How to Write a 3-Year Vision for Your Business
First, envision your business in 3 years.
This worksheet will help you envision your business as you would like it to be 3 years from now.
Give yourself a few hours of undivided attention to develop your vision. If it helps, print off our questions, turn off your electronics, and write down your answers in a journal. If you prefer, you can also get a few sheets of paper and write down your answers as a mind map, or use a digital tool like Mindmup.
Answer each question based on where you imagine your business in 3 years. Be specific and detailed. Most importantly, dream big! This is the time to be lofty.
Second, break your vision into 1-year goals.
After establishing where you would like to be in 3 years, you’ll break your vision into 1-year goals and then again into quarterly milestones.
A long-term vision is important to create meaning and direction. A clear vision will give you focus and motivation, and get you excited about the practical steps and hard work you’ll put into your business. Near-term goals will make your long-term vision practical and actionable.
Now go brew some tea or coffee (or pour a glass of wine?) and get ready to write your business vision.
Questions to Answer in Your 3-Year Vision
1. Value Proposition
- What products do you sell and what are their prices?
- Why do customers buy from you instead of your top competitors?
- What is your top-selling product and how is it unique?
- What is your biggest competitive advantage?
2. Revenue Streams
- What products and services do you offer?
- How many customers do you have?
- How much annual revenue do you generate?
- Do you have any sources of passive income?
- What are your biggest annual costs?
- What is the monthly cost of your building?
- How many employees do you have?
- What is the monthly cost of your payroll?
- What activities do you outsource?
- What is your annual profit?
- What is your annual take-home pay?
5. Key Activities
- What is the one thing your company does best?
- What processes have you automated?
- How do you deliver excellent customer service?
- How do you describe your typical customers?
- Why do your customers love your business?
- How do you market your products and services?
- What does your website or sales funnel look like?
- How do you motivate customers to refer more business to you?
- What kinds of customers refer the most business to you?
- What is your referral rate?
- How many partners do you have?
- Do you have investment capital or are you bootstrapping?
- With whom do you have strategic alliances?
9. Your Role
- What is your role in the business?
- What is the one thing you do best to create value for your company?
- How many hours do you work each week?
- How often do you go on vacation?
10. Human Resources
- What are the key positions in your company?
- How are your employees organized?
- How do you make work excited for your staff?
- How does your business improve the world?
- What is the character and what are the values of a typical employee?
- What do you do to build good relationships in your community?
12. Exit Strategy
- Why is your business valuable to potential buyers?
- Who is most likely to buy your business?
- What would a buyer be willing to pay for your business?
- In a couple sentences, what is your business’s overall vision?
Congratulations on completing your vision! We hope this exercise was helpful.
Next, check out our list of 15 inspiring missions, visions, and values. These will prepare you to write guiding beliefs for your own company and share them with your staff and the wider world.