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4.3 The Roles of Mission, Vision, and Values

Learning objectives.

  • Be able to define mission and vision.
  • See how values are important for mission and vision.
  • Understand the roles of vision, mission, and values in the P-O-L-C framework.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and are typically communicated in some written form. Mission and vision are statements from the organization that answer questions about who we are, what do we value, and where we’re going. A study by the consulting firm Bain and Company reports that 90% of the 500 firms surveyed issue some form of mission and vision statements (Bart & Baetz, 1998). Moreover, firms with clearly communicated, widely understood, and collectively shared mission and vision have been shown to perform better than those without them, with the caveat that they related to effectiveness only when strategy and goals and objectives were aligned with them as well (Bart, et. al., 2001).

A mission statement communicates the organization’s reason for being, and how it aims to serve its key stakeholders. Customers, employees, and investors are the stakeholders most often emphasized, but other stakeholders like government or communities (i.e., in the form of social or environmental impact) can also be discussed. Mission statements are often longer than vision statements. Sometimes mission statements also include a summation of the firm’s values. Values are the beliefs of an individual or group, and in this case the organization, in which they are emotionally invested. The Starbucks mission statement describes six guiding principles that, as you can see, also communicate the organization’s values:

  • Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity .
  • Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business .
  • Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.
  • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time .
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment .
  • Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success (Starbucks, 2008).

Similarly, Toyota declares its global corporate principles to be:

  • Honor the language and spirit of the law of every nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the world .
  • Respect the culture and customs of every nation and contribute to economic and social development through corporate activities in the communities .
  • Dedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all our activities .
  • Create and develop advanced technologies and provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwide .
  • Foster a corporate culture that enhances individual creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and management .
  • Pursue growth in harmony with the global community through innovative management .
  • Work with business partners in research and creation to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits, while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships (Toyota, 2008).

A vision statement , in contrast, is a future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. In many ways, you can say that the mission statement lays out the organization’s “purpose for being,” and the vision statement then says, “based on that purpose, this is what we want to become.” The strategy should flow directly from the vision, since the strategy is intended to achieve the vision and thus satisfy the organization’s mission. Typically, vision statements are relatively brief, as in the case of Starbuck’s vision statement, which reads: “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow (Starbucks, 2008).” Or ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, which states their vision as “an agency defined by its devotion to brands (Ogilvy, 2008).” Sometimes the vision statement is also captured in a short tag line, such as Toyota’s “moving forward” statement that appears in most communications to customers, suppliers, and employees (Toyota, 2008). Similarly, Wal-Mart’s tag-line version of its vision statement is “Save money. Live better (Walmart, 2008).”

Any casual tour of business or organization Web sites will expose you to the range of forms that mission and vision statements can take. To reiterate, mission statements are longer than vision statements, often because they convey the organizations core values. Mission statements answer the questions of “Who are we?” and “What does our organization value?” Vision statements typically take the form of relatively brief, future-oriented statements—vision statements answer the question “Where is this organization going?” Increasingly, organizations also add a values statement which either reaffirms or states outright the organization’s values that might not be evident in the mission or vision statements.

Roles Played by Mission and Vision

Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization’s strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles, and the relationships among them, are summarized in the figure.

Figure 4.5 Key Roles of Mission and Vision

image

First, mission and vision provide a vehicle for communicating an organization’s purpose and values to all key stakeholders. Stakeholders are those key parties who have some influence over the organization or stake in its future. You will learn more about stakeholders and stakeholder analysis later in this chapter; however, for now, suffice it to say that some key stakeholders are employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and institutions such as governments. Typically, these statements would be widely circulated and discussed often so that their meaning is widely understood, shared, and internalized. The better employees understand an organization’s purpose, through its mission and vision, the better able they will be to understand the strategy and its implementation.

