Whether you are running a small, medium or large business, it is important to have a great vision Statement. A vision is what help you stay motivated in any business you venture into. A Vision is a picture of what you want to accomplish in a business and should incorporate an ideal you can achieve in so many different ways. So many individuals have heard of visions and are aware that organizations usually have vision statements in websites and other organizational documents, but what they may not understand is how vision helps your business grow.
Big corporations have their visions displayed at vantage points within their organizations. This is for a simple reason. They want their staff to always have the vision of the organization before them. This is a good practice, if the staff understand this. The more in tune an organization is with their vision, the better they perform. Your vision is the one thing that determines if your business is going to be one of the businesses or the business.
Articulating a good vision statement
To write a good vision, you must have a good understanding of what you intend to achieve. When I want to develop a vision, I write down all the things I would like to accomplish in the new business. This can be a tasking activity, as it requires you go somewhere real quiet if that works for you. This does not have to be a fancy place where you play dress-up like corporate moguls, it could be a coffee shop, park or your bed room What you do is write down everything that comes to mind no matter how silly they may be. Then separate the ideas into groups bearing in mind that all products and services target different groups of individuals.
What do the products and services have in common and what are their differences? The key here is to find the constants. My assumption is that because all ideals you have come from one mind, they should have similarities. This assumption should also be true if you are working with friends with whom you have common interests and plan to start a business as joint owners. In all you have written down, find the one expression that defines them all. It could be nutrition, education, information, development, fashion or whatever it might be. Therefore, your first step is determining your focus for the business.
Good vision statements have customer focus
Then you have to identify your target group. This can be done in several ways in consideration of age, gender, geographical location, socioeconomic potentials, religious affiliations or profession. Age entails whether you are targeting youths, the aged or children. Gender can be male or female (I think). Geographical location is also important because some products and services are localized. There are products that may be useful in temperate regions but not in the tropics.
Socioeconomic potentials of target groups are very important too. You might want to provide a service to a target group that are not accessible or who can’t afford it. It is a known fact that Lamborghini cars are not for everybody but the business owner must know this from the beginning. While some products and services are suitable to practitioners of a religion, others might be applicable to some professionals. The application, Sage 50 is available in the market, but targets people in the financial and accounting professions. So that when you know what you want to do and to whom it is best suited for then you will have constructs such as: Nutrition for babies, education for rural girls, information for medical professionals.
Next is to include a location to your vision. This is basically, where you want to conduct your business. It could have a local scope, example: Owerri, Abidjan or Soweto. Businesses may also have national scopes or beyond but you must have the strategy and resources to at least pursue it. When location is added, we now have Nutrition for babies in Soweto, education for rural girls in Abidjan, information for medical professionals in Owerri.
Writing it down is the easy part.
The last part is very important because this is where you qualify the vision. You tell us how you see all you have written down happening. Using one of our prior examples on education: ‘To be the source of quality education for rural girls in Abidjan’. Does that say anything to you? An organization with that vision is likely to be a school for girls, a gender focused teacher training institution or a nonprofits working with schools in Abidjan. For the other examples, we may have ‘to promote production of excellent home-made nutrition for babies in Soweto’ and ‘to create an environment of free flow and access to relevant trendy information for medical professionals in Owerri’.
Remember, the vision is always one statement but should totally explain what your business is set to achieve. The vision does not say how you achieve this. That job is for the mission statements, which will be addressed in subsequent articles.