As an entrepreneur, creating a vision for your business involves generating a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your values, goals, and aspirations. Having a strong vision of your hoped-for future will give your business a clear focus, and can stop you from heading in the wrong direction.
Begin with a Vision Statement
The Vision Statement for your business should focus on the potential you see for your future, or what you intend for that future to be. While your Vision Statement might contain references to how you plan to turn that future into reality, the “how” you will do so is really part of a “Mission Statement”. Focus your Vision Statement on a description of the “what” you hope to do; meaning, what you intend your business to become.
The clearer you’re able to hold the mental image of the future of your business, the more effective your Vision Statement will be and the more focused your actions will become. Generalizations and vague goals will not work well for you. Rather, think in terms of definitive statements that reflect your values, which will help you outline a path toward your long-term business goals.
What will success look like?
Here are four steps you can take to articulate a Vision Statement for your business:
- A typical Vision Statement will be brief and direct; saying a great deal in very few words, so those words must be very carefully crafted.
- The key to a good business Vision Statement is to think of things in a long-term, broad sense, without sounding generic.
- If you’re too specific, you will limit your vision and it won’t be applicable ten years down the road: for example, if your current goal for your business is to “employ more people” that’s a vision for the future, but it’s not the vision for the future of your entire business. It’s too narrow in focus.
- On the other hand, if you say that you want to achieve success – well, any business in the world could say that. The best statement will be clear about who you are as a company as well as who you wish to become.
Here is an example of a possible Vision Statement:
“In five years, I want to bill $10 million annually, with a client base of “A-listers”, and a staff of 15 sales and support personnel, located in a space that we have made our own.”
The beauty of this statement is that it is very specific, contains realistic goals, and includes a values-based outlook.
We’re all familiar with the type of client who says they know what they want but simply cannot put their vision into words. Of course, since they have you to fall back on, that’s not an insurmountable obstacle for them. As a business owner, however, you have no one to fall back on – you ARE the “last resort” in this situation – use your mental image and focused vision of the future of your business as your primary guide.