How to write a business vision statement
A business vision statement isn’t a very long piece of writing. In fact, is should be just a sentence or so. But that doesn’t mean writing one is a quick job. In fact, boiling down your biggest aspirations for the future of your business into just a few words is incredibly challenging.
But it is an extremely useful exercise - especially if you want to enter the VFactor competition! (If you haven't heard of it, it's the game changing £7,000 branding package our copywriting agency is giving away alongside Visuable and Kimba Digital Marketing.)
That’s why we thought we’d put together a little guide that will help.
What is a vision statement?
Simply put, a vision statement is a snappy sentence that succinctly describes the big picture your business is aiming for. In an ideal world, what would your reality look like in five, 10 or 15 years from now? It could be that you want to:
Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. (Google)
Build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. (Amazon)
Fulfil dreams through the experience of motorcycling. (Harley Davidson)
Your vision statement should be big and optimistic, stretching the bounds of what’s possible and driving you and your team to achieve more than you might otherwise. This is not a logical step-by-step plan; it’s the exciting, emotive pot of gold that will keep you hunting for the end of the rainbow even when things are tough and you feel like giving up.
Why do I need a vision statement?
Because you will feel like giving up at some point. Pretty much every business owner does. But your vision statement will draw your eyes up and away from your current troubles and fix them back on that distant point in the future that you’re aiming at. Words are powerful, after all.
A vision statement can bring your team together too, giving them focus, pointing you all in the right direction, informing your strategy and your goal setting. And it will draw other people in, from investors to your customers and clients themselves.
It is also a useful tool for decision making. As a business owner it can be easy to be sidetracked by projects and plans that don’t actually serve your long term goal. With a clear vision statement in place, whenever an opportunity comes along you can refer back to it and ask, “Is this going to take me a step towards my goal?”
How do I write a vision statement?
The first thing to do is to sit down - by yourself or, ideally, with your team - and work through a few fundamental questions, such as:
Why does your business exist?
What do you do that’s different from other organisations?
What values underpin your operation?
What problem(s) are you helping to solve?
How do you make your customer or client’s life better?
How are you planning on changing the world?
When things get difficult, what motivates you to keep going?
Brainstorm these, without worrying too much about writing something that sounds good - that will come later.
Now start to sift through what you’ve written and ideally pinpoint three things: what you do, who you do it for and the results of what you do.
So for example, here is LinkedIn’s vision statement:
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
What they do is connect people, who they do it for is professionals, and the result is that these professionals become more productive and successful.
Not every vision statement will include every element. Paypal’s vision statement doesn’t specify audience or even really a result - they simply have a really big ‘what’:
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”
The point is that a vision statement should be big picture, it should be inspiring and it should be foundational to all your business activity.
If you have a big vision for your business, and could use a £7,000 rebrand to help you get there, you should definitely enter the VFactor competition! Entries are open until midnight on Sunday 4th February 2018. And don't forget to check out the #VFactorComp hashtag on social media too. Good luck!
Want to read more? Try this - How to set content marketing goals
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