Whether we’re aware of it or not, each of us has a vision of what we want to accomplish when we start or join a practice or business. We just have a hard time articulating it!
To begin defining your vision, the first question to answer is “What is the business or practice you want to create?”
On one level the answer is usually very simple — “oh, I suppose it’s something that will provide me with steady income and a job!”
On another level, the answer requires us to think deeply, and to balance boldness and reality in order to describe the future state that we plan to create.
The process of envisioning the future demands that we take responsibility for creating an intentional future, rather than leaving it to happenstance or the whims of others.
This applies equally well to anyone taking a job in a practice or an organization as it does to an intrepid entrepreneur starting his or her new business! Every job can be graced and enhanced with a Vision — a future state of what you plan to achieve.
There are seven elements contained within a clearly articulated Vision, according to the One Page Business Plan methodology that I use:
- Time frame (usually three to five years, unless you’re in startup mode, which might be 18 months to two years)
- Name of your practice, company or business
- Annual gross revenues e.g. $1.2 million, or $250,000 (no need to use the term “annual gross revenues” as this is generally assumed in business circles)
- Scope of business e.g. local, regional, national, North American, European, global etc.
- Type of practice, company or business e.g. surgical practice, consulting practice, medical device company, information technology company
- Products and services you deliver
- Target market of patients, customers and/or clients (try to be as specific about your target market as possible)
Here are a few examples of well-written, clear Vision statements:
Within 18 months, grow ABC Company into a $250,000 national hospital management consulting practice providing consulting services and training to hospital companies with three or more hospitals
Within 3 years, grow XYZ Medical Practice into a $1.6 million cardiology practice with three regional offices, providing cardiology consultations, and diagnostic and interventional services to the patients of PQR county
Within two years, grow DEF Company into a $400,000 national information technology business providing integrated electronic medical record and billing services to urgent care centers.
Within one year, grow my Medical Director position into a local $175,000 hospital role, providing oversight of medical quality and guidance re clinical matters for medical staff members and hospital administration. (This last one is a “stretch” to show that even an organizational job can have a Vision)
I encourage you to look for the seven elements in each of the above examples.
Can you imagine sharing this kind of Vision Statement with a prospective partner, strategic alliance or funding source such as a bank? This is about as clear as a practice or business Vision gets!
As you I hope the above examples illustrate, the future direction for the practice or business, or even job role, is set.
A quick note — Clients often ask me how to come up with a gross revenue number.
There are two major ways to do this:
- You examine your track record to date, if your business already exists, and you project forward month by month, using the new set of assumptions that take into account items such as your business growth and marketing objectives.
- You set your target gross revenues and you work backwards to define the work that has to be done, your prices your products and services and your volume of clients or patients, to determine what your monthly revenues have to be, in order to generate your target gross revenue.
Of course, you have to work on making your business Vision happen — which is where the rest of the business planning process comes into play. Remember, the other components of the Business Plan are:
Next month, I’ll tackle the more challenging topic of your Mission.
In the meanwhile, I challenge you to look at your existing business or job, and to create a written Vision Statement using the above format. Please feel free to e-mail it to me at philippa@entrepreneurialMD.com — I look forward to hearing from you!