The Visionary Entrepreneur

Any success you have in life must begin with a vision. A vision is the ability to see what others cannot see. It is being able to have a picture in your mind of exactly the result you intend to produce. The visionary entrepreneur is able to see exactly what his or her business is going to look like in every detail when it is finished.

What do I mean by finished? A business is an investment. You are building an asset. And any asset whether it is, a stock, real estate, or a business must have an exit strategy before you start. Once your business is working exactly how you envisioned it, in every detail, you are either going to sell it, or you are going to keep it, which means you are buying it yourself. And if you buy your own business, you'd better make sure that it is worth the price you pay for it.

Let's look at the difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur. A business owner starts a business to be his or her own boss or to create a secure job for himself or herself. They usually start a business in his or her own field of knowledge. Rarely does a business owner have a vision of what they want for their life, let alone for their business. So, they end up working in their business day in and day out, and they end up being nothing but an overworked and underpaid employee.

An entrepreneur on the other hand, builds a business because it is exciting and challenging. It requires every part of them to make it successful. They have a picture, a clear vision of how that business is going to work in every detail and the result it is going to produce. They never work in their business, rather they work on their business. An entrepreneur rarely starts a business in his or her own field of knowledge. They put the right system in place to make their vision become a reality. An entrepreneur looks at systems. They don't get tied up in the day to day activities of their business. This frees them up to start new businesses, and either sell existing their businesses, or take them public. This is why an entrepreneur like Donald Trump can run as many as 50 businesses at one time.

Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, says that the purpose of any business is to give the owner more life. It's purpose is to free the owner from working in it. If your business is not giving you the freedom to live the life you want to live, then it is taking your life away from you.

One of the main reasons you should start a business is to create excessive cash flow. The excessive cash flow will allow you the extra money and free time to keep building more businesses. Another reason to build a business is to sell it. Always remember, you're building a valuable asset. For something to be valuable, there must be many more people than you who want it.

Before you build a business you have to ask yourself some important questions. Why are you starting this business? What are you building your business to do and for whom? Who is your customer going to be (include both demographics and psychographics)? What is your strategic objective going to be? Is your business going to be local, regional, national, international? How many locations or branches are you going to have? How is your business going to operate? What are the gross revenues of your business going to be? What are the profits going to be (pre-taxed net and after taxed net)?

And the two most important questions of all are, What must your business look like, in order for it to give you the kind of life you desire? What will your business look like when it is finished? You have to have a vision of how your business will work, down to the last detail so that your prospects are amazed at how you produce the results they want and expect every time they purchase from you.

An entrepreneur sets up a series of systems for his or her business. Just as your body is made up of different systems in order to be able to function at maximum efficiency, your business must have certain systems as well.

Here is a list of ten systems that a business must have, if it is to be successful.

1. Daily Office Operations System

2. Product or Service Development System

3. Inventory System

4. Order Processing System

5. Billing and Accounts Receivable System

6. Customer Service System

7. Accounts Payable System

8. Marketing System

9. Human Resources System

10. General Accounting System

Now if you are a small business made up of one or two people, you may be saying, "I can't afford to hire the people to do all of those things!" What you have to understand is that these systems are simply functions that any business must have to be successful. Whether you are doing it or someone else, your business must be performing each of these functions. Once your business is performing each of these functions automatically and with optimal efficiency, it then frees you up to do other things. And that's what a visionary entrepreneur does.

A system gives the owner control. A system should work so that the owner doesn't have to. A system also empowers employees and gives them control. Most importantly a system gives your customers control. When people buy from a business they want to feel in control. And if your business has a system in place that will give them a predictable result every time they purchase from you, then they feel in control.

The visionary entrepreneur uses leverage to his or her full advantage. Leverage is simply the ability to do more with less. The internet is a great form of leverage, because you are able to reach and serve millions of people very quickly and inexpensively. Education is another great form of leverage. Entrepreneurs are constantly learning new things every day. This gives them great leverage over most of society that doesn't bother with continuous education. By putting in a series of systems into the business the visionary entrepreneur is giving himself or herself tremendous leverage with other people's time. Having a system in place leverages it to perform significantly better than the competition at lower costs, with higher impact, and with greater predictability.

The visionary entrepreneur constantly thinks in terms of innovation. Innovation is the process of constantly looking for and better ways of doing business. It is the process of constantly coming up with better and more cost effective ways of bringing your products and services to your prospects and customers. As author and management consultant Peter Drucker said, A business has only one function and that is to create a customer. The only way you do that is with marketing and innovation. Everything else are just costs and expenses of doing business.

A visionary entrepreneur looks at his or her business as a franchise prototype. Even if it is not going to be a franchise. By envisioning their business as a franchise prototype, they are able to put a system in place that can be replicated whether they create another one or not. And it is the system that an entrepreneur puts in place that not only frees him or her from having to work in the business but also gives the customer the exact result he or she wants and expects every time.

Here's another great question you should ask yourself before you start your business, If your business were a prototype for 500 or 1,000 others just like it, how would you approach your business?

The entrepreneurial vision is not about creating new products or services. It is all about creating a better way of doing something that enriches people's lives. Your vision should give you a clear and focused intention of exactly what you want for your life and for your business. When you have a clear and focused vision you can take any ordinary business and make it perform in an extraordinary way. When you do this any business you build will achieve extraordinary results.

Copyright© 2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.

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