Vision and Mission Statements - The TheoryOnce you have considered your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, it is time to step back and contemplate the bigger picture. Your business doesn’t need to have vision and mission statements – indeed, most of the planning in my book is optional – however, there is no way to measure the success of your business unless you know where you intended to get to. Also, if you plan to employ staff, persuade lenders, attract customers or motivate suppliers, you will need to get them to also buy into the vision that you have.
It is important to understand the difference between a vision and mission statement, which can be summarised as follows:
A vision statement is a future looking statement, which summarises the entrepreneurs “preferred future”. It is often a lofty vision, and the entrepreneur needs to ensure that the mission statement of the business is in line with the overall vision, as the vision statement is simply the confirmation of the result of the business achieving it’s mission.
A mission statement is more current looking, and answers three key questions:
What do we do?
Who do we do it for?
What is the benefit?
As you can see, the mission statement avoids any predictions about future success or aims, but instead focuses on what the business actually does on a day to day basis. An example of the difference between vision statements and mission statements is available here, and worked exercises to help you make this happen for your startup are within the book, available from Amazon.