Your company vision and mission put your BIG BUSINESS DREAM into words.
A company vision is typically a succinct written statement that declares the central focus, beliefs and underpinnings of an organization. It takes some time to get there for many small businesses, but the bottom line is that your business vision should implicitly state what you are in business to do.
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Here are some awesome Vision Statements from some of my favorite brands. Some present more succinct Vision Statements, and some are longer, but all seek to communicate succinctly:
Disney Vision – “The Walt Disney Company is the Global Leader in Entertainment.”
Disney Mission – “The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.” (Quoted from Disney.com)
Amazon’s Vision – “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Amazon’s Mission – “It’s our goal to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything at Amazon.com.” (Quoted from Amazon.com)
Ikea’s Vision – To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Ikea’s Mission Statement – (termed by them as their Business Idea) We shall offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. (Quoted from Ikea.com)
CAS’s Vision: Families and communities keeping children and youth safe, nurtured and strong.
Their Mission Statement: To protect young children and youth and to promote and advocate for the welfare of children, youth and families in our communities.
Their Values: Respect, Integrity, Engagement, Accountability, and Courage.
I’ll go deeper into expressing your business values in a later post – but typically the funnel trickles down:
- Your Company Vision is global and a statement of passion, beliefs and purpose
- Your Company Mission is a statement of purpose but more directed around how you will bring your vision to life via your business on a day-in-day-out basis
- Your Company Values are the company defined standards of behavior for each employee to buy into and uphold.
Setting your small business Vision, Mission and Values are an important part of your brand promise and your entire business philosophy. Regardless of the size of your business, its level of sales, or its stage of growth, spending time to create and craft your vision, mission and values will pay off in the long run! These three trickle down into your philosophy, your policies and procedures, your customer service approaches, and ultimately the way you do business.
Here are a couple more examples of longer vision and mission statements.
Apple’s Vision – Apple’s current vision statement was introduced by CEO Tim Cook, who stated, “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self- honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”
Patagonia’s Mission Statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Our Reason for Being
Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers. Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes clothes for climbing – as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. These are all silent sports. None require a motor; none deliver the cheers of a crowd. In each sport, reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.
Our values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach we take towards product design demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility.
For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. We donate our time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.
We know that our business activity – from lighting stores to dyeing shirts – creates pollution as a by-product. So we work steadily to reduce those harms. We use recycled polyester in many of our clothes and only organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton.
Staying true to our core values during thirty-plus years in business has helped us create a company we’re proud to run and work for. And our focus on making the best products possible has brought us success in the marketplace. (Quoted from Patagonia.com)
Writing Your Brand’s Vision Statement
The vision statement examples above, although representative of global brands are examples that encapsulate the core belief statements, values and initial inspiration that sparked each company’s success.
In Simon Sinek’s very famous ‘Start with Why’ TED Talk he demonstrates a clean argument for a passion-centric statement of belief (what Sinek terms your Big Why) as being the best place to begin when setting out to design your business vision statement.
Here are some common aspects of powerful and effective company vision statements:
- A vision by nature is not as specific as it is a precise and global statement of belief. Do not limit your vision to specific ‘goals’ like ‘growing your business’ or ‘expanding your customer base’ because this may or may not stand the test of time. Specifics are best applied to your business goals. Think of the vision for the future of your entire business. Don’t be too narrow in focus.
- Think of your business in its future state. Try to capture your long-range, broadest view of what your future business will be without sounding too generic or trite.
- Avoid overarching generalities. Every business wants to achieve success – but as a vision statement, that is just too generic. The best statement will be clear about who you are as a company as well as who you wish to continually become.
- Use powerful words and keep it brief and succinct. Create your statement with the least amount, yet carefully selected to be the most effective words.
- Write, think, edit, read, think, edit… Come up with several drafts that will help you brainstorm and crystallize your thoughts.
Your Business Vision Writing Sanity Assignment:
Follow These Simple Steps To Write Your Business Vision Statement
- Think about what your business does and what, in an ideal world, you would like it to do.
- Think of how your business will stake its claim and appear to the outside world.
- Consider the services, products, experiences, and assets your company offers then imagine your business vision as the souped-up ‘Cadillac’ version of all these attributes.
- Brainstorm a list of attributes.
- Edit and refine your list – finding the juiciest, most powerful words to convey your ideas.
- Incorporate as many of them into a succinct vision statement that provides a first draft overview of the kind of image you want to represent as a business.
Once you’ve identified your Company Vision, your mission, goals, and priorities are much easier to define.
If you need help defining your business vision, mission, and goals – I’d like to help. Contact me to schedule your complimentary Discovery Session today!
I can help you find clarity, declare your business vision, identify your ideal client and the sweet spot where your service and products come together to bring your vision to life for your clients and customers.