Achieving business success is a journey and your company’s mission and vision statements are your compass and without them, you are not likely to get where you actually want to go. In today’s video you’ll learn the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement and why it’s important for your business to have both. We’ll also look at four great examples from successful companies who have strong statements that inspire their teams and direct their decisions. Ready to learn from the best? Let’s get into it. Hi everyone. And welcome back to Learn with Shopify.
Check Out: write my cv online
Every week, we bring you new videos and resources to help you start and grow your online business. I’m your host, Stephanie pellet. I’m a creative coach and consultant for small business owners like you. If you’re not already subscribed to our channel, make sure to hit that button below so that you never miss an episode. No matter what stage of business you’re currently at, it’s important to take the time to define your company’s mission and vision for the future.
As your business grows, you’ll need to be able to inspire a team stakeholders and most importantly, customers with a clear and compelling vision of who you are and where your. Even if you’re just a company of one as Paul Jarvis would say, knowing what you stand for and what you’re working towards can help you clarify your purpose and make better decisions. In today’s video, I’ll be walking you through the key features that all strong mission and vision statements share.
I’ll explain the differences between these two important statements and share some tips that you can use when writing your own. Finally, we’ll look at four examples of successful companies who have used their missions and visions to become prominent industry leaders. By the end of this video, you’ll have the knowledge and inspiration you need to create your own statements that will shape the future of your business.
Speaking of which, mission and vision statements are an important part of any strong business plan. So once you finish watching this video, be sure to check out our content on writing business plans. Click on the link in the description below to download your copy of our comprehensive business plan template so that you can see the big picture and put what you learned here today into action. If you think that writing mission and vision statements is a make-work project or a waste of time, think again. These are not just nice to have documents that look good on paper. They’re incredibly important in shaping the future of any successful business.
Here are a few reasons why you should define your mission and vision, regardless of what kind of business you may have. First, both of these kinds of statements, help to clarify your company’s purpose and direction. When you’re crystal clear about why your business exists and what you’re working towards, it becomes faster and easier to make choices that align with your values and goals, and they keep you focused instead of feeling confused or overwhelmed by any decision, you’ll have a clear set of criteria for your company’s strategy and next steps.
Second, your mission and vision should inspire your employees and unite your team around a shared purpose. That way, everyone knows what they’re working towards and understands how they’re contributing to a larger goal. When people feel aligned with the business and excited about their projects, they’re less likely to feel unmotivated and more likely to bring their best selves to work. And lastly, your mission and vision statements communicate to your customers and clients, what they can expect from your brand now and in the future.
Customers are increasingly intentional about the companies they choose to support. So sharing your values clearly and consistently is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. With all of that said, there are some important differences between mission and vision. Let’s define what makes them unique and how you can create your own mission statements.
Own Mission Statements
As I mentioned before, your mission statement is like the compass for your business. If it’s calibrated correctly, it will always point you in the right direction to do that. Your mission statement should clearly and simply describe why your company was created and what you provide to your. As the name suggests, what is your mission in the world? What contribution are you making and what differentiates you from your competition?
Ideally, your mission statement should answer all of these questions in three sentences or less. Here are a few tips to help you write a mission statement of your own. Write what’s true. Mission statements should feel timeless and enduring because they don’t change much over the lifetime of your business. So when you write a mission statement, your goal is to share your company’s values without getting too grandiose or aspirational.
One easy way to write your mission statement is to start with the words our mission is and complete the sentence with a message you know to be true for your business now, and for the longterm. Don’t be vague. Your mission statement should be as clear and specific as possible. If it’s too wordy or ambiguous, it’s not going to be effective. For example, if you run a yoga studio, don’t say that you provide movement solutions if you actually provide yoga classes.
Your mission statement doesn’t have to use fancy words or be overly broad in order to sound professional. In fact, using simple and concrete language means your mission statement is much more likely to be understood and applied.
Do the t-shirt test. Erica Olsen of the virtual strategist recommends a great exercise for determining the strength of your mission statement. Ask yourself a simple question. Can your mission statement fit on a t-shirt that you and your team would be proud to wear? If so you can feel confident in knowing that you’re communicating a valuable and meaningful message.
If it’s too long to fit on a shirt or not a statement you’d want to walk around wearing, it’s probably time to craft something more compelling. Don’t create with a committee. Working on a mission statement in a group brainstorming setting is a great way to create a bland, vague paragraph that communicates virtually nothing about what your company actually believes.
Instead, approach the process with more intention. If you work alone, try creating the statement on your own and then run it by a few trusted advisors for feedback. If you have employees, ask some of them to write a sentence that summarizes what they feel the business stands for and use their input to create a statement that feels honest and authentic to you. Either way, don’t dilute your message by asking for too many opinions all at once.
We want to make the launch of your online business a huge success. So we created a free brand storytelling worksheet to help you get started. Use this handy exercise as a guide to help you craft a compelling brand story and build a loyal audience through the power of storytelling. Click the link right here or in the description below to claim your free download now.
