Effective Business Plan Using Vision Boards

image of 3 people creating a vision board business plan

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When considering an update to your business plan, do you cringe? If you do, you’re probably recalling those large reports filled with repetitive supportive facts. Those that are kind filled with spreadsheets and reviews from weeks or months of research. It’s all dry uninspiring reports that do zilch to stimulate or spark your business plan. These may be necessary to get a loan or show investors, but they don’t need to inspire a nap!  We’re talking about YOUR business plan today, creating one that works.

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your business plan, create one that sparks excitement and motivates your team and yourself to blast through their goals, you need more than an old-fashioned business plan.

I don’t know about you, but I can think of nothing more painful than trying to piece together yet another formal business plan. Fortunately, there’s a better way that will make your business plan work better, more clear and yes, you’ll actually enjoy the process AND the finished product!

image of visual business plan being created

The Visual Business Plan

How would you translate your ideas into action if you could plan them with colorful, inspiring photos and quotes? How would that change your motivation?

Well, that’s precisely what a vision board will do for your business. By collecting images that represent your dreams and aspirations, you’ll have a constant reminder of where it is you’re going, and even why you started your business in the first place.

By collecting images that represent your goals and ambitions, you’ll have a consistent reminder of where it is you want to go with your business.

This can help remind you why an idea even sparked inside the first place; this will also be useful for when moments come up like “What am I doing?” This collection is a consistent reminder of where you want to go with your business and how you plan to get there.

Keep your personal goals as an important part of your vision. These are your Why’s.

You won’t find a place in a traditional business plan for personal goals, but they’re perfect for your vision board. These are crucial to your success. Without your personal dreams, it’s impossible to keep on track when it comes to business goals and growth. You’ll find with these reminders, it’s not just easy but works seamlessly.

image of sticky notes used to brainstorm business ideas and goals

Why Vision Boards Work for Business Goals

Does all this feel a bit woo woo to you? You’re not alone. Many people were raised to believe that business plans were all about spreadsheets and long-form documents and had nothing to do with fun and there was no room for it.

Do these principles seem farfetched to you? I totally disagree!

As a matter of fact, some of the most successful people regularly bring clarity to their dreams and goals by using vision boards.

That is exactly why vision boards work and do so with great success. They enable you to easily see precisely what it is you’re striving for, whether it’s a glam office, international travel, dream home, or funding an early retirement. Putting a balanced focus on your goals, seeing them in words and visual representation, you’ll be receiving constant encouragement.

It will help keep your dreams alive and keep you motivated to work harder than ever before. By keeping visual reminders within sight, you’re constantly aware of your “why,” and that’s a powerful motivator, no matter what you’re working on. 

Of course, banks and investors don’t want to see your vision board, but it can help you accomplish your goals regardless. A vision board will get you “to the bank” for that loan you are wanting to expand your business.

When it comes to bringing clarity to your actual goals, and sparking that excitement you had in the early days, you just can’t knock a custom-designed vision board. Go for it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

image: man holding woman trying to hold back a bundle of balloons. black and white

What’s Holding Your Business Back – 3 Obstacles to Overcome and How

It is quite rare for a business owner to never feel stuck. It happens, no matter how confident you are in your skills and abilities as a business owner. The reason for this is simple: Obstacles are just part of the journey to success. They can move mountains out of the way — literally and figuratively! 

The first step in overcoming any obstacle is acknowledging it exists; fear holds so many people back. I’m going to make an assumption that you work hard every day, even so, it’s not enough?

You might be feeling burnt out, or you may not reach your goals and stay at the same income level. This is where you need to gain clarity, and this my friend is where a vision board for your business goals can help.

This tool isn’t just about looking at what inspires you for the future; it’s also about looking at why you have set ambitious goals in the first place, being able to keep yourself going when things get tough, and knowing that even though you might have a dip in your sales for the year or quarter, it’s part of the process.

You will be going through an entire journey of ups and downs as a business owner but this is where you need to keep on track. What do those “downs” mean?

It’s a normal part of being in business, but staying there isn’t. Successful small business owners figure out how to overcome the hurdles and overwhelm and continue to grow their business. And the first step is to determine what exactly is holding you back. 

image; colorful drop of water splashing alone representing clarity

Lack of Clarity

When you’re not sure or confused about what you want from your business, it’s because of a lack of clarity. Not knowing what your business is meant to do or who it’s supposed to serve, you are experiencing a need for a more clear picture of your goals. Maybe the product funnel isn’t clear in your mind and neither are all aspects of training courses for clients.

