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 the overview of a business plan. It is one part your dream for your company and another part your direction for your business in the future. The vision statement is the articulation of your dream of where you want your business to go in the future. The vision statement is generally written with a long-term perspective in mind.

What is the corporate vision statement?

All of your business plan should be well-written, but the company's vision statement should be particularly well-written and written with passion. 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 they are investing in, else they may not invest.

You can't just say, "Our company wants to be number one in the industry," which is a common phrase you will find in a company vision statement. That statement will leave investors and bankers underwhelmed. The vision statement should be a view of the future 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.

How do you write the company vision statement?

If you, as the business owner, have the skill, 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. You will be surprised at the plethora of good ideas you will get. Get everyone in your company together, tell them what you are doing, and start brainstorming. 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. Don't engage in fantasy. Keep the vision statement real.

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.

These vision statements are all from companies in different industries so perhaps they will help you develop your own.