You’re the leader of your business. The visionary. The person in charge. The “Big Cheese.” Your business (and employees) will go in whatever direction you point it. So, it’s your job to cast the vision you have for your company.
When it comes down to it, your business’s success depends on the vision you set and how well you execute your plans in pursuit of that vision. Decide where you see your business in the future. Then, cast your vision by creating a vision statement.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is a description telling you and your employees what your business will look like in the future. Your vision statement should point your employees in the right direction so your company can create goals.
Without a vision statement, your business will languish and flounder. Because without a vision, you are basically saying you have no plans or destination for your business!
Generally, vision statements are short and to the point. A vision statement should just explain where you want your business to be. It shouldn’t be a pages-long explanation of how your business will get there—that’s a business plan.
For example, during my first year of starting Top Echelon, LLC, my vision statement stated that we would “create the most successful network of executive recruiters in the USA.” And after 10 long years, we achieved that vision!
Company vision vs. mission statements
Don’t confuse your company vision statement with your mission statement.
When you create a mission statement for your business, you summarize your business’s goals and values. Mission statements are used outside of your company to show potential customers and investors what sets you apart.
On the other hand, a vision statement is an internal plan for you and your employees summarizing the future of your company.
Writing a vision statement
Just because a vision statement is sweet and to the point doesn’t mean the process is any less stressful. You want a strong vision statement that inspires your employees to engage with the company.
When creating your vision statement, have fun. Sit down and think about why you started your business and the motivation you have for making your dream a reality. Where do you want that determination to lead you? Years down the line, what will make you say, “Wow, we did it!”
Here’s some advice I have for writing your business vision statement.
Don’t go overboard with your vision for the business. As business owners, we love to think big. But sometimes we pay a price (e.g., time, money, or even our health) when we establish unattainable vision statements.
For example, your vision probably won’t be to establish a location on every continent. First of all, that would take a long time to achieve that goal. And second of all … I don’t know how many customers you’d get in Antarctica.
Refer to your mission statement
Some business owners write out their mission statement before their vision statement. If you’re having trouble getting inspiration for writing your vision statement, think about your short-term goals. If you already wrote your mission statement, you can use it to help you create your vision statement.
Put in the time
The best vision statements are sincere and well thought out. Although you don’t want to map out how you plan to achieve your vision (at least not in your vision statement), you should have some idea of how to get there. The vision statement should act as a guide to setting and achieving your business goals.
Be proud of your vision statement
If you aren’t proud of your own vision statement, chances are your employees won’t want to work towards achieving it. Write something that you can be proud of to give you and your employees motivation.
Vision statement template
Although every vision statement is different, most business owners follow a similar template when creating theirs.
Think about what your business is. Consider where you want your business to go. Incorporate the dreams you had when you started your business. Then write.
Generally, vision statements contain the following information:
- Time frame
- Company name
- What you will accomplish
- How you will have accomplished it (brief)
Vision statement examples
Take a look at some of these sample vision statements to spark your creativity.
1. Within five years, Alex’s Hair Salon will have annual revenues of over $300,000 by providing unmatched service, prices, and quality work.
2. Seven years from now, Kevin’s Cupcakes will have 50 locations nationwide by creating unique, customizable desserts.