When growing your business from a one-person shop to having employees, you may find yourself with the need to define and create a workplace “culture”. Some business owners take to this responsibility very seriously; others would rather just make a really good product or service and hope the rest will take care of itself.
Obviously those companies who take the time to create a positive workplace will experience less turnover and greater customer satisfaction. Creating a vision and mission for your company can be one important way to define what your business stands for and why, and also sets expectations for both potential candidates and existing employees. With known expectations, owners can expect increased job satisfaction from their staff and will draw from a pool of job candidates better suited to their culture.
What is the difference between a vision and a mission? Let’s contrast the two:
A vision sets the aspirations and goals of a company, versus the mission, which defines the business objective. This means setting core goals (vision) as well as a core purpose (mission).
A vision is meant to define what the future could look like, whereas the mission sets the expectation for how things should be today.
A mission puts down the action/cause, or purpose of the business. A vision defines the intended effect of that action.
While your mission defines what your business stands for, your vision should spell out where you want your business to ultimately go.
The mission should also state what value your business adds; in contrast, your vision defines the “why” of doing what you do.
Lastly, your vision should define your company’s direction, whereas your mission should set clear standards.
The examples below are excellent models of these differences between mission and vision statements:
Mission: 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.
Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Mission: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
Vision: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Mission: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Vision: To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
These sentences are deceptively simple, and likely took many iterations to get them perfect. It’s worth drafting yours now, knowing that it’s a living document and can be revisited as your business scales and evolves.
BYLINE: Amanda DeVries owns Amanda DeVries Content + Creative. Her website is amandadevries.com and you can find her on Twitter as @adevriescreativ and Instagram as @adevriescreative.