Most business owners are driven individuals who have a vision to build a company that adheres to certain values or operates according to their own beliefs. However, sometimes we (even marketing agencies) get bogged down in the details of running our companies and we loose sight of why we wanted to work for ourselves in the first place. I can’t tell you the number of business owners who after working yet another 12 to 16 hour day ask me, “Remind me again, why I am doing this?”
Many small businesses lack a clear vision and tend to jump from task to task without a clear understanding of what bonds the individual actions together and/or the value created by the individual actions. This often leads to business owners losing sight of what they originally had in mind when their first opened their doors. What ever the vision you had when you first started your company, have you turned your vision into an actual “vision statement”?
A vision statement is a short statement that is specific enough to say something about what you will do, and equally what you will not do. It should be capable of driving your company to achieve a common goal, and be somewhat motivational so that you have a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve when the going gets tough. Your goals, actions and measurement criteria are driven by your vision.
To help remind you why you are investing the 12-16 hours days, I’d like to share with you tips on creating or evaluating your vision statement:
- Your vision statement should be concise and give purpose to your business.
- It must be capable of motivating you and others in the business.
- It must become the cornerstone for your business, helping you to link your actions to your strategic goals. Your actions must be driven from a clear understanding of the value they will create.
- Involve your employees or management team in creating your vision statement.
- Make sure you share your vision statement e.g. create a poster to hang in the front lobby, on your website, mugs, etc. Employees need to understand it and believe in it as much as you do.
Has your original vision for your company changed? Have you ever formalized your vision into a vision statement? If not, why not and if so, what have you found to be the most rewarding about committing your vision to paper? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.