Company Vision Statement and Business Planning

How to Write a Vision Statement With Examples

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A company vision statement is an important part of a business plan's overview. It is one part your dream for your company and another part the path you're laying for your business in the future. The vision statement is generally written with a long-term perspective in mind.

What Is the Corporate Vision Statement?

Your company's business plan should be well-written, but your vision statement shows the extra care and passion you have for your venture. If you, as a business owner, are trying to attract venture capital or angel investor money, one thing those types of investors look for is passion. They want you to be engaged in and passionate about the business in which they are investing, otherwise, they may not invest.

If your vision statement says, "Our company wants to be number one in the industry," a common phrase you will find in many vision statements, you will leave investors and bankers underwhelmed. The vision statement should be a forward-looking view or a look at how the company would like to see itself a number of years in the future.

When writing a corporate vision statement, think in terms of writing just one very descriptive and passionate sentence about your company.

Writing Your Own Company Vision Statement

You can write the company vision statement yourself or with a partner. If you have a few people in your company, the best way to write a company vision statement is to brainstorm ideas.

You will be surprised at the plethora of useful and creative input you will get. Get everyone in your company together, tell them what you are doing, and start brainstorming away. In order to write a vision statement, keep in mind two things besides your dream for the future: Your values statement and the stakeholders of your organization.

The vision statement has to be in line with your company values statement. Whoever your stakeholders are or will be, your vision statement has to be in line with those stakeholders. For example, if you are funded by venture capitalists, they have a say in what your company will be. Avoid the temptation to engage in fantasy, and keep your vision statement optimistic but based on reality.

Examples of Company Vision Statements

It is helpful for startup companies or even existing companies to look at vision statements that have worked in the past for some of the most successful companies. In the 1950's, Boeing had the following vision statement, "Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age." In the 1980s, Microsoft had as their vision, "A personal computer in every home running Microsoft software."

Here are further examples of company vision statements:

  • Avon: To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women - globally.
  • Ford: To become the world's leading Consumer Company for automotive products and services.
  • IKEA: The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. We make this possible by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
  • Nike: To be the number one athletic company in the world
  • Wal-Mart: Saving people money to help them live better was the goal that Sam Walton envisioned when he opened the doors to the first Walmart more than 40 years ago. Today, this mission is more important than ever to our customers and members around the world.

Regardless of the size or business goals for a company, these industry giants managed to sum everything up in a one- or two-sentence vision statement.

Placing the focus on your company's core mission, and boiling it down to into one or two sentences, can provide guidance and keep your business on course to achieve all of its desired outcomes over time.