Many people earn their Certified Aging In Place Specialist designation to launch their own consulting, home modifications, or home assessment business to keep people safe in their homes as they age in them. Others want to achieve similar aims for people to help them use their homes more functionally. Regardless of why we attain our training and what we plan to do with it, a strong vision lies at the heart of how we are going to put into practice what we have learned.
It’s easy enough to start a business, notwithstanding the financial aspects of being able to produce sufficient revenue to remain viable, but without the vision, there will not be the level of passion and commitment necessary to launch or sustain the business. While it might do well initially, it won’t have the staying power to attract new customers or to even excite those associated with the business.
It’s this thought process and planning that goes into the formulation of the business that enables us to launch it with some direction. The vision is more than just a dream to create something or a desire to achieve something. It starts with looking around us and identifying a need – something that is not being addressed currently in any form or not to the level desired. Maybe that need is already apparent without any additional observation. Regardless, that need must be factored into a plan to facilitate a way to address it.
Our vision will encompass what needs to happen and shapes how it can occur for us to offer our ideas to the marketplace. It doesn’t have to be explicit in every detail, but it has to be expressive and detailed enough to identify and outline what we want to accomplish and why it’s important that we do this. It should address a desired outcome.
A vision will be defined from a real or perceived need that can be met or addressed through specific actions or activities that we will take or set into motion. Without that drive to address a specific unmet or under-addressed need, the urgency to pursue it will be absent.
It is the vision that fuels and propels our business. It provides the passion to be creative, to persist, to innovate, and to reach out to invite and include others who can help implement the vision as well as those who will benefit from having our services in their homes. The vision must excite and motivate us because that is how we are going to generate the enthusiasm in others to help make it happen.
By defining our vision, we will be expressing what makes us different – as professionals or as a company – from other aging services, aging in place providers, contractors, or healthcare professionals. We can use this as our business model, to express our USP (unique selling proposition, or what differentiates us from others in our marketplace that currently provide similar services), in our branding, and in our marketing message. It will underscore how and why we are delivering the types of services we are and to the people we are serving.
To have the kind of aging in place business that conveys our intense desire for helping others remain independent and safe in their current home environments, we have to identify a vision that we can get behind and attach ourselves to as the primary explanation for why we are – or want to be – in the type of business we are planning.
Our vision underlies everything else we create. It guides our daily activities and how long-term objectives. It gives us the direction to identify population and areas to serve and the methodology to implement the solutions and treatments that are called for among those we wish to help.
Successful businesses don’t exist and thrive without a driving passion behind them, and this comes from a vision that provides that basic compass and direction.