If your mission statement is your compass pointing you toward true north, then your vision statement is the map that shows the bigger picture of where you’re hoping to go. A strong vision statement describes the future that you hope to create through your business and who you want to become as a company. It communicates what success would look like for you and what problem you plan to solve for your customers and your community.
Just as with your mission statement, this will only be a few sentences long and should succinctly outline the goals that you’re working to achieve. Put simply your mission statement explains why your company was created and your vision statement describes where your company is planning to go. When you sit down to write your own vision statement, here are a few things to keep in mind. Write for the future. Unlike the timelessness of a mission statement, your vision statement has yet to be achieved. It describes what you’re working towards. So it’s okay to be aspirational here.
Look ahead several years into the future and describe the situations and outcomes that you dream of creating with your business. Try using prompts like, we plan to or we envision to get your vision statement started. Be bold. Chances are that you started your business because you wanted to solve a problem or create a meaningful change in the world. Tap into that energy as you draft your vision statement, and don’t be afraid to reach for the stars. If you want to become a leader in your industry, you’ll need to start by creating a bold and compelling vision that inspires and motivates others to join your costs. Be intentional. While it’s great to be bold, your vision should also reflect the values and aspirations of your specific company.
It’s okay if your vision is local, rather than global or deep, rather than wide. Bigger is not always better. For example, maybe your vision is to become the most beloved taco joint in your city. Rather than the most popular restaurant chain in the world. In essence, just make sure that you choose your vision carefully, according to your company’s mission, rather than simply defaulting to the biggest goal you can think of. Don’t be too detailed when you first write your vision statement.
You probably won’t know how to make it happen, but don’t let your fears or your practicality stop you from dreaming boldly. When we get too bogged down in little details, we can’t create a vision that will motivate and inspire. This statement will eventually lead to lots of specific goals and strategic objectives, but those can all come later at this stage. Let your imagination take the lead and capture the most exciting future you can envision.
Mission and Vision Statement Examples
Okay. Are you ready to see what these statements look like in action? Here are four examples of companies who have created mission and vision statements that are purposeful and intentional. Google. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. In just one sentence we instantly learn what matters to Google – the accessibility and usefulness of information. We also learn who they’re serving with their business. In this case, everyone in the world. Their mission is clear and simple to understand and would certainly pass the t-shirt test. Their vision is to provide access to the world’s information in one click. This vision is obviously aspirational because as of right now, it usually takes more than one click to find what we’re looking for, but having this kind of bold and streamlined vision makes it very clear what Google is working towards.
By keeping it so simple they can ensure that everyone within the company is on the same page about what is important for the future of your business. Tesla. For Tesla the mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. There is a kind of laser focus to this mission statement that would probably act as a very strong compass when the company is deciding what goals and projects to take on. It is also a statement that is sure to inspire employees, shareholders, and customers who feel aligned with this simple but powerful mission.
Tesla’s vision for the future is to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric. When we read their vision, we see where they’re going. Tesla wants a future in which the whole world drives electric vehicles and uses sustainable energy. This is an audacious goal, but one that clearly reflects their values and mission as a company. Nike. Here’s Nike’s mission. Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work. This is a more lengthy mission statement than the other two we’ve looked at so far.
But I think this comprehensiveness is a good thing. They’re defining several areas that matters to them, including diversity, sustainability, innovation, and community impact. By including all of these values in their mission statement, they’re ensuring that none of them can be ignored or compromised as they grow and scale. Their vision is bolder, to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, with an asterisk that says, if you have a body, you are an athlete.
I think this is a beautiful vision that is inclusive and inspiring. For some businesses, the idea of providing inspiration and innovation would be too vague, but in Nike’s case, it actually makes sense. Not only do they provide innovative products, but they have also branched out into workout programs, apps, and running clubs to support and inspire athletes around the world.
They’ve created a clear aspirational vision for the future that leaves some room for growth and new directions. Shopify. Lastly, let’s look at yours truly. Our mission is to help people achieve independence by making it easier to start, run, and grow a business. Our vision is to make commerce better for everyone so businesses can focus on what they do best, building and selling their products. Both of these statements are simple, but they’re at the heart of every project this company takes on. This channel, for example, was created with the specific aim of providing you with the skills, knowledge, and resources you need to start or grow your business.
This project not only aligns with our mission, but also brings us closer to our vision of making commerce better for everyone. So there you have it, four examples of company mission and vision statements that help direct their goals and inspire their communities. I hope you’re leaving here today with a clearer idea of why vision and mission statements are so important and how to create your own versions to bring your business more purpose and direction.
Once you know where you’re going, our team here at Shopify would love to help you get there. If you need a complete e-commerce solution that will help you take care of orders, integrate with thousands of helpful tools and make it easier for you to achieve your business goals, then Shopify is a great solution. Click the link right here or in our description box below to sign up for our two week free trial to see if Shopify is right for you. Now that you know the differences between a mission statement and a vision statement, which one do you think you’ll write?
Chances are you probably already have some idea of your company’s mission and vision, but it’s really helpful to write them down in a simple format that you can reference often. And if you want some accountability in this process, I’d love to actually read your mission and vision statements. So drop them down in the comments below so we can all get inspired by the business you’re creating.