3 Steps to Writing a Winning Vision & Mission Statement
You may know what your business is all about, but do your clients?
How about your employees?
While it may seem clear to you, distilling your business down to a few smartly-crafted sentences can help everyone see the big picture. This can be accomplished by developing a vision and mission statement.
A compelling and inspiring vision and mission statement is one of the easiest ways to help you communicate your core business purpose and your values to your clients.
Having a crystal clear sense of why your business exists and how it can shape the future will inspire and motivate employees, and bring a greater sense of meaning to your work. It can also serve as the basis for strategic decision-making, and act like a compass when tough choices have to be made.
So, just how do you go about writing a vision and mission statement? Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to elevating your business to the next level.
1. Understand the difference between a vision and mission statement
Your vision statement is your dream. It is a desired end state. It should be inspirational and descriptive of how you imagine the future, which results from your work.
Your mission statement, on the other hand, is actionable. It describes how you intend to achieve your vision, and provides a sense of why you exist.
For example, Oxfam’s vision statement is: A just world without poverty. And their mission statement is: To create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social justice.
2. Write first, edit second
When you are trying to develop a vision and mission statement, you should spend some uninterrupted time jotting down as many ideas as you can think of.
Write them all down, without worrying about revisions or editing for the time being. Your ideas don’t have to be fully formed or perfect.
Just getting them down on paper is the prime objective.
If you’re feeling stuck, answering the following questions can help you brainstorm ideas to inspire your vision and mission statements:
- Simply put, what does your business do?
- Who are your clients or target audience?
- What problem does your service or product solve?
- When you imagine an ideal future, what do you see?
- What does success look like for you?
- What is your dream for the world?
Once you have a list of ideas, you should go back and edit them. When editing your draft vision and mission statements, make sure they:
- Are clear, simple and concise;
- Do not use complex language or industry-specific terminology;
- Are unique to you and your business;
- Are inspirational and positive;
- Provide a human side to your business;
- Relate your work to its larger place in society; and
- Are free from spelling and grammar errors.
3. Get feedback
Once you’ve edited and narrowed down a few solid options for your vision and mission statement, share them with your trusted business advisors, friends or family members for their feedback. See what resonates with them and where they fall short.
Be open to all feedback, and consider it carefully.
Additionally, as your business grows and changes, be sure to revisit your vision and mission statements to see if they need to be updated.
By following these steps, you will be well on your way to writing an amazing vision and mission statement that captures the uniqueness of your business.