A vision statement is as important to a small business as the products you sell. The vision statement serves as a simple guide for you, your employees and even your customers.
Vision statements tell the world what you stand for. If well-defined they can be the trigger that makes people want to do business with you.
Many small businesses struggle to define a strong vision statement, if they have one at all. “We want to be the No. 1 seller of X in six counties,” isn’t a vision statement. That’s a goal statement. “We want to change the world,” is half of a vision statement, but too vague to provide definition to your audience.
So what does it take to write a strong small business vision statement? Here are my thoughts:
A strong vision statement focuses on your audience, and you
It should provide an answer to, “What do you hope to provide these wonderful people who do business with you?” The best answer should be what enhances their experience, not your bottom line. It should help people know how you’ll benefit as well, even if selling more products is the reason.
A strong vision statement has a what and a how
You’re going to make customer’s lives easier? That’s great. But how will you do that? JetBlue Airways’s vision statement says its goal is to bring humanity back to air travel. On the surface, that seems incomplete. But they imply the how. You know they mean by treating customers better than other airlines.
A strong vision statement should be one sentence
This isn’t your elevator pitch. It’s your one sentence that every employee and customer can understand with ease. Kraft helps people around the world eat healthier and live better. That’s simple, clear and concise.
A strong vision statement shouldn’t need revising
IKEA’s vision statement is to create a better everyday life for more people. They do this by providing modern, stylish home furnishings. If they also offered groceries, apparel or automobiles, the vision statement still holds.
What is your small business’s vision statement? What does your brand hope to deliver to those wonderful people who buy from you? Share yours in the comments so we can all inspire one another.
The comments, as always, are yours.