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How to Stress Test Your Business Vision

By: Dave Berkus


envisioning your business

You’re at the ignition stage of your newest business venture.  Of course, you have a vision for what you will do to change the world.  Let’s see how to stress test your business vision and sharpen it further to help ensure your success.

Stress Test Your Vison

First, if your vision is limited and you will be happy with a successful local dry-cleaning enterprise or small restaurant around the corner, you are not the target for this epic effort to help entrepreneurs build great businesses that do change the world.

For the rest of you who want to change the world, let me repeat using different words: vision is everything.  A great vision for a new enterprise drives innovation. It serves as the rallying cry for future employees, investors, customers, and suppliers.  It sharpens the understanding for those new to the enterprise and moves them to follow and even to become unpaid advocates for the business.

Think of some of the great visions from the past that did change the world. 

“Absolutely, positively overnight” made FedEx an indispensable name in supply chain management.  “A computer on every desk” made Microsoft a partner in the growth of most every business.   You can think of many more, visions expressed so clearly that their enterprise became critical to your success.

Other, less dramatic ways to express a vision

“Be the largest supplier of laser toner in North America,” or “Make dining into a five-star experience.” All great business visions.

Here’s how an entrepreneur’s vision statement affected me:

Years ago, as a panelist at an entrepreneurial seminar, I watched as over fifty aspiring young entrepreneurs filed past a microphone, each tasked with making a thirty second pitch to the panelists of professional investors.  About halfway through this painful exercise, one man walked up to the microphone and said, simply, “We move oil through the Internet” and then he moved on.  Immediately after the panel presentation, I found that one entrepreneur and began a conversation that led to my investing $100,000 in his vision of a supply chain enterprise. It was based upon perfect knowledge of oil delivery systems, precise timing of delivery and coordination of resources to move oil from source to customer using the Internet as a frictionless tool for communication and coordination.

Although that business ultimately failed, I remained in contact with that entrepreneur as he used his experience in a new field, better off because of his learning experience.  I carry no rancor because of the loss, since I bought into the vision and helped as I could with the execution. I came to the realization along with the entrepreneurial team that the number of uncontrollable elements far exceeded those which could be controlled by any third party at that stage of development of the Internet.

Express your goal in just a few words, then stress test your business vision. Others will remember it and remember you, and will get behind your excitement and singular focus for success.

Published: August 30, 2023

Source: Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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