“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vison, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Everyone has personal goals—it’s human nature. Whether it’s something trivial like losing a few pounds or something of greater magnitude like continuing to grow a savings account, setting goals gives us something to work towards; something that lights a fire underneath of us to do better. Incorporating personal goals into our daily routine has become the norm. We’ve almost come to expect goals to live in every facet of life—including the workplace.
But when it comes to running a business, are goals enough? Sure, they act as motivators—intrinsic or extrinsic—for employees, and typically have some form of incentive attached to them, but they aren’t what’s going to take a business to the next level. Formulating a vision of what you aspire your company to look like in the upcoming years is the tool that’s needed to keep a business and its employees thriving.
Here at ReminderMedia, this past year has been a year filled with exciting change, big-time growth, and multiple triumphs. From launching American Lifestyle magazine’s digital edition, to designing a 16,000-square foot state-of-the-art sales and customer service floor, we’ve scaled our business in leaps and bounds. But, with change comes apprehension, and our management team quickly realized that we needed to hone in on our passions, and create a vision statement that would remain a constant amongst a plethora of variables.
So, what is a vision statement?
According to Business Dictionary, a vision statement is an “aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future.”
However, a vision statement can be whatever your heart desires. In our case, creating a cohesive vision statement wasn’t so much about what we wanted to accomplish in the next five, ten, or twenty years, but rather what we passionately wanted to see happen. Enter our vision statement:
Our vision is to create a world where business owners and sales professionals never worry about who to contact, how to contact them, or when to contact them. They never worry about sending the wrong thing to one of their most valued relationships or forgetting to follow up with their best client. We envision creating a world where these professionals can spend more time with their friends and family and less time worrying about their marketing. We envision creating the tools and services that seamlessly connect to help business professionals generate, acquire, nurture, and retain the relationships that matter most to their success.
What steps did we take to get here?
To put it lightly, the road to our vision statement was a bumpy one. Like any other significant business decision, it took countless brainstorming sessions, an abundance of caffeine, and copious amounts of soul-searching to arrive at our final destination.
While the development of a vision statement certainly varies from company to company, Josh Stike, Vice President of Marketing, has outlined the specific steps that we followed throughout the process.
Step One: Take yourself and your business out of the equation.
To start, push every aspect of your business—including your products aside. This allows you to start with a clean slate, a blank drawing board so to speak. Then, begin to envision a world that you think would be beneficial to live in. Your ideal world can be any scope that you desire. It could literally be the world, or your country, or your state, or just your local community.
Step Two: Insert yourself into that world.
This is when you bring yourself back into the ideal world that you’ve imagined. Not only should you imagine yourself, but also your business and services. How can your current services and employees make this world possible for your clients? Maybe you don’t offer all of the tools that are needed at this time, and that’s okay. This step is useful because it can help spark the inspiration that’s needed to develop a toolkit, and build the type of team to make your ideal world happen.
Step Three: Set it in stone.
We all know that nothing is ever serious until it’s in writing. Whether you use a whiteboard or scraps of paper, jot down all of the phrases that came to you in steps one and two—your ideal world. Circle the words that matter most, and start to formulate a concise statement. Revise, revise, and revise some more until it’s exactly what you want.
Now is the fun part! Unveil it to your company. Share it with every single employee. Encourage them to not only review it, but comprehend every facet of the statement. Explain to them your thoughts behind your ideas, and how you got to this point. The only way that a vision can become a reality is if everyone lives and breathes it.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all dreams happen overnight. A vision statement is intended to be ongoing, it’s something to work towards. Just as it took time to get to where you are now, it will take even more time to get to where you want to go.
Why is it important?
You wouldn’t embark on a road trip without some form of direction. The same goes for a vision statement. At the end of the day, it’s necessary for any growing organization. It’s a roadmap of what you hope to accomplish. It’s something tangible to look at when either you or your employees get a little sidetracked along the way, and are in need of a reminder of where you’re intending to go.
A vision can’t be vague. In fact, it needs to be a clear thought, making it all the more valuable. It forces you to really revaluate your passions and ambitions for your growing business. Unlike your personal goals, a vision statement doesn’t just light the fire underneath of you, it lights the path for your future.