It took me a while to learn how to write mission and vision statements in a way that’d be useful. The whole point of a mission and vision statement isn’t to feel good about yourself. It’s a way to communicate your purpose to your stakeholders, and this includes your team members, employees, customers, vendors, and investors.
Believe it or not, the reason that your business exists is an important reason. It’s the reason why people buy from you and why people choose to work in your company. When you have this clarity, you’ll find that it’s so much smoother to grow your company.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a brief summary of an organization’s core purpose. This usually includes a brief description of what the organization does and its key focus and aim. Simply put, it’s the “what” and “how” of a business.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is a brief summary of an organization’s reason of being. Simply put, it’s the “why” of a business.
What Is the Difference Between a Mission and a Vision?
The mission is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision is the “why.”
In the mission statement, the reader will know what your organization does. The vision statement, however, will tell the reader why your organization exists and define its direction.
Most people get caught up with the specifics of how to write mission and vision statements, but the thing to note is that a mission statement and vision statement can exist separately or even be combined together. There is no right or wrong way to do this. At the end of the day, does what you come up with provide clarity to your organization’s purpose? If it does, then you have done your job.
How To Write Mission And Vision Statements
A good way to test if you have a good mission and vision statement is to ask the question: “Can this vision and mission be used to describe another business?”. You’ll know you have a good mission and vision statement when you have something that doesn’t apply to another business.
A common structure and best practices for successful mission and vision statements have these traits:
- Be Focused: Concentrate on only 1-2 primary goals. Don’t list every single goal and idea down because that only confuses everyone, including yourself.
- Be Concise: Cut out the fluff and focus on the essentials. The shorter you can get your mission and vision statements, the better.
- Be Ambitious: Don’t just list what your company already is, or very easily about to achieve. Think bigger, because this mission and vision should guide you not just now, but for many years in the future.
- Be Broad: You don’t want to be too specific in crafting your mission and vision statements. Have it a little broad so that you have leeway to grow.
- Be Inspiring: You want your employees to be motivated and your customers to believe in your cause. Don’t be boring.
6 Examples On How To Write Mission And Vision Statements
The following are some mission and vision statements from actual companies.
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Microsoft: To empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.
- Shopify: Making commerce better for everyone.
- ASICS: To contribute to a healthful and sustainable society and to bring joy to the people of the world through sports.
Mission and vision statements are powerful and should be done well. With them, you can unite your entire organization’s efforts and have everyone focused on the things that will grow your company.
Remember, a mission statement is the “what” and the “how” and the vision statement is the “why“. The key is to be as concise and clear as possible.
Is this a useful guide? What are your business’s mission and vision statements? Leave a comment down below.