Second, mission and vision create a target for strategy development. That is, one criterion of a good strategy is how well it helps the firm achieve its mission and vision. To better understand the relationship among mission, vision, and strategy, it is sometimes helpful to visualize them collectively as a funnel. At the broadest part of the funnel, you find the inputs into the mission statement. Toward the narrower part of the funnel, you find the vision statement, which has distilled down the mission in a way that it can guide the development of the strategy. In the narrowest part of the funnel you find the strategy —it is clear and explicit about what the firm will do, and not do, to achieve the vision. Vision statements also provide a bridge between the mission and the strategy. In that sense the best vision statements create a tension and restlessness with regard to the status quo—that is, they should foster a spirit of continuous innovation and improvement. For instance, in the case of Toyota, its “moving forward” vision urges managers to find newer and more environmentally friendly ways of delighting the purchaser of their cars. London Business School professors Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad describe this tense relationship between vision and strategy as stretch and ambition. Indeed, in a study of such able competitors as CNN, British Airways, and Sony, they found that these firms displaced competitors with stronger reputations and deeper pockets through their ambition to stretch their organizations in more innovative ways (Hamel & Prahalad, 1993).

Third, mission and vision provide a high-level guide, and the strategy provides a specific guide, to the goals and objectives showing success or failure of the strategy and satisfaction of the larger set of objectives stated in the mission. In the cases of both Starbucks and Toyota, you would expect to see profitability goals, in addition to metrics on customer and employee satisfaction, and social and environmental responsibility.

Key Takeaway

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and aspirations, and are typically communicated in some form of brief written statements. A mission statement communicates the organization’s reason for being and how it aspires to serve its key stakeholders. The vision statement is a narrower, future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. Together, mission and vision guide strategy development, help communicate the organization’s purpose to stakeholders, and inform the goals and objectives set to determine whether the strategy is on track.

  • What is a mission statement?
  • What is a vision statement?
  • How are values important to the content of mission and vision statements?
  • Where does the purpose of mission and vision overlap?
  • How do mission and vision relate to a firm’s strategy?
  • Why are mission and vision important for organizational goals and objectives?

Bart, C. K., & Baetz, M. C. (1998). The relationship between mission statements and firm performance: An exploratory study. Journal of Management Studies, 35 , 823–853.

Bart, C. K., Bontis, N., & Taggar, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. Management Decision, 39 (1), 19–35.

Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C. K. (1993, March–April). Strategy as stretch and leverage . Harvard Business Review , 75–84.

Ogilvy, Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.ogilvy.com/o_mather .

Starbucks, retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus

Toyota, retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/vision/philosophy .

Toyota, retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.toyota.com/about/our_values/index.html .

Walmart, retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.walmart.com .

Principles of Management Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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The Thriving Small Business

The Thriving Small Business

Tips And Tools For Small Business Owners

How To Create A Mission, Vision, And Values Statement

November 29, 2023 By Patricia Lotich

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I was recently asked why a business needs a mission, vision, and values statement.

My response was that a mission, vision, and values statement is a tool to help an organization accomplish what it has set out to do and helps provide a framework for strategy, focus, and decision-making .

A Vision statement describes the ideal future state of the organization.  It articulates what the organization is trying to accomplish.

Vision Statement Example

“ABC Auto Repair will be the premiere auto shop in the metropolitan area by providing extraordinary customer service and high-quality auto repair that exceeds all competition.”

A Mission statement describes why the organization exists and why it does what it does.

Mission Statement Example

“ABC Auto Repair exists to help its customers care for and extend the life of their automobile investments.”

A Values statement describes and lists the fundamental values and principles that the organization operates by.

Values Statement Example

“ABC Auto Repair operates by the following guiding principles:   Honesty, Integrity, Customer Service, Quality, Diversity, and Innovation.”

Some organizations write paragraphs describing their vision.

But I think the shorter the statement, the more likely employees will be able to absorb, memorize, and ideally explain it to others.

Employees Need To Understand

Employees should have a good understanding of what the business is trying to accomplish and why it does what it does.

This contributes to high levels of  employee engagement and employees who provide excellent customer service .

Every organization needs to understand where it is going before it can develop a strategic plan and map out steps to get there!

7 Steps to Creating a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement

1. gather board level leadership.

If you don’t have a formal board, pull together an advisory team .

If you are a small business, pull in anyone who has helped you get to where you are in an advisory capacity.

Writing a vision, mission, and values statement should be an exercise that is done at the board level – with some senior-level employees.

This can be done in a retreat setting, such as a conference room of a hotel or the back room of a restaurant.

The goal is to create an environment insulated from distractions and interruptions.

