Creating a compelling vision
Are you clear about what your business’s ambition is?
The importance of having a clear vision for your business is sometimes grossly underestimated. A stretching, unique and inspiring vision can shape, grow, and give direction to any business - regardless of size or industry.
If you are intentional in your efforts and committed to doing the hard work, you can create a vision statement that encapsulates your business's core ideals and provides a roadmap to where it wants to go.
In January, our BiZHUB theme is Vision, and it’s something that at SiGNAL we encourage all business owners to have. MD, Emma Selby adds, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Your vision is your founding purpose, and it sets you apart from the rest. Your vision will attract and connect your customers and, as you grow, it will attract and motivate your team. Your vision reveals who you are, why you do what you do and why people should join you. It’s probably the most important piece of your business puzzle and that is why at SiGNAL we begin every year reviewing ours!”
What’s the difference between a vision and a mission?
It’s just as important to know what a vision statement is, as well as what a vision statement isn’t.
A mission statement is a ‘present’ statement and describes the company’s purpose right here today. A mission statement should answer the question “why does this business exist?”.
In comparison, a vision statement looks ahead and is used to create direction. Its purpose is to define what a perfect future will look like, by highlighting the values and hopes of the business. A vision statement should answer the question “what do you aim to achieve?”.
Although both mission and vision statements are important for your business, a vision statement should serve as the guiding light.
What’s the importance of having a vision statement?
A business’s vision will express its goals and aspirations to employees, investors, shareholders, and customers. It will also help you to differentiate from competitors.
Having a clear vision for your business provides a framework for strategic planning. If you have a crystal-clear vision from the start, it can stop you from getting 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.
How do I create a compelling vision?
Creating your business’s vision may seem quite overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to develop a powerful vision statement. Instead, use the information you already have. Think about your business’s mission, goals, purpose, and value and weave these concepts into your vision. Also look at your competitors and see how you can differentiate from them.
The best vision statements are often short, to-the-point, and leave no room for misinterpretation. You want it to be memorable and unique ??" highlighting what distinguishes your business, and why that matters.
Ask yourself this - “in 5, 10 or even 30 years’ time, what have you built?”.
Don’t hold back when answering this question. Give yourself permission to explore creative avenues and aspire to the best possibility for your business. One of Microsoft’s early vision statements was "a computer on every desk and in every home”. At the time this was written there was barely one in every office. This gives you a flavour of how ambitious to go.
Examples of vision statements:
- Disney - “Make people happy”
- Tesla - “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- Patagonia - “Build the best product. Cause no unnecessary harm. Use business to protect nature. Not bound by convention.”
- Alzheimer’s Association - “A world without Alzheimer’s.”
- Ben & Jerry's - "Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way."
- TED - "Spread ideas."
- 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.”
There are many different types of vision statements and there is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important thing is that you resonate with it. That way it will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.
If you need some help to determine your vision, whether that’s as a permanent vision statement, or as part of an annual review, be sure to sign up to this month’s BiZHUB!