How to make a vision board for your business and why you should
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
That’s a biblical proverb and its truth applies to virtually every aspect of life. While we might not physically “perish,” I think we all have suffered through seasons where a lack of vision brings a sense of uselessness and negativity.
A powerful and consistent vision can be one of the strongest driving forces that pushes you to succeed in your small business. I’ve written about business plans and many of our guest writers here have as well, but business plans can have some shortcomings. Among these is the fact that with a standard business plan it can be difficult to convey the emotional power that will be required to maintain enthusiasm and focus.
I think this is one of the reasons that formal business plans are often written and then tucked away in a desk drawer somewhere, seldom to see the light of day again.
You can balance out the sterility of a written business plan by augmenting it with a small business vision board. By capturing images in a vision board for business purposes, you can make your ideas and inspirations come alive in a way that is impossible with a formal business plan.
Vision board balances the brain
It’s well known that the left side and right side of our brains are predisposed to helping us navigate the reality of the world in very different ways. The left side of our brains is where our logic, analysis, language and linear thinking make their home, while the right side is where creativity, visualization, non-verbal feelings, imagination and intuition are found. We all balance or blend these two halves differently, but none of us (aside from Star Trek’s Spock) is 100 percent vested in any one side.
The point I’m making is that a vision board for your small business can add a dimension to how you relate to the management and leadership of your company in ways that are impossible if your only “guide” is your original written business plan.
You can take a range of approaches for creating your small business vision board. It can be a private project. You can step it up a notch and actually create a work of art that you can hang in your office as a continual reminder of what you want to achieve. You can make it a collaborative and ongoing project with other members of your team.
Creativity, flexibility and inspiration should be guiding you as you make a vision board for your business. By the way, don’t allow yourself to get pulled down by trying to make it too literal — that is the purpose of your written business plan.
Capture your BHAGs
As you start the process, think of the “big hairy audacious goals” that you had when you were first inspired to start your business. Find ways to express these in images, but don’t be too literal. Think about the feelings these goals inspire in people. Think about the outcomes of these goals. You want your business vision board images to help you mentally jump over the daily grind and transport you to the sweet spots that were your original big goals.
If creating a family business was a goal, find illustrations that show family togetherness. I know one couple that started a business out in a rural area because that’s where they wanted to raise their young children. However, in the day-to-day hassles of running that business, it was easy to lose sight of that goal. Capturing it in a vision board for their business would have helped.
Perhaps making the most excellent widget, providing the highest quality service or being the leader in innovation is what originally drove your small business idea. Find images that convey these kinds of attributes. They don’t have to be your exact product or service, but they need to send those messages to the right side of your brain.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build a multi-million-dollar business from the ground up and if that has been your goal all along, take ownership of it. What will you do with that success? Expand and provide jobs for hundreds of employees? Retire in the Caribbean? Express that growth and that success on your business dream or vision board.
We all need inspiration from time to time and we should be honest with ourselves about that need. We also need to be daring enough to try something that might be out of our comfort zone, like a vision board for our business.