Many business owners try to consolidate the “Sales and Marketing” role, but the two functions are entirely different. Learn why these two complimentary disciplines are so often consolidated — and why they shouldn’t be.
Craft a company vision to achieve your business goals
A vision keeps you focused.
I love running. It occupies my thoughts throughout every day. I spend more time than I care to admit researching and building training regimes. Like most runners, I am passionately opinionated about running gear. Just talking about running sends me into state of euphoria. I even have 26.2 (the length of a marathon) and running wings tattooed on my ankle (sorry mom).
Despite my passion, I find that when I’m not training for a race, my reason for running becomes murky. My motivation shrinks. I skip workouts. My weekly mileage decreases. And, excuses not to run are easy to find.
To advance my running goals, setting and moving toward a big vision is essential. My vision typically revolves around a new personal best at my next marathon. In my mind, I visualize the final balloon arch getting closer, hear the boom of the finish-line music grow louder, and feel the crowd’s energy urging me to run faster. This big dream keeps me focused and allows me to set specific training goals that will help me hit my target.
The same is true for the daily grind of business.
Why does a vision matter to businesses?
American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler says “You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that all of the small things go in the right direction.”
Identifying a clear vision for your company guides strategy, aligns decisions, and brings purpose and focus to your employees. A company vision is quite simply a picture of what success will be at a particular point in the future. It encompasses answers to questions such as:
- What does our future company look like?
- How big are we?
- What are we known for?
- How do people feel about working here?
And at first glance, vision setting sounds like a simple concept. After all, we all dream about the future, keep “bucket lists,” and imagine ourselves accomplishing great things in our lives.
But when it comes to business, I’ve watched many of our clients struggle to identify their company’s big vision. Or, if they have a vision, it’s overly complicated and difficult to remember. Worse, it doesn’t get them excited (and if the leadership team isn’t excited, you can bet your employees won’t care about it either).
How do you set your company’s vision?
A great vision is inspiring and it stretches the imagination. It gets everyone in your organization energized around a strategic rallying point. It’s a point on a map that sets your direction. From there, you can create a detailed strategic plan that tells you how to get you there.
Even more, identifying your vision also leads to faster growth. According to EMyth’s 2012 SOBO (State of the Business Owner) Report, “Companies with a written vision grow 50% faster than those without.”
Below is a list of questions to start your thinking. Dream big and focus on success:
- In 5-10 years, what is your company famous for?
- How do you differentiate your organization?
- Why do people care about what you do?
- How do you serve your customers in a unique way?
Examples of company vision statements
Sometimes it is helpful to look at examples of existing companies. The vision statements below belong to well-known, successful, and enduring companies:
Amazon: “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.”
Avon: “To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.”
Starbucks: “To share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better.”
Dreams matter. And, chances are, it was a big dream that prompted you to start a business in the first place. Keep your vision alive and let it power every task, initiative, and decision along the way.
Here’s to crossing the finish line and reaching your big vision… and then of course, gearing up for the next big race!