Within a company or startup, it’s common to be inspired by a vision of what you want the world to look like. However, founders often don’t take the time to articulate the true reason that their company exists.
This makes navigating difficult choices in the future especially challenging because the purpose that drove the founding of the company isn’t readily available for review. It would be like a group of people went on a road trip across the U.S., but only the driver knew the destination and why the trip was occurring. A couple of issues would quickly become apparent.
Where are you going?
First, the riders would have to trust that they were going in the right direction. No turn could be questioned because the driver was the only one who knew the path.
Secondly, if that driver took a break from the wheel to sleep, whoever was driving would need to know the final destination. It wouldn’t be enough to simply know, “We’re driving to the West Coast.”
Without understanding the spirit behind why the company was created in the first place there will be no way for anyone within the company to understand which direction the founders may have wanted the company to go.
A vision statement articulates the ‘why’
Lacking an articulated company purpose clients, customers, or donors are not able to understand or connect with the company on any substantial level. This means that the best that a business can hope for are one-off customers or a repeat customer through high-cost means of sales and manipulation. While this may be common practice for many companies and even individuals, manipulation is far from the best form of client acquisition.
Instead, we want to look at the true nature of why a company was built because at that point the motivation to build the company is the same motivation that will create loyal customers and ambassadors for your company. This is why a vision statement is so vital. A vision statement is quite different from a mission statement. Where a mission statement focuses on what a company does or what they want to accomplish a vision statement focuses on the purpose behind what the company does.
Simply put, a vision statement is that companies vision of their ideal future.
This is why the vision statement is so essential for finding loyalty and customers and ambassadors in those customers to spread the word of what your company does. How many companies may do the same work that yours does, it’s the meaning of your company that loyalty and in repeat customer satisfaction is found.
When Nonprofits are looking for a donor this is a specially important. While it is nice to have one and done donors is essential for a foundations livelihood to have a repeat loyal donor base. And this is only accomplished by connecting with who they are and what they believe.
When they believe what you believe
If you find individuals who believe what your foundation believes, then they’re more likely to give their money to your foundation rather than a different one even if they feel that another foundation may be more established or well-known.
By connecting with donors who believe what your foundation believes they will become advocates for the work that your company does and will be more willing to give money repeatedly toward the missions of your foundation pursue.
Similarly, any startup or even well-established company that is looking to develop a connection with their customer base that breeds loyalty, a well-articulated vision statement is essential. People like to be proud of where their money goes. Show your moral compass and those customers sharing in your direction will be drawn to you.
So how do you create a well-articulated vision statement?
While there’s no one, cookie-cutter method, there are some standard questions you can ask yourself to begin the process of discovering what the vision statement of your agency is. To help you begin your process of discovering your vision statement, here are some effective questions for developing a powerful, thought-provoking vision statement.
Step one: Speak with the founder or founders of the agency. They will be the best sources of inspiration. After all, it was their idea to start the company in the first place. However, If you don’t have the opportunity to speak with the founders, then identify those within your agency who best reflect the purpose of your company.
This is an important first step in your process because it will help you save time and energy trying to collect data that will be used to build the vision statement. While we could ask every single employee at every agency why they worked there, it’s a waste of time when speaking with one or two highly motivated and inspirational staff members will yield the same result.
1. What brought you to create this company?
2. When you created the company what experience in your life made you realize this area of need?
3. What about your agency brings you the most fulfillment?
1. What drew you to this company?
2. What aspects of your job the most inspirational to you?
3. When you’re faced with the challenge at work what aspect of your work helps you avoid burn out?
Once you have collected the answers to these questions, you can begin to piece together what your agency truly believes. WIth that belief system, you will be able to create lasting vision statements that bring loyal customers and donors.
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