Most business owners are familiar with the concept of a “mission statement;” it’s the quantified statement about what the purpose of your business is – why are we here? Less well known, but arguably even more important, is the idea of having a vision statement for your business. What’s the difference? Your vision is not about the ‘how,’ it’s about the ‘where.’ Have you ever stopped to think about where you would like to take your business – what’s the destination? Are you hoping to open a new location? Expand your optical? Retire early? Where do you want your business to take you – what does it look like in 5 years, or 10?
You know the old saw “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” It’s as true as it’s ever been, and every business owner should have a firm idea of where they’re headed, so they can make decisions along the way that promote the end goal. A good vision statement can be an extremely effective internal communication tool – aligning your processes and inspiring your team. It shouldn’t be just another intellectual exercise that makes everybody feel good for a few days or even weeks; it needs to become more of a living document, to be revisited and revised at appropriate moments, as your business, team and products and services evolve.
Start the process of developing a vision statement by identifying your core business values, then ask yourself (and / or your team) the following questions:
- What do we currently do that supports these core values?
- How can we stay aligned with these values over the next few years?
Then ask yourself what problems or challenges you hope to solve – what does your business need to achieve? Define your customer base and what you want to do for them. The answers to these questions should form the basis of your vision statement – lend it a shape of sorts.
It goes without saying that you should actually know where you are now, as you formulate your plans for forward progress. Take the time to review your productivity and practice performance as you begin the process of planning. (EDGEPro is a great tool for this!)
Don’t be afraid to dream big – having a clear vision can actually help you solve problems in the future, seek out “the right people” for your team, and overcome challenges that may look impossible at the outset. It’s okay to be daring. In fact – it’s a very good idea to push those boundaries.
Find your vision so you can turn it into your reality.