Your Vision Statement is the vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations. Having a clear business vision will give you, your team and your business a clear focus, and can stop you heading off in the wrong direction.
The best way to formalise and communicate the vision you have for your business is to sit down and write a vision statement. The vision statement will capture, in words, the essence of where you want to take your business, and shows you how you can inspire you and your team to reach your business goals.
What are the ‘things’ to include in your vision statement
Your vision statement should communicate your ultimate longer term business goals, and it should reflect your view of your market and your business’ place in it. It will also answer the fundamental question in your business - Where are we going? …. **Hint** - the practical aspect of how you all will get there will be usually dealt with in your mission statement … stand by for a blog on that one.
Your vision statement should be inspired by different aspects of your business, such as:
Your industry reputation (e.g. among customers, staff, competitors)
Your service quality standards (e.g. to make customers a priority)
Your desire for growth (e.g. you offer new products, innovate, get more customers, increase locations)
Your (and your team’s) passion (e.g. that you and your staff enjoy what you do)
Your business’ sustainability (e.g. that you are financially and environmentally sustainable).
You should also think about what inspired you to start a business, and what core business values and principles are important to you and your business.
To write a kick-arse, effective vision statement you need to think about what your business actually does, and then imagine what your business would look like if it became the best possible version of itself doing it.
Brain storm with your team or your Brain’s Trust
Get started by inviting your key staff to a business vision workshop – sole trader and no staff? – talk to your inner circle – your Brain’s Trust, people that you know and trust and that get you and your business. By brainstorming and sharing ideas, you can answer essential questions about the direction of your business, which will make it much easier to write your vision statement. This also cements the vision with your staff, as they become aligned to the vision and will work toward achieving it.
Writing a vision statement
After you've held your vision workshop and come up with some ideas, it's time to write your official vision statement. Make sure your vision statement:
is clear and written in plain English (i.e. no jargon or 'business speak')
is passionate, powerful and memorable
is short and says a lot in a few words
is realistic (i.e. in terms of your resources, capabilities and growth potential)
describes the best outcome (ideal state) for your business
helps build a picture in people's minds.
How do you then display and use your business's vision statement
A vision statement isn't something you write and then forget. As your business grows, you should be constantly revisiting your business vision statement to measure your progress and success. It is a living document. It will help you make key business decisions in the days, weeks, months ahead, as it represents the heart and soul of your business.
It's a good idea to make your business's vision statement visible in your workspace or on your correspondence/,akerting materials to inspire your team and stakeholders and remind them of your purpose, for example, by: