Remember the Julia Roberts movie Pretty Woman, where the Happy Man shouts, “What’s your dream?” In the movie the Happy Man was referring to Hollywood-land of dreams. When I think of, “What’s your dream?” I am thinking of your vision for your business.
Every business owner needs a vision, a big dream that creates a mental image of where you want your business to go. Simply put, the vision is where you want your business to be in the future. Whatever your dream is, have you taken the time to write it down as clearly as you can to paint a picture for all to see?
The statement of your business vision should capture your passion and energize everyone in your operation- your team of employees, your business associates, and your clients or customers too. Your vision consists of the company’s core values (the values you stand for) and what you “aspire to become, achieve, or create”.1
Core values are usually three to six words that describe who you are and what values or principles you have. Here is the core values statement for one of the companies whose owner I coach. “Integrity is at the heart of who we are and what we provide our clients. Our passion drives us to strive for excellence; our goals compel us to be innovative; our commitment to our customers energizes us to provide exceptional service.”
Having your core values defined enables you to see where you want to go and in turn jump starts your vision for your business. If you have not already done so, define your core values; then ask yourself, “What’s my dream?” Now you can articulate your vision of where you want your business to go and what you want your business to achieve or create. Only when you articulate your dream, your vision, by putting it in writing are you ready to set your goals and strategies in place to achieve those goals.
In order to crystallize your vision for your business, first it may be helpful to answer these questions:
In ten years where do I want my business to be? (Where are we headed?)
How will our services or products evolve? (What will we manufacture or what services will we provide to ensure continued growth?)
What will be the scope of our business; will it be defined geographically or unlimited (an online business, for example)
Who will be our customers or users?
After you answer these questions, you are ready to craft your vision. Use the answers to these questions to provide clarity when you write your vision, then share it with your employees, customers, and business associates. Just like the Happy Man in Pretty Woman energized the street when he shouted “What’s Your Dream?”, you will energize those with whom you share your vision and you will have a clear focus for achieving your dream.
1Gillens and Porras; Harvard Business Review; September 1996