Does your business have a vision statement or mission statement?
A vision or mission statement describes why a company exists, who it serves, their values, and can include goals, milestones, and deliverables...
Perhaps you and your friends are sitting around in your garage, and are tossing around the idea of creating the world's greatest computers - a computer for the masses. How you do start the process? Most companies create their vision of their future company in a vision statement or mission statement.
Steve Jobs has been quoted by the Economist with this mission statement: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” Pretty lofty and pretty boring, but hasn't Apple pretty much made tools to advance 'mankind'? Although he and Steve Wozniak had been experimenting with various attempts at piecing together a computer, there was apparently no overarching desire or framework to make it a company. Jobs eventually got there, Woz just wanted to have fun and sell parts to other computer hackers.
Your desire to make a difference, to build a company or provide a service to others can and should be reflected in a vision or mission statement. Why? Partially because it becomes part of your marketing, but it also communicates what your company stands for, your values, in a concise manner. It is also a compass for future growth, by providing direction for goals, milestones and deliverables. As well, it helps create a connection with your customer or clients.
Elements of a vision/mission statement
Vision statements or mission statements can be longer or shorter, but are more effective and memorable if they are shorter and NOT boring. It's best when they are concise AND inspirational. They generally contain 3 elements: 1. Our Cause - who, what and where with general details; 2. Our Actions - how you do it; 3. Our Impact - what changes you bring to the world.
Some companies have chosen to combine their vision statements and mission statements into one short phrase, to ensure clarity of their message and their actions.
examples of great mission statements
IKEA: "To create a better everyday life for the many people."
American Express: "We work hard every day to make American Express the world's most respected service brand."
TED: "Spread ideas."
Tesla: "To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."
Eventually, Steve Jobs brought the world "Think Different", a much more concise and exciting statement about what Apple was. Was it descriptive enough? Likely not, but by then a lot of people knew what Apple was about and what kinds of products they delivered.
who creates the mission statement
Ideally, a vision statement should be created by the management of the company before launch, and clearly communicated to both employees and externally, via your website and marketing materials. These statements also provide internal direction for employees to guide them on their path. As Simon Sinek once said, "Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first."
Is it too late to create one after your company has already been in business? NO!
If you are experiencing success without having a powerful mission statement in place, it's still not too late to crystalize your vision of what your company wants to be, and ensure future success by using the mission statement to guide you going forward.
If you are NOT having success without have a mission statement in place, before you give up and move on to something else, take some time to think about why you started the business; who you were going to help; HOW you were going to help; how your company was going to make the world a better place by delivering a product or service to make life better or easier for others, and of course, get paid to do it!
Arnold Schwarzenegger has has tremendous success as a bodybuilder, and later an actor. Let's not forget he was Governor of California for a few years as well. Was it an accident that he had success, or was it all part of a plan? Watch the video below to hear how he talks about vision, and played a massive role in his success!
We're always here to help you create engaging content that aligns with your vision or mission statements, and ensure you effectively communicate your value proposition to the world! PodcastExperts.ca