How do you know if you’ve done something right?
I have a friend who refuses to attempt a recipe from a cookbook that has no pictures.
“How will I know I did it right if I don’t have something to compare it to?”
Sure, she could taste it, but I understand her concern, especially when we’re talking about a complicated recipe that eats into your Saturday free time. A souffle, say, or homemade croissants.
If she’s going to invest the time and effort, she wants a vision of what she’s working towards. That gorgeous, glossy image of flaky pastries on a delicate china platter provides not only a basis of comparison but something to keep working towards when she’s a couple of hours in and beginning to question her initial exuberance over French delicacies.
Developing a business vision has the same impact.
At the outset of any entrepreneurial enterprise, there’s an air of excitement and possibility. No challenge seems insurmountable. All the stakeholders are gung-ho and ready to taste sweet success.
However, as any entrepreneur will attest, it doesn’t take long for aspirations to turn into hesitations, for day dreams to turn into pipe dreams, and for enthusiastic working weekends to turn into sheer exhaustion and even resentment.
Without a business vision, it’s easy to mistake hard work, weariness, and long hours for failure.
But with a business vision, you’ll see a clear path to success.
By crafting an achievable, clear business vision at the outset of an endeavor, business owners give all of the stakeholders a picture of what they’re working towards, which offers encouragement as well as insight into strategies.
Perhaps more importantly, an achievable, clear business vision translates to achievable, clear business goals. We get burned out because we convince ourselves that we have to accomplish everything at once rather than setting strategic goals based on an overall vision.
Business visioning provides entrepreneurs with benchmarks to work towards: how will this business be better in five years? how will it have grown in ten years? what will we have achieved in twenty years?
You’ve heard the old question: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Likewise, developing a plan with smaller goals that can be tracked and iterated will allow you to make more confident decisions and get the job done with less stress.