Thinking this way can help you focus your vision. Your dreams may still be ambitious, but consistent with your current position. If you can really imagine your business in a certain way instead of just hoping it will turn out to be the way you want it, your goal will probably come true.
Don’t just think about yourself. If you want your business to thrive, you need to be sure that others outside your company perceive its value. This means going beyond your interests.
Your business will have to solve real problems and face real obstacles. If she fails to do so, it won’t impact the lives of others, and your clients won’t have much interest in helping you support her.
Weave your personal passions into the draft. As the creator of your business, it is natural for your personal goals to mix with professional ones. Some of them may undergo changes in the review phase, but for now, enter any that seem suitable for your company’s vision.
The key is to focus on your personal goals related to your professional life, as they will surely have an impact on your way of doing business. For example, if you plan to retire early, to devote yourself to your family or to pursue other goals, you can include that milestone in your draft.
Personal goals that have no connection with your business should be discarded. For example, the goal of losing weight probably wouldn’t have much to do with business practices, so it wouldn’t have a place in a vision for your business.
Remember your values. Be honest and specific about the moral principles you believe in in private and professional life. If your company transgressed them, you would not be able to have any enthusiasm for the vision you have built for yourself.
These could include both external values, such as a desire to play an active role in your community, and internal values, such as a commitment to fair and honest business practices.
Write quickly. You might think that mulling over the first draft for several days would make a better vision, but that’s not always the case.
Ideally you should spend 15 to 45 minutes putting your ideas down, resisting the urge to revise them.
Don’t think too long about what you imagine, but just write the ideas as they come to mind.
Refine Your Vision
Review the first draft. Set it aside for two or three days and take it back after you have a better idea.
Don’t cross out any sections of the first draft that seem too ambitious or unattainable, because when your initial anxiety subsides, you may realize that your idea wasn’t all that unlikely after all.
As you read, consider whether the vision fits your business. Ask yourself what are the parts that make you particularly excited and which ones scare you. Pay attention to your emotional and intellectual reactions to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current draft.
Be realistic. The review phase involves applying a greater dose of realism to your vision. This does not mean reducing the size and scope of your dreams, but focusing your vision on achievable dreams.
Choose vague statements like “We’re busier than ever” and try to make them more specific and concrete. Define your success based on future sales projections or a similar system.
Develop the steps required to achieve each end goal. If you can’t imagine the steps, the goal may be unachievable – at least not for now.
Review and rewrite. Once you’ve identified the strengths and weaknesses of the original draft, it’s time to start formulating a second draft. This version of your vision will need to be more concise and detailed than the first.
Start from scratch by writing on a text document or sheet of paper, instead of editing the original draft. That way, you can always revert to the latter if the tone of the second draft seems inadequate.
You will likely have to write more than one review before defining the company vision as accurately as possible. But avoid getting stuck at this stage. After you’ve written your fifth draft, you should be convinced to move on to the next step, even if your vision doesn’t seem perfect.
Ask for external input. It is usually best to ask for advice from someone you trust to help you perfect the final version of your vision, as the ideas may make logical sense in your mind, but not in others.
Benefit from the support of professionals, mentors, financial partners and experienced colleagues. Anyone who is trustworthy and has experience or knowledge related to your company’s business could be a useful resource.
Ask for a general contribution, without fossilizing yourself on certain parts of your vision, in order to obtain more useful advice.
Keep an open mind and consider the suggestions of others, but remember that you don’t have to change your vision, after all.
Share the vision with the audience it is aimed at. Once you’ve perfected your vision, pass it on to those who will help you implement it.
Be prepared for questions. A vision does not describe how to achieve certain goals, so address questions and concerns as accurately as possible, but don’t fret if you don’t have all the answers yet.
Make sure everyone who will play a vital role in implementing your vision agrees with it. If they are oriented towards a different vision, the company may not achieve the set goals.