What are the symptoms of lack of clarity in business?

  • The most common symptom of lack of clarity is not being able to really see what it is you want from the business. Maybe you aren’t clear on who your target customer is,
  • maybe you can’t envision your product funnel,
  • or maybe you can’t even picture your epic coaching course in its entirety.

With so many possibilities on how you want to grow your business, it’s sometimes difficult to determine where to start.

Any change in vision can be challenging and hard to deal with – but ultimately necessary. Sometimes a change in mindset is all that is needed for a fresh perspective on the future of your small business.  

What steps should you take to regain clarity in your business and overcome obstacles?

How can you regain a sense of focus and direction for your small business? By setting achievable goals, you are able to move forward with confidence.

A vision board is a perfect tool for this because it allows you to:

  • Be clear on what you want from the business
  • See the current reality of where you are
  • Look at your past successes and failures as a reference point for future success with new goals

#1 Make A List Of Business Goals To Find Clarity

Understanding the true nature of your obstacles as a business owner is the first vital step in finding clarity. The best way to do that is by specifically detailing what’s holding you back from accomplishing your small business goals. Once you’ve completed this list, sit down and review it with an open mind; asking yourself why these things 

#2 Brainstorm or Brain Dump to Clarify Your Goals

If you feel like this describes you or your need to better clarify your business, we’ve got you. Take a step back, do some brainstorming (have you tried brain dumping) to get everything out in the daylight where you can see it. Don’t worry about it being neat, just get it out there on paper or in a notes document. The exercise of brain dumping or brainstorming will likely clear your headspace a lot and help you see more clearly.

#3 Create a Vision Board to “See” These Goals Into A Reality

A vision board will allow you more clarity because it allows you to actually see all your options. It’s an amazing (and under-utilized) tool that will be your superpower in building a thriving and evolving business. One you can grow with. You can make one yourself, for free! All you have to do is print out some pictures of things that inspire you and get creative with how you display them.

#4 Set Achievable Goals And Keep Your Eyes on The Prize

The most important thing you can do is to set achievable goals and keep your eyes on the prize!

When you’re a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in all the little things that need to be done. Once you’ve put your goals, aspirations, plans into a visual piece to reflect on, the little things will come into their place easier.

image: camera lens on focus to landscape in background

Lack of Focus

O.K., so you have clarity on your goals now. However, something still isn’t working. It could be a lack of focus. If you’re one of those people who are all gung-ho first thing in your workday, you take a break then it all falls to pieces. You question if you’ve accomplished anything or maybe you lost focus on what you should be doing in which order Always questioning yourself is a time sucker. Let’s explore getting you out of this rut.

You’re not alone that’s for sure. This is common, especially among solopreneurs. We’re raised as kids with more structure and someone telling us what our goals and expectations are. Now we’re our own parents, teacher, or boss. Time to set your own goals, expectations, and measured results.

Try this: With your end goal in mind, brainstorm (see more detail under “Clarity”). This is the next physical action you need to take to achieve it. So if your goal is to create a competitive coaching e-course, then your next step might be to poll your mailing list about what they need/want from you.  You could do this in a Facebook group also. Another way is to search a competitor’s group, make a list of questions people are asking, the most asked questions are the ones most people are needing your help with.

Take your results and order them in the most requested. Be sure to address everyone’s related “hot topics” in your course.

Next, do some research on google with others who have similar course offerings. How much content do they have? Can you do more? Can you make it more valuable? How?

Break each item down into manageable steps and start checking them off your list. Add them to your vision board to add some extra consistent motivation.

image is fireworkd depicting excitement felt when first starting new business

Excitement Missing In Your Business? The Honeymoon is over?

Bored? Lost interest in that business you once loved? This is, unfortunately, pretty common among solopreneurs. That’s why we see so many of them jumping from business to business, never spending enough time in any one endeavor to see it through to its full potential. They call it pivoting, but honestly most of the time it’s lack of excitement, the thrill of the new client, new course, product, or service. We see this a lot in online businesses. Trends change quickly and businesses scare off and change direction before even giving it a creative re-vamping.

