Where there is no vision the people perish. Last week we talked about “Why are you in business” in our weekly blog on problems that affect small business owners. This week, we had planned on talking about who are you selling to, but that is more of a solution, not a problem. Many people have a view of the future that is severely affected by fog like our header image.
Today, as I was visiting one of the BNI chapters that I have the pleasure of working with – CAPITAL GAINS in the Cranberry – Wexford area – I was blown away by the three minute educational presentation that was written by the chapters education coordinator, John Tosatto. John happens to be one of my own trusted advisors. John was not able to be at the meeting today. Tiffany Nolan of I.E Insurance in Harmony actually gave the presentation. Tiffany is also one of my most trusted referral partners and she does an awesome job of handling both personal and commercial property and casualty insurance.
A carefully crafted vision statement is at the heart of every successful business. This statement clearly and concisely communicates your business’s overall goals, and can serve as a tool for strategic decision-making across the company.
This statement can be as simple as a single sentence or can span a short paragraph. Regardless of the individual details and nuances, all effective vision statements define the core ideals that give a business shape and direction. These statements also provide a powerful way to motivate and guide employees.
Why does this matter? Research shows that employees who find their company’s vision meaningful have engagement levels of 68 percent, which is 19 points above average. More-engaged employees are often more productive, and can be more effective corporate ambassadors in the larger community. In fact, many employees in larger organizations are completely dis-enaged, up to 80% in some studies. How well are you employees following your vision? Is it clearly defined or is it foggy – left to interpretation. Given the impact that a vision statement can have on a company’s long-term success and even its bottom line, it’s worth taking the time to craft a statement that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff.
Vision statement vs. mission statement
Before determining what your vision statement is going to be, you need to understand what it is not. It should not be confused with a mission statement. Those statements are present-based and designed to convey a sense of why the company exists, to both members of the company and the external community. Vision statements are future-based and are meant to inspire and give direction to the employees of the company, rather than to customers. A mission statement answers the question, “Why does my business exist?” while a vision statement answers the question, “Where do I see my business going?” Jamie Falkowski, vice president of creative and experience at the marketing communications firm Day One Agency, said, “a vision is aspiration. A mission is actionable.”
Tips for crafting your statement
Vision statements should stretch the imagination while providing direction and clarity. A good vision statement will help inform direction and set priorities while challenging employees to grow. This statement should be compelling not just to the owners of the firm, but also to all employees and other stakeholders.
Based on our expert sources’ advice, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Project five to 10 years in the future.
- Dream big, and focus on success.
- Use the present tense.
- Use clear, concise language.
- Infuse your vision statement with passion and emotion.
- Paint a graphic mental picture of the business you want.
- Have a plan to communicate your vision statement to your employees.
- Be prepared to commit time and resources to the vision you establish.
Your completed vision statement will give your employees a clear idea of your company’s path forward. Then, it’s up to you to nurture and support that vision and to inspire your employees to do the same. If, like the members of the group that this was presented to are working with your referral partners, make sure your partners understand your vision as well.
What is your vision? Is it foggy like the photo above? Or is it clearly pointed to one of the paths in the photo below:
Frankly, as I listened to the presentation, I was embarrassed that while I have a clear picture of what my firm will look like in five to ten years, I have not published it. I have the BHAG of helping 1000 women above the age of 50 create on core ventures within ten years. So, I know where we are going. But I have not articulated the vision for how we will operate publicly. So, here goes.
onCOREventures is a boutique full service marketing agency that specializes in helping professionals launch and operate socially responsible and highly profitable businesses using the principals that have been articulated in movements like BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) and Conscious Capitalism. Most of our clients discovered their vision for their firms through our vision discovery coaching offerings and then used our marketing coaching and consulting to launch, grow and expand those businesses.
We use resources that are hands on professionals who share a passion for helping others. They also are committed to the life-long learning attitude our founder. We are now, in 2022 located in offices in the East End of Pittsburgh and have twenty intergenerational associates working in a cooperative and collaborative fashion. We augment our staff as we have from the beginning with referral partners and outsource providers that we subcontract or partner with to deliver a full solution to our clients.
We are one-third of the way toward our goal of 1000 new businesses and we are proud of the impact that these new ventures are having on communities across the United States.
How about you? What is your vision?
Image Credits – Frederick Geiger – Copy written by Frederick Geiger