Mission and vision statements: Do they help your business?

Mission and vision statements: Do they help your business?
Anne Beth Jordan

Posted: Fri 18th Mar 2022

A long time ago, I sat in my garden on a hot summer’s day and chatted to my husband about my vision for my business. 

I was recovering from cancer, so my life started to take on a different meaning. I wanted to have a business that would enable me to work and look after my family; a business selling products that would enrich people’s lives, where sitting together, eating, sharing ideas around a table - which had been laid out to look inviting with beautiful linen, to appreciate all aspects of the food put on the table - would make the family/friends gathering more enjoyable and memorable.

I wanted our handmade products to have longevity and become family heirlooms - exquisite products that would be affordable for all those who wanted them, for all those who were in need of a more reflective way of living their lives.

Well, that was my vision for my future.  I continued the business with that vision in mind but what I omitted was what would I need to do in the here and now to make that vision happen in continuity.

At that time, I was so busy getting my products out into the marketplace, and enjoying the successes in the here and now, that I missed key signs and strategic planning to get me from the here and now to a more stable future for my business.

How important is a mission and vision statement to your business?

Many say it’s not necessary and many companies are successful without them; they thrive and continue to thrive, it’s pointless spending time and money on writing up a mission and vision statement that has no benefit for the business. 

If you are a mission and vision-driven business then you need to consider a few points which will make your company unique and what its meaning and focus are.

Do you need a mission and vision statement for your business?

Mission and vision statements can be a great means to give an organisation focus, clarity and direction. However, they don’t always work because:

  1. They are not required by all businesses.

  2. The distinction between the two is not clear.

From my experience of coaching clients, many have a vision, but they have not considered the mission part. They can see the bigger picture clearly but how are they going to get there?

How are they going to realise their mission as part of their future vision?

We often feel compelled to have a mission and vision because others do and maybe it is a habit?

It’s worth considering, at the beginning of setting up one’s business or even further along the line if you are a mission and vision business.

You can’t tell the difference between them

To resolve this confusion, it is useful to make a clear distinction between the two because often they can sound the same and that is where one can have difficulties in writing up an effective statement.

Furthermore, if they do sound the same, they may sound vague and ineffectual,

Quite simply:

  • Mission statements work on the here and now. It’s what the company is about, its principles, its values, why it does what it does. Its purpose.

  • Vision statements. The point on the horizon - about the future, for one’s long-term goals, aims and how you are going to get there. It’s about core values, set by the owners, which is created for the company and the company culture.

  • A Vision statement is also about strategic planning and actions.  It needs to incorporate the mission statement

Who should it appeal to?

Who are you writing this mission and vision statement for?

Don’t try to appeal to everyone, it’s not for everyone, certainly not for the public, unless you are appealing to a specific part of the market and are wanting them to ‘buy’ into your ethos and company culture:

  • Don’t be afraid if you put off others, that’s great.

  • Make sure your mission and vision reflect clear choices and are targeted towards a specific group of people.

  • Remember to target your mission and vision towards your employees; they are key to your success (even if you are a sole trader, at some time you may grow your staff). You want to inspire them, to work towards the company goals.

  • Be careful not to make it vague or too generic such as: ‘we aim to’, ‘truly inspirational’, ‘number one'. Who really knows what this means?

Thoughts to consider:

  1. Mission and vision statements that are written down without action are only words, platitudes, texts, phrases.

  2. They only become a true mission and vision statement when they are lived and enacted. If your company is not mission or vision-driven, and you write a statement then the statements don’t reflect a mission or a vision.

  3. Mission and vision are more about our attitudes and how we live them than about words. Actions, not words, are the key drivers - they become believable and trustworthy.

For more advice on mission and vision statements, as well as plenty of other pieces of business support, be sure to connect with Beth Jordan on Enterprise Nation now.

Anne Beth Jordan
With over 30 years of experience in the fast fashion and home fashion industry, designing and manufacturing under our brand Beth Jordan and under White label (clients’ label), I feel in a position to offer my help and expertise in many areas of STARTUP or running an existing business. Business goes through so many transitions and transformations, and no matter how entrepreneurial we are, it’s helpful to get outside support from others' expertise, to enhance our own skills and knowledge. while building our businesses and reaching our desired dreams. As a fledgling business back in the 1980s, although the structure of business remains very much the same today, it was easier to access funding and grow the business, as there was a vibrant air of enthusiasm and openness for all things new. Many called those years the halcyon years. Today, business is still exciting, but I feel we have other types of challenges and new knowledge required that I did not have in my formative business development. However, I feel with the practical, hands-on business experience and knowledge gained, through surviving recessions, economic down and upturns, constantly reinventing the business to remain relevant and exciting, I have a deeper understanding of many areas of business which are only gained through experience. One particular area which more and more people find in running a business is as a single parent and trying to meet all the needs required to stay healthy and happy and ensure our children come first. My own experience of this has helped me position myself in assisting many business owners who are in similar situations. So as STARTUP 22 begins on 21st January 2022, I’m offering my services as a Business Adviser and look forward to meeting many new people in the world of business. I offer a free initial consultation which I call a DISCOVERY CALL as well as a free 30 minute deeper conversation so that both my client and I can get to know each other and ascertain if we are a good fit to move forward together. Looking forward to STARTUP 2022 Anne Beth Jordan 07951764814

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