It’s not your fault. Remember, we’ve been conditioned since childhood. Then there’s the instant gratification of googling something. Social media adds in all the glitz and glam and little of the “behind the scenes” hardships that really go into making small businesses work.

All these things make it hard to be patient with the big picture. Your ultimate intentions, where you want to see yourself in a year or ten years.

What made you excited about your business in the beginning? What do you love about it now?

Staying motivated in your small business takes continual readiness for the monotony that all business owners come across, but particularly for those who own their own businesses. When the “why” of your business is kept in mind, it can help you get past tasks that are less than thrilling.

Did you know that the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have all used vision boards to achieve their goals? Vision boards are a simple way to develop focus, clarity, and motivation. These fun and colorful tools are often just what you need to clarify your dreams as well as work out the next steps. Stay excited about your business by using these tools.

Vision boards can range from simple posters to framed collages consisting of quotes with hand-lettering. They can be digital or even portable in journals. It’s all unique and individual, what you choose works best for you. Get rid of the barriers in your business by trying this personal, fun, and inspiring technique. Give it a try next time you start to feel stuck with your business goals or even to create your business plan.

image of a cairn (5 rocks balanced) often reflecting balance in life

5 Ways to Use a Vision Board for Your Goals

A vision board is a popular tool used to keep dreams and goals in mind. Though you may have only been familiar with using it for personal aspirations, there are several ways that you can use this technique across many aspects of your life. If so desired, I would recommend having more than one type of board—one devoted entirely to business interests and the other as a personal “dream” board!

Business Planning

This vision board will help you remember why and how your business is important to yourself. In order to do this, it will track some of the things that originally made you want a career in small businesses. It may also be helpful for those who have lost sight of their original goals along the way!

Creating a vision board helps you stay on track. This board will help keep your focus in the right place while simultaneously providing encouragement.

On your vision board, you’ll keep images that represent what the best version of your business would look like in the future. This could be working from the beachfront property or even having an office with everything you need to make it happen. For some, it’s meeting or even collaborating with a leader in your field. Other’s are hoping to achieve valuable influencer status to grow their business. These are all valid if they are part of your ultimate business plan.

Team Motivation

No matter their size, every company needs some inspiration. Whether you are looking for a little teamwork spirit or just want your employees to be more effective; the vision board is here!

This type of vision board can be very straightforward and simply display images that inspire each member of your team. But it can also turn into one of the most collaborative elements in your business and help you brainstorm together.

Take some time to work on this inspirational vision board, and then hang it up where everyone can see it every day!

Planning Life Goals

If you want to live a life of purpose and meaning, it is crucial that you give thought to where do you see yourself in five, ten, twenty years. A vision board can help make this goal more achievable by keeping your future aspirations visible at all times.

A vision board is a simple and effective tool to help you visualize your goals. Your life will change as time goes on, so it’s important that the images of what you want in your future remain fluid too! And when new dreams enter into the picture—like living at an alpine retreat instead of a tropical island resort —it’s vital that we can adapt our boards accordingly.

Keeping your life goals vision board updated and referring to it every time you have to make a major decision will help clarify the direction that you need to take in order to achieve your dreams.

Vacation Planning

Planning a trip with the family? Ensure that you don’t miss anything by creating a vision board of your “must-see” destinations. This board may even inspire you to see a different side of your destination that you hadn’t thought about, or perhaps also features some ideas for potential stops along the way.

Whether traveling with friends, family, or your significant other; creating this type of vision board will help everyone remain on the same page and make sure that all interests are represented.

Instead of planning your trip alone, why not invite the rest of the family to help plan? Create a fun activity that everyone can participate in together. Your kids will be excited about going on an adventure with you and they’ll know exactly what activities are planned for them while on vacation. This way you won’t have any unexpected surprises when it comes time to leave or even during your vacation! If you’re traveling with friends, be sure to include them in this also.

By creating a plan ahead of time, everything should go just as smoothly as possible so no one misses out on their dream experience!

Home Buying

Pinterest has built an entire business around what amounts to a digital vision board—much of it devoted to home décor. If you’re in the market for a new home, or simply remodeling the one you have, then a vision board is a great way to organize your plans. 

A digital vision board is a great way to organize your plans for either remodeling or buying a new home. Pinterest has built an entire business around visual offerings, from home building to remodeling, renovating, and so much devoted to home décor. There is so much there that you won’t be lacking any home inspiration ideas at all.

