Many people WRONGLY think that a company vision and values are only necessary if you run a blue-chip organisation.
I totally disagree. 🙅
Just because you own a SMALL business, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a mission, vision, or company values. After all, these are super-important manifestations of your brand and form the foundation of a high performing team.
They should drive everything you do – including your leadership style and how you manage performance. 🏎
If you don't have a vision or values, it’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve been in business for a while. 👍 And if you do have them, it's worth reflecting whether they are clear, concise and relevant.
What's the difference between a mission, vision and values?
In a nutshell, they’re words to describe what you do, how you do it, and what difference you’re trying to make to your customer’s lives. But most importantly, they should be the driving force behind how you run your business and how you lead your team.
To explain this further, check out my example below: 👇
➡ Your mission should describe what you do today.
For example, ‘We help food businesses to dispose of their food waste in a responsible way’.
➡ Your vision should describe the impact or outcome you’re trying to achieve for the future.
For example, a good vision statement is ‘All the food waste our clients produce is made useful again’.
➡Your values should describe your beliefs or how you want people to go about their work, whilst working for you.
For example, ‘We put the customers first’, ‘We are brave and bold’, ‘We work with integrity’.
Best Vision Statement Examples
Here are some examples to that other well-known brands use:👇
- BBC: “To be the most creative organisation in the world”
- Disney: “To make people happy.”
- Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
- Instagram: “Capture and share the world’s moments”
- LinkedIn: "Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce”
- Microsoft: “To help people throughout the world realise their full potential”
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”
- Oxfam: “A just world without poverty”
- Shopify: “To make commerce better for everyone”
Why a vision statement is so important
Every business should be able to explain what they do, how they do it, and what goals they have for the future. Whether it’s via your website, or your marketing collateral. It holds you accountable for the results you’re aiming to achieve.
#1. From a marketing perspective
Having a vision and a mission statement – plus company values – encourages you to be consistent about how you describe your business, across all of your channels. From your socials, to your business presentations.
It builds your brand by telling your customers and suppliers the same story about who you are and what makes you so special. Therefore, helping to grow your business. 📈
People’s attention spans are very short these days (eight seconds apparently)! So, whether you’ve met a potential customer at a trade show, or you’re trying to lure new talent to your business – you need to be able to say what you do and why. And, writing a vision statement or mission statement can help you to do this.
#2. From a leadership perspective
Your business vision, mission, and values should galvanise your team into doing the things necessary to bring these statements to life. It determines who you hire and how you measure your team’s performance.
#3. From a team performance perspective
Your team needs to connect with your vision statement and be committed to helping you to achieve it. So, it needs to be inspirational.
Imagine if your vision is to become the most environmentally friendly café in Shrewsbury. 🍰 ☕
Your business processes should therefore be shaped by this vision.
- Your supplier choices will be shaped by this vision. For example, you probably insist on using local produce to save on food miles.
- Your culture and hiring decisions will be shaped by this vision. For example, your job advert might ask for somebody with a passion for the planet.
- How you reward your team will be shaped by this vision. For example, you might incentivise staff to recycle more.
The list goes on!
How to get started
Like I said earlier, it’s never too late to define or refresh your vision, mission, and values.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Why did I set up this business in the first place?
- What are our strengths and weaknesses?
- What types of leadership styles resonate with us?
- What's everyday life like working here?
- How can we create a better everyday life for our team members and customers?
- What are my business plans and goals for the future?
- How do I want our customers to describe doing business with us?
- What do I want my employees to say about what it’s like working for me?
- What do all of our stakeholders say about us today – and do we want to change that?
- What sets us apart from our competitors?
- What do we want our legacy to be?
- What difference do we want to make to our customer’s lives?
Hopefully the answers will guide you to form the basis of your vision, mission and values. 🤞
Then, you might like to do three additional tasks:
🔎 Check out what your competitor’s vision, mission, and values are.
👓 Read your own business reviews to get an insight it what your customers like or don’t like about doing business with you. If you don’t have any reviews, perhaps send them a survey?
🗣 Ask your employees what it’s like to work for your company and what they believe your customers are saying. This is a great way of getting them engaged with your vision, mission, and values.
How to communicate your vision, mission and values?
Once you’ve nailed your vision, mission, and values – you need to communicate them to your staff, suppliers, and customers. And then, make sure they’re embedded in everything you do.
✅ Update your website and careers page
✅ Update your recruitment docs and induction pack
✅ Update your employee handbook
✅ Update your marketing materials
✅ Update your pay and rewards strategy
✅ Update your performance management docs
✅ Update your employee recognition scheme
Does your leadership style align to this?
Don’t forget you must also embody your company vision, mission, and values in your leadership style and how you set goals and manage performance. 💪
So, going back to my example vision earlier on – i.e. to become the most environmentally friendly café in Shrewsbury – how do you think your words and actions need to bring this vision to life?
For example, you could set an example for your employees by disposing of waste in the right way. Or, you could ask everybody to walk to work – if they’re local and physically able to.
OTHER HELPFUL MATERIAL 🤗
If you need help with goal setting – which of course is intrinsically linked to creating a company vision, mission, and values – then check out a previous blog I wrote about this here.
Here's a helpful list of my most popular resources...
- Take the Leadership Quiz to uncover your natural leadership style.
- Watch my free leadership masterclass to learn how to build a high performing team.
- Grab my free HR Guide to help you avoid costly legal mistakes.
- Access HR Templates here. Use code BLOG10 at the checkout to get 10% off your first order.
- Book a free consultation with Mandy here, to learn more about us working together.