Vision Statement – Where are we going?
For me having a vision is business critical, it gives you clarity and direction and more importantly it gives your team purpose.
You can have a 10, 5, 3, 1 year vision. I advise my clients to plan for a 3 year vision for several reasons. It is not too far away and you can see it. The world of business changes quickly, a long term vision may change in time. You can always break your 3 year vision down into a 1 year vision for further clarity and developing action projects to deliver it. The vision statement is the vision written down.
Read the story below as I think it put things into perspective.
Which Branch Do I Take To The Place of My Dreams?
Knowing where you are going before you set off is wise, so why do so many business owners set off in business not knowing where they are going to end up?
Imagine you are in a boat travelling along a lazy river, going with the flow, and up ahead you see the river branch off in three directions. Just before you get to the intersection, you see an old man fishing along the bank and you shout over to him, “Hello, can you help me, which branch of the river should I take?” the old man replies, “Where do you want to go?” you answer “I don’t know” the old man replies “Then it doesn’t matter they all lead somewhere”.
If you had a map before you set off and knew that the left hand branch would take you to a high waterfall and certain death, the middle branch meandered all aver the place and didn’t lead anywhere, and the right hand branch went just a short distance to a lake and a town, where you would make your fortune and live the life of your dreams, how would you restructure your question to the old man?
Having a clear Vision of where you want to go allows you to communicate it to everyone around you including your suppliers, partners, employees and customers; these are the people who will help you find your way.
The three keys to success are communication, communication and communication. Your Vision and Mission are your communication tools. Once they have been defined and assimilated into your business culture they become the skeleton on which you can hang the rest of the component parts of your business.
What is the purpose of having a Business?
Why would anyone want to start a business? Is it to:
- Provide a new or improved product or service to a key market sector?
- Provide a global solution, that no one else can provide?
- Deliver a new invention or idea?
- Become wealthy and financially free to do as you wish with your time and life?
- Have a challenge; to prove that you can achieve an ambition?
- Create a social enterprise to deliver something to a community?
- Create more time and money and the belief that you can do it better than anyone else?
- Or is it something entirely different?
Many business owners start out with an occupation or trade and one day decide to start a business. Usually for one or more of the reasons listed above.
In this workbook we are going to define your business objectively. We will define it as something that will support your current or target lifestyle. As part of this process we will identify the reasons for you to go ahead and start your business or, if it is already established, how to take it to the next level.
From our previous work, you will be aware of your personal purpose. Now we will focus on building your business to deliver it.
To do this we are going to begin with your Vision and Mission.
Vision – The destination, the place where you are taking your business, creating the business you want. People like to be let by a person who knows where they are going. Your vision will help them understand the direction of travel for the business.
Mission – The description of why your business exists, how it is going to deliver your Vision and the promises you make to your customers. Again your mission is a communication to your customers of why you exist for them. It also explains the same to your team.
Remember lesson 1 – Successful business people know what they want and build a team to deliver it. Talk to any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you, “it wasn’t me, it was the team, I just had an idea” very modest but very true.
A good idea would be to hold a strategy day with a facilitator with your team. This would help cement the team and together you could design your vision statement for the next few years and your mission. The strategy day can also give you the 3 things that you need to do to achieve your vision and how the team could help you deliver them. If you would like us to facilitate it for you complete the form below and we will get in touch.
- Write down your vision statement
- Write down you mission
- Hold a meeting with your team and present your vision and mission
- Create 3 projects to deliver your vision