For years, I felt like Mission and Vision Statements were just corporate B.S. You know, things you do to impress your board and shareholders. Boy, was I wrong!

In a previous article, I talked about setting the single goal, and how it’s arguably the most important “first step” you can take to designing a business that is ready to scale. In this piece, I’d like to expand on that thought and share how I leverage the single company goal, to help define the Mission and Vision, along with why these two items are extremely important.

Back? Ok, great! Now we’re ready to get started.

Difference between Mission and Vision

  • The mission describes why you’re in business. What is the purpose of the company?
  • The vision describes where you want to be, as a business with the defined mission, in the future.

A Simple Approach

  1. Define your company’s goal
  2. Write the Mission: 1-2 sentences that describe why you’re in business
  3. Write the Vision: 1-2 sentences that describe where you want to be in the future

How to Use Mission and Vision Statements

  • The mission and your vision helps align your business to your customers. People like buying from companies that have similar views. Share your views.
  • You don’t have to say “Mission Statement” and “Vision Statement”. Once they are written, you can integrate the message into your company communications.
  • Use them internally to help your team make better decisions. Since you started with your goal, your mission and vision should align with it. Use the mission and vision statements to help get your teams pointed in the correct direction to the goal. It’s important they know why you’re in business and where you’re aiming to be in the future.
  • If your company goal is personal or shouldn’t be shared with everyone, then the mission and vision statements create a safe way to explain the now and the future directions without having to say something like “we’re hoping to sell for $50M in the next few years”.