Clip photos of the style of home you love, color combos to try, landscaping ideas, and anything else that inspires you. Keeping your home-buying vision board close at hand will save you time in your search by reminding you exactly what you’re looking for. 

To keep track of the type of home you want to buy and what features appeal to you, create a vision board. This will help save time in your search by reminding you exactly what style or feature is most important among all other options.

A home-buying vision board can help you narrow your search and stay focused while house hunting. Clipping pictures of the style of home you love, color combos to try, landscaping ideas, anything else that you find appealing, then keep it close at hand when searching for a new place to live!

image of hands overlapped representing ideal clients

Attracting Your Ideal Client

A vision board can help define an ideal client. This seemingly simple thing is especially difficult to do, especially for a business owner that hasn’t any real idea who that is.

Is your client young, old, male or female, non-binary? successful/financially struggling? Educated, familiar with technology? Does he have kids and a home/business to take care of and is confident in himself? Or perhaps she’s timid about her job responsibilities as well as other life events. Maybe she likes being athletic with an eagerness for trying new activities and sports.

Create a collection of pictures that reflect your ideal client and refer to it each time you are tempted (as we all are) to sign a client who is less than ideal. 

To make sure you are always signing up the right client, create a set of pictures that reflect your ideal clients. Refer to this collection each time another potential client comes along. You don’t want to waste your energy (or theirs) working with someone who isn’t going to help build or expand what matters most in your business! Your ideal client is someone you want to establish a professional relationship with, where both sides benefit.

Save everyone the frustration, instead of signing a client who is less than ideal, refer to the collection each time and remember your end goal.

image of colored pencils, color swatches, blank paper to create colorful business vision plan

The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have In Your Office

My vision boards hang on the wall, a beautiful physical representation of my dreams. It’s organized and colorful. When I stare at it for even just a few minutes, my eyes get lost in all its possibilities waiting to happen. Sometimes when working on this project, time simply slips away.

Mostly this activity keeps me focused and driven towards achieving personal goals while still keeping an open mind along with creative tendencies.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking whiling away an afternoon with my vision board is unproductive. Quite the contrary, spending a couple of hours planning my future with a vision board leaves me feeling inspired and ready to take action. After all, the harder I work, the closer I am to seeing those dreams become a reality. 

Don’t think for a minute that spending time creating my vision board is unproductive. Spending just an hour or two planning your future on one can leave you feeling more energized, ready for action, and willing to work hard towards achieving those dreams!

The idea of making vision boards is definitely something everyone should at least try once in their lives. It doesn’t take as long as many might think (just a couple of hours) and the results could be life-changing.

The thought of creating a vision board can intimidate analytical types of people. However, with some research and brainstorming, you’ll find that it’s really isn’t difficult or overwhelming to create one.

If you’ve heard of vision boards but haven’t tried creating one, what’s holding you back?

Vision boards are an excellent way to set goals for yourself in terms of necessary steps and how they’ll be reached. They help “right-brained” individuals visualize their success using images that represent various aspects of life (money/career/personal) along with words printed or written. These show or describe paths taken to get to your goals.

Begin. Start with what you have nearby and available to you at the present. There are no “rules”. Creating a vision board is a unique representation of your goals, no one else’s.

Books and Magazines, Even Online Images

We all have that stack of magazines we keep meaning to toss. Now you can put them to good use in building your vision board. Flip through them and clip pictures that inspire you, such as vacation spots you’d like to visit, homes you’d love to live in, museums you want to explore. Don’t be picky or too selective. You don’t have to use all the images you clip, so for now, just cut out anything that captures your imagination.

You can put your old magazines to good use and build a vision board. Grab some scissors and start cutting out pictures that inspire your dreams.

You can also look up images online if there are any specific categories of items or destinations you want in mind (e.g., vacation spots, homes, offices, ideal clients).

You can collect inspiring words, beautiful typography, or even attention-grabbing ads for your vision board.

Build the most beautiful dream world possible by including anything that gives off positive vibes – no matter how big or small it is.

Colored Pens, Pencils, Markers

Don’t be afraid to let your creative side show with some hand lettering or doodling on your vision board. Quotes you love, special dates you want to commemorate, and even the names of people you admire can all find a home on your vision board. 

