Cement your company’s direction with an effective vision statement
You’ve all heard of vision statements, and you may have even thrown one together for your business already because you’re “supposed to” — but is it useful? While a mission statement breaks down your immediate goals and plans, and your strategy elaborates on how you want to get there, a vision statement is far more abstract, but no less essential to creating a cohesive sense of direction for your business.
A well-constructed vision statement gives a stronger orientation and purpose to your employees. The more they understand and connect with your vision, the higher their engagement levels will be and the more your vision will be effectively translated into your services and products. Employees have to be excited about your company’s trajectory to become the kind of corporate ambassadors your business needs.
The vision should be seen and felt in every element of your business. From your company culture to your external communications, your vision is a cornerstone of it all. Without alignment throughout, you’re only creating a vision statement to check a box.
So, what exactly is a vision statement?
It’s a non-strategic progression of your mission that takes you from where you are now to who you want to be. It’s your goals, values, and dreams all fit together in one cohesive statement. It gets to the heart of how you want to be perceived, what you want to be known for, and what impact you want your business to have. And not just on customers, but also on your employees, your community, or even your entire industry.
Your vision should be what drives you to keep pushing to be better and to set yourself apart…
which is something you always need to separate from and stand above the competition.
Sounds great, now how do I make one?
First, imagine your future. Not just your immediate goals and hopes, but consider how you envision your company progressing into the next decade. Think broadly and don’t be afraid to dream big. Big dreams are likely what got you here in the first place because let’s face it, owning and running a business is anything but a safe bet.
But when formulating your vision statement remember that this isn’t your dream journal. Keep it brief, concise, use straightforward language, avoid being too generic or vague, and above all, make it inspiring! It will certainly take more time and effort to boil this all down to a simple sentence or two, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to evolve your vision statement over time. As you stay in business longer, you may discover previously unknown strengths or your passions and priorities may shift. No business owner has it all figured out straight out of the gate and the stagnation that comes from refusing to grow is a killer.
Check out these examples from well-known companies to get the inspiration flowing.