The stage is set; it’s the 1920’s there are budding companies that haven’t embarked on the road to glory yet but have a vague vision on where they aim to be. Anyone who made an investment of even one dollar in any of these companies would outdo the Wall Street with a 50: 1 ratio by the mid-90’s, courtesy the brilliant vision that the company’s forefathers have laid out. That’s how magnanimous an impact that a strong vision can make to a company.
Why does your company need a vision?
Moving forward with your business without a vision is as good as asking for directions without specifying the destination. However, a clear-cut vision can help in propelling your business forward so you know the direction that you’re headed in despite the setbacks. Setting a vision for your company’s future is a blend of what you aim to achieve professionally and personally through your company, in the years to follow. It isn’t uncommon to find yourself at a loss as to where your company is headed when uncertainty lurks in the backdrop and you hit a bump every now and then.
“Moving forward with your business without a vision is as good as asking for directions without specifying the destination.”
Being pre-occupied by the minute details and intricacies of running a company can often leave little time to plan out a vision, but understand that this is essential to steer your company in the right direction.
How to envision your vision?
Ideally, your company’s vision should energize, excite and scare you, all at once. While outsiders may label your vision as nearly impossible, persistent belief, efforts and shrewd manoeuvring can transform your vision into a reality. A good way to start out developing a vision for your company’s future is by asking yourself some simple questions like :
- How is your company faring in the market at present?
- How do you want your company to shape up in the next “n” years?
- What are the product/service lines that are currently excelling?
- Which of your products/services could you be leveraging to create the company you had envisioned when you started out?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of your company’s vision.
Building the vision
Remember the big dreams that you thought of when you started off your business? Well stick to that thought while laying out your business’s vision for the future. Ask yourself what is the purpose of your business. Is it to make avante-garde innovations, put to stop an existing issue, or make people’s lives easier. How do you plan on changing the universe? Start out by envisioning what products/ services that you’d want to lay out in the market in the future. These could be services that you are already offering that are performing relatively well in the market, or other lines that you plan on spreading out to as a part of you expansion plans. Lay out goals both for the immediate future and the long-term on who you’d want to target as your business’s clients and customers. Another crucial question that you’d want to ask yourself is where do you ultimately see your company, do you expect it grow further and further or plan on selling it once it lands on a steady footing and you’ve made enough profits?
While the vision’s been abstract for the most part up until this point, you should also be looking at setting tangible goals. Financially, how much sales or revenue do you expect to target in the next few years. How about the net margins and gross margins? The vision should also focus on the employees who are the foundation of the company. What type of culture do you expect your business to propagate? This includes the attitude, skill-set and attributes that you’d want your company and its employees to be identified with. This can also shed some light on corporate norms or guidelines that you should enforce to help your business achieve the envisioned culture.
Executing your vision
It’s always good to get your think-tank (trusted advisers or mentors) on board when you’re working out the vision. This way, you can plan out a well-rounded vision that addresses your concerns and dreams realistically. Once you have a feasible vision in hand, you can begin to address the implementation aspects. Set out strategies and performance goals that help in facilitating and checking if your company’s operations are in line with your aspirations.
Understand that a vision is merely acting as a pathway for you, to start out at your aspirations and emerge at its successful end. Constantly reviewing your goals to not deviate and accommodating processes and guidelines to back your ultimate vision can drive more momentum into it. Also, you will have to revisit your vision and the corresponding strategies from time to time. This is especially true if your vision’s set for a five year period or more, during which you are bound to see changes in the market, your product line and aspirations as well. Tweak the vision as and when required so it isn’t incoherent with the your business’s current functionality or purpose, and doesn’t turn rusty either.