There are endless ways to make your vision board special, and one of them is adding some creative elements. Hand lettering or doodling on your vision board adds a personal touch to the boards. It can include quotes you love, dates special to you, and even names of people that inspire you! These make your vision unique, inspiring and will motivate you closer to your goals.

Stickers, Ribbons & Art Supplies

If you have youngsters, odds are you have plenty of craft supplies that will make great additions to your board. 

Stickers are more than just accessories. Use them to mark the most important items on your board, the ones you want to work toward next.

Ribbon or yarn can keep together mementos such as ticket stubs or receipts that can serve as reminders of the life you want to enhance and continue in your life. 

There is no right or wrong way to make a vision board that works. What matters most is what sparks you and gets you excited when looking at your design. Design a board that makes an impact on your life each time it catches your eye because this will inspire the magic of manifestation in yourself!

image of a blue lightbulb on color blocked (pink and yellow) background depicting clear vision for business plan

Getting Clear on Your Business and Life Vision

If there’s any one thing that gets us stuck like a buggy in a blizzard like we’ve talked about above, lack of clarity will sneak up on you and do it every time.

  • You know you want to just walk right out on that soul-sapping job in exchange for the independence and of your dream business You’re just not sure on the exact steps to take. 
  • You want to take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but you’re not sure where to go or even how to make it all come together. 
  • You want your business to thrive and prosper but aren’t even sure what that means. 

The truth is, with vague “goals”, in one, two, five, or ten years, you’ll still be right where you’re at now. 

“Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve.” – Napoleon Hill (Amazon Book: Think and Grow Rich 1937). With a little clarity, you can reach any goal you set—and even goals you cannot yet imagine. And the first step is to simply visualize what you want.

How Vision Boards Work

A vision board is a planning tool that helps you visualize your goals and focus on taking the next steps to take. By collecting images of your biggest dreams, they can be within sight while working towards them so you don’t lose track of what matters most!

If you struggle with motivation, vision boards can serve as a great reminder. Vision boards are not only fun to create but also help keep you inspired when boredom strikes (as it surely will). They’re like your own daily dose of willpower! And they remind us why we’re working so hard in the first place—because if we take that nap now, those dreams might never become reality.

How to Make a Vision Board

Creating a vision board is fun, easy, and incredibly affordable (if not free)! You can create yours with paper and other art materials, or digitally using one of many online apps, Pinterest, or even Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. While digital boards are definitely more portable, physical boards are often more inspiring.

As you create your vision board, think about what inspires and excites you. Is it vibrant colors? Nature scenes like mountains or the beach? Sticking to a theme can help organize all of those notes into one cohesive idea that’s meaningful to both your career goals as well as who is on an emotional level.

As we begin creating our vision boards, there’s just something about engaging our senses that makes them more effective than digital versions.

To start creating your board, collect images that depict your most important goals and dreams. Pictures from a favorite family gathering, printed photos of an expensive bag you want to buy, a photo of a famous person you’d like to meet one day, or even a dollar $$$ representing your aspired bank balance are all ways to envision your goals. Add these and whatever you want to your vision board. 

You know what they say, “Oftentimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.” Next up is to include phrases and quotes that inspire you. Even words you find empowering and uplifting. When times get tough, often it’s the inspiration of a word or phrase that gives us the push to keep moving forward.

Finally, remember this: Your vision board is a living document. Your dreams and goals will change. Some you will achieve and remove from your board to make room for bigger and better dreams. Some you will decide don’t matter so much anymore, and you’ll trade them for some others. It’s your vision, and it’s completely up to you what dreams you choose to follow—just be sure that you do follow them. 

image a graphic reminder: clarity, focus, excitement

Finally, remember: Your vision board is a living and fluid document. Dreams and goals change as you change. They will shift to reflect the things that are important to you in that moment. Some of these changes may be intentional while others might not have been anticipated but it doesn’t really matter what kind they are – just know there’s no right answer for how long or which ones should stay on your list when making decisions about them later in life. Focus on following whatever gives you joy at the time. Don’t get too hung up over details like whether something was meant only temporally instead of permanently!

Related Reading:

Vision Boards for Financial Success and Freedom

Create More Financial Abundance In Your Life

Make Over Your Life Using The Power of Vision Boards

"Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive andimage of  Believe, It Can Achieve." person walking barefoot on beach in bakcground

Matt R

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you budget and save money.

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