The need for a business vision is one promoted in many business management circles.
The concept of a business vision can be a little challenging to grasp, particularly if you’re grounded in practical work as dentists are.
Our natural inclination is towards the tangible and real.
By contrast, a vision is conceptual.
We might wonder, “how do I turn ideas I can’t physically touch into something that inspires me, my team and my patients in the long term?”
My reassurance for you is this: time and effort taken to create and articulate your vision is time well invested.
It will return a multiple in many areas.
In fact, it has the potential for being the driving force for growth, change and scaling of your business.
Read on to understand how.
Allow your vision to grow
Nobody said write your business vision once and never touch it again.
On the contrary, as you and your business grow and change, your vision does too.
A clear business vision allows you to go as far as you can see right now.
Once you reach that point, a re-worked vision empowers you to move forward to the next envisioned point in your business’ journey.
The ultimate destination at which you arrive may be nothing like your original vision.
But that doesn’t matter.
What’s more important is you have a vision and are opening to refining it as you and your business change.
Make Your Vision Specific
We’ve all seen wordy, but uninspiring vision statements written for big corporates.
It’s also common to see business visions that are trite and make no sense to the intended audience.
My point is this: “Be awesome” might make sense to you, but what does it communicate to your market?
Will it be enough to compel them to buy from you and stay the course when a new dentist opens up around the corner?
Make your vision mean something – to you, your team and most importantly, your market.
Use language that’s relevant.
Make sure your vision connects.
Remember, your business vision is as much about you as it is about your patients and people.
Use Your Vision As A Compass
There’s a reason a compass always moves back to north; to keep us on track.
And that’s exactly what a vision does for your business.
It is a wonderful guide for every decision, at every level of your business.
If you’re making a key strategic decision, decide if it aligns with the vision.
When the operational team is doing its work, they can be guided by the business vision too.
Some people wonder if this is too much to hope for.
I mean, can we really expect our team to jump on board with our business vision?
One hundred percent.
In my podcast interview with Peter Irvine, he recommends using the business vision as a filtering tool in recruiting interviews.
I love this idea.
Sharing our business vision and values helps in the team selection process.
It is much easier to check in with an individual’s alignment to your vision before they start working with you.
It’s also more cost effective long term.
A vision will also give you the courage to hire the team you need, rather than the people you can afford.
A technique that can be applied to supplier and partner selection too, a business vision becomes more than just words.
It works as a powerful navigation tool as well.
Take The Long View
Our vision will only ever be as big as we allow it to be, and in this way, habitual thinking can be our worst enemy.
Visions are expansive.
This means that in the creation of a one, we must use expansive thinking too.
Instead of being limited to what we think we can do now, a vision draws out what we’d really love to see.
We can be creative and develop a vision based on any premise.
For example, consider what you’d envision if money was no object, you were three years down the track, or the ideal team was in place.
When creating your vision, do it from the perspective of where you’d love to be, not where you are in this moment.
Return To Your Vision Regularly
Every business journey is beset by challenges and every business owner has opposition.
Returning to your vision during the inevitable business tough times and unexpected setbacks will help weather these with greater certainty and confidence.
Keep your vision prominent and go back to it as often as you can.
Doing this will mean you stay on target.
It will also mean you’re less likely to be diverted off track.
Share Your Vision
I talk a lot about inspiring teams to bring their heart and minds to work, not just their arms and legs.
And we all know that’s no easy task.
Sharing your business vision is one way of paving the way for that to happen.
I’ve already touched on communicating your vision during the recruiting process, but it shouldn’t stop there.
Ideally, your team will be as inspired and purposeful as you, once they’ve bought into the business vision.
A natural flow on effect is it also creates the space for individuals to shine.
Inspired team members use initiative, take responsibility, and thrive with training.
Share your business vision with pride and watch how your team responds. Then invest in training efforts accordingly.
Use Your Vision To Maintain Standards
Every business owner with a team has faced the challenge of people who push the proverbial envelope.
Whether it’s a late arrival, poor presentation, or a less than friendly phone manner, a vision will help you hold firm to your standards.
It will also help explain why the team must hold firm to the standards too.
A vision establishes clear boundaries.
Eliminating uncertainty and confusion, it also brings a discipline and structure to business that allows creativity to flourish.
Make Your Vision Part Of The Business Story
There’s no question, people want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
A dentist’s patients are no different.
Steer away from a vision you think people want to hear.
Instead create something inspiring and share parts of your personal business story.
How did you reach this point?
What challenges did you overcome?
Why are you doing this work now?
Many dentists I’ve spoken to wonder about the relevance of this in business, but for patients, the personal story behind their dentist creates a strong connection.
So, make your story part of the business vision.
Chances are when you do, your patients and team will come on board too.
A business vision is a living, breathing business tool that every business owner needs to be successful.
It will navigate and strengthen you through adversity.
And it will inspire and create opportunities that allow you to grow and scale your practice to any level you choose.
Write it wisely; then work and live by it every day.