Start with a Vision

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Jack Welch

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.As the first step in your entrepreneurial venture, you need to have a vision. Plan what you think your business should be, starting with the end goal in mind, coupled with a healthy willingness to adapt as you learn about the realities of your market. This strategy will allow your business idea to effectively take shape.

The open ended question of “What should I do?” must be shaped with a clear idea of what you want to do, what the market wants from you, and how your business could be designed to fulfill your vision.

Close your eyes and imagine what life will be like when you are physically working in the business. Who will be doing each task? What specific products will be there? What kinds of customers will you serve? What will the typical operating processes be? How busy will you be? What supports will you be using to make everything work?

This initial vision is what you can use to put your plan into action. When youcall to find a location, to get an insurance quote, or to discover anything else required for an accurate plan, this guiding vision will allow you to get more definite and helpful information.

Start with a vision and then validate it. Assumptions can be dangerous. If you act on your own emotional attachment to your business idea, or a misguided belief that other consumers will care about your product as much as you do, you can set yourself up for failure. Use each step in your business planning process to validate your assumptions. You want to ensure that your clients care about what you are selling, that they are willing to pay the price you are asking, that they are willing to change from their current solution to the problem to your solution to the problem. You need to make sure that there aren’t so many competitors in the market that there isn’t space for you, and that the costs of each service, utility or other expense of taking your business to market are not underestimated.

The vision will evolve into a reality with every passing step. Use your vision to stay motivated. Then take the steps to turn that vision into a reality.

Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is here to help you work to make plans and take steps to succeed in your business ventures. For more information about our resources and services, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca, visit us online at www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, or in person at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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