There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business and, if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement. A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day? You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality. 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 feeling lost.

Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well. Write your vision statement in the present tense and make sure that it is clear, concise and most importantly inspiring!

There are many different types of vision statements and there is not a wrong or right way to do it. The most important is that you resonate with it, it inspires you and is clear enough to give you targeted direction.

Here are examples of 20 different vision statement for the new startup:

Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

1. Disney – To make people happy.

2. Oxfam – A just world without poverty.

3. Ikea – To create a better every day life for the many people.

Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

4. Microsoft – A computer on every desk and in every home; all running Microsoft software.

5. Nike – Current: To be the number one athletic company in the world.

6. Wal-Mart – Become a $125 billion company by the year 2000.

Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

7. Ford – To become the world’s leading Consumer Company for automotive products and services.

8. Microsoft – At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.

9. Avon – To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

10. Honda – in 1970: We will destroy Yamaha.

11. Nike – in 1960s: Crush Adidas.

12. Philip Morris – in 1950s: Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

13. Giro Sport Design – To become the Nike of the cycling industry.

14. Stanford University – To become the Harvard of the West.

15. Reach for Success  – To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

Internal Transformations vision statements:

16. Sony – Become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products.

17. GE – Become number one or two in every market we serve and revolutionize this company to have the strengths of a big company combined with the leanness and agility of a small company.

18. US Armies Vision – To transform ourselves into a newer, leaner Army positioned for the 21st century.

Longer and more detailed vision statement:

19. Coca Cola – To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

20. Heinz – Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

Are you ready to write yours?

Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it. Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: David H. Chu via Flickr

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