What is a Startup Vision Statement? Here’s Why You Need One

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Are you an aspiring business owner? Have you struggled with your startup vision? You are not alone. Many entrepreneurs find this small piece of paper a daunting challenge. I’m sure that you know who you are. And I’m guessing that you have a pretty good idea of what you want your business to become. You probably just can’t put it into the right words – yet.

You as the founder of this business are the best person for the job. Own it. You can create this unique and compelling statement. Believe it. This post is here to just give you a few tips that you can use to compose it. You are the one who can write a statement that accurately reflects what your business stands for and tells the world where you want to go.

What is This “Vision Statement”, Really?

Your startup vision statement is a clear description of what you as a business want to become. It is not just a list of goals but a concise explanation of your objectives that are fueled by your passion. This statement explains not only what you want to achieve, but serves as a kind of pledge to what you are committing to pursue as a business. It will also direct the way that you make decisions for your business. It is the push behind the transformational initiatives that will feed your business for growth.

At its core, the vision statement provides a future reality that you want to achieve by building your business. The vision statement should hit on both the future reality of the business as well as you as the founder. When thinking about your vision for the company, you don’t have to go overboard either. Keep it to 1 year to start. Close your eyes and imagine the life that you want to be living with your business in 1 full calendar year. As you start to depict that reality and believe wholeheartedly in it, you can move forward confidently.

Where Do I Find My Startup Vision?

You are on a path to creating a business for a reason. Your startup vision stems from that reason. As the business founder, you create the startup vision by being the one who fathered it. You almost unconsciously produce it simply by virtue of thinking the business into reality. If you have thought long and hard about whether your business idea is a good one, then you probably already have a startup vision. Now you just have to go back over all that information and find the thread that leads to that vision. It’s in there, don’t doubt it.

Your Plans, Your Vision

You probably have a lot of thoughts swimming around in your head. This can make it seem difficult to capture that vision. If you have all your notes and can plan to sit quietly for a few hours, you are on your way to revealing that hidden gem. Trust in the drive that has brought you this far, and in the plans that this passion has led you to draw up.

Planning for a business entails a lot of research and calculations and economic foresight. From here, you can see how your business will unfold. The smoky edges of your startup vision are where you see that path laid out. Once you catch a glimpse of it, it might be tempting to go all out and see the future as far as when you’re the one who’s gray around the edges. You don’t want to go that far.

First Year Goals

Keep your thoughts focused on where you see your business in a year. Where do you want to be? What do you want to have achieved? Who do you want to become as the leader of the organization? The clear markers that you have set in your business plan draft can help you pinpoint concrete goals for your business within that period. These goals are what you will describe to form the structure of your startup vision statement.

Remember to stay within the first year or thereabouts. This period in the life of your business is a very critical stage. As you go through and pass this stage, you will think more and realize new things about your business. You will make changes for the better as these new ideas come, and this can also change your startup vision. It’s not a bad thing to modify your original vision. As you improve and grow along your entrepreneurial journey, you will see things differently. This is a natural part of the process that strengthens your vision and allows your business to grow and evolve into its fullest potential. As you and your business mature together, it will to cohere into a truly representative statement of who you are as an entity.

Why Do I Need a Vision Statement?

In a nutshell, your vision statement is your guide. It contains the succinct delineation of your road forward. More than this, however, it is a decisive concept. Your startup vision is an active reminder that should propel you and your business team to advance. Without a vision statement, you can easily end up gasping for breath or floundering as wildly as a deep-sea fish out of water.

Concrete Goals

Everyone needs a few solid goals to look forward to. It helps us all to focus our energies, prioritize where we spend our time, and distribute money and other resources for optimal, healthy growth. These goals come from your business plan. They will be the milestones that you will apply yourself towards reaching.

Passionate Drive

Without a passion for your business, you are going to find it difficult to create a compelling vision statement. Your passion is what forms the essence of your startup vision and breathes life into the statement. This passion will add the action element into the vision that makes it an active promise of what the business will become. Without passion, you will likely run out of steam before the first year is up.

How Do I Create My Vision Statement?

To create that ultimate startup vision statement, you need a clear head, a few hours, and a comfortable spot. Bring along whatever libations keep you running, and be prepared to make doodles and take notes. If you need to take a break, go right ahead. Composing a vision statement is no easy feat. Sometimes you need some time to reset or just to let it all sink in. If you want to revisit your startup vision the following day or week, so be it. Thoughts can be elusive, and you want to give them all the time they need to settle in the right places, unharmed.

Key Thoughts and Feelings

A lot happens during the process of creating your vision statement. You will be thinking a lot about your business idea and what it means for you and the people that you will serve. When you sit down and mull over why you are here in the first place, your brain will light up in several places. When you feel that jolt, jot down whatever brought it about. This is the first step to creating your vision statement.

Organize Goals and Drive

When you’ve gone through your story and how you feel about it, it’s time to start organizing. Parse your musings into two basic categories: who you are and where you’re going. Who you are is composed of you the founder and your baby business. Where you’re going is all about the future. Divide the where further to comprise the solid goals you envision and what is driving you to get there. Take out anything that is too far in the future and set aside all the rest.

Compose and Refine

Now it’s time to reform those sections into clear statements. You want to be able to accurately express everything that you have revisited in the past few hours. Clarity is key because this statement will lead and nourish your blossoming business. Your startup vision will provide direction and encouragement as you face the humps and bumps that you will experience along the way.

If writing isn’t one of your great strengths, consider asking for help from someone who has a way with words. The best one to approach is an admired friend or trusted family member. You can bring them your doodles or a first draft and ask them what they think. They will understand you better than anyone else. They will be able to help you clear up inconsistencies or ambiguities. These people who are closest to you may even be able to interpret some of those strange ideas you have. They will be greatly helpful as well in bringing your fleeting thoughts down to earth in powerfully disciplined phrases.

Get Feedback

When you have a good statement that you are happy with, it’s time to show it to others. Feedback is an important step because it allows you to see your startup vision through the eyes of the people around you. These people are a representative section of the public, who you will be serving soon. Your friends and family might be too close for this part, so you want a few other people to come in.

Start with your business team. What do your core members think? If they are as invested in this business as you are, then they will be eager to contribute. They are also likely to shamelessly criticize your masterpiece. This is a good thing since it will help you to gauge the statement’s impact and how it can be improved. But don’t agonize over it – it’s a work in progress, right? You will be revisiting this statement in a year’s time, and that time sure flies by when you’re living the honeymoon stage of your startup vision.

In Conclusion: Repeat the Process Every Year

The visions statement is an aspect of your business that you should return to every calendar year. I suggest doing it every January as it is usually the time in any business when you are reflecting on the past year and planning for the first quarter. It is an amazing time to see what reality you were able to achieve and push the vision statement further so that you have more to be excited about.

As you repeat this process each year, you will see your life and the growth of your business flash past your eyes. When you have a driving passion of reaching a specific, definite reality, time flies by and you are simply focused on hitting that next milestone that will verify you are on your way to the dream reality you’ve envisioned.


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About Connor Gillivan

In the past 10 years, I’ve started 7 businesses & built two to $10M+ in annual revenue, teams of 30+ & an exit in 2019. Today, I run SEO & growth for my 4 B2B companies while teaching millions how to make SEO simple.

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