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Mission and Vision
Does your business have a defined mission and vision statement

Does your business have a defined mission and vision statement? What is the difference and how can these statements help you? It is generally accepted that with one or both of these statements you will have a clearer vision of where you want to go and how you will get there.

A mission statement is clear, it is a statement that effectively maps a course of action for the near future, understands the needs of the primary stakeholders, and it aligns the current processes to support the company’s positioning.  There are 3 components to a mission statement:  your customer, your product or service, and what makes your offering unique.

When creating a mission statement you must first understand the arena in which you compete.  It sounds simple but understanding the core of your business will help you determine the mission statement that will reflect who you are, what you offer, and how you will offer it differently or better.  Your mission statement will help you align with your customer needs.

The mission statement generally deals with the short-term usually between one and three years, the vision statement encompasses a broader, longer-term view of the company.  Your mission statement will help create the foundation for priorities, strategies, plans, and work assignments.  It is the starting point for designing managerial jobs and responsibilities.  A mission statement should not include any financial or goal related plans.

Your mission statement starts with your purpose – the reason your business exists.  Your statement should be doable, make it easy to understand so your employees will adopt your mission.  Make your mission serve the best interest of your stakeholders – your stakeholders are employees, suppliers, shareholders, your community.  Create a mission statement that illustrates how your business is different from your competitors – is it cost, innovation, service, how are you better than your competitors?

Your vision statement is your future perspective – what you want your business to become in the long-term.  Your vision statement should clearly describe your future state, it should serve the long-term interest of your stakeholders, and it should provide a foundation for making decisions.

When creating a mission and vision statement take a look around and see what other companies have created and do a little research.  When you think of companies like Wal-Mart how did they position themselves and what are they known for, what is their competitive advantage?  Sometimes when creating your mission and vision statement you realize just what and who your business is and what it is not, giving you a defined picture of where you want to go and how you want to get there.

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