As an entrepreneur, you may be familiar with the terms vision and mission, but how can you apply them to your business? They may sound similar and even be used interchangeably at times, but they are not the same.

Look at your vision statement as the destination: it sums up your business' ideal future. By encompassing the big picture, your vision statement defines your business' purpose in terms of values. Your mission statement can be likened to the route you take to get there or how you accomplish your goals. The mission statement defines your business and shows how you put your vision statement into practice.

How does having a vision statement affect your business?

  • It is a benchmark to guide your business' progress and keep it on track.
  • It can give direction to your employees and inspire them.
  • It may encourage customer loyalty or attract new clients.

Everyone within your business should be aware of the business' vision, otherwise it may not be as helpful to have. How about integrating it into the way you do things every day? If you have a clear vision statement that is upheld by your employees, it can become part of your branding and define what your business stands for.

Composing a vision statement can be a bit challenging so you might want to:

  • Try brainstorming in order to frame your vision in a unique way.
  • Include your employees in the process, as they are important stakeholders.
  • Keep your statement short and don't include your financial goals.

The following questions may help prompt you in your task:

  • Where do we want our business to be x number of years from now?
  • What will our business have accomplished by then?
  • What values drive our business?

With a clear vision, you and your employees will have a stronger sense of mutual expectations. A strong vision statement will allow all members of your team to keep their eyes on the same goal towards success.

Delve into our section on Management leadership for more on how to share your team vision. You might also want to consider how your vision fits into Developing a marketing plan.