Creating an impactful and relevant mission and vision for consumers, shareholders, employees and all stakeholders is perhaps one of the first few tasks for budding business owners. However, It can be daunting for even the best of entrepreneurs to craft a good quality mission and vision that can effectively capture the business’s core ideals, and guide the organisation in one direction.
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What is the difference between mission and vision?
Both the mission and vision, also commonly referred to as the mission statement and vision statement, tend to appear under the ‘About’ section in a company’s website. While they both aim to tell the company’s story, each has its own differing slant in focus.
A mission seeks to convey why the company was created in the first place. It serves to explain the purpose of a company’s existence to consumers.
A vision, on the other hand, is more future-oriented and directed at addressing employees. It highlights what the company aspires to achieve and become in the future.
How to craft your mission and vision
You do not need to hire an expensive team of professional copywriters to craft your mission and vision. Ultimately, your mission and vision should commensurate with the size and nature of your business. If you are running a small or midsize company, it can be done in-house at minimal or no cost. Here are some simple tips and tricks to create your own set of mission and vision.
The ideation process should not be done in silos. Get a diverse group of stakeholders who aptly represents a cross-section of the company to sit down and discuss what the mission and vision of the company should be. During the brainstorming session, remember to be open and gather honest feedback. It is more likely than not for the participants to notice a common theme in the discussion. With that, everyone can work towards refining the mission and vision to make it as inclusive as possible.
Get inspiration from competitors
It can be extremely useful to take a look at what your close competitors are saying in their own mission and vision. This provides you with an idea of what the chatter in your field is like. By surveying them, you will be able to gain insights on means to stand out through points of differentiation.
Clarify the purpose
Do not just list out the types of products and services that your company provide. Define your target audience, how it will be delivered, and your unique selling proposition. You may pride the company as either one who only delivers good quality products, a pioneer in a new field of technology, or an innovative company that continuously reinvents traditions.
Dare to dream
It is often easier to think big before scaling down. Visualise how you want the brand to be like a decade from now and work towards that direction of growth. Have an idea of how you want to benefit a certain community or the society at large on a regional and even global scale. This way, the company will have a common goal to work towards.
Think about the company culture
Aligning the mission and vision with business values will allow the company to set priorities and be geared up for progress. Employees from all levels should feel challenged, inspired and compelled by the vision to grow and push the company forward.
Check the language
As much as possible, stick to the present tense when crafting the mission and vision. Employ jargon-free language and technicalities, unless you are targeting a niche who will appreciate the choice of words. Try straying away from buzzwords and inject passion in your mission and vision instead.
Make it easy
If you find it difficult to remember your own mission and vision, chances are that everyone else will feel so too. Ensure that the content is comprehensive and easy to recall, and that people have no difficulties committing it to memory. While some companies can have a lengthy mission and vision, it is advisable to keep it short for easier brand recall.
A mission and vision will not be meaningful if its intentions are not communicated across well. Incorporate the education of your brand’s mission and vision into all employees’ onboarding process. This allows your employees to understand and relate to the mission and vision whenever they see it hung in the lobby, slotted in corporate collaterals, on websites, social media, and more.
Evolve the mission and vision
To ensure accuracy and relevance, there is a need to revisit your vision and mission. There is no need to completely revamp them unless it is absolutely necessary due to strategic changes. The frequency of making little tweaks to your mission and vision depends on the pace of the industry that your company is in, which in turn determines how often you need to revise your company’s positioning in the market.
When the going gets tough, which tends to be more often than you imagine for small businesses, both the mission and vision will serve as a helpful guide. It reminds you and your employees about why you started and lets you see the bigger picture.
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