Have you found it challenging to create a mission and vision for your business? You’ve been asked many times about your mission and vision and somehow you manage to stumble and perhaps mumble something that passes as acceptable, yet you always feel you do not articulate it properly.
What’s more, you do not have them recorded anywhere. The concepts are still in your head.
I can relate to that feeling because when I started my business online, I did not have clarity on many things, including the importance of creating a vision and having a mission to direct my business. Why are they so important to your business and essential elements in your Marketing Plan?
Vision and Mission
The statements of your company’s mission and vision explain why your business exists and what it does. They explain your business’s purpose. This is the framework from which your marketing strategies are formulated.
People often mix up the two terms – mission and vision. However, what you need to know is that a short ‘vision statement’ is usually one sentence, or even just a few words, that tell the high-level view of who you are.
Your mission statement can be a bit longer, preferably just a few sentences at most. It can give a little more information about your company’s purpose. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explain in more detail what your business does in other parts of your marketing plan.
Your mission/vision statement should explain who you provide value to, how you provide this value, and, like your Unique Value Proposition, what makes you unique. It’s less specific and comprehensive than your UVP and more about the image of your company.
While I have combined the Mission/Vision Statement, there are schools of thought that they should be two separate statements, especially for start-ups and small businesses. I believe they can be both and am sharing the other viewpoint with you, “…the vision should state what the founder ultimately envisions the business to be, in terms of growth, values, employees, contributions to society, and the like; therefore, self-reflection by the founder is a vital activity if a meaningful vision is to be developed. As a founder, once you have defined your vision, you can begin to develop strategies for moving the organization toward that vision. Part of this includes the development of a company mission.” ~ Inc.com
Key Elements to a Good Mission/Vision Statement
- It’s specific. Avoid language that is vague or that doesn’t tell the customer anything. If it could apply to any company in the world or even any company in your industry, it’s not good enough.
- It’s concise. There should be no fluff. Every word in your mission statement should mean something. Your statement doesn’t have to be short necessarily, but every word should count.
- It’s clear. No matter how clever or artistic your idea may be, it needs to be clear and easy to understand for the customer. It’s better to be obvious than obscure.
- It’s exciting. This is difficult to pinpoint exactly, but a good mission statement gets the reader excited. Try telling a story, inspiring emotions, and sparking interest with your statement. Ask others to read it in order to get their objective opinion.
Examples of Good Mission and Vision Statements:
Google – “To organize the world’s information and make it universally acceptable and useful.”
McDonald’s – “To provide the fast food customer with food prepared in the same high-quality manner worldwide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered.”
Amazon – “Our vision is 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.”
Nike – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Starbucks – “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Aflac – “To combine aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers.”
Denny’s – “Our Mission at Denny’s is to establish beneficial business relationships with diverse suppliers who share our commitment to customer service, quality, and competitive pricing.”
Notice that in each case the statement is clear, concise, specific, and excites the reader to want to learn more.
If you’ve not created your Mission/Vision statement, would you be willing to take some time in the next 48 hours to craft your statement using the four criteria? I’m ready and willing to be your accountability partner. Just say by when you will complete the task.