“The year is 2015…we have 25 publishing clients, spread over a dozen countries, each making a minimum of $250,000 in gross revenue per year…with some clients doing over $3 million gross revenue. Our clients are like family, not only to us but also to each other…”
That’s the first paragraph of my vision for a new company. The full vision is below, and I only needed about 20 minutes to write it. I’ll show you how to do the same for your business in a few easy steps.
But first, I have to thank Ari Weinzweig for his article in the recent “Inc. Magazine” (page 85) that inspired this vision and blog post. Ari laid out 8 steps to creating your vision, but I cut it down by a few steps.
Why do you need a vision in the first place?
Because as Ari wrote, “You must have a vision before you start strategic planning.”
After all, you can’t give directions without a destination, right?
By creating a vision for your business, you create a destination. And not only that, but if you have a Vision AND Core Values, you have everything you need for an Employee Handbook in just 1-2 pages.
You really won’t need a 120-page binder full of lawyer-speak if you have a clear vision and a concise set of core values. These will help you make the right decisions, the important decisions.
Now don’t worry, it’s fairly easy to write a vision thanks to a big list of questions that Ari shared with in that article. And you don’t have to limit your vision-writing to just your business.
You can envision your family, a charity you run, or even how your slowpitch season to go. Apply visioning to anything you want. As Ari notes in that must-read article, it’s amazing how close reality will get to your vision if you stick to it.
But first, let’s go over the 3 steps for creating your vision.
Step #1 – Pick a time frame
It could be 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years, but Ari recommends 5.
Step #2 – Use the question below to help you write a first draft
Do NOT reject any ideas. Instead, come up with a Big Hairy Audacious Vision (a BHAV), and be as clear, concise, and specific as possible.
Ari also recommends that you write from the future, as though you had already achieved your vision (see my example below).
Step #3 Get feedback, re-write, and then share
Share your vision with those who will implement it — and then move on to the next step, which is the “how” of strategic planning that will lay the path for helping you reach that vision.
Sound fair enough?
Now here are those questions you’ll need to answer (remember to answer them from the point in the future when your vision has been reached):
What does your organization look like?
How big is your organization?
What is your organization famous for?
How do you measure success? (Be specific)
Why does anyone care about what you do?
What do you refuse to do?
How do people who work here feel about their jobs?
What is your Mission and Movement?
How do you, the founder, feel about the business?
What are the 3 most important things you offer your clients?
What’s your role in the business?
How do you find prospects?
What kind of people will you need to hire? (skills, attitudes)
What are everyday tasks?
What do employees, clients, community, and peers say about your biz?
Set aside 30 minutes when you are most creative, lock the door, avoid all distractions, and put it out there.
Here’s what I came up with last week for my new business:
The year is 2015…we have 25 publishing clients, spread over a dozen countries, each making a minimum of $250,000 in gross revenue per year…with some clients doing over $3 million gross revenue.
Our clients are like family, not only to us but also to each other. They act as one giant Mastermind, sharing ideas and resources, but rely on our business to Take Care of Business.
We meet as a giant Mastermind group once each year, and have 2 regional meetings once per year as well.
Our mission is to help 50 entrepreneurs achieve their American Dream of becoming self-made millionaires with their online business by helping them serve 1 million people by 2020.
Only 5 publishing clients are accepted each year, and in order to continue with our program, they must achieve $150,000 in gross revenue in their first 12 months.
Each one of our clients is going to be a superstar in their field, and that is one of the reasons they are chosen, plus that is how they are treated by our executive group and each one of our support staff and tech team.
Our business is first and foremost about making sure our superstar clients are given the resources they need to produce amazing products and services for their end user clients.
By serving our publishing clients this way, we ensure that they have extremely happy and satisfied fans.
As a unified front, our publishing company offers significantly greater opportunities through synergy than any one of our publishing clients could achieve on their own, even with personal coaching.
