Describing Your Vision– Start with Six Honest Serving-Men

Creating a powerful vision for a small business inspires you to consider new possibilities and helps keep you focused when the going gets tough.

When attempting to describe your vision it can prove tricky to formulate in a meaningful way. Here is a quick technique (courtesy of Kipling) to get you started.

I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.

Start by brainstorming some short answers to these questions.


What special products or services will your business provide?

 What would you like to be most admired for?

 Why will people want to come to you?

 When will your business achieve your vision?

 How will you do this?

 Where will you operate your business?

 Who are your best customers and associates?

Now summarise your answers in a few punchy sentences which really describe what you would love to accomplish with your business.

Take a break.

Come back to your sentences and spend time redrafting your vision into one sentence with one important extra ingredient – passion and belief, and where appropriate, humour.

Here are some examples.

Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. Amazon

Nike: To be the number one athletic company in the world.

Avon: To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfilment needs of women – globally.

This is an example from a small business, a sustainable architects’ practice.

Within the next 3 years Cave will grow into a successful, unique, local and national sustainable architects business, providing quality services to ethical private, public and community clients.

What are your favourite and most meaningful vision statements, especially those for small businesses – share them in the comments.

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