The website for Industry Canada defines vision as "what a company wants to be. It focuses on tomorrow; it is inspirational; it provides clear decision-making criteria; and it is timeless". In order to start or develop your business, you need to have a very clear picture of what you want your practice to look like and have a blueprint which will guide you as you build it.
When I was in graduate school we were asked by a professor to write our philosophy of life. It took a great deal of thought and editing in order to create exactly what I wanted in one short sentence. When I was finished, however, I knew very clearly that this philosophy would be one which I would use not only for my business but also for my entire life. It reads "To live and learn and love in a manner that will lead to personal growth and enhance the lives of others".
When I opened my part-time practice, I decided to add a statement to the Philosophy which would make the task even clearer. It read "My goal is to encourage individuals, groups, organizations and Communities to reach their potential".
You see, if you don't know your values and heart's desire, it is hard to develop a business that will accomplish them.
Some businesses and organizations prepare a mission statement which describes how the company is at the time of writing. These usually identify the clients, processes and level of performance - things which have been accomplished.
It really doesn't matter how you decide to set the tone for your company but whatever statement you use must reflect you - for as the sole professional you are the business.
Make sure that each word in your statement is carefully chosen and has meaning. You will be printing this on your brochures, on marketing materials and should be able to quote it with pride whenever someone asks you about your business.
Business is an adventure that begins with direction. Invest time to plan where you are going so you aren't frequently lost or off-track.