Getting started

Business vision: the importance of long term goals

- July 18, 2005 2 MIN READ

In our book Flying Solo – How to go it alone in business, Sam and I talk a great deal about the role and importance of holding a business vision. Having long term goals can help you make decisions every day.

Exploration on the topic of business visions is often done in the context of a start-up business, but to dismiss visions as something solely useful to newbies is to miss out on an invaluable tool.

To leave visions behind as we move forwards is akin to cleaning the windows once and never doing them again.

A compelling and inspiring business vision needs to underpin everything…all the time. Without long term goals how on earth can we develop meaningful plans, create strategies and get into positive action? We can’t. Sure we can rush around doing lots of things and give the appearance of being really busy, but our activity invariably comes devoid of any real focus or direction.

Working without the ‘pull’ of a business vision leaves us hugely susceptible to distraction and it’s wicked half-sister, procrastination; whereas the presence of a business vision creates quite the reverse.

Want more articles like this? Check out the setting business goals section.

Here’s what newbie soloist management consultant Ben said when we interviewed him for the book:

“A year before I was ready to fly solo I created my vision, the headline of which was: ‘In twelve months’ time, I see myself running my own business, working from a home office which has a view of the ocean.’ This scenario bore no resemblance to my circumstances at the time.

I knew if I really wanted the set-up I dreamed of I’d need to make big life changes over the year. It was nerve-racking in a way, but my vision helped me justify these changes. When faced with decisions, I’d refer to my vision and ask ‘Does this fit?’ This made my journey to soloism easier. In fact, it would have been impossible for me to get where I am if I hadn’t had such a strong mental picture of where I wanted to be.”

Lucky old Ben you may say, but what he achieved in his start-up phase every soloist can enjoy regardless of the time already spent airborne.

Now’s not the time to go right into the detail of how to generate an inspiring business vision – hey, it took us the best part of twenty pages to cover the topic in the book – but I can certainly share with you one key ingredient of a comprehensive business vision and that is the essential element of imagery.

Whether you’re creating a business vision for the outcome of a project, or a business vision for the launch of an entirely new business proposition, try capturing it with a single image and hold that image in your mind.

I have one such image for an element of my work and it’s stuck prominently on the wall of my office. What’s the image? Well, it looks a little bit like this: