Every good document starts with an outline. Most people shudder at the thought of writing an outline. But, it still remains the very best way to ensure that you include what you want in your vision, so that when you share it with others it requires no explanation. In addition, you have to remember that it’s your business, and your vision. Your job is to communicate it accurately to your team so that they can help you implement it.
Your outline should include many of the following subheadings:
a) Overview – This part is written last, and should describe what your vision is, condensed down in a sharable paragraph or two.
b) Introduction – This is another type of overview of your vision, but of the document itself. You’ll actually write a brief summary of the purpose, scope, and everything you’re going to describe and talk about in the entire document.
c) Purpose – This part is simple; simply write down what exactly the purpose of your document is.
d) Scope – You might have more than one vision document for each part of your business, so this describes how far this particular vision document reaches.
e) Definitions – Include definitions of words that you use that could be ambiguous, and define any acronyms or abbreviations. It helps if all readers are on the same page.
f) Problem Statement – What problems does your solution solve, for whom, and who will that impact the users?
g) Product/Service Position Statement – This is your unique positioning statement. What makes your products and services unique?
h) Product/Service Features and Benefits – Describe all your product or services features and benefits as it relates to this particular vision document.
i) Market Demographics – Who exactly is your market? You should be able to summarize the demographics of your market and what motivates the choices you make in the products or services you bring to market.
j) Competition – Who is your competition, what do they do that you don’t do, and what do you do better?
k) Contractor Position Summaries – Include titles, what they do, how they fit into the overall vision and goals of your vision.
l) Contract Environment – Include what is expected, how many are doing tasks, how long it’s expected to take, what their pay is, what equipment is required, what education is required, etc…
There are a couple of different formats in which you can present your vision to share with others such as:
- A slide show
- A white paper
- A wiki
- An FAQ
Finally, you should be able to relate your vision to someone else in just a short paragraph or sentence, which is like the overview. While first on this document, it should be written last after you’ve considered all factors. Condensing down all of the above can be a daunting task, but it is one that will pay off as you move forward in your business.
A Message from Norma...
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