It’s essential for any business or organization to create a mission, vision, and values statement. It defines who you are and what you stand for. But too many people make the mistake of thinking it’s something only big companies need to worry about.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you’re just starting as an entrepreneur or an experienced small business owner, having a clear mission, vision, and values statement is key to your success. In fact, it may be even more critical for small businesses because they often don’t have the resources of large companies.
So how do you create a mission, vision, and values statement? It’s not as hard as you might think.
Why does your small business need a mission, vision, and values statement?
In short, because it’s good for business.
A mission, vision, and values statement is the foundation of your brand—it’s who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to be known as. It’s an excellent way to focus your team and rally everyone around a common goal. As the leader of your business, it’s up to you to develop these.
They clarify your purpose.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of why you started your business in the first place.
A mission statement keeps you focused on your purpose and reminds you of the difference you’re trying to make in the world.
For example, the mission of a landscaping business might be “to make our client’s homes beautiful by providing top-quality landscaping services that everyone can afford.” This mission reminds the employees daily why they do what they do and keeps them laser-focused on our goals (quality).
They define your target audience.
Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product or service.
If you’re unsure who your target audience is, developing a mission, vision, and values statement will help you figure it out.
For example, let’s say your company makes high-end cosmetics. Your target audience might be wealthy women over 40 interested in staying young and beautiful. Once you’ve defined your target audience, you can laser-focus your marketing efforts on them and see much better results.
It provides direction for your team.
If you have employees or contractors working for you, they must understand your company’s mission to work towards common goals.
A mission statement also provides direction when things get tough and helps everyone stay focused on what’s important.
For example, if one of your employees is tempted to cut corners to save time or money, your company’s mission statement can remind them of the importance of quality and doing things the right way.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to create a mission, vision, and values statement for your small business. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to take the time to develop one for your business today.
What’s the difference between mission, vision, and values statements?
If you’re a small business owner, you’ve already heard of mission, vision, and values statements. But what exactly are they? And what’s the difference between them?
A mission statement is a brief description of what your business does. It should be clear and concise, explaining what your company does and why it exists.
Here’s an example: “Our mission is to provide the best possible product or service to our customers.”
That’s pretty broad, but yours will be tailored to your specific business.
A vision statement is a brief description of what your business hopes to achieve in the future. Hence the name; think of it as having a “vision.”
It should be ambitious but achievable and paint a picture of what your business will be like in the future.
Here’s an example: “Our vision is to be the leading provider of landscaping services throughout Central Texas. We’ll be a household name to everyone with a lawn.”
Values statements are a set of guiding principles that describe how your business operates.
They should reflect your company culture, and they should shape everything from how you treat your employees to how you interact with your customers. This statement may be a bit longer than the mission and vision statement, but here’s a succinct example: “Our values are integrity, accountability, and respect. We believe in doing things the right way, even if it’s not easy, all while treating people with dignity.”
Mission, vision, and values statements are essential tools for any small business owner. A mission statement explains what your business does and why it exists. A vision statement describes what your company hopes to achieve in the future. Values statements are a set of guiding principles that describe how your business operates. When crafting these statements, keep them clear, concise, and reflective of your company culture.
How do you create a mission statement?
When you’re ready to create your mission statement, you should keep a few things in mind.
- Clear and concise. That means no fluff or filler words, just the essentials. Get to the point.
- What you do. Think about what your business does on a day-to-day basis. What products or services do you provide?
- Who you do it for. This one is important. You need to know who your target market is so you can focus your efforts on them.
- Why do you do it? Every business has a reason for existing, even just to make money. But there are other reasons, too. Maybe you want to make a difference in your community or change how people think about your industry.
Keep those things in mind, and you’ll be well on creating an effective mission statement.
Mission statement examples.
Our mission is to provide our clients with the best possible haircuts and the customer experience in a relaxed and comfortable setting. We will focus on listening to our client’s needs and providing them with a unique experience that meets their individual style preferences.
To be the leading real estate agent in my community by providing expert advice and outstanding service to my clients, resulting in a stress-free and enjoyable experience.
Bill’s Auto Repair Shop is a community-oriented business that strives to provide quality repairs and services at an affordable price. We pride ourselves on diagnosing and repairing vehicles promptly so our customers can get back on the road as soon as possible.
How do you create a vision statement?
Creating a vision statement is a bit different than making a mission statement.
While a mission statement explains what your business does and why it exists, a vision statement describes what your company hopes to achieve in the future.
- Short-term outlook. Think about where your business will be in the next year or two. What milestones do you hope to achieve?
- Long-term outlook. This is where you get to dream a little bit. Where do you see your business in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Do you want to sell the business or grow to a specific size?
- Be realistic. It’s essential to be practical when developing a vision for your business. If your plans are too lofty, you’ll likely get discouraged when you don’t reach them. But if they’re too small, you won’t be pushing yourself enough to grow.
Developing a vision statement is where you get to dream a bit. Don’t think about what you’re doing today or tomorrow, but what you want to achieve in the future.
Vision statement examples.
In five years, our company will be the go-to roofing contractor in the area. We will have a team of skilled and experienced workers who provide high-quality workmanship. We will be known for our fair prices, honest estimates, and outstanding customer service.
As a local real estate team, we strive to provide unparalleled service to all our clients. Our services will leave a memorable experience, whether finding the perfect home or getting the most for your home. This unmatched service will result in all of our future customers being 100% referred or recurring.
At Cheryl’s Flowers and Beyond, we ensure each arrangement is designed with the utmost care. We want to be the leading provider of fresh flowers in the area, known for our beautiful bouquets and outstanding customer service.
How do you create a values statement?
When creating a values statement, it’s essential to consider what you want your business to stand for.
Your values should be based on your mission and vision statements. They should be the guiding principles you use to decide how you operate your business.
- Select a few. We all want to be known for many things, but focusing on a few fundamental values is essential. You can continually expand on your list later, but choose the values most important to you for now.
- Build with them in mind. With every business decision you make, ask yourself if it aligns with your values. If not, it’s probably not the right decision for your business.
- Specific to your business. Don’t just pick values that you think sound good. They should be clear to your company and how you operate. For example, integrity might be more important to an auto mechanic than a florist because people must trust that their car is in good hands.
Value statement examples.
- Integrity. At Bill’s Auto Repair Shop, we are honest and upfront with our customers about the repairs their vehicles need. We only recommend services that we believe are necessary to get you back on the road.
- Quality. We take great pride in our craft and only use the best parts and materials available. We stand behind our work and guarantee that you will be satisfied with the results.
- Service. Our customers are our top priority. We go above and beyond to ensure you are happy with our service. We know your time is valuable, so we always aim to get the job done right the first time.
- Community. As a locally owned business, we are invested in the community we serve. We support local charities and events, and we always try to do our part to make our community a better place.
You can combine any number of these to communicate what your business operates on. Be genuine and sincere and actually live by these values.
Now what? What do you do with these?
At this point, you have a good idea of what your business does (mission), what you want your business to achieve (vision), and how you want to operate (values).
Now it’s time to put pen to paper and create your mission, vision, and values statement.
As you craft them, get input from your employees, customers, and anyone involved with your business. They may have some great insights that you hadn’t considered.
And don’t be afraid to revise them as your business grows and changes. These statements are meant to be living documents that evolve as your business does.
Once you have a 90% solution to each of them, publicize them. Publish them on your website, include them in your email signature, and hang them up in your office. Let everyone know what you’re all about.
When others see you are serious about your mission, vision, and values, they will be more likely to do business with you. They will know that you are a company that can be trusted.