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Writing An Effective Vision Statement For Your Business – Brand Basics
What is a vision statement, why do you need one, and how does it help your business? This article is going to look at the vision statement and answer all of these questions so that you can create a vision statement that best encompasses your business, and helps clarify the direction of your business going forward.
Envisioning your business is always fun. You make plans to change the world, make millions, make enough to replace (or double!) your current income, etc. These are all exciting possibilities when someone envisions a business.
But did you know that most successful businesses have a clear and specific business vision statement? The vision statement is an important part of the brand identity for an organization.
While the vision statement is very similar to a mission statement, it has one big difference. The Vision statement identifies what success looks like to YOUR organization or business, i.e. your ideal business outcome or end goal.
This is not to be confused with your business mission statement, which we will talk about in another article.
What’s the difference between a business’ vision statement and a mission statement?
If you’ve already read the mission statement article, woohoo! You might have figured this out already. But simply put, the mission statement is the purpose (reason) you are in business. It is straightforward and short, like a slogan or motto.
If the mission statement is your why, let’s call your vision statement your WHAT.
What does your successful business look like? What does your end zone happy dance look like? Is it popping bubbly on a private jet with the Kardashians, or is it making a global impact with the Gates family?
Maybe it’s being the #1 most recognized brand of running shoes on the market or becoming the go-to travel agency for interplanetary travel. (Yo, Elon, wazzup?!)
Whatever it may be, specifying your end goal is a crucial part of getting there.
You could attempt to make a cross-country road trip without a map, but even if you were successful at it, it would probably take 10 times longer and waste a lot of gas. But until you have that end goal specified, you’re just wandering around aimlessly in the meantime.
So now you know WHY you need a vision statement…but…
How do you write a vision statement that works for your business?
The goal of a good vision statement is to provide a clear picture (or vision) of what you and your organization believe success will look like for YOUR specific business.
Keeping that in mind, here’s what you need to consider when drafting up your vision statement:
1. Your vision statement should include a measurable outcome.
You want to have a specific idea of what your end goal is. You don’t want to say, ‘We’re going to make the planet a better place.’ This is subjective- what is better? How much better?
Using a specific, measurable outcome helps you to be clear and know how far you need to go to reach your end goal. For example, Levi’s has a vision of reducing water usage by 50% by the end of 2025. This provides a clear understanding of what the vision of the company is to everyone. Water usage (and water waste) is a huge part of the process to manufacture jeans, so this is a strong and purposeful goal for Levi’s.
2. Your vision statement should be short and reasonable.
While it’s great for a business to have multiple goals, your vision statement should ideally be the main, BIGGEST goal.
Google’s vision statement is ‘to provide access to the world’s information in one click.’ Google also set out to have a workplace that cultivates creativity and imagination, among other goals, but their vision statement is the BIGGEST, most important goal. (Notice the measurable outcome of one click?)
Why does it only include one thing? Because you want something simple, clear, and easy for EVERYONE in the organization to understand, whether it’s employees, customers, vendors, or whomever else your business may encounter.
This brings us to our next point.
3. Your vision statement should be something everyone in your organization can get behind and support.
If you asked anyone in your business what the end goal is, or what success looks like for the business overall, they should all say relatively the same thing.
This is because you want all of your team members to be moving forward together, in the same direction. You don’t want to have some team members working towards a different goal, accidentally delaying or even sabotaging your success.
Think of this like a big, three-legged race. If you’re not going in the same direction, you’re probably going to eat some grass. But if you’re taking steps together as a team, you’re more likely to dominate the field.
So when writing your vision statement, be sure to include only the information that supports your business as a whole, and get everyone on board.
4. Your vision statement should include a reasonable attainable time frame.
You want to make sure it is a vision that will take some time to achieve, while still being actually achievable.
How can I write a strong vision statement for my business?
Now that you know all of the elements of a good vision statement, let’s look at an example framework to help you get yours written down.
One way to get started is by filling in the blanks of the following sentence:
_________ (My business) is going to _________ (accomplish what, i.e. goal) for _________ (who, i.e. city, state, country, customers, specific person, etc) by ______ (time deadline).
- Tiffany’s Nail Salon is going to reduce the chemical processes used in nail artistry for our customers by 2021.
- BohoChic Boutique is bringing more affordable, sustainable clothing options to reduce the clothing industry’s eco-footprint by 25% by 2025.
- Masterminds Marketing is going to increase the conversion rate by at least 10% for all clients annually by 2024.
Most successful businesses update their vision statement every 2-4 years, as their company grows and expands past their initial vision.
Having an end goal that can be completed within a few years gives you clear, long term goals that everyone can work towards.
Becoming that intergalactic travel agency when you have literally no clue how many planets are in the solar system, or how a space ship works, might be too far fetched and leave your team members feeling overwhelmed and confused.
So be reasonable, be relevant, and be timely.
So in conclusion…
The vision statement needs to paint a clear picture of success for everyone to understand clearly when encountering your business.
It should have a measurable outcome, and take a reasonable amount of time to complete. It not be so long that you space out while reading it. And lastly, everyone on your team should be aware of (and in agreement with) this major end goal, so y’all can work together to crush it!
Easy, peasy, right? You’ve totally got this!
So happy writing, y’all! And don’t forget to write when you make it to Mars. *wink wink*