Many business owners have a vision for their business but fall short on following through with that vision with a mission statement, or they have a mission statement but no vision. If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two, you’re not alone.
Let me explain the difference between company vision vs. mission – because the distinction is important.
To answer your follow-up question (spoiler alert), yes, you do have to have both to set your business up for success. Here’s why:
Company Vision vs Mission Statement: Do You Need Both?
Let’s dive into what a vision statement and mission statement are, how to write them, and why you need them for your business.
When you’re clear on this, you’ll give your business direction and be better able to set future goals and chart your progress toward those goals.
What is a Company Vision Statement?
A vision statement states where you see the company in 25, 50, or 100 years. It sets the foundation for your business and paints a picture of what the world or the customers you serve will look like because of your service or product in the future.
It is the guiding light that depicts where you are headed and directs the choices you will make to get there.
Consider these brands and how their vision statement aligns with how they see themselves and how you and I see them:
- Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
- Southwest Airlines: “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”
- Whole Foods: “Whole foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.”
- Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
A Company Vision Statement Includes…
As you begin to craft your company vision statement, consider what you hope to achieve through your business.
If all of your wildest dreams come true, how would the business change the world or the customers it serves?
As you can see from the examples above, a vision statement doesn’t have to be complex or long, but it can and should be lofty and audacious. Start by jotting down some ideas, and then, think bigger!
What is a Company Mission Statement?
A mission statement takes your vision one step further; it states why you want to achieve your vision, how you are going to get there, and who is going to help you along the way.
This is why it’s critical to create your vision statement before your mission statement.
The mission statement, then, is the road map that points the way to go and drives home your purpose.
A Company Mission Statement Includes…
As you begin to craft your company mission statement, keep in mind that it should reflect your company’s values and be in line with your vision. You should include:
- A description of the type of business you’re in
- The people who work there and how the business functions
- The people you set out to serve
- Your unique objective.
Here are a few examples:
- Amazon: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
- Toyota: “To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America.”
- Dunkin’ Donuts: “Everything we do is about you. From chefs who create exciting new flavors, to crew members who know exactly how you want your drink—we prioritize what you need to get you on your way. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.”
What’s The Difference?
So, there you have it; company vision vs mission is the guiding light vs the road map to get there.
They are two different, yet equally important, parts that work together to give you, your employees, and your customers a picture of what your company is all about and where you are headed.
Without this direction, how would you or your employees know what they are working for or toward?
Simply put, your vision statement answers the question: Where do you want to go? And your mission statement answers the questions: Where are you at now? And how are you going to get there?
A business that knows the answers to these questions has more engaged employees, more loyal customers, and more impact on the world.
Do You Need Both?
Because they work together to frame your business and direct your efforts, both a vision statement and a mission statement are necessary to move forward.
Let me be perfectly blunt… if you don’t have both of these statements in place, you need to stop what you’re doing and create them today.
You have probably thought of them a million times, but you need to put them on paper and share them with anyone who is working for, invested in, or benefits from your business.
So, yes, you need both a vision and a mission for your company. In fact, they are the first two steps to successfully scaling your business. If you’re ready to scale your business check out my step-by-step guide to scale any business in 9 steps.
When you do these steps in order, you can learn to build a thriving business that works without you—but, you have to start at the beginning with a vision and a mission.
If you’re not sure what the right next move is, I’ve developed a quiz for entrepreneurs like you to help you figure it out. Take the quiz and get your results here so you can confidently move in the right next direction.