Mission and Vision Statements: Your Step-By-Step Guide

What is a Vision and Mission Statement?

A mission statement tells you what the company is all about, what it wants to achieve right now, and why it’s here in the first place. Think of it as your “here and now” guide for your business.

On the flip side, a vision statement is like a peek into the company’s dreams for the future. It shows where the company wants to go and where it aims to go.

What’s the Difference Between a Vision and Mission Statement?

While a mission statement keeps things grounded in the present, the vision statement is all about those big, exciting, long-term goals.

A company’s mission and vision statements are crucial pieces of an organization’s plan. Together, they help steer your business towards success.

Mission vs vision statement

Why Do Businesses Need Vision and Mission Statements? 

Yes, you need them. Whether you’re starting a business, launching a new product or an established business, taking time to know what your mission and vision statements are will set you up for success.

Reasons Your Business Needs a Vision and Mission statement

Here are some of the main reasons businesses need a vision and mission statement, and the benefits businesses can enjoy by having them in place:

  • Clarifying purpose: They clarify what the organization is about and its values. It’s like a cheat sheet for everyone, inside and outside the business, to get on the same page about what the organization stands for and where it’s heading.
  • Guide the business: These statements help the organization stay on track, make decisions, and create a business plan. Think of it as a roadmap that ensures everyone stays on track towards those big, long-term goals.
  • Measure success: They’re like scorecards for success. Vision and mission statements help set specific, measurable targets. This way, the organization can track its progress, determine what’s working, and stay accountable for its actions.
  • Boosting team spirit: A vision and mission can motivate and drive team performance. It gives them a sense of purpose and a common goal to rally behind. This unity could boost teamwork, dedication, and overall cohesion among the workforce.
  • Professional image: These statements ensure everyone, from employees to investors to customers, speaks the same language and moves harmoniously. And this, in turn, helps build your reputation and trust.

How to Write a Mission and Vision Statements

how to write a vision and mission plan

How to Write Your Vision Statement

Follow our seven steps to successfully write your first vision statement:

1. Identify important stakeholders

Identify the key individuals or groups interested in your company’s future vision. It could include employees, customers, investors, and partners. Their input and support will be crucial in shaping the vision statement.

2. Start with a list of keywords

Brainstorm a list of words and phrases that encapsulate the core concept of your company. These keywords should reflect your organization’s values, core competencies, and long-term goals.

3. Answer foundational company questions

To develop a clear vision, you must answer fundamental questions about your company’s purpose, such as:
– Why does our company exist?
– What problems do we aim to solve?
This step helps you define the ‘why’ of your organization.

4. Sort your answers by importance

Once you’ve answered these questions, prioritize the most critical elements that should be incorporated into your vision statement. Focus on what truly defines your company and sets it apart.

5. Write your company’s vision out long-form

Create a detailed narrative elaborating on your vision, drawing from the keywords and answers to foundational questions. This narrative should paint a vivid picture of your company’s aspirations.

6. Step back and evaluate

Take a step back to assess whether your long-form vision statement aligns with your organization’s values and long-term objectives. Ensure that it is inspiring, motivational, and forward-looking.

7. Write your final vision statement
From the long-form writing, distil a concise and impactful vision statement. It should be written in the present tense, concise, emotional, and evoke a sense of purpose. This final statement will serve as your guiding beacon for the future.

How to Write a Mission Statement

Follow our five steps to writing a mission statement for your company:

1. Explain your company’s product, service or offering

Begin by describing what your company offers in terms of products or services. It should be a straightforward and concise statement outlining your business’s core.

2. Consider your fundamental principles and values

These values represent your company’s ethical and moral compass, defining what you stand for and how you conduct business.

3. Connect how your company’s offering aligns with your values
Explain how your product or service offerings reflect and support your core values. It should showcase the connection between what you do and why you do it, emphasizing your commitment to your principles.

4. Condense these statements into one

Then, distil the information from the previous steps into a powerful sentence or phrase. It should concisely capture the essence of your company’s purpose, values, and offerings.

5. Make sure it’s clear, memorable and concise

Ensure your mission statement is easy to understand and free from jargon. It should be a statement that anyone can grasp quickly and remember easily.

How to Create a Personal Vision and Mission Statement

To create a personal vision and mission statement, you can follow the same steps detailed above, by consider each step from your personal perspective instead of a business one.

Some tips to develop a personal vision and mission statement include:
– Define who you are as a person,
– Set your goals,
– Reflecting on your values,
– Consider your contributions to the world.

These tips will help you develop your personal vision and mission statements. By developing this, you will create a powerful tool to guide your decisions, actions and to stay focused.

Leading Brand: Examples of Mission and Vision Statements

Here are some of the leading companies vision and mission statements:

Nike Mission and Vision Statement

Mission statement: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete.”

Vision statement: “To do everything possible to expand human potential.”

Why do they work? They clearly demonstrate that they’re an innovator in the sportswear market, linking in with expanding what can be achieved as an athlete.

Tesla Mission and Vision Statement

Mission statement: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Vision statement: “to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”

Why do they work? They both show the company’s sustainability focus and its drive to be unique and lead the way in car manufacturing.

Apple Mission and Vision Statement

Mission statement: “to bring the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.”

Vision statement: “to make the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.”

Why do they work?
They’re simple, easy to understand and aspirational, ideally for a leading technology company.

Amazon Mission and Vision Statement

Mission statement: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

Vision statement: “To be 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.”

Why do they work? They think big, focus on their excellent customer service and showcase how they’re constantly looking to make improvements.

Key Takeaways

Establishing a mission and vision statement is crucial for organizations to define their purpose and direction. A mission statement details the purpose of the business in the here and now, while a vision statement gives a picture of the company’s desired future.

Both the vision and the mission statements serve as guiding principles for the organization, providing clarity and focus for internal and external stakeholders. They help align the team towards a common goal and inspire commitment.

Next step:

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

No, they are not the same. A mission statement is the why of your business in the present day, whereas a vision statement considers your business plans for the future and goals you want to achieve.

Check the statements are clear and aligned with core values and goals. Consider their ability to inspire and motivate and whether they are specific enough to guide decision-making. Regular reviews and updates will ensure the statements remain relevant to your business.

A mission statement typically includes three key components: the purpose, which defines the organization's reason for being; values, which outline the organization's guiding principles and ethics.

A vision statement includes the following key components: the goal or aspiration that an organization strives to achieve, the future state it envisions, and the impact it aims to make on its industry, community, or world.


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