A business’s primary purpose is to sell its offered goods and services and make a profit. Gaining revenues guarantees a business’ profitability, sustainability, and growth. This may sound easy and simple, but if we think about it, it is difficult to achieve because of the ever-changing market condition and intense competition. This is why entities need something to guide them in achieving their goals.
A vision statement, with a mission statement and core values, helps businesses reach their targets. They contribute to giving the company an identity that aids them in creating a positive impression and strengthening its brand. Ultimately, these statements enable enterprises to set their path and identify the things they want to achieve.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement tells how the company sees itself in the future. It gives a short description of a business’s long-term objectives. Generally, with a time frame of five to ten years, vision illustrates what the company will be, usually in terms of size, market share, influence, or fame. It also lays down a clear direction for planning and implementing corporate-level strategies, which serve as motivators for the executives.
Vision statements are usually zealous and grandiose because it is the ideal situation they want to be in. It also conveys how a business aspires to make a difference and positively impact the community. We can consider it a guideline for decision-making consistent with the company’s values and goals.
Writing a vision statement does not have any standard or template. You can write a vision with one sentence or a paragraph. Regardless of its length, the essence of a vision statement is to describe how you are different from your competitors and focus your attention on reaching your goals.
Achieving a state of balance is always critical in a business. This also applies to forming vision statements. As discussed, a vision statement should be ambitious but not to the point that it is impracticable and unrealistic. Below are the key elements of a good and effective vision statement.
1. It should tell the company’s reason for existence.
This should be the primary requisite for a company’s vision statement. Containing the company’s main purpose of staying in the market is the focal point of presenting a vision statement. If this is well executed, it will help the company to create an image reflecting who they are, what they do, and to who they want to offer their products and services. This is helpful in building a brand and, eventually, establishing a reputation in the market. Also, if their identity is well-reflected in their vision, they will be able to attract the right customers and stakeholders, leading to revenue and business continuity.
2. It should demonstrate their culture and core values.
As previously mentioned, a vision statement is usually joined by a mission and a list of core values. It is essential that their vision is aligned with their culture and core values because it makes the statement applicable, relevant, and credible. By doing this, the company can reasonably ensure that they can communicate its identity and ambition to its target market and other stakeholders.
3. It should be looking into the future.
A vision statement contains how a company sees itself in the long run. It is only natural for visions to be forward-looking. Due to this, the company will aim for improvement to reach its ideal position. Competition is inevitable, and we expect it to become more challenging each year. So, businesses must plan their identity and consistently differentiate themselves from their competitors to stay unique and appealing to the market.
4. It should be a source of motivation and inspiration.
A business’ vision statement portrays its goals for the future. Creating a strong vision statement is also vital for the motivation of employees. It is difficult for them to work for something if they are unaware of what they are trying to achieve. A well-constructed vision provides a north star that guides their actions and decisions to be in accordance with their objectives and philosophies. It should inspire both managerial and rank-and-file employees to do their duties and responsibilities for the growth and benefit of the company.
5. It should be planned as beneficial to the business.
All actions to be undertaken and decisions to be made in the business set-up should always be expected to benefit the business. These matters entail time and resources, which will bear costs. Managers and employees should always ensure that the resources sacrificed will not be in vain but instead deliver benefits and opportunities for the company. A vision statement is usually created at the beginning of a business. It will be better if the practice of maximizing resources is implemented as early as possible.
What is the Significance of a Vision Statement for an ECommerce Business?
Vision statements may seem simple and considered an accessory in setting up a business, not a necessity. Some people think of it as a couple of words with flowery meanings, therefore, irrelevant to daily operations. According to research by Z. Papulova (2014), 9% of 242 companies view vision as a formal statement without any purpose. 69.60% think of vision as a foundation for their strategy and that strategy aims to achieve their vision. So, here are some importance of having a vision statement:
1. It helps the firm in creating its legacy.
The vision statement reflects what the company aspires to be in the future. If all employees abide by their vision, they will probably achieve it.