Being part of our publishing family offers our clients the opportunity to focus their efforts on their unique ability, rather than wasting precious time and effort on the technological hurdles that they hate.
Essentially, we allow our clients to be free from daily distractions so that they can devote their full time to content creation and progressing their Movement and Mission.
The job of my partners and myself is to be the “idea men” behind the marketing strategies and implementation to drive the business forward. We work with our team to implement the internet marketing tactics that drive traffic and lead to sales.
Again, all of this is done to keep our superstar clients free from the technological hassles and day-to-day marketing tasks that would otherwise consume their time and focus, and that causes most internet beginners to give up out of frustration.
We all focus on our unique abilities and strengths to create the synergy that builds everyone’s business faster than if anyone tried doing it on their own.
And through our connections of tech artists around the world, we are able to take their projects to the next level.
We provide our publishing clients with amazing web design and graphics, top-notch copywriting services, effective paid advertising systems, the latest in Search Engine Optimization techniques, email writing, administration and hosting of websites and email service provides, plus of course – Visioning!
Our employees and contractors that we hire to help our publishing clients are caring, self-reliant “action takers” who believe in the vision of each one of our clients and who also want to belong to a bigger movement and goal of helping millions of consumers change their lives for the better.
While our organization is remote-controlled from anywhere in the world, and almost all of our employees and contractors work via home offices and connect via skype, we do have a small central headquarters with essential support staff. Someone is always available for contact, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Yet our organization remains small and nimble, as we too work only on our unique abilities – creative – while outsourcing the rest to qualified artists around the world.
We are famous for taking care of everyone. Our clients, employees, and end-user customers rave about our customer service.
We measure success by:
– publishing client revenue (minimum $150,000 in first 12 months)
– publishing client profit (minimum 30% margin)
– publishing client satisfaction (net promoter score of 9.5/10)
– end-user satisfaction (product refund rate less than 5% and net promoter score of greater than 8.5/10)
Clients are attracted to our business because we offer to do what they can’t or don’t want to. We have a combined 20+ years experience in direct marketing, and bring our expertise and done-for-you methods to dramatically increase.
The 3 most important things we offer clients are…
1) Assurance that they will have world-class marketing to support their passion
2) All their technological headaches taken care of for them.
3) More money than they could make on their own.
But we ONLY accept clients who we believe in and who have a powerful Mission and Movement that we believe must be shared with the world.
We only work with self-reliant, fast-starters who take immediate action on our directives.
We ensure a high-quality of publishing superstars through a slow and extensive intake process. We don’t accept clients just because they have the money it takes to invest in our program.
We find our prospects through our speaking, writing and word of mouth. In most cases, clients actually find us and apply, but we also identify potential clients and invite them to meet with us.
If applicants are not ready or appropriate, we thank them for their time and wish them the best…but we only accept clients who are a perfect fit for our business and vision.
Our peers say that our publishing system is the envy of every industry, because it is a guaranteed success story when we choose a new publishing client. Our superstar client intake system ensures that we never “dig a dry well.”
By using these standards, we ensure that we continue to make a difference at 3 levels directly – on the lives of our clients, their customers, and our employees.
Our employees and contractors love working for and with us, thanks to the effort we make at clear and concise communication.
We share our vision with our team. We don’t waste people’s time. We pay above industry norms, and offer performance incentives.
The end-user doesn’t necessarily know that our publishing team even exists, for we work in the background, making sure everything runs smoothly for our superstar clients.
We feel lucky we are able to help so many people directly and indirectly. We are dedicated to giving the next generation of entrepreneurs a shot at the same American Dream we have enjoyed.
It’s not perfect, but it captures our passion, goals, and mission, plus it gives us a dramatic destination to build a plan towards.
Your vision must really fire up your partners, colleagues, and employees – and even your clients. Put your passion into it.
I know you’ll get a lot out of this exercise.
To your vision,
“Don’t let people beat the passion out of you.” – John Williams