2. Identify an Objective Facilitator

If the organization has strong leadership , there may be someone at the board level who can facilitate the visioning session.

Whether the facilitator is a member of the staff or is contracted through a third party, the facilitator’s role is to help drive the process without influencing the content.

An experienced facilitator will know how to do this.

Steps to Creating a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement

3. Dream As a Group

A visioning session is a time for dreaming.

Work with flip charts or whiteboards to get the creative juices going and provide colorful visuals that help spark thoughts and ideas.

Divide into groups of 3-4 people, provide each group with a flip chart, and have them discuss and answer the following questions:

Note: There should be simultaneous groups if there is more than one group.

  • Who are we?
  • What do we want this organization to look like in 5, or 10 years?
  • Where do we want to be 1, 5, or 10 years down the road?
  • Create a headline for a newspaper about the organization ten years from now. What would it say?

This exercise should take 20-30 minutes.

4. Share Ideas

After 30 minutes, ask all groups to share the thoughts and ideas they came up with.

Use the larger group to pick the best thoughts and ideas from each of the smaller groups.

Write the collective thoughts and words on a new flip chart.

Ask all participants to add, subtract, and formalize the sentence structure of the statement.

5. Examine the Statement

After the group drafts a couple of sentences, read them out loud to the entire group again.

Next, test the sentences to see if the entire group agrees that the statement reflects the organization and describes an ideal future state.

Make sure the statement is descriptive enough and is measurable to determine progress toward the vision.

6. Clarify the Mission

After the vision statement is written, go through a similar exercise to define the organization’s mission.

Remember, a mission statement describes “why” the organization exists.

Vision and mission statements should be used for decision-making to reflect the importance of what the business is trying to accomplish.

Break into small groups again and spend another 20-30 minutes brainstorming words that describe why the organization exists.

Once all the groups have their ideas down, ask them to present them to the other groups.

How to create a mission, vision and values statement

Using a flip chart, combine all of the ideas and, as a group, try to create a short phrase that is descriptive of why the organization exists.

The phrase will get molded by the group, and after it is in a final state, read it out loud one last time so the entire group agrees that it reflects why the organization exists.

7. Define Organizational Values

Once a vision and mission statement is drafted, break into groups once again and allow another 20 minutes or so to come up with a list of values.

These will become the shared values that the organization operates by.

As the groups come up with their lists, ask them again to present their ideas to the larger group and then combine and agree on one list.

The final list should ideally be 5-10 words and should be easy for people to memorize.

You did it!

You now have an articulated Mission, Vision, and Values Statement.

Next, you will have it printed and displayed in your business so your customers and employees can see your priorities and what you are trying to accomplish!

Many organizations don’t have a defined vision, mission, and values statement because they don’t know how to do it, and the process scares them.

However, if you can get the right people in the room and have a trained facilitator, it can be done in a few short hours.

Has your organization developed a Vision, Mission, and Values statement?

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How to Write a Business Plan Mission and Vision Statement [Sample Template]

Are you currently writing a business plan? If YES, here’s an in-depth guide and sample template on how to write a workable mission & vision statement for a business. A vision and mission statement are some of the most important requisite for business success and sustainability, but unfortunately, most entrepreneurs and small business owners run their business without these two thing out of ignorance.

What is a Mission and Vision Statement?

A mission and vision statement ( more commonly called a mission statement or a vision statement ) is a brief sentence that declares the goals that a business plans to achieve in the future. Like a compass guides a ship, it guides a business to success by providing continuously inspiring its stakeholders in their daily operations and strategic moves.

A mission statement helps you plan your business effectively. It provides the destination for your journey to business success. Of course, without a destination, you can’t plan a route. Before we discuss the steps involved in developing a mission statement for your business, let’s look at the components of a mission statement and why you really need a mission statement for your business.

Today, I will be sharing with you an underground secret to building a business from scratch. This secret is one of the contributing factors to the success of any business; yet, it’s often ignored. This secret is nothing more than a “ Business Mission Statement. ”

“The thing I really care about is the mission; making the world open.” – Mark Zuckerberg

The importance of a mission statement can never be over emphasized. I have seen so many startups without a mission; even some established firms also make the mistake of operating without a mission.

