Why have a Vision Statement?
- The purpose of creating a Vision Statement is to provide you, the business owner, with a clear picture of what you are going to achieve through owning your business
- One of the seven habits of effective leaders (as defined by Steven Covey) is that they always start with the end in mind. Even if your eventual exit from your business is many years away it will be worth far more and the exit process will be far easier if everything you do contributes to that exit
- If you do not have a clear vision how will you know which path to take or which decision to make? A clear vision will help you make those key decisions along the way
- The vision for your business will help you set short, mid and long-term objectives. When you set those objectives you should ask yourself how they contribute to achieving your vision
- The vision for your business will help you evaluate how you spend your time. Ask yourself frequently “How does this activity help me achieve my vision?” If it doesn’t, why are you doing it?
- It will help you communicate what is different and better about your business to staff and customers
What makes a good Vision Statement?
- It must be motivating for you. It must be something that you think is worth achieving and which matches your values and beliefs
- It should describe a particular point in time. This might be when you plan to exit or when you plan to achieve “success” as you see it. It should have a date
- It should describe what the business will be in concrete terms – how large, what it will be known for, what it will be able to do
- It should have a personal goal that describes how you will be spending your life. This might include your working life or your personal life or the options you would have by then
- It should have some concrete financial dimension – usually sale value, turnover or profit
- It should be written down
What do you do with your Vision Statement when you’ve got one?
- Use it to develop your internal and external Mission Statements which communicate to staff and customers what it is you do and why. (You wouldn’t normally share your Vision Statement directly with anyone else)
- Read it frequently. Use visioning or affirmations to picture yourself and your business at the point of the vision and look backwards at all the choices you made, the successes you had and the obstacles you overcame to get there – starting with the things you are doing today
- Use it to set your short, medium and long-term objectives and to validate your current strategy and decisions
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