Why is it important to have a clear vision for your business? What is your business vision, mission, and core values? Many small businesses get started because they have a product, or service that they’re passionate about and some people are willing to pay for it. And the vision becomes, let’s make more of those products and sell that service more, that becomes the vision. But that’s not really a vision.
Heck, for many business owners they are not clear what these statements are, or the difference between these statements. Here’s my attempt at simplifying these. Vision statements should clearly define where your company is going. It’s for internal use mainly. Your mission statement defines your intent and what it is you do. Your core values define how you do what you do and your standards. I truly believe every size business should have all three of these statements written and communicated to the appropriate groups of people. Vision statements are for you and your team. Whether that team are employees, partners, contractors doesn’t matter. It’s critical for all of you to be on the same page. Mission and core value statements are for your customers, prospects, etc. We are simply focusing on your vision in this article.
How do we expand that vision? There are a lot of reasons you should have a very clear vision statement, but we’re going to discuss three of those reasons.
Three Reasons For a Clear Vision Statement
- One of those is, it helps you avoid the costly expenses of time, people and money. An example is Zappos shoes estimates they have spent more than a hundred million dollars on hires that weren’t the best hires for their business. In this video from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh he talks about vision being number one. Chase the vision, not the money. You must be very clear on your vision and your team must understand that vision. If your vision is clear with your team, it helps the whole organization make better business decisions in all phases of your operations.
- The second big reason for having a clear vision statement is to create a solid foundation. If you have a clear vision on where you’re going within 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, that allows you to come up with those yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals and activities. So, it really helps you put the action steps in place to help you accomplish that. What do you want to accomplish over the next year, or three years? Your goals for the next year should feed the goals for the next three years, and so on. Without a clear vision of what that is, you’re just spinning your wheels in activities that may or may not support your long-term goals and objectives.
- The third reason for a clear vision statement is that it becomes the hammer to break through the wall. The big block that stops you cold, in your tracks. It becomes the thing that helps you break down the wall. In every business, there will be a wall. It’s not a question of “if”, but when. You are going to run into that wall of confusion and doubt. You are going to be slam into the wall, and you’re going to say, how do I get through this? I don’t know how to overcome this! With the solid vision and clarity, you will have the foundation to help you figure out how to get over, around, or just break through that wall. I had a coach who made a very profound statement. She said, learn to love the wall. Because when you hit that wall, very likely on the other side of that wall is your next breakthrough. So, if you have that clear vision, it will support you in breaking through that wall.
How do you know if you have a clear vision? Can you say it clearly and succinctly in one sentence, rather than this big long paragraph? Because I can guarantee you that you, and your team aren’t going to remember it, if you must remember some big giant paragraph. It should be short and succinct so that everyone can remember it. If you don’t have that vision in place, then work on vision. I encourage you to work on vision first. Really get that nailed down. And if you don’t know how to do that, you can google, books, audio programs or coaches. There are some coaches that can help you get that clear vision.
Having that clear vision helps you make sound decisions. So, you’re not going to make a mistake with time, money and people. It gives you the solid foundation to create our plan, our action steps. And it gives you that support, the thing that helps you get through those challenging times as they surely will.
Stan Shields, Business Coach/Consultant, 6th Degree Black Belt, Songahm Taekwondo Master. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.