Vision and mission statements are two of the most important pieces of documentation for any business.
They provide a clear and concise overview of your business goals, values, and what you hope to achieve.
So what’s the difference between the two and how do you go about creating them?
A vision statement is a statement of your business’ long-term goals and aspirations. It should be inspiring and ambitious, and it should give your employees and customers a sense of what you’re working towards.
A mission statement, on the other hand, is a statement of your business’ current purpose and what you do to achieve it. It should be clear and concise, and it should communicate what your business does and how it benefits its customers.
Creating a Vision Statement
When creating a vision statement, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make it aspirational – Your vision statement should be something that inspires your employees and customers. It should be a statement of what you hope to achieve in the future, not just a description of what you do now.
- Make it specific – Your vision statement should be specific enough to give you and your team a clear direction to work towards. However, it should also be broad enough to allow for growth and change.
- Make it memorable – Your vision statement should be something that is easy to remember and understand. It should be something that you can communicate to your employees and customers in a few short sentences.
Here are some examples of inspiring vision statements:
- Google: “To provide access to all the world’s information in one click.”
- Amazon: “To be the 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.”
- Tesla: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
Creating a Mission Statement
As mentioned, a mission statement serves a different purpose to your vision. It’s more about the now, with a focus on how you will serve your customer.
I’s worth keeping the following in mind as you create your mission:
- Make it clear and concise – Your mission statement should be easy to understand and communicate. It should be a few sentences long and to the point.
- Make it specific – Your mission statement should clearly state what your business does and who it serves. It should also communicate the unique value that your business offers.
- Make it authentic Your mission statement should be a reflection of your business’s core values and beliefs. It should be something that you and your employees are passionate about.
Here are some examples of clear and concise mission statements:
- Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- Amazon: “To serve customers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price and convenience.”
- Tesla: “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”
Tips for Creating Effective Vision and Mission Statements
When it comes to creating your vision and mission statements, there’s a process involved, and like anything your vision and mission may shift and change over time as your business evolves.
- Involve your stakeholders – When creating your vision and mission statements, it’s important to involve your employees, customers, and other stakeholders. This will help you to create statements that are aligned with the needs and expectations of everyone involved.
- Get feedback – Once you have drafted your vision and mission statements, get feedback from others. This could include your employees, customers, advisors, or even friends and family. Their feedback can help you to refine your statements and make them even more effective.
- Review your statements regularly – Your business is constantly evolving, so it’s important to review your vision and mission statements regularly to make sure that they are still relevant and accurate.
A few extra tips
Language is incredibly important when it comes to your vision and mission, but these statements should also be considered in the context of your business goals and strategy.
Use strong, active verbs – Your vision and mission statements should be inspiring and action-oriented. Avoid using passive verbs or weak language.
Be specific and measurable – Your vision and mission statements should be specific enough to give you and your team a clear direction to work towards. They should also be measurable, so that you can track your progress and celebrate your successes.
Be authentic and genuine – Your vision and mission statements should be a reflection of your business’s core values and beliefs. They should be something that you and your employees are passionate about.
The final word
Vision and mission statements are essential for any business. They provide a clear and concise overview of what your business hopes to be and how it intends to get there.
Your vision and mission also underpin your business’ relationship with both your customer and your team.
By taking the time to create effective vision and mission statements, you chart a course for your business, giving it something to aspire to and something that engenders loyalty.
Most importantly, you give your business clarity, by clearly defining who you are, what you believe, where you intend to go and how you plan to get there.
Discover More in Honing Your Vision and Mission
Values, Mission, and Vision are the foundation of a business. Understanding them clearly makes for a more simple business life.
In this mini-course we look at what Vision and Mission are and how to hone yours.
This course will lead you through the difference, how to create each and why they are vital to your success.