Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Startups Need a Strong Vision

 Thanks to the GPS we never have to get lost again. All we need to do is plug an address into our phone or car’s navigation system and we can make it to our destination easily. We even get alternate routes to avoid heavy traffic!

Can you imagine going to some new destination in an unfamiliar part of town without directions? Now try to imagine a starting your business without any direction. You wouldn’t know what goals to aim for, when you reach your target or where you see your business in the coming years.

That’s not a good way to start any endeavour.

However, if you can create a well thought out vision for your business, you’ll be able to build upon and execute that vision towards success. Without it, you could quickly get lost.

Dream Big

A startup’s vision is your chance to dream big. The single store you’re opening today could become a major franchise down the road.

That is part of your vision. Will you know how to achieve that goal?

You will when you set forth a specific set of benchmarks to reach in the coming months and years. Your vision is as much about the future as it is about the day-to-day operation. Don’t hesitate to dream big.

Try this simple exercise: In five years, where do you see your company?

The answer to that question is what your vision is all about. Do you think you could achieve that goal without first understanding what it is?

Make the Commitment

The vision for your company isn’t just about those lofty ideas and grand schemes. There has to be a practical aspect to this as well. Your vision needs to have elements of a concrete plan included.

You don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty details of your operation, but you should know the answers to these questions:

·         When is it the right time to rent commercial space?

·         How do you measure the success of a marketing campaign?

·         What is your profit margin for each of your products or services?

·         How many employees do you need to hire and how much are they worth?

Those are tangible aspects of your vision that can be put into action once you make the commitment to do so. Just because you want to bake a cake for the very first time doesn’t mean you can unless you have a recipe to follow.  

Put It in Writing

When you craft a vision for your business you should always put it in writing.

This makes it real.

The best approach to creating a vision for your business is to imagine handing off what you’ve written to a total stranger. Could they follow your plan without asking any questions? That’s how thorough your vision should be.

It will give you the best chance at starting on the right foot.