The “why” of your business is something that changes over time and through the experiences of who you do business with. Your vision statement should be created at the start of your business and revisited every five to ten years to ensure it matches the opportunities available in the market and the service or product being provided.
As an entrepreneur, endless distractions will compete for your attention—endless directions that you can take your business but will lead you off course and away from your destination: the vision. You need to be able to trust your gut and be super clear with what your priorities are.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement helps a company stay on task, develop a sense of purpose, and keep employees setting goals and striving for more. It helps the company identify its organizational structure and attract talent that suits the distinctiveness of the company. This statement unites all departments under one target intention.
You want your vision to be an audacious statement about where you’re going as a company, and where you hope it will be in the future. It is written as though you are already there. This powerful, positive messaging allows your studio to strive to be what the statement says. “Vision” means it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s something to work toward. Be very picky with your words: A vision statement should be meaningful, aspirational, and include bold statements about what your organization will deliver.
With clear and concise language, your studio’s vision should be inspiring, create a challenge to rise above, and be relevant to the identity of the business. It should take a long-term, forward view of what the company can accomplish. A well-written vision statement becomes a filter the business can use for undertaking any new initiatives. If the initiative does not match the vision statement, then it is something that your company should not pursue.
A vision statement should:
- Outline your organization’s goals
- Include the purpose of your business
- Be short, simple, and specific
- Project five to ten years into the future
- Describe what success looks like
- Set a measurable goal
Take a look at some famous vision statements:
Coca-Cola: Our vision is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body and spirit, done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities, and our planet.
Netflix: Whatever your taste, and no matter where you live, we give you access to best-in-class TV shows, movies and documentaries. Our members control what they want to watch, when they want it, with no ads, in one simple subscription.
Amazon: To continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximize their success.
For my company, Ambition Performing Arts, we have had two revisions of vision statements over the years. As more opportunities opened up in our market, as we grew more into ourselves, we saw the need to revisit the vision and update it to match the opportunities we took on. Through this process, our statement changed but became clearer and more succinct. It became a better filter for how we consider new undertakings and new initiatives.
The second time we built our statement, we hired a business coach to help us discuss and develop the vision as a team. This was an incredibly informative experience for both myself and my staff. I was able to see how people who worked for me thought about the business. Seeing the words they chose also showed me what I needed to work on as a leader to move the company forward.
If you have the budget to hire a coach, I recommend this experience, not only to get a clear picture of where you are headed but to also have intense buy-in from your team. For us, it is an investment that keeps giving every day. This is how our vision statement has evolved:
Revision #1: 2008 - 6 years in business:
We are driven to provide quality lessons in a safe, innovative and enriching environment. We hold ourselves to a higher standard while putting life skills, community, friendships, and family first. Parents choose APA for our convenient location, friendly service, and welcoming atmosphere. They stay with us because of our commitment to excellence, value, culture, and customer care.
Revision #2: 2020 - 18 years in business:
Providing exemplary lessons in a safe, innovative and enriching gold standard, family-comes-first environment.
You can see that the longer we have been in business, the clearer we have become on what we deliver, and where we want to be. The vision statement changed to become more succinct, meaningful, and powerful.
Your vision becomes the thing you say when someone asks what your company does; it is how you explain the picture of what you do.