Knowing where you’re headed is one of the first steps in any journey. Owning and running a business is no exception. Owning a business is a long journey met with periods of slow growth, which some can find discouraging. Yet having a clear idea of where you want to go can serve as a beam of light through the clouds. An easy way to do this is through establishing inspiring vision statements. Companies use vision statements as a form of goal setting and self-identification. They look towards future business goals and initiatives while in the present. Sounds good, right? If you don’t have a vision statement but want to get started on one, check out the 5 steps below.
1.) Set Goals – To create a vision statement, you need to have established goals. Focus on creating long term goals for your company. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2, 5 or 10 years down the road. The important thing is that you’ve established what you want your company to be in the future. Knowing where you’re going is half the battle. Taking the time to figure out the path to success will determine the future. Don't just talk about them, write them down.
2.) Ask Key Stakeholders – What do your partners think about the company’s future? How about the executive team? Talking to these key stakeholders not only ensures all are on the same page, but also gets unheard ideas out. You may not have thought about entering a market or space until one of your key stakeholders has pointed it out. You shouldn’t be all things to all people, so ask your closest allies where they see the company going.
3.) Keep It Simple – Vision statements don’t have to be long. They can be if you want, but you can always pack a big punch with a small amount of words. For example, “To have our product in every American household” is 8 words. Vision statements are also supposed to be malleable. Whenever the vision statement no longer applies, it gets updated with a new one. This helps to keep the company's goals in line.
4.) Be Clear and Concise – When crafting the vision statement, clarity is key. If your vision statement displays who you are and where you’re headed, you're in great shape. Speaking in broad and narrow terms at the same time can mean that the company doesn’t have a good sense of self. Look at what you do now and what you want to be doing in the future. Chances are, it’ll be the same thing but on a grander scale.
5.) Revise, Revise, Revise! – As stated earlier, vision statements are not a permanent thing. As a matter of fact, they should update as the company grows. If your company makes strides to achieve the vision and it’s just not working out, it’s time to readjust. Maybe you need to establish shorter milestones to accomplish along the way. This may happen from time to time but don’t get discouraged; just go back to the top of this list and start over again. Doing so shows that your company wants to get it right for the long run, which is the key to success.
An inspiring vision statement can help your business as it grows. The best part is it’s not hard! First, set goals for what you want your company to become in the future. Next, ask the key individuals within the company what they think. Third, when in doubt, keep it as simple as possible. After that, make sure your vision statement is clear so everyone knows your intentions. Finally, expect to update and revise as needed. If you follow these five simple steps, you’ll be ahead of those who struggle with an identity crisis. Take some time to create your vision statement today. It also never hurts to ask for help either.