The Vision, just like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a powerful superhero that you have at your disposal when starting a business. Your vision is the essence of your business. Your vision defines your overall goals and reflects how your business sees the world and its place in it. Vision is also the mantra and driving force behind all of your decision-making. A well-crafted vision could be as short as one sentence or as long as multiple paragraphs.
Unlike a mission statement, which explains why your company exists, a vision statement is sweeping and forward looking. The important thing is that your vision statement should be motivational. Your vision statement is what keeps you going when things get dark. It is the North Star in uncharted seas.
Now that we have a better understanding of what a vision statement is, and why it’s critical to your success, the question is… how do you write one? I’ve got 4 tips to get you started.
#1 Look into the Future
Vision Statements are meant to be forward thinking. It’s your inspiration and the framework from which all of your strategic planning will be based. Imagine your business five or ten years down the line and project what you and your business would have accomplished by then.
Write in clear, present and concise language. Your vision statement should describe what you are trying to build, and it serves as a touchstone for your companies future actions. Your vision should require people to dream.
#2 Get to the Core
What’s important to you and your business? How do you see the world around you? Core values are there to guide the behavior and choice of your company. Core values will give you clarity to stay on brand, provide value to your target market and keep you focused during the decision-making process.
Core values are also important in determining the culture of your company. Core values can include things like integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Your company's core values are what matter most. Invest time in defining them and your vision statement will become clear.
#3 Dream On
Vision statements should be ambitious, passionate and emotional. It should tug at the heart strings of your company and overwhelm you with the desire to bring about real change. Stay true to your personal and professional values and beliefs, describe the impact you wish to have on your market and the world.
The job of a vision statement isn’t to produce a roadmap to achieve your dreams, it’s simply an end result you’re working to achieve. Dream big, dream often and refocus your attention as needed.
#4 Listen Closely
Share your vision statement with your inner circle of mentors, friends and colleagues. Ask them if your vision statement is clear, easy to follow and exciting. It’s important to gather feedback. When talking to others about your vision statement don’t try to make a speech. Keep it short, clear and concise.
Ask your inner circle to discuss, question and relay back your vision. Truly and honestly listen to them when they offer constructive criticism. If you have to clarify and explain your vision multiple times, then it’s not clear enough. Start from zero and keep working on it.
In closing, a clear vision statement is an essential start for a great leader and a great company. Take time to go through all the depths of the visions that you have and learn to best communicate your crafted message of your vision. In doing so, you’ll be able to communicate the purpose and direction of your company to employees, customers and other stakeholders.
Stuck? Here are a few vision statements from some famous companies.
Microsoft.com - To help people around the world realize their full potential.
Starbucks.com - To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Amazon.com - Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Charles Watson, M.B.A., T.M.
Digital Content Strategist / Founder
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