Do you need a Vision & Mission Statement? Yes.
Countless articles discuss the differences between vision and mission statements, and they all emphasize how important both of these are for businesses, big or small. Brace yourself for a shocking revelation: it’s actually okay to update or refine your vision and mission statements from time to time, especially if you’re running a smaller business.
Why Do Small Businesses Need a Vision & a Mission Statement?
- Communicate your purpose: Vision and mission statements convey to others the reason your business exists and the direction it’s going in, more importantly, it serves as a reminder for you.
- Makes you think: The process of creating these statements forces you to think deeply about your business, its purpose, and the value it brings to customers.
- Keeps you focused: Both statements serve as a top-level checklist and framework, keeping your business focused on its goals and preventing distractions.
- Powerful Marketing Tool: When used correctly, vision and mission statements can be powerful marketing tools. A compelling vision not only inspires your team but also rallies your customer base.
- Attract and retain talent: Clearly, articulated vision and mission statements can help you attract like-minded employees who share your values and are motivated by your business’s goals.
- Develop Company Culture: Yes even in a small business! These statements serve as a foundation for your company culture, helping to shape the attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making processes.
- Helps you make decisions: When faced with difficult choices or conflicting priorities, your vision and mission statements can serve as a guide, helping you make decisions that align with your business’s core values and objectives.
In summary, small businesses need vision and mission statements not only to communicate their purpose and direction but also to encourage reflection, maintain focus, and serve as a foundation for their company culture. By crafting genuine and authentic statements that resonate with your team and customers, you’ll set your business on the path to success.
Tips for Writing Your Vision & Mission Statements:
- Don’t start with a one-liner: Many people see concise mission and vision statements and think that’s where they need to begin. Instead, start with a broader, more open perspective, and don’t worry about length.
- Use the 5W1H method: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions are excellent prompts to work with, especially for your mission statement. Building your mission statement around these questions ensures it covers all the bases. (Who do you serve? What do you do? When do you do it? Where do you do it? Why do you do it? How do you do it?)
- Summarize and be concise: Once you’ve written a more detailed version, it’s time to trim it down. Focus on the most important aspects and remove anything that’s obvious or redundant.
- Take advantage of AI tools: AI-powered summarizing tools like chat.openai.com can help you save time and produce impressive results. Just interact with the AI as you would a human.
- Think big for your vision statement: Imagine a world where anything is possible and all the stars align, then use that vision to guide your business.
- Embrace audacious visions: It’s 100% okay to have a vision so bold that some people might think it’s unattainable. Remember, even Bill Gates and Amazon had seemingly impossible visions at the beginning, but look at them now!
- Live your vision and mission statements: Don’t just write them down and forget about them. If living by these statements doesn’t work for you, it’s time to reassess and revise. Remember, they should not only help you decide what to do but also what not to do.
In the end, it’s crucial to remember that vision and mission statements are not just there for show. They should guide your decisions, inspire your team, and ultimately help your business thrive. Keep it authentic and personal, and your clients will appreciate the genuine voice behind your message.