Do you dream about opening a business? If so, start your journey to achieve your goal. How? By being clear on your vision and writing a statement that defines it.
Vision statement definition: A long-term goal for your business. It includes what you want to achieve. The standing you want in the eyes of the market. And the impact you’ll have on your customer.
Vision statement vs mission statement
Before we move on let’s clarify the difference between a vision and a mission statement.
A vision statement is a 2-4 sentence summary of what you want to achieve in 5-10 years. At the core is the purpose for your business’s existence. You want to have a clear picture of why you’ll be in business and the role you’ll play for your market segment.
This is the starting point for your business endeavor. From here you’ll set the course to achieve your goals. It describes who you’re going to be and what you’re going to do. It’s the compass for your mission.
However, a mission statement is how you’re going to achieve your goals. Therefore, it’s a summary of the company’s purpose and the steps you’re going to take.
The benefits of a vision statement
The vision statement marks your destination. It’s the compass that puts everyone involved on the same path. It gives employees their purpose. In addition, it keeps them and stakeholders on track to achieve the goals of the company.
Also, it nurtures the company’s culture by setting the operating standards of business. For instance, how employees interact with customers, fellow employees, and vendors.
A clear vision statement gives the direction to where the company is going.
So, let’s ride along with Julian on his voyage as he creates his vision statement. He’s a fashion enthusiast that wants to open a clothing store. To begin, he sets the foundation for creating his statement.
- The ambition.
- The customer profile.
- The customer’s outcome.
- How to deliver the outcome to the customer.
Be mindful of the importance of the foundation is for developing your statement. This will help you define and write your vision down
First, Julian jots down his aspiration to open Xanadu. A women’s clothing store for professional women.
His customer’s profile
Next, he compiles his customer profile through marketing research. He goes to and investigates the competitions stores and websites.
At the clothing stores, he strikes up conversations with the shoppers to get an idea of styles they like. In their conversations he also inquiries about their demographics and psychographics. Psychographic are the activities, interests, and views a person has.
Then he goes to his competitor’s websites and reads the customer reviews. By going through the comments, he gains insight into their likes and dislikes. He then jots down their desires, problems, and the solutions they are looking for.
The customer outcome
From his research, a couple of themes pop out. First, they’re having a tough time finding outfits that fit them properly. Second, the limited variety of colors to choose from. Third, the relevance of matching warm or cool tones to their complexion. Fourth, they want to look good and feel confident in their appearance.
From the information he has gathered he makes a composite of his customer.
She’s a 45-year-old realtor earning 80k-100k annually. She’s married with two children and college-educated.
She enjoys traveling with her family. Is into fashion, believes that you should treat people with respect, and you should do your best at work.
He gives the depiction of his avatar the name Sarah to represent his ideal customer.
Then he thinks about how he can fulfill their desires and answer their concerns.
Delivering the outcome
Finally, he figures out how he’s going to produce the outcome. By identifying their concerns he’ll custom tailor their outfits. Additionally, he’ll supply color palettes that will complement their complexion. So, they can feel proud of how they look.
Now that he has a snapshot of his customers, their wants, and how he’s going to fulfill their desires. Julian steps into the time machine of his imagination.
Julian begins the journey into the future from the customer’s perspective.
He begins with Sarah walking up from the parking lot looking at the store signage. “Xanadu– Custom-tailored outfits for professional women”.
When she walks into the clothing store she’s greeted with a warm smile. “Hi, welcome to Xanadu my name is Ann, also If you have any questions or need help, I’m here for you”.
After the friendly greeting, Sarah then strolls down the rosewood carpet. Admiring the garments that are on full display She pulls the tags of a few suits and skirt outfits that she likes. When she approaches Ann, she hands her the tags for the outfits she wants to try on. She then asks Ann if they are available in her size and what colors are they available in.
Ann tells her the outfit will be custom-tailored to her specifications. Also, that there are swatches in warm and cool colors to choose from. So, she has a variety of fabrics and colors to choose from. Being excited on hearing this Sarah grabs them and looks through them eagerly.
After picking the amber fabric that matches her tanned olive skin, Ann gets the outfits for her to try on. Then she directs Sarah to the dressing room.
After trying on outfits and modeling them in front of the mirrors she makes her choice. Then she makes an appointment for a fitting. Afterward, Ann introduces her to Magen who will be taking her measurements. Then she introduces Julian who will be doing the alterations for her.
When Sarah returns for her scheduled appointment, she’s greeted by Megan by name.
While Sarah is being fitted, she’s enjoying the attention she’s receiving from Magen. She’s also impressed by the skill and care she’s putting into the details of her measurements.
After putting down a deposit for her suit, she’s given the time when her suit will be ready.
A week later Sarah is back in the dressing room. She’s blown away by how stunning she looks in her new suit, the fit is perfect. She’s amazed at how the amber color makes her skin glow. She loves it. She then walks out of Xanadu wearing her outfit with a high-spirited smile.
Engage your imagination
Engage your mind’s eye when conjuring up a picture of your customer and how you are going to serve them.
Dial into the future of your business when it’s up and running. Give your imagination free rein and explore the scene.
Visualize the layout of your company and your customer interacting with you. Reflect on how they see you and for what you want to be known. See it from both the customer’s viewpoint and your own. Explore all the possibilities for the desired outcome.
Writing your vision statement
Write down your observations of the trends and themes you notice, including relevant insights.
Next, based on your visualization and notes write a 2-4 sentence vision statement.
With your destination clearly marked, you can now map out the course to open your business.
Your vision statement will help you in the next step of creating your mission statement.
By the way, here’s Julian’s vision statement.
“To provide professional women with perfect fit attire in the colors they want. We want them to feel confident in their appearance and be known for our A+ service.”
Enjoy the journey to your destination.
Sean Peek. May 07, 2020. “How to Write a Vision Statement,” Business News Daily
Tom Wright, March 18, 2021.” How to Write a Good Vision Statement in 2021,” cascade
Keffer, Sonia. 2014. “Rule of Thumb: A Guild to Developing Mission, Vision and Value Statements.” Write Life
Schreim, Sam. “Vision, Mission, Values, Aspirations do They Matter: A Business Professionals’ Guide to Drafting Vision/Mission Statements and Their Purpose in Modern Organizations as a Popular Management Tool.” Independently Published. 2020
Photo by Gery Rakozy