If you’re in the midst of starting a business or you’ve been in business for a few years, this post is for you!
Imagine having a map that told you where your business should go. Many times, lack of direction can leave creative business owners stuck like a deer in the headlights. A map for your business would aid you in making better decisions, setting goals, inspire your team, and focus on the right things. Well, you can make your own map, and it starts by writing a vision statement!
A vision statement essentially defines where you want your business to go. If you don’t create a vision for your business, no one else will. So, call it whatever you want —— a mantra, statement of purpose or a main objective. You just need to decide where your business is headed so you can lead it there.
Without a destination, you can’t have direction. Let’s start creating a vision for your business!
What Is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is the long term vision you have for your business –it’s part of your overall strategic plan and is really just for you and your team (if you have one)! It describes the desired future that your business is working toward — a future that’s better than the present. It’s way more important than the colors of your brand or logo.
Your vision statement answers the questions, “Where do you see your business going? What difference will you make for your customers and for your own life? What do you hope to accomplish in the long term?”
Casting a vision for your own business is nothing more than sharing a story — the story of your business’s future, why you work, and where you want to take your business. Vision statements aren’t just for large businesses, they are also needed for creative businesses like yours!
Why Creative Businesses Need a Vision Statement
Creative businesses need a vision statement because it gives them clear direction and purpose. Unfortunately, a lot of creative-business failure could probably be traced back to a lack of vision. The owner may blame other things—the market, the competition, their employees—but the real root of the problem is often because they don’t have a strong vision or a plan to get the right stuff done.
A vision statement will empower your creative business with:
- Focus. What you focus on is what moves. A vision statement clearly defines what winning looks like for your business and helps you be intentional about moving toward that goal.
- Energy. A vision statement reminds you (and your team if you have one) of the difference you’re making in the community and the world. It’s the spark that will keep you going on those hard days.
- Boundaries. A vision statement can keep you from spending time, energy and money on things that won’t actually move your business in the right direction.
What Is the Difference Between a Vision and a Mission Statement?
Mission, vision, values, executive summary—it can all get so confusing. So, let’s clear up some of the fog surrounding mission and vision statements.
A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is and identifies the goals of its operations. Essentially, the mission statement is a one sentence overview of your business that tells people what you do, who you help, and how you help them.
Like I talked about before, a vision statement describes the future and the potential impact your business will make in the world—or in your world. It’s where your business is headed. It’s a dream that is tangible.
The bottom line is this: mission statements and vision statements both provide your business with purpose and direction. One is about why you do what you do, and the other is about where your business is headed. They are tools that will help you move your business forward.
How to Write a Vision Statement For Your Creative Business
Now, there are a lot of good ways to write a vision statement, but you want to make sure it’s measurable and specific. The less vague your statement is, the easier it will be to create a strategy and set goals that will help you get there. It should fall somewhere between a projection (where you think you’ll most likely end up) and a dream. Let’s break it down:
- Start with a dream. Think about what you want your business to become over time. What goals do you want to achieve? Don’t worry about what and how just yet — you’ll flesh that out in a minute! Focus on where you want to take your business and why.
- Set a measurable goal. Drawing from your dream, set a three to five year goal that’s 50% to 70% achievable. It should be a pretty big leap from where you are now.
- Choose the right metric. Consider the metrics (measurable results) you want to achieve, because what gets measured is what gets done! Make sure whatever you’re measuring clearly connects to your mission.
There are so many ways to craft a vision statement, but however you do it, your statement should:
- Be a North Star (something that guides you).
- Encourage you and your team to be emotionally invested.
- Serve as an out-of-bounds marker (so your work lines up with your company mission).
- Give you language for what you believe.
Examples of Great Vision Statements
An easy way to get started on your draft is to take a few notes from brands with solid vision statements. Here are a few businesses to draw inspiration:
Disney: To make people happy.
Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
LinkedIn: Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Google: To provide access to the world’s information in one click
Instagram: Capture and share the world’s moments
Starbucks: To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.
Warby Parker: We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.
Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Ben & Jerry’s: Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way.
Set the Tempo for Your Business
A vision statement can help you set the tone, pace and strategy for the next month, year and decade. It also gives you (and your team if you have one!) something to rally around, which is just as important!
Think about what you want your business to accomplish and what you want to move toward. Put it in writing—it will be your map leading you to where you want your business to go. Use your vision to inspire and be a reminder of how your work makes a difference in the world. After a lot of hard work, you’ll start to notice that you have more focus and energy, and you’ll see progress being made.