Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Give Them Something They Can Believe In

In an increasingly noisy world, people are looking for businesses to believe in. The business world is filled with hype, over-commercialization, and marketing nobody can believe. Fortunately, there's one simple, yet overlooked way your business can stand apart from the muddled masses: by having a strong company vision statement.

A strong vision statement isn't just for putting on the walls of the company lobby or the back of business cards. It clearly communicates that this business lives what it preaches.

Why having a clear business vision is important

Vision starts with a belief... specifically the belief that your business exists to make a difference in the world. The specifics of that belief could be simple or more complex, but whatever your vision, it must clearly state the core values and purpose of why your business exists and what it wants to accomplish.

A vision is an ideal your company strives to achieve. There are many benefits to creating a company vision. But first and foremost, a clearly written and communicated vision helps define your company's values and guide the behavior of all employees.

A vision statement acts as the guide and cornerstone for everything you do. It needs to be specific enough to say what you will do but can also state what you will not do.

Without a clear vision, a business can drift aimlessly from task to task without understanding the purpose of the organization and the destination it wants to reach.

Here are three guidelines for creating a vision or evaluating your current one:

  1. Your vision must be clear, concise, easily understood, and give a sense of purpose for your business.

  2. It should motivate everyone in the business toward achieving a common goal. It should be ambitious and challenge everyone to embrace the ideals stated in the vision.

  3. A great vision helps link actions to the company's strategic goals. Actions will come from a clear understanding of the value created by following the vision.

A strong vision identifies the core values of the business, understands the purpose of the business, and envisions the future of the business. Often you can immediately identify a company that has a clear sense of purpose and vision from ones that don't. A motivated team working together creates a positive energy not seen in aimless businesses. A clear, memorable, and effective vision points everyone toward a common goal of making a difference in the lives of those being served.

A stimulating vision compels everyone to act, to change, and to become something that stands out in a skeptical world of me-too imitators. You can attract customers by hiring a guy in a clown costume to hold a sale sign in front of your building, or you can gain customers by providing out-of-this-world service from motivated employees driven by a worthy vision. One brings you customers for a day. The other brings you customers for a lifetime.

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