The New Business Plan Is A Business Vision Board To Keep You Motivated And Focused
To most of us, business plans are boring. Endless pages of black-and-white text, mind-numbing graphs, and stats we’ll never remember.
A traditional business plan has its place, trying to get that business loan for example, but most of the time it’s a binder full of pages we never look at again. So, if you don’t need a business plan to secure a bank loan, why waste time making one up in the first place?
Simple. They are helpful if we regularly refer to it. Of course, when it’s stuck in a binder, we typically just leave it stuck there – after all, you’re building a business and don’t have to time to read over your business plan.
The New Business Plan That Isn’t A Business Plan
Let’s adjust our perspective for a moment. We need a business plan to use to keep us on track. It’s part motivation and part strategy to ensure we don’t lose sight of the goals.
Why not make this motivation and encouraging plan that we need for strategic purposes something interesting? Instead of a boring binder, imagine a business plan vision board full of color and inspiration. Now that sounds motivating.
I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t create one of those boring business plans as well. You probably should, particularly if you plan on seeking any investment capital to help grow your business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also create an encouraging and poignant business plan vision board you can glance at regularly to keep you motivated and focused.
Most of the items on your business vision board have no place in your traditional business plan, but that’s why it is so worth doing. The business plan keeps you focused on the numbers, while the business vision board keeps you focused on the reasons behind the numbers, your desires and dreams.
What Goes On A Business Vision Board?
Any images, photos or quotes you find inspirational and motivating. Perhaps a few quotes or images of your mentor or someone in a similar industry that you look up to and work to that level of success. Perhaps what motivates you is more materialistic in nature (nothing wrong with that, capitalism is wonderful). Post up some beautiful images of your dream house, vacation property, that multifamily apartment building you plan on buying someday for diversified passive income, a sports car, etc. Maybe what deeply motivates you is emotional and not tangible; photos of your family, children and/or parents. The loved ones you’re working so hard to support and/or make proud.
Starting and growing a business is hard. Having colorful posted reminders of why you do what you do and why you will persevere no matter what can help.
A Business Vision Board Is Just Good Self-Marketing
At this point, you probably think this sounds a little childish. We were all raised to believe business is serious. That business is all about dollars and data and that to make money you had to stay focused on just how serious it is.
Building a business was never as serious as most people believe. Sure, you must pay attention to expenditures and profit and budgets, but you also must stay focused on things that aren’t easily measured by a fancy graph. Things like motivation and mental well-being, and what gives you the strength to persevere even after losing your biggest client.
As a business owner, you know how important marketing is to the success of your brand. You know that showing people your product or service is, and will always be, more valuable than telling them about it. People need visuals. They must see themselves using the product or service. They need to know how it will make their lives easier and better.
Do you think entrepreneurs and business owners are any different?
Visuals always have a higher conversion rate. Consistent visual reminders of what motivates you and gives you strength even when you’re exhausted and want to quit will help you stay on track. Readily available reminders to help you find your goals when you forget them, and to help give you clarity when you feel your brain is mush.
Having visual reminders within sight makes you consistently aware of your goals. Business plans in a binder remind you of the “how” and “where” but not the “why”. A business vision board will remind you of the “why”.
Other Productive Ways To Use Your Business Vision Board
Visual the future of your business so you know what you’re fighting for with meaningful imagery of your dream office, your next book on the top of the Amazon bestseller list, or your TED talk in front of thousands. With this portion of your vision board, you can keep track of your ideal business; where it’s going and how you’ll get there.
Post up your future leadership goals and expectations for yourself. Toss up some of your favorite quotes from business leaders you admire. What type of mentor do you plan on being for your employees in the next year or five years?
Track your financial future visually, and you’ll come to realize that when it’s on your happy colorful vision board you tend to glance at it more often. How old do you want to be when you’re finally debt-free? Do you want to own your home, buy your dream house in cash or pay off a relative’s mortgage?
Every business has an ideal client, but this seemingly simple thing can be incredibly difficult to define. A vision board will help.
Have your ideal client, that perfect buyer persona, right where you can see it throughout the day. Find a photo or two that best represents your ideal client. Gender, age, socio-economic status, body type, family life, etc. Use that image to stay focused and empower yourself to turn down clients who fall too short of your buyer persona.
You can’t take your business vision board into the bank and secure a loan, but you’ll be surprised how much more productive and profitable your business becomes with it in your office. I enjoyed a few hours of pure fun with scissors, markers, magazines, Pinterest pins printed on stickers and some high-quality glitter glue. My business vision board hangs in my office and like a living piece of art, I change it whenever I feel compelled. My focus and clarity has never been better.
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