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.
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What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.
A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.
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.
The Importance of a Vision Statement
Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.
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 feel 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.
How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement
1. Dream big and use clear language
An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:
- Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
- Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
- Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
- Write your vision statement in the present tense.
- Use clear and concise language.
- Ensure the statement is easily understood.
There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.
2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.
Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:
Short vision statements made up of a few words only:
To make people happy.
A just world without poverty.
To create a better every day life for the many people.
Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:
Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:
People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.
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:
8. Honda – in 1970
We will destroy Yamaha.
9. Nike – in 1960s
10. 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:
11. Stanford University – in the past
To become the Harvard of the West.
12. Reach for Success – in the past
To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.
Internal Transformations vision statements:
To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.
14. Giro Sport Design
To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.
To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.
To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Longer and more detailed vision statement:
To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.
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.
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.
The Bottom Line
Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.
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!