If continuously observed and nurtured, the culture and standards set in their vision statement will be their trademark and brand. They will be known for it, therefore, strengthening their brand and helping them to secure their position in the market. In the preceding part of this article, you will see some successful businesses that turned their vision into their legacy.
2. It serves as a decision-making framework.
In operating a business, making decisions is a constant routine. Weighing several alternatives and choosing among them is crucial because the decision will affect the company’s resources and operation.
There will come a time when a company will face a dilemma, and making a decision will be more challenging due to several factors like ethics, resources, company reputation, human resource, and many more. Having a clear and concrete vision statement is beneficial because it will act as a guideline for decision-making. Whenever executives have a hard time making a decision, they should return to their vision statement because it reflects the company’s values and philosophies. Thus, the resolution will be more reliable and reasonable.
3. It helps the company in attracting befitting members.
If the company knows who they are and what they want to do, it will also understand what they need. For a company to become excellent and successful, they require members who are qualified and appropriate for the work requirement.
Seasoned companies use their well-known vision statements to boost their public relations. They use it to promote and market their products and services, corporate culture and environment, and other offerings based on the testament of their achieved vision statement. This is one of the main reasons why companies formulate strong vision statements and strictly comply with and implement such.
4. It enables the company to build a harmonious culture.
A business’ revenue and market position success are impossible without a harmonious culture. A company is made of people, and its components should cooperate and work effectively to achieve their vision and goals. We can only achieve harmonious culture if each individual knows and understands what they need to do to succeed. Through a clear vision statement, all employees will be on one page, thus, promoting harmonious culture.
5. It identifies performance indicators.
Vision statements can be considered as a plan for the company’s future. These are formulated to be the company’s guide to its aspirations. Businesses can also use vision statements to review if employees acted appropriately to achieve their vision. Comparing their current situation to what they envisioned in a certain length of time, we can make adjustments if the review indicates that they still need to exert more effort.
10 ECommerce Vision Statements You Can Apply for Your Business
1. Shopify: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that offers a wide range of features that enable entrepreneurs to venture, expand, and oversee a business. Aside from their platform and expertise, they also banner their cloud-based platform. The platform allows users to access their accounts anytime and anywhere.
Together with Shopify’s mission of empowering businesses, they envision themselves as the one who will make commerce better for everyone through their offered services and platform. Despite the competition in their market, we can observe that their vision is ambitious, but it remains achievable. After communicating its goal, Shopify promoted why they operate, letting businesses focus on other matters important to them. They offer services to assist and support businesses in achieving their corporate goals.
2. Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Starbucks is one of the leading coffee shops which started in 1971 along the streets of Seattle, Washington. From a single store back in the 70’s, they currently have more than 30,000 stores in various countries worldwide.
Starbucks’ vision statement is well-planned and executed. First, they used plain and simple words. Their statement is relatable and understandable by many, therefore, effectively communicating their objective. Second, they used phrases that connote a message beyond their literal meaning. “One person, one cup…” symbolizes their main product, coffee. “One neighborhood at a time” represents their ambition of expanding through more extensive operations and putting up more stores in different places. They also planned to give their customers a place where they could feel comfort and warmth, inspiring them to do their errands.
3. Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Nike is an athletic apparel company standing for over five decades. They are well known not just for the products they provide but also for their customers’ programs.
Their offered products are well-rooted on their vision statement; “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete”. It is a good vision statement that unites, catches, and leads the company and the customers in one purpose. However, the vision statement may narrow down their vision only to athletes. That is where co-founder Bill Bowerman added the phrase, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. The statement was powerful enough to present Nike’s philosophy as inclusive to everyone and its stand against body shaming and discrimination.
4. IKEA: To create a better everyday life for many people.
IKEA, a global home furnishing business, also has a concise yet fully packed formulated vision for their company.
