The Keys to Writing a Company Vision Statement

How to Define and Convey Your Company's Vision

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A vision statement is an important part of a company's business plan. A good vision statement should show others what your hope for the company is, and the direction you want to go in.

Key Takeaways

  • Your vision statement should state your ultimate goal for the company
  • Your vision statement should be optimistic, but realistic
  • You can work on your vision statement with other stakeholders in your company and ask for their input

The Purpose of a Vision Statement

Even though a vision statement has to be general, it should indicate more excitement about the entrepreneur's dream of where the company's goals will take it several years in the future. The vision statement should define, in general, a company's planned future based on its core ideals.

Strategizing

A vision statement should be a long-term roadmap for the planning and accomplishment of a company's overall strategies. Company strategies are the actions taken to maximize the value of the business through controlling variables like the risk a company will assume to earn more return and how the resources available to the company are spread across it. Company strategies take a business-wide approach rather than looking at individual parts of the business. A company's strategies are the actions it takes to accomplish its vision.

Who Is the Vision Statement For?

A company's vision statement shows the passion the entrepreneur has for a new venture. If a business owner is trying to attract investors for the business, like venture capitalists or angel investors, those types of investors look for passion and excitement. They want the entrepreneur to be engaged in and passionate about the business in which they are investing, otherwise, they may not invest.

The vision statement should be a forward-looking statement about what the company hopes to ultimately achieve. Bankers and other investors often see vision statements that say, "Our company wants to be number one in the industry," or something similar to that. Such a statement leaves investors and financiers unimpressed. They are looking for more passion, excitement, and determination in a vision statement.

The vision statement isn't just for investors and financiers. It is the guiding principle the company shows to the world and all the company stakeholders.

Stakeholders also include the company's customers and its employees. Portions of the company vision statement are sometimes used in the company's advertising. When customers hear a vision statement, they should be able to identify the firm in a positive manner.

Employees feel better when they can identify with their employer's vision statement. Instead of just working for a paycheck, employees who believe in the company's vision statement will bring more dedication to the job. The difference in their engagement is measurable.

Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement

There is a difference between a company vision statement and its mission statement. The vision statement is where you articulate the overall goals of the company in the long run. The mission statement describes the company's purpose and direction for employees, customers, and other interested parties.

Writing Your Own Company Vision Statement

An entrepreneur can write the company vision statement, but it may be helpful to get input from a partner, board of directors, or other stakeholders. If you have a few people in your company, the best way to write a company vision statement is to brainstorm ideas.

You will be surprised at the plethora of useful and creative input you will get. Get everyone in your company together, tell them what you are doing, and start brainstorming. In order to write a vision statement, keep in mind the company's values statement. The company values statement defines the beliefs and principles by which you will operate your business.

Tip

The vision statement has to be in line with your company values statement.

Keep your vision statement optimistic but based in reality.

Brainstorming With Stakeholders

If you're writing your vision statement, there are some questions you should ask if you want to get input from other stakeholders in the business. The answers may become your vision statement.

  • Question 1: What do you think the founder’s dream for the company is?
  • Question 2: What should the company’s role in the world be?
  • Question 3: What short phrases do you think should define the company’s future vision?
  • Question 4: What do you think the vision should be for the company in three to five years?

What to Avoid

There are several common mistakes sometimes made when vision statements are developed. Avoid the following mistakes:

  • Don't engage in fantasy: A vision statement can incorporate an entrepreneur's dream while dealing with reality.
  • Don't get too specific: A vision statement should be general in nature and illustrate the dream behind the business.
  • Don't leave out input from other stakeholders: Other stakeholders like financiers, the board of directors, and even employees could give you valuable input for your vision statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 3 guidelines for a vision statement?

You should make sure that your company's vision statement will inspire employees, potential investors, and other key stakeholders. A vision statement should also define where your company is heading and be in alignment with the company's culture and values.

How do you brainstorm a vision statement?

When coming up with a vision statement, you should ask yourself some questions and write down the answers. First, write down what your dream for the company is and what the company's role in the world should be. Then write down any short phrases you think define the company's future, and what you think the vision should be for the company in three to five years.

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