What is a vision statement?

Based on your goals and aspirations, a vision is the desired image of what you want your business to become in the future.

A vision statement provides you and your employees with direction, purpose, motivation and inspiration to achieve the desired outcome for your business.

What is the purpose of a vision statement?

A vision statement is an important part of your business strategy. It provides you with insights on where your business is heading by providing long-term direction. Your vision statement also aligns with the mission, core values and culture of your business.

A vision statement answers three key questions:

  • Where do you want your business to be in the future?
  • What is the purpose of your business?
  • What impacts do you want your business to have on your customers, community and/or the world?

How to create a vision statement

Each business has a unique vision statement, but the process of preparing and writing a vision statement is similar for most of them. Let us look at some steps that will help you prepare a vision statement.

Reflection

Writing a vision statement requires analysing both internal and external aspects of your business as well as the current state of your business and where you want it to be in the future.

Your vision should be aligned to fundamental aspects of your business. Answer the following questions to assist you with this process:

  • What are the core values of your business?
  • What is your business mission?
  • What is the business culture that you want to cultivate?
  • What are your business’s current and future goals?
  • Where do you see your business in ten years' time?

Brainstorming

It’s important to get your staff involved in brainstorming and sharing ideas for a vision statement. Key staff can provide helpful insights on the business aspects mentioned above and the brainstorming process creates a sense of shared purpose, cohesiveness and direction.

Components of a good vision statement

Now that you have your answers ready, it’s time to develop your vision statement. Before you start writing, consider the following components which will aid you in writing an effective statement.

Make sure your vision statement is:

  • concise and clear (make the vision statement simple and easy to read)
  • brief (stick to the essentials)
  • future-oriented (a vision statement focuses on the future long-term goals and destination)
  • ambitious but realistic (keep in mind your resources)
  • inspiring and emotive (you want the vision statement to inspire and motivate people).

Examples of vision statements

Regardless of your business size or industry, a vision statement tells you where you want your business to be in the future and clarifies the path forward to achieve your objectives. Below are some examples of vision statements from businesses:

OrganisationVision statement
LinkedInCreate economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
GoogleTo provide access to the world’s information in one click.
IkeaTo create a better everyday life for the many people.
AppleTo make the best products on earth, and to leave the world better than we found it.
Local cafeTo build a community of coffee lovers, by serving the best coffee at the most competitive prices.

Using your business vision statement

As your business grows and expands, revisiting your vision statement can provide you with insights into the direction your business is going and whether you are on the right path to achieving your desired aspirations.

You can also use your vision statement in your marketing and promotional materials, either by having it on display in your place of business, posted on the business webpage/social media accounts, or incorporated as part of your business brand.