Vision Statement: The Complete Guide
The success of a business lies within its business model but the heart of that success lies in the vision statement. No business is able to achieve success without it. Having a vision statement lets the business stand out among the rest of companies in the same line of business.
A vision statement is quite often confused with a mission statement. While some companies offer either of one, others offer a single message that joins the elements of both. While both statements communicate the company’s values and purpose, a mission statement pivots on current operations and a vision statement for the future.
What Is A Vision Statement?
A vision statement is what your company aspire to be. It is a description of your organisation’s vision and what it wants to achieve or accomplish in future. The vision statement serves as a guide to all the current and future course of action.
It is the framework of a business’s objectives which basically sums up the future the founders have thought of. It is also called ‘the picture drawn about the future of the company’. A vision statement is not just limited to businesses but also to governmental or non-governmental organizations. It can be for the whole company or just a division of the company.
Vision statement communicates the business’s overall goals in a clear manner and can discharge as a tool for strategic decision-making across the firm. Phil Shawe, CEO and co-founder of TransPerfect, a translation services company says:
“A vision statement, no matter how big or small the company, should serve as a description of the company’s overarching aspirations, it encompasses the big picture and envisions where the company is heading long term.”
Unlike operational goals which change or get updated year-to-year, changes are made to the vision statement very rarely as the chances of a business deviating from its initial goals are very less. Even though vision statements usually have a character limit, they can vary from short sentences to many pages. They can also be written formally and mentioned in official documents.
All productive vision statements explain the fundamental ideas that give the business a purpose, regardless of the discrete details and differentiation. Vision statements are one of the best tools to motivate the employees of any business.
Purpose Of A Vision Statement
Even though the main purpose of the vision statement is to guide the future course of action and to motivate the existing employees, a vision statement has other functions within a company as well. It-
- attracts potential employees by showcasing the goals of the company
- serves as a base for a wider strategic plan
- differentiates businesses having similar goals. For example, the revenue stream is a common goal for all businesses, and vision statements quintessentially describe the sources of revenue rather than list the sources of revenue under the long-term vision.
A vision statement shows the path for business planning rather than tell how to get there. This is one reason why having a vision statement is important especially for small businesses.
How To Write A Vision Statement
A creative mind and a long-sighted vision are the major requirements to write a vision statement. More than being catchy and precise, a vision statement should be something each and every person in the firm could understand and should be able to follow.
“The best way to begin is to reflect on some of the most significant events or ideas that have impacted the company.” – Linsi Brownson, founder and creative director of the business strategy group Spark Collaborative
Whatever the vision statement is, it should be written in the present tense in the clear and concise language since it is supposed to be remembered and repeated. More than creating a vision statement, it is important to know how to communicate the vision statement with the employees.
Vision Statement Examples
The following are some examples of vision statements of popular companies:
“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
“People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
“Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people.”
“To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”
“Epson is committed to the relentlessness pursuit of innovation in compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies, and through the formation of group-wide platforms will become a community of robust businesses, creating, producing, and providing products and services that emotionally engage customers worldwide.”
“To create new value, excite and delight our customers through the best automotive products and services.”
Some Inspiring Vision Statements
While each and every vision statement promotes the future of the company, there are quite a few which as really inspiring.
Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
“Equality for everyone”
“We seek to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth”
“To improve the quality of human life.”
“To transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby anyone who is perceived as different.”
Writing and executing vision statements is a challenge to the businesses. There can be conflicts inside the company regarding the vision statements as they might not be justifying the future goals of the entire company and rather just a few sections only. With proper communications and initiatives, vision statement can be carried out in an effective manner.
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