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The First Thing All Amazing Startups Work on for a Refreshing Beginning

The First Thing All Amazing Startups Work on for a Refreshing Beginning

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.

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.

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.

To craft an inspiring vision statement, 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.

To make crafting vision statement easier, 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:

1. Disney

To make people happy.

2. Oxfam

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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

Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

    5. Nike

    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:

      6. Ford

      People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

      7. 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:

      8. Honda – in 1970

      We will destroy Yamaha.

      9. Nike – in 1960s

      Crush Adidas.

        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:

        13. Apple

        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.

        15. Tesla

        To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

        16. Sony

        To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

        17. Facebook

        To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

          Longer and more detailed vision statement:

          18. Walmart

          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.

            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.

            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!

            More by this author

            Kirstin O´Donovan

            Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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            Last Updated on October 18, 2018

            10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

            10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

            When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

            Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

            People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

            These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

            1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

            Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

            To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

            Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

            When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

            Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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            2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

            Things go wrong when you run your own business.

            Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

            Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

            Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

            Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

            If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

            3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

            Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

            As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

            Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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            After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

            Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

            He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

            4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

            No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

            It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

            You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

            Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

            An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

            5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

            You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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            As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

            Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

            Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

            You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

            6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

            In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

            Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

            • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
            • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
            • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

            By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

            7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

            Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

            As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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            8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

            No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

            Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

            9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

            Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

            If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

            10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

            Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

            Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

            If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

            The Bottom Line

            Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

            Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

            Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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