Key Elements of a Vision Statement

by Chika Nwaka ; Updated September 26, 2017

A vision statement is a statement that describes where you see your company in the future A vision statement is often confused with a mission statement, but the two are different.While a vision statement states a clear goal for the future, a mission statement provides an outline for the way that goal will be accomplished. Your company's vision statement should contain elements that distinguish it from other companies that provide similar goods or services.

A Quantified Indicator of Success

A vision statement should contain a quantified indicator of success, that is, the vision statement should clearly state how the company will determine that it has successfully carried out its vision. Indicators of success can be distinct, such as ''top 10" or they can be more broadly defined, such as "highly-ranked," "world-renowned," or "specialist."

Defined Niche

A company's vision statement must clearly state the area or areas in which the company wants to make its mark. Having specific target areas makes it easier for a company to determine where to target its resources, how to manage its goals and objectives when creating its mission statement, and how to track its progress so that its performance consistently overlaps with its vision.

A Time Line

Some businesses underestimate the importance of integrating a time line in their vision statements but a time line is critical to formulating an effective vision statement. A time line integrated into the vision statement helps the company frame the vision as an achievable goal rather than just a lofty statement. By using a time line, business owners will be able to periodically assess their company's progress toward their vision.

Tailored

A vision statement should be tailored to the type of company. Some vision statements, for example those that are written for nonprofit and government organizations, will be more complex than others. A nonprofit may not have a time line, for instance, but may have more lengthy and abstract quantifiers of success. People can even write vision statements for their personal lives and their careers.

About the Author

Chika Nwaka started writing professionally in 2010. She writes for eHow and specializes in education and fashion-related topics. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California-Los Angeles and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.