Keys to Creating a Canadian Vision

By Kevin Huhn

We often overlook the value of one of the simplest innate abilities we have as human beings – the ability to vision.

For 30 years I coached hockey teams. It was not until I immersed myself into the National Certification Coaching Program, that I understood the importance of vision for a team.

In my personal life, I have put to work the power of having a vision. At five years old I told my dad I was going to play pro hockey. I had no idea at that age, that I had created a vision but there was an image in my head to shoot for.

In 2007, I got to see the vision become reality when I was hired by the Central Hockey League. At the age of 42 I knew how important having a vision was. But that was in my personal life. What has this topic got to do with a business? What does having a vision really do for a company? The answer to this question is the purpose of this article.

In one simple sentence: a Vision guides people in the business to come together and work together towards a common outcome.

Every time I speak to business owners it shocks me how many have no vision written down for their business. They do not have the one thing that helps them stay focused on any task at hand.

Imagine having a bow and arrow and I tell you to shoot the arrow at the target. You probably look around. You aim, and aim, and aim but there is nothing to point the arrow at. The target is your vision.

In my last article I shared the importance of having the right people doing the right things. Now that the people are selected, you need to guide them. And you guide them by providing a target to aim at – a Vision.

As a Canadian business owner, Domenico Ciarallo understands what it means to have a clear vision. Known as “Domenic” to his friends, he is the owner and creator of the Rocket Sport Dryer. I first met Domenic in 2013, during my time as the Manager of Player Recruitment at the CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League). His companies dealt with import/export to China and other countries. I had always thought that dealing with China and marketing in multiple countries seemed to be for the “Big boys” not the so-called small entrepreneur. Just like having a vision for your business, it is not for everyone.

According to Stats Canada, 86.7% of businesses in Canada have a total of 19 or less employees. That leaves 13.3% of all companies in Canada with 20+ employees. So when we hear about the “Big boys” they represent a small amount of businesses in Canada.

If you are wondering what a vision has to do with these stats keep in mind that 96% of all businesses fail in their first five years. And my own research has shown that 80% of business owners have no vision for their company written down.

As a small business owner with huge success, I asked Domenic to share his development of the vision for Rocket Dryer. I wanted to uncover the keys to creating a vision that allows a company to succeed despite a fierce competitive marketplace.

Domenic described how the vision for the Rocket Dryer came up, with his usual easy going manner, “I saw an opportunity and took it.”

This was one of the two keys to creating a powerful vision Domenic described as a must for every business owner.
KH: Is there a problem that needs addressing?

DC: “The opportunity lies in being able to know that something can be fixed or improved, in order to benefit someone’s life or lifestyle.

I saw an opportunity and took it. I was in China at a tradeshow 10 years ago. There was someone with a plastic standing shirt dryer, a fire hazard waiting to happen. It was a flimsy stand that dried shirts with hot air. I looked at it and walked by. But there was something about its design that had me think about a problem I knew about.

I played hockey at minor, college and pro levels. I coached minor hockey. There was always an issue with tournaments; a number of games to be played in a short amount of time and as a result, the equipment had a hard time to dry. If you can imagine putting on wet clothes, with some stink and a little bit more weight. That was wet gear and very uncomfortable. And as we have recently learned, it is also a very bad health problem known as Staphylococcus (known as ‘staph infection’).

So there was a problem – People’s hockey equipment having no ability to dry in a short amount of time.
That was the start of the vision.”

KH: Is there anything like this in the marketplace?

DC: “It is nice to come up with an idea for a product or service. But if the marketplace will not accept the product it does not matter.

I knew that there was no such drying device that was portable enough to have in a room of someone’s house or that could easily be stored. I played hockey and shopped in most small and big retailers. I also knew the importing/exporting industry from my previous business.

All I had to do was marry the pain with the solution. Remember the success of a vision for a business is the benefit to people’s lives and is the product or service different.

Let me share it this way. Take a can opener. You can have a pen knife can opener. You can have a hand winding can opener and you can have an electric can opener. They all work. They all benefit people. But someone like my mom with arthritis, who loves her electric can opener. It is easier for her to open a can with her hands.

In the case of Rocket Dryer I took a drying device and modified it. I applied technology to strengthen it for heavier items like sports equipment. I made sure it got certified as it was able to kill germs because of its heating application. And we made it retractable for easy stow and store. And I saw this not only for hockey but all sports. I created a next generation that had me add UV protection and create a larger sized unit.”

With these two keys you have the foundation to which you can start to create the vision for your business. If you already have a vision then I would challenge you to have a look at it and make sure that the words actually form the target in your mind where you and your people can aim all your efforts and resources.

The process to create or re-evaluate can be quite simple or long and involved. What matters is you get it down in writing and put in a place you can see everyday.

Whether you have a team of players you want to guide, or a product/service that makes life better for people, having a vision is the key element to your success.

Once your vision is created and written down, it then needs to be brought to life. As the leader you want to make sure your team, suppliers, clients and partners all can see it too – so get out there and share it!”

Kevin Huhn is the Founder and CEO of HOPES, WISHES and DREAMS and through its mission wants to help business owners reinvent their brand with proven systems, programs and products that engage, empower and enlighten in order to impact their rate of success. To learn more visit www.KevinHuhn.com

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