Before you start strategically putting together a business plan, you need a vision. Sometimes, creating a detailed vision on your own can be difficult enough. So, when you’re a couple trying to solidify something together, it can be a challenge. It’s not a bad thing to bring different ideas to the table, and consider different possibilities for your venture. But, at the end of the day, you both have to be on the same playing field with that vision in order to move forward.
Questions to Ask Yourself
A vision needs to start with a sense of direction, and if both of you are coming from different directions, you’ll probably end up somewhere where neither person is 100% happy. So, instead of starting from scratch, ask yourself some basic questions that can help to fuel a healthy conversation. When you compare your answers, find commonalities, and your discussions will very likely meet somewhere closely to both ideals. Try asking questions such as:
- What will your ideal business be known for?
- What does it look like?
- How big would you want it to be?
- What would you want your overall mission to say about you?
These conversation starters can be something you do separately and then come together to discuss. You might just find this is an easy way to combine great ideas into an even better vision.
How Do You Determine Success?
A successful business is obviously what any owner would hope for, but definitions of success run differently in just about everyone. So, when it comes to a final question to ask yourself, and your partner, this is a big one. It’s a good idea to set it up as a timeline: Where do you see your business in one year, five years, ten years, etc. You might consider something extremely successful that your partner has a differing opinion about, but there’s usually plenty of room to meet somewhere in the middle, as long as everything is well-defined and planned out.
Timelines are equally important for any vision, and they can give you something to reach toward. Even if you agreed on a vision that ended up being a compromise between you both, you can essentially ‘test’ it out if you give yourself certain timeframes. Then, maybe you’ll decide to use one person’s idea over the other. Trial and error are common when it comes to new business ventures, and people expect new businesses to ‘get the kinks out’ within the first year. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment, and adjust your overall vision and mission.
The Key to a Cohesive Vision
Keep in mind that when you’re determining a vision for your company, it’s important to be willing to listen, and allow for creativity. This is when your personalities will come into play, and your vision(s) are manifested. While it takes compromise and a willingness to work together, you are building a strong vision together for your business, and that process only brings you closer.
Allow yourself to let go, and ‘give’ toward your partner and trust their ideas as well as your own. You’ll find there’s an extremely good chance the best of both of your personalities will shine when it comes to what you want your business to truly be.