Business Plans:
How to Write a Vision Statement

Business coaches often get the coaching process started by tasking their clients to write a vision statement first.

They will usually facilitate this process by asking you questions to draw out where you want to go and what may have been stopping you from getting there so far.

Having a clear vision is really important because it prevents you from being unfocused and running off in too many directions.

Creating a vision for your business can be an exciting process because it requires some inner reflection. As the business owner your inner dreams and passions contribute to the big picture of what you want your business to become.

So, start with a big blank canvas and imagine what your business could be without any restrictions or limitations.

What is your 'ideal' outcome for your business?

What is a vision statement?

Your business vision statement outlines what you want your business to be. It is about the big picture of how you imagine your business looking in 20 years rather than specific goals or objectives. 

A powerful vision statement meets these criteria:

  • Externally focused
    Rather than being about the business and how much money you want to make, your vision statement should be about what impact or contribution you will make in the world. It may also provide a solution to some kind of dissatisfaction or problem.

  • Bold and Imaginative
    Your vision should go beyond what you think is achievable or realistic based on your limited view of your current reality. It should be so lofty and inspiring that it may take the rest of your life to achieve but it’s what keeps you motivated to keep moving forward through the daily grind of running a business.

  • Inspiring
    Your vision should inspire you and it should also inspire excitement and commitment from other people too, especially your team. 

  • Sparks creative tension
    When there's a big gap between what is and what could be it provokes tension and compels action towards a better, more ideal future

Bill Gates' vision to have a PC on every desk was simple but audacious and compelling. It kept him focused.

It’s important to create a business vision statement like this that really pulls you forward and excites you enough to go out and create the life and business you really want.

How to write a vision statement

Vision statements usually take some time to write so don't worry if you can't immediately articulate it.

Start by reconnecting with your original dream for your business. Take some time away from your desk, go for a walk, and let your imagination flow.

Here are a few questions to kick start the process:

  • What would you like your business to look like in 20 years time?
  • What values are important to you? Personally, and in business?
  • What would you like people to say about your business?
  • What would you hate people to say about your business?
  • If you could change the world how would you do it and why?

Again, don't worry about specifics and whether you think it's possible to achieve or not based on your current reality. Just let you imagination go and brainstorm all the fantastic things your business could achieve.

Once you've done this start pulling it together into a sentence or paragraph. It should inspire you and others around you. Vision statements are about why you get up every day and do what you do and why others want to join your team.

Imagine your business without any limitations whatsoever. What would be possible then?

A vision, if it's articulated well, pulls the people around you forward so you don't need to push and strive so hard to make employees accomplish goals.

Vision statement examples:

Business Coaching Insight:

Typically it takes a while to write a vision statement so don’t get discouraged if it isn’t immediately obvious. Jot down lots of ideas and slowly bring it together into a sentence or statement.

  • McDonalds' vision is to be the world's best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile
  • Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful
  • ActionCoach’s vision is World Abundance Through Business Re-education

How to know when it's the right vision

The best business vision statements are short but powerful. It will be so exciting and motivating for you that it acts as a call to action even when you are exhausted and don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

When you write a vision statement, check if it's the right one for you by asking:

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Does the vision statement make you smile when you say it?
  • Does the vision statement make you feel proud?
  • Is the vision statement compelling to others around you?
  • If you achieve this vision statement will the world (inc. your community and family) be a better place?

After you write a vision statement you are ready to write your mission statement. The mission statement fleshes out the ‘How’ ie. 'how' are you going to achieve your Vision?

Return from write vision statement to writing a business plan

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