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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Getting Others On Board With Your Vision
As I have discussed a number of times through the past couple of months, we all have visions, and the businesses we start often stem from those dreams for the future. Many visions require the support of others, especially financial investors, in order to press forward toward the goal. Because your vision is yours alone, you have to convince others of the value it has.
Here’s how you can start on the right track to getting investors and other support to come along for the ride:
Have a Passion
The vision you have must be something you’re passionate about. If you don’t have a full-fledged passion for it, it will be difficult to convince others that the investment of their time and finances will be worth while in the end. However, when you are passionate about your vision, and intend to pursue it even if you have to go it alone, people will recognize that and it will be easier for them to begin to see the value of your goal.
When looking for support (whether financial or otherwise), it is best to first seek out those that don’t need much convincing anyway. You will know the people in your immediate of friends and family who would be most likely to share your vision. But you will also need to take that a step further and reach out to other companies and organizations that would likely take little convincing. For example, if you want to start a specialty school for children with disabilities, do your research and find organizations that have already contributed to similar causes.
Your vision must be huge. So huge, in fact, that those you talk to will initial think it outrageous and possibly even unobtainable. How will that help to get investors on board with you? A big vision will again convey the passion you have for whatever solution you’re seeking to mend a problem. You vision needs to be your long term goal.
Lay Out a Plan
Once you’ve established your huge vision for the future, you will need to have a plan to get there. Anyone you present your vision to will need to be able to see the process you have in mind to reach your destination. Outline short term goals – what you hope to accomplish in the first month, first six months, first year, after five years, etc. The more defined the path toward the accomplishment of your vision, the more likely you will get support.
After you have presented your vision to a potential investor or cohort, be sure to follow-up with them after they have had a reasonable amount of time to consider your proposal (often 15-30 days). If they decide not to assist you, consider that a learning opportunity and find out exactly why so that you can make any necessary changes to your presentation or consider possibilities you may not have thought of before.
Don’t Give Up
If your vision is truly a passion, then this is a given: you simply cannot give up. Keep revisiting your presentation and lay out and make changes where necessary. And don’t write a potential investor off if they have rejected assistance once. Make changes based upon their recommendations, get additional feedback, and ask for another opportunity to present a more thorough vision to them.
You must press on and keep searching for people to help you through the process. There is someone out there that will see the potential that you see for your vision, it just may take time to search them out. And, no matter how long the search takes, when you find those that are willing to help you along, it will be well worth it in the end.
• Businessweek.com: Persuading Others to Share Your Vision
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