“Like good health, a positive cash flow is something you’re most aware of when you haven’t got it.”

Robert Heller

Hey Future Vision Mappers! We’ve reached the final post in the Future Vision Map series. My hope is that all of you have found the previous five posts (click here if you’ve missed any of them) useful and informative.

Money talks, but cash yells at the top of its voice

Up until now, we’ve talked about defining your future vision, gathering data about your customer’s needs and desires; introspecting about your strengths and weaknesses; developing strategy and tactics. The next step is to put together a cash budget and figure out whether your new plans will bring you net positive cash flow or not. If there’s no positive cash flow, change your plans!

Notice I said cash flow and not profit. You make a profit when you deduct your costs and expenses from your sales. You can make a profit even if your customers don’t pay you. It’s an accounting term. Your business can thus survive even if you make a loss, provided you’ve got enough cash to get by. Therefore, let cash drive your business decisions, not profit. Especially if you’re just starting out in business.

Cash flow is real. Cash inflow comprises the real dollars that come in to your bank account. Cash outflow comprises the money that your business spends. No cash, no business. If you’d like a simple cash flow model I use (built on Google Spreadsheets, email me at Faheem@demgen.com and I’ll send it over).

With a cash-flow mindset, you’re ready to grow your business.

How to break down your big ideas into actionable tasks

Now that you’re ready to start taking action, you need a simple action-oriented framework to help you and your team knock off your tasks one by one. Here’s what we do at DemGen:

Start with listing your Strategic Imperatives. Write 2-3 broad undertakings that you will need to accomplish in order to manifest your future business vision. Examples of Strategic Imperatives could be “Accelerate Lead Generation Drive”, or “Overhaul Organizational Structure”, or “Systemize Overseas Operations”, etc.

Under each Strategic Imperative, add 3-4 Strategic Initiatives that break down the Imperatives further. For example, for the imperative “Accelerate Lead Generation Drive”, strategic initiatives could be:

  • Review and analyze results of past lead generation campaigns
  • Deploy market research survey
  • Develop new marketing plan
  • Review team requirements and hire required experts and personnel

If Strategic Imperatives are a 10,000-foot view of your implementation plan, then Strategic Initiatives are a 5000-foot view.

Action Plans, on the other hand, are at the ground level. Action Plans comprise various tasks that are to be assigned to individual members of your team. Who’s going to do what, by when. Each Strategic Initiative should have as many tasks as necessary to implement the initiative. Examples of an Action Plan under ‘Review and analyze results of past lead generation campaigns’ include:

Strategic Imperative: Accelerate Lead Generation Drive

Strategic Initiative: Review and analyze results of past lead generation campaigns

Action Plan:





1. Compile reports of marketing analytics – online and offline Alex 14-Aug
2. Create review criteria Betty 9-Aug
3. Hold review meeting Alex, Betty, Chad 15-Aug
4. Write 1-page report on results and action-steps from review meeting Chad 16-Aug





So – off you go! You now have a proven framework to guide you in defining your vision, developing strategy and tactics, and implementing your plans. It’s now time to build that dream business.

It has certainly been a pleasure being DemGen’s Expert of the Month. I look forward to comments, emails with feedback and questions. I wish you all the best of luck!

Faheem Moosa is DemGen’s lead business strategist and developer of the Future Vision Map. He can be reached at Faheem@demgen.com