“Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said the Cat
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”, said the Cat
from Lewis Carroll’s *Alice in Wonderland
I’m very happy to be nominated as Expert of the Month at DemGen. It has given me the opportunity to share a few things I strongly believe in… When I began brainstorming on what I would write about over the next 4-5 weeks, I figured it was best to systematically spell out for you the exact process I go through with clients in DemGen’s flagship program, The Future Vision Map ©
In the course of six one-on-one sessions, clients define and build their vision and strategy for business success. Over the next 4-5 weeks, I will be walking you through the entire program – blog post by blog post. Not bits and pieces, but the WHOLE thing, so if you wish to build your Future Vision Map on your own, you can.
Ever since Simon Sinek wrote his book, ‘Start with Why’ a couple of years ago, I’ve been extra inspired to ask ‘why’ I do everything I do – both in my personal life and my business life. So before we get started with this series of articles, let me first explain to you why we at DemGen bother with The Future Vision Map at all.
At its core, The Future Vision Map (FVM) is, as the name implies, a map that lays out the terrain in which your business competes, along with specific destination points you wish to reach. It all starts with the entrepreneur’s vision – where he or she would like their business to be in 3-5 years time, and ends with an Action Plan of how that vision can be achieved. A couple of differences between a traditional business plan and a FVM include:
1) Considerable time is spent in defining and crystallizing an entrepreneur’s vision before beginning to develop business strategies and action plans;
2) A FVM is not a 50-page document you keep on a shelf. It is an actionable living, breathing document that you refer to regularly when building your business.
Here at DemGen, we encourage clients to build their FVM prior to seeking our marketing, operations and business support expertise. Time and time again, I have personally seen clients receive two key benefits during our FVM sessions. This is why we do it:
1. Clarity and focus
It doesn’t matter which stage of business you’re in – ideation, start-up, growth or decline. Running a business is like decision-making on steroids. Everywhere you look, there’s a decision to be made. Not only that, in order to grow sales and profits as well as manifest your business vision, you need to take calculated risks.
Now, you really can’t make good decisions and take calculated risks without a strong understanding the business environment, your industry or your business’ internal resources and capabilities. You may think you know a lot about what’s going on, but from time to time, it’s important to take a rain check and see whether your gut feeling matches reality. Taking the time to go through a process of visioning and planning will turbo charge your decision-making ability and give you the confidence to take calculated risks.
2. New ideas for products and services
Yahoo!’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer is an ideas expert that served at Google for 13 years. She recently mentioned that at Google, new product ideas came from strategic planning. Google is one of the most innovative companies in the world, churning out more products and services than most other companies around. They know that by bringing their best minds to the table and taking the time to understand markets, customers and themselves better, they can create more A-ha! moments that see the birth of new products and services. These new products and services keep the company relevant and boost revenues and profitability.
In conclusion, visioning and planning can take a backseat as we often find ourselves putting out fires on a daily basis. But if done properly, visioning and planning can give you the spark necessary to take your business to new places – boosting revenues and profits and ultimately giving you the life you want. Next week, we’ll deep dive into the first phase of the FVM – defining your future vision, where we’ll look at six aspects of your business and how you can create a strong future vision for each. Stay tuned!
For now, I’ll see you in the comments. Ask me anything about strategic planning and future visioning, and I’ll try my best to answer. Each week, readers with the best comments and questions have a chance to win something from DemGen. So don’t hold back – I look forward to hearing from you.
Faheem Moosa is DemGen’s lead business strategist and developer of the Future Vision Map. He can be reached at
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