Why are a vision and mission statement important for a business?
As we have seen with organization direction, it helps make sure that everybody’s on the same page and that they understand the entrepreneur, the CEO – and the goals, desires, and wishes. It helps articulate, engage, and unify stakeholders, both internal and external. And it really represents the basis for making decisions.
We’ll make sure that the company is in line with its stated purpose.
“When you have that vision, then you know your destination, and it’s just a matter of lining up against it on a day-to-day or moment-to-moment basis. That makes decision-making so much easier.”
What’s the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement?
I think we make it really simple when we talk with clients about vision and mission statements.
The vision statement to us is a statement about what you are when you have achieved success. So, it should be clear, and it should be concise. It should be future-oriented and inspiring. It can be mystical, and it can be spiritual, but it really says what you all know when you are successful.
For example, our vision statement is that we are the marketing partner of choice with companies that want to grow and survive in any business environment or any marketplace.
The mission will be in alignment with the vision statements.
For example, Southwest Airlines’ vision is to become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline. That’s future oriented.
Microsoft, at its founding, wanted a computer on every desk and in every home. That’s the future – that shows what success looks like when they have achieved their goals.
IKEA is to create a better everyday life for many people.
So those are examples of vision statements. And I think that when companies can do that, particularly something that’s very short, but really defines their success, it’s helpful.
“I think when business owners are in early stages, or if they get frustrated with where they are, they might try and do something like create a vision statement that says we’re a million-dollar company, or we will sell this many things, and they tie themselves to one way of achieving that vision.”
“I like to say that if your vision is monetarily defined, you’re thinking too small. There’s so much more that you can create when you’re futuristic, and you bring in this mystical or spiritual drive to it. You can create something that’s truly inspiring.”
The mission statement is something that says why you’re in business, it’s the essence of your company, the products and services that you provide.
And you can’t just put it up on your website and not follow a mission statement. You really need to find why it is that you’re in business.
Ours is to create results-focused communications content powered by marketing, meaning outreach, and support services to help companies achieve their growth goals.
But there are a lot of different companies that have very strong mission statements, too. For example, Google is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and easy. That’s a strong mission statement. It says what they’re in business to do.
Who are the key players that need to be involved in creating a vision and/or mission statement for your business?
I think everybody should be involved in the process. So, it’s not only those who sit at the CEO table, but marketing, sales, customer service, supply chain, product development people – give everybody an opportunity to contribute their ideas.
“When you give people an opportunity to collaborate, they’re more likely to buy into the decisions that are made, especially when it comes to vision and mission statements.”
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Being an entrepreneur and business owner is hard! Once you have your business up and running it's not uncommon to hit a few snags: scalability, staff retention, launching growth projects, getting enough sleep!