Their vision statement has clearly set the company’s very purpose, which is a form of value they intend to give to their customers. The phrase “To create a better everyday life…” symbolizes their wide range of offered product lines. Additionally, like Nike, the words “for the many people” signifies the company’s inclusivity among different groups of people and the intent to widen it.
5. TED: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.
TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a non-profit organization that provides talks, lessons, and forums that inform, inspire and give insights to its audiences about different topics. These talks usually have short time frames and aim to deliver messages with the most significant impact to the audience in the shortest words possible.
Their vision is straight to the point and ambitious to lead the company in one direction, but they use diction that connects emotionally to their members and audiences. Words such as we, passionately, and change lives denote inclusivity. Their ambitious purposes are also directly stated in the vision, guiding their activities to invoke ideas that change attitudes and lives.
6. Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Amazon is an e-commerce business that provides online retail shopping services. As time passed, the company grew and started offering other promotional services, like co-branded credit card agreements and online advertising.
Amazon’s vision is an example of a well-conceived statement. As a business in the retail shopping industry, its primary source of revenue is customer satisfaction. They need to reach out to more potential customers and continuously improve their service to hold their current position in the market. Through its vision, Amazon commits itself to providing service which will ensure the customers’ convenience, advantage, and satisfaction. They also consistently expanded their service so that their customers could find and discover anything they might need.
7. Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Tesla is a car manufacturing company aiming to create cars powered by alternative and sustainable energy. Some of their recent works are the usage of battery and solar-powered vehicles that eliminate the need for oil.
Tesla has used their ingenuity in their wordplay to present their purpose through their vision. Being a Car company, they used diction that portrays movement, such as “accelerate” and “transition”, hinting at what value they provide, in this case, cars. They also used the world to emphasize that their intent in a transition is inclusive. And the core value that defines them from other companies is their big move to sustainable energy is added as a finishing line.
8. Bulletproof: Help people perform better, think faster, and live better using a proven blend of ancient knowledge and brand new technologies, tempered by research, science, and measured results from our customers, top athletes, and medical professionals.
Bulletproof is a business known for offering healthy products like coffee, snacks, and supplements which are clean and appropriate for those who are on a keto diet respectively. Their products are made with rigorously selected and non-toxic ingredients.
This statement is a bit wordy but still effective because it can convey what the business does in detail. It is able to introduce their product, tell why they exist, and provide assurance that its products are safe and effective because they are backed up by science and research. Bulletproof combined its mission and vision in one statement. This is a testament that creating a vision statement has no template or standard. As long as the message is impactful, relatable, and relevant, it can still be an inspiring and effective vision statement.
9. MVMT: Style shouldn’t break the bank.
Movado (MVMT) is a company founded in Switzerland in 1881. They are known for manufacturing high-quality watches, eyewear, and jewelry.
This is a vision statement example which is the opposite of the previous one. MVMT’s vision is simple and short but punchy and attractive. It is straight to the point that readers can identify what industry they belong to and what products they offer. It is a compelling vision because it perfectly displays MVMT’s competitive advantage of providing high-quality products at low cost, which are pleasant to customers’ ears.
10. Southwest Airlines: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Southwest Airlines, a major US airline company, did not shy away from putting its vision statement as straightforward as to why they exist.
They are concerned with quality customer service. Southwest Airlines aims in its vision statement to have the highest quality service and satisfaction, have the highest number of customers, and thus, become profitable. This vision statement not only states their purpose but reflects the Airline company’s Texan personality.
Vision statements are usually zealous and grandiose because it keeps employees and owners inspired to get where they would want to be. They also convey how a business aspires to make a difference and positively impact the community. Unlike mission statements, vision statements are made for long-term plans and convey the reason for the company’s existence.
How about you? What is your business’s vision that you would like to share?
Currently a tax associate, Gerbie has experience in news and article writing back in high school and college.