Creating Mission and Vision Statements
Have you asked yourself lately where your company will be five or more years from now? Knowing what you want your company’s future to look like is crucial for growth1 and vital for effective business planning. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going you won’t know which choices you need to make to get there. Like any goal, it’s not enough just to think about it; you need to write out the steps and make them measurable.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement tells the purpose of your organization2 and answers the eternal customer question, “Why should I use this company?”
3 Easy Tips for Crafting your Mission Statement
- What is your “winning idea?”3 In other words state your purpose and what makes you different and better than your competition.
- Identify key measures of success.3 Stick to only the very most important elements of success here or you’ll end up with a long list.
- Combine3 and refine! Put your winning idea and measure of success together, in words. Make sure everything is measurable. Keep working your words until they blend and sing as a concise statement of your company’s mission.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement defines what the desired future state of the organization will be.2 Ideally it should energize people both inside and outside your organization.2
3 Easy Tips for Crafting your Vision Statement
- Find Examples & Practice.4 Look for examples of vision statements that appeal to you. Write some practice statements by imitating, not copying, what you like in the examples.
- Goals and Brainstorming.4 Talk with your team about their vision for the business. Some of the questions to ask: What are your personal goals for the company? Principles? Where do you want to be 5 years from now? 10 years? What is the human value in your mission? How will you measure success?
- Samples and Market Research.4 Create a sampling of statements. Which one will work best with promotional and other printed material? Narrow down your favorites then do your own market research by asking employees and other people what they think (family & friends count!).
Don’t be afraid to be different. For example, Zappos, a highly successful and innovative company, defines the Zappos’ mission in terms of 10 core values, one of which is“Create Fun and A Little Weirdness.”5 But whether your statements are traditional, or fun with a touch of weird, remember “The best of… all businesses, are visionary businesses.”1 What is your company’s vision?
- Microsoft Small Business Center, Ask the Expert by Steve Strauss
- Wikipedia: Strategic planning
- Mission Statements & Vision Statements, Unleashing the power of purpose
- How to Write a Vision Statement for a Company
- Your Culture Is Your Brand by Tony H. (Zappos CEO)