Have you ever worked for a business where you strongly believe in the company’s values and you were also committed to its mission? Take a minute to go back to that feeling of being proud of where you worked.
When you understand that an organisation is driven by a lot more than profit, you love what you do. You are happy to come into the office and go the extra mile, because you know what you are doing collectively will make a difference.
Now think of your team, your business partners, your clients and how much more committed they would be to your brand if they were clear of its true purpose and goals – which can be articulated in well-crafted mission and vision statements.
Many business owners are so caught up on being the ‘technicians’ of their business that they forget to be the entrepreneurs who started it in the first place.
So, put your entrepreneur cap on and let’s get started.
Mission and Vision Statements Explained
The two statements have slight distinct objectives. A vision statement looks towards the future, but a mission statement talks about what the company is doing in the present. Business sometimes choose to combine them into one statement.
Mission statements define the business’ purpose and primary objectives. These statements are in the present tense and explain why you exist as a business. Mission statements tend to be short, clear, and powerful.
Vision statements also define your purpose, but they focus on its goals and aspirations. These statements are designed to be inspiring and are also timeless because they are referring to an ongoing cause.
How to write a Mission Statement
Here are some steps you can follow to develop your mission statement. I recommend you do this as a team – grab your brand champions, friends, and family even and allow for some blue-sky thinking.
1: Develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – If you are not clear of what your USP is yet, please get to it. This is your brand’s winning idea that makes you stand out from your competitors, and it is the reason that customers come to you and not your competitors.
2: Clarify Your Goal – Make a short list of the most important measures of success for this idea. You won’t need to include profit figures here, but it’s important to have a general idea of what success looks like, so that you know when you’ve achieved it.
Mission Statement examples:
Lustosa Marketing’s Mission statement is: “To provide businesses with a unique and tailored Marketing strategy, so they can stand out, make a positive difference in their customers’ lives and grow their business.”
American Express, however, includes the team in its mission, which is something you can do if you have a team helping you grow your business.
“We have a mission to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”
Warby Parker, an eyewear company, created a mission that incorporated customers, employees, and owners which I really love too.
“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious business.”
How to Create a Vision Statement
1: Find the real value you provide to the customer – First, identify your organization’s mission. Then uncover the real, human value in that mission. How does your organization improve people’s lives?
Step 2: Define your values – Next, identify what you, your customers and other stakeholders value the most about how your organization will achieve this mission. This will result into your values (which can be created from your exercise of crafting your mission and vision statements).
Some examples of values include excellence, integrity, teamwork, equality, honesty, freedom, service, and strength.
3: Combine your Mission and values – Combine your mission and values and polish your words until you have an inspiring statement that will empower people, inside and outside your organization.
It should be broad and timeless, and it should explain why the people in your organization what do they do.
Vision Statement Examples
Lustosa Marketing – “To inspire business owners to use their uniqueness to stand out from the crowd.”
BAE Systems – “To be the premier global defence, aerospace and security company.”
Ford – “Democratize the automobile – to become the world’s leading Consumer Company for automotive products and services.”
Tap into the entrepreneur in you to create these. Listen to that voice within that encouraged you to start a business in the first place.
In the book “The E-Myth – Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it” by Michael Gerber the author shares a story about Tom Watson, the founder of IBM when he was asked what he attributed the success of the business.
Watson had said that IBM became what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, they had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was done (he had a clear vision). Then, they worked on their mission to ensure it was leading them to where they wanted to be. They started with the end in mind.
So, take a minute from your busy business tasks and tap into what your dreams, aspirations, goals were when you decided to take the plunge and start your business. Remember that there is no right and wrong here and you can choose to have one statement combining your mission and vision or separate into two statements.
Celeste was born and raised in Brazil and has been living in Australia for over 10 years. She is the founder of Lustosa Marketing, providing end-to-end marketing services and specialising in service providers.
Celeste is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in Marketing and Communications overseas and in Australia, with experience in public relations, communications strategies, and planning, as a ministerial media adviser, reporter, photographer, radio and TV presenter and producer.