Helen Keller once described the most pathetic person in the world as someone “who has sight, but has no vision.” It’s not enough to know what your small business does, you have to have a vision of what you can achieve in order to meet that potential.
Identifying that potential becomes possible by designing a vision statement, which summarizes the aspirations of an organization and describes the impact it hopes to make on customers, the industry or the world.
What is a Vision Statement?
What is a vision statement? A vision statement is an often inspirational declaration of an organization’s future. A good vision statement will use emotional language and paint a picture of a company’s journey and precisely what impact the group hopes to make on the world. A perfect vision statement establishes the core reasons for an organization’s existence. The book Total Alignment highlights in great detail why this is so important.
Why Vision Statements are so Important for Businesses
Vision statements are important to businesses for a variety of reasons. A well-designed vision statement can highlight a company’s strategic plan in its simplest terms. A vision statement also instills a sense of belonging among all members of an organization, as well as a better understanding of a company’s shared goals.
In fact, employees who found their company’s mission statement to be meaningful demonstrated engagement levels an impressive 52% higher than employees who didn’t. External associates can look to a company’s vision statement to understand the business’ purpose. All of these benefits of a vision statement combined equal one important result: growth.
How do I Write a Business Vision Statement?
How do you write a vision statement? It might seem like a daunting task to define a company’s vision for its future in a way that inspires employees, stakeholders and customers. How can you make a simple statement that can have such an impact on the success of an entire organization?
You can write a new vision statement with some time, planning and careful consideration. The following steps will help you when writing a vision statement:
1. Determine your purpose and future goals.
A good vision statement should encompass a company’s greater purpose and its goals for the future. Determine what your small business’ goals are, and incorporate these into your vision statement. What impact do you want your company to have on customers and the world? What do you want to see your company ultimately achieve?
2. Be bold and clear.
A vision statement isn’t the time to beat around a bush. Be sure your vision statement is clear, and choose bold language that incites an emotional response. Remember, words have power.
3. Keep it short and sweet.
The perfect vision statement is short, sweet and cuts straight to the point. Use limited descriptions and briefly summarize your goals and purpose in as few words as possible.
4. Understand it’s not a mission statement.
You’re not writing a mission statement. It’s vital to understand the distinct difference between mission and vision statements: time. While mission statements explain where a company is now and where it will be in the near future, a vision statement describes what it aspires to become across time.
5. Seek examples from successful companies.
Almost every successful company has a vision statement, so there are so many of the best vision statement examples available to reference. Just conduct a web search for your favorite organizations’ vision statements, and you’ll be treated to all types of samples to use as a guide when writing your own.
22 Company Vision Statement Examples
How are some of the world’s most successful organizations defining their own visions? What do you think of their inspiring vision statements? Check out the following 22 examples of good vision statements from famous companies:
Ikea’s vision statement reads, “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.”
In its vision statement, LinkedIn defines what sets the company apart from other social media platforms when it says, “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
Patagonia’s vision statement states: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
The Ford Motor Company’s vision statement says, “People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.”
5. Southwest Airlines
Southwest’s vision statement states, “To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.”
Tesla’s vision statement reads, “Create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
7. San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo’s vision statement says, “To become a world leader at connecting people to wildlife and conservation.”
8. The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy’s vision statement looks to the company’s future and encompasses its values: “To leave a sustainable world for future generations.”
AT&T’s vision statement reads, “To build a new global communications network that allows human resources to reallocate to more complex and productive activities – within a decade.”
10. Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson uses the following vision statement: “For every person to use their unique experiences and backgrounds, together – to spark solutions that create a better, healthier world.”
The BBC‘s vision statement is short and sweet: “To be the most creative organization in the world.”
12. Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s defines its core values in the following mission statement: “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way.”
Short Business Vision Statement Examples
13. Feeding America
Feeding America’s short business vision statement describes the organization’s efforts: “A hunger-free America.”
The TED organization presents the world’s information and uses a short vision statement: “Spread ideas.”
Zoom’s short vision statement reads, “Video communications empowering people to accomplish more.”
Oxfam’s vision statement is simple and describes the company’s commitment: “A just world without poverty.”
17. Whole Foods
Whole Foods’ inspiring vision statement says, “To nourish people and the planet.”
Longer and More Detailed Business Vision Statement Examples
In its vision statement, the world’s premier entertainment company says its vision is, “To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”
Amazon’s vision statement shows the company isn’t afraid to dream big; it reads, “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
IBM uses a vision statement detailing its overarching vision, saying, “To be the world’s most successful and important information technology company. Successful in helping our customers apply technology to solve their problems. Successful in introducing this extraordinary technology to new customers. Important because we will continue to be the basic resource of much of what is invested in this industry.”
McDonald’s vision statement describes its values: “To move with velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s serving more customers delicious food each day around the world.”
22. Warby Parker
The Warby Parker vision statement confirms the company’s direction is to offer designer eyewear; it reads, “We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.”
Tips on How to Write the Perfect Vision Statement
How can you describe your entire business’s vision in just a few words? It is possible to create the perfect vision statement for your small business with creativity, focus and effort. The following few tips for writing a vision statement should help:
- Don’t be afraid to dream big and focus on the future of your organization. What can the company be in the years to come?
- Choose clear and specific language. Dreaming big doesn’t have to mean being vague, and the perfect vision statement should be specific enough to influence future decisions. Remember, you aren’t talking about the past, so be sure and write the vision statement in the present tense.
- Keep it short. The best vision statements are not longer than a sentence or two, and many of the most memorable consist of just a few words.
- Make it memorable and bring inspiration. What sets your organization apart from the competition? Be sure and highlight what makes your small business unique, and choose language that inspires those within the organization to achieve its goals.