Why you need a vision for your business – and how to do it

Picture of by Ros Jones

by Ros Jones

Business coach and author

Ros Jones Business Coach

What do you stand for?

What keeps you going?

I mean, what keeps you motivated to keep pushing forward – even when the chips are down?

Or maybe you haven’t thought about that.

One of the things I’ve found among business people who come to me for help is that not many of them have a documented vision of what they want their business to stand for. Some can tell me when I ask. But it’s not documented and certainly not shared with their people. When they get this in place, everything gets easier.

I believe the most important document a business needs to have is a description of the vision for the business, its mission statement and its values or its culture statement, sometimes called the business “VMC” (Vision, Mission, Culture).

What is the business vision?


As with all our undertakings, we ‘start with the end in mind’ just as we were taught to do by Stephen R Covey (the second habit of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”).

Once we know where we’re going, we can work out what we have to do and who we have to be to get there.

Our vision is what we aspire for our business to be known for. It might not be true right at this moment but that’s where we’re taking our business. We imagine it as if it is true right now. Our vision is the top of the mountain if you like.

Our mission statement is the roadway up that mountain. It’s what we have to do to reach the top.

Our culture statement or values represent who we have to be if we’re to reach the top of that mountain.

Why every business should have a vision


There are 2 main reasons why it’s important to have complete clarity on the vision for your business. The first is that it’s a super powerful motivator, the second is that it acts as a magnet to attract the right people to the business.

  1. Vision as Motivator

Without a clear vision, our business will likely just meander. It may generate sufficient revenue to give us a decent lifestyle. But it won’t give us the energy and passion needed to overcome the tough times that will always happen in business.

When we’re genuinely passionate about what our business stands for and how our product or service can help others, we are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure more people are aware of this.

With a clear vision, we’re prepared to dig deep and take extraordinary action, not just what everyone else is doing day in and day out, but daring to stand out from the crowd, taking risks and being bold.

  1. Vision as Magnet

One of the biggest fears I hear from business leaders is taking on the wrong people.

When we’re crystal clear and excited about what our business stands for, and what our values are, it’s so much easier to attract the right people to the business. These are people who share our values and are excited to work with a business with such a vision.

Similarly, we can use our vision and values to attract the ideal customers for our business and the ideal suppliers.

When we’re clear about our vision and values, we use it in our job adverts, and our marketing material, anywhere we’re promoting our business.

How to design your VMC


The best time to design your vision, mission and culture statement is before you even start trading. However, most of us setting up business miss this step in our eagerness to start selling.

Without clarity on your VMC, however, a business will usually end up with a team of disengaged people who don’t care about the business and will find that they attract the wrong customers. (A wrong customer is someone who complains nonstop, doesn’t pay your invoices and takes up too much of your time.)

It’s not too late to get your vision in place


If you’re a solopreneur, just take some time out to put this together.


Consider what you want your business to be known for. What is the true purpose of your business?

For example, the vision I have for my business coaching business is “to help restore balance back into business to build a kinder economy where everyone thrives.”

Here are some example vision statements of some well-known brands:

  • BBC: “To be the most creative organization in the world”
  • Disney: “To make people happy.”
  • Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”
  • IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
  • Instagram: “Capture and share the world’s moments”

Your vision might simply be “to be the go-to [type of business] in [location]”.

If you have an existing team, get them to help you come up with the vision statement for your business. This will make it easier to get them to buy into the vision and be fully behind it in their daily behaviours.

Mission statement

Once you have clarity about your vision (the top of the mountain you’re heading for), consider how you’re going to do this. Your mission is how you get up the mountain. It will typically begin “We do this by …”.

For example, the mission statement for my coaching business is that “we do this by working closely with business owners and their teams to help them build their business in a balanced and sustainable way and helping them view their business as the vehicle for the fulfilment of personal goals and dreams. We inspire, motivate and teach them to think bigger and achieve more than they’d settled for in business and, more importantly, their personal lives.”

Again, if you have a team, I recommend you get them involved in helping you come up with your business mission statement.

Culture statement (values)

 Finally, your culture statement describes the values you need to have and the behaviours everyone needs to demonstrate to get up the mountain to achieve the vision for your business.

You’ll typically have between 5 and 14 values you want everyone in your business to demonstrate through their daily behaviours.

Your documented values will be a crucial part of your recruitment process as you’ll want to take on people who can demonstrate that they are genuinely aligned with the values of your business.

Get your team to brainstorm the values that are important to them and insist that they are more than words on paper but represent the expected behaviours of everyone in the business.

Communicating the VMC

Once you’ve all agreed the vision, mission and culture statement of your business, you need to keep communicating it.

It’s the business owner’s job to keep everyone focused on the vision for the business.

Be sure too to have your VMC documented and visible so everyone can see it. Include it on your website and all promotional material. And be certain to include it in any job advertisements.

If you need some help with this or would like to share your business vision, please do get in touch!

Ros Jones




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