Your mission and vision statements are the backbones of everything that your company does and supports. They both define your company and its intended future. For small businesses, it’s essential to create a mission and vision statement that embodies your organization’s core values and provides a direction for where your company wants to go.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement provides a way for stakeholders, specifically employees, to understand your business’s purpose. As the name suggests, it’s your company’s long-term vision or what your company hopes to be or achieve in the future. Employees who align with their company’s vision often have higher engagement levels because they find meaning in it. When your employees are more engaged, they’re more productive. They contribute to the organization to achieve the company’s vision. Trust us – it’s worth it to take the time to create a vision statement for your company.
What is a Mission Statement?
It’s very easy to get a mission and vision statement confused, but where a mission statement differs is that it describes the who, what, and why of your business. Essentially, a mission statement is about who you are and why you exist and is focused on the present. It can often include a general description of the organization, its function, and its objectives.
As your company grows, objectives and goals are bound to change. Therefore, mission and vision statement should be revised as needed to reflect new changes to the organization. Both are core elements of an organization, and they should encompass everything that your company is and strives to be.
How to Create a Vision Statement
Creating the perfect vision statement for your small business can seem overwhelming; however, it doesn’t have to be. Think about your company’s purpose, goals, and values. You can start by examining your long-term goals to determine what direction your company wants to head in. Then, weave those elements and beliefs into your vision statement. A helpful tip would be to look at competitor vision statements and find how you can set your company apart from theirs.
Also, make sure that your vision statement isn’t too long — a sentence or two is enough. Your entire organization should remember it and understand it; that way, everyone knows what they’re working towards. Don’t worry too much if your vision statement doesn’t fully express your business. You can have two: a more extended version and a shorter version to broadcast to your audience.
Questions to Ask When Creating a Vision Statement
To help in the construction process, here are a few questions to ask that can guide your company in identifying its vision statement:
- Impact: How do I want my business/brand to impact the community, industry, or world?
- Interaction: How do I want my business/brand to interact with others?
- Culture: What do I want my business’s culture to look like, and how do I want it to reflect to employees?
- Achievement: How do I plan on achieving the goals set out for my business?
These questions will help create a roadmap for your vision statement and define the future that your company will aim towards.
Tips for Crafting a Vision Statement
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you can now move towards creating a vision statement. These tips will help you make a vision statement that is unique to your business.
- Use clear and concise language.
- Use present tense.
- Ensure that it aligns with your business goals and values.
- Dream big; project into the future.
- Use passionate language to make it inspiring.
- Use company successes to drive the vision statement.
How to Create a Mission Statement
Your mission statement should articulate your company’s purpose. Essentially, it expresses who you are, what you do, and why you exist, along with the values that are important to your organization.
Steps in Creating a Mission Statement
What Does Your Company Do?
What product or service does your business provide? For this step, it’s best to get down to the basics of what your business does.
For example, your business:
- Provides lawn care services
- Provides plumbing services
- Sells tools for contractors
- Sells/provides software for field services
- Provides air conditioning services
How Does Your Company Do What it Does?
This step is asking for a general description of how your business operates. Depending on your business, this means involving your company’s core values. Therefore, list essential core competencies that are valuable to your company.
- Providing high-quality products
- Providing superior customer service
- Protecting the environment
- Keeping residential homes and businesses safe
Why Does Your Company Do What it Does?
This step describes the passion behind your business or the drive behind your business. Think back to the original reason why you started your business.
- Sell and provide high-quality products for contractors and technicians
- Provide landscaping services to my community while upholding the highest standard of customer service
- Offer locksmith services to keep residential homes and businesses safe
The “why” is what ties your “what” and “how” together to create a cohesive mission statement. Once all of these elements are combined, see if it captures the essence of your company’s purpose.
Examples of Vision and Mission Statements
For more inspiration, below are examples of famous vision and mission statements. Notice that vision statements are more aspirational, while mission statements are more actionable.
- Amazon: “Our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
- Google: “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.“
- Disney: “To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
- American Express: “Provide the world’s best customer experience every day.”
- Microsoft: “We believe a new technology paradigm is emerging that manifests itself through an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge where computing is more distributed, AI drives insights and acts on the user’s behalf, and user experiences span devices with a user’s available data and information. We continue to transform our business to lead this new era of digital transformation and enable our customers and partners to thrive in this evolving world.”
- Alzheimer’s Association: “A world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”
Your company’s mission and vision statement set the foundation for your business. Both play an essential role in the organization, as the mission statement defines the organization’s purpose, and the vision statement is everything the organization hopes to achieve. They align everyone with the organization and pave the path for a successful future. Every organization should develop a clear mission and vision statement to communicate the purpose and direction for the present and future.