It’s not just something a big company does
A business vision statement gives your growing company something to aim for. It gives your business purpose.
Business life is full of twists that can distract from your objectives, so your chances of success are better with a clear vision. A vision will guide you forward.
The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked – not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you are feeling down.
A business vision will steer your efforts beyond a business plan.
A business vision will inspire your employees.
A business vision explains to investors, lenders and suppliers what you want to achieve.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement declares what an organization wants to achieve over time. It answers the question, “Where is my business going?” in one sentence or one short paragraph.
Think of a vision statement as a future description of your business. It doesn’t address the immediate goals or activities of a business (usually covered in a mission statement) but instead elevates the discussion to what is possible for your business to achieve and contribute to society over time.
A vision statement defines the core ideals that give your business its shape and direction. It’s an essential part of success and some of the world’s largest organizations find value in a vision statement.
Here are three examples of vision statements from organizations that you may recognize:
“Helping people around the world eat and live better” (Kraft)
“To create a better everyday life for the many people.” (Ikea)
“A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” (Habitat for Humanity)
Crafting your vision statement
Start by addressing the following questions:
What does my business do? For example, say your business creates software to help people manage their finances.
How will others benefit from it? You believe that better financial management enriches lives.
What will be the legacy of my business? Take a future look at your business to address long-term impact. Using the above example, you might talk about making the world a smarter place through intelligent financial management.
Now put it all together in a trial statement:
“Improving and enriching lives everywhere using intelligent personal financial management tools.”
Once you’re (almost) satisfied with your statement, let it marinate for a while before you return to make any edits. Read your vision statement aloud. Next, share it with business colleagues and other business owners to obtain their reaction and feedback. It always helps to search online for sample vision statements from companies both large and small.
Once you’re happy with your vision statement, share it with the world. Put it on your website. Make it part of your training program for new employees. Add it to your business plan for stakeholders to see.
A business vision statement won’t last forever – once you achieve your original vision, you can (and should!) update your vision statement to reflect new ambitions.