“Being an entrepreneur, I have come to realize that all successful businesses are driven by three fundamentals. One is the cash flow, two is the team and three is the mission. Of these three, the mission is the most important.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

Now what has a mission statement got to do with building a business? What’s the impact of a mission statement on an entrepreneur undergoing the entrepreneurial process? Is a mission statement a source of ? While I am not going to answer these questions directly, the following points will help you further understand why you need to develop a mission statement for your business?

Why Your Business needs a Mission Statement

1. The mission is the foundation on which your business will be built. It’s the true purpose of your business and that purpose is reflected in the mission statement. Without a strong mission statement, you don’t have a true business. All you have is just a profit making venture that will soon be wiped out with time.

“To turn really interesting ideas and fledging ideas into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.” – Steve Jobs

2. The entrepreneurial spirit is found in the mission statement. When I look at the mission statement of any business, I get a peep into the life of the entrepreneur that founded that business. The entrepreneurial spirit is what drives the entrepreneur forward. If the mission is strong, your spirit will be strong towards the pursuit of your goal.

“The IKEA spirit is strong and living reality. Simplicity in our behavior gives us strength. Simplicity and humbleness characterize us in our relations with each others, our suppliers and our customers.” – Ingvar Kamprad

3. Your mission statement is the bond binding you, your team, employees and your customers to the business. Take away the mission and other key elements will fall apart. Your mission also has the power to attract other like-minded individuals and entities to your cause. The reason is that people with the same mission align together; more like birds of the same feather flocking together.

4. With a strong mission, your business will weather any storm. Take a look at businesses that has been around for over 100 years and you will see businesses with a strong mission. As an example:

  • General Electric has stood the test of time because the spirit of its founder “ Thomas Edison ” continues to guide the company through its mission.
  • Henry Ford’s mission statement was: “ To democratize the automobile ” and that mission has kept the Ford Motor Company going.
  • Aliko Dangote’s mission statement goes: “ Providing your basic need ” and this mission drives the Dangote Group to dominate the commodities market of
  • The Rich Dad Company; founded by Robert Kiyosaki keeps waxing strong because of its mission, which is “ To elevate the financial well being of humanity .”

By contrast; I have come to observe that when a company forgets its mission, its starts to lose its relevance. The bond holding the business will be broken and good customers will leave, employees will resign and the business will dwindle. Just as the case of the Dot com burst, many profitable Dot com companies went under because they forgot their mission.

3 Components of a Mission and Vision Statement

1.  a vision.

This, simply put, states the impact you envision your business having on the world in years to come. You can have more than a single statement in here, but don’t go beyond three. Gloss it over to make sure anyone who reads it feels at least one of inspiration, hope, commitment, and awe.

In addition, your vision statement must be compelling, detailed, and reflective of the intended end outcome. Avoid one that is bland, generic, uninspiring, or unreasonable. An example of a good vision statement is that of Amazon:

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

2.  A mission statement

This is a brief statement that states the important goal or purpose that your business is poised to achieve. In other words, it’s a single sentence stating why your business exists in a convincing manner. Keep your mission statement specific and concise ( the shorter it is, the better ), make it connect with both employees and stakeholders, and make it highlight your value proposition. Don’t make it too long, generic, or confusing. An example of a good mission statement is that of Nike:

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

Here’s another example of a mission statement:

“To contribute to development of value-added agricultural businesses . ”

3. Core values

These outline the principles and values that the stakeholders in a business will follow in their bid to achieve their vision. They also specify the bounds or limits that the stakeholders must watch while trying to actualize the mission. The following are examples of core values:

  • Respect and protect the environment
  • Offer high quality products that are safe for consumers
  • Meet the ever-changing needs of consumers
  • Practice highly ethical business standards

If your business is going to stand the test of time, then you will have to build it upon a strong mission. With the above in mind, let’s now look at the steps involved in developing a mission and visions statement.

How to Write a Mission and Vision Statement for a Business Plan

Please bear in mind that you are learning as much of yourself each day as you are about your customer. So, don’t feel that anything you state here is etched in stone and cannot be changed. The more you understand your customer and the market, the more necessary it would become for you to shift grounds accordingly. But you need to state here what you have to offer at the moment. This will be a starting point for any changes you may need to effect later ( as your business grows ).

1.  Sit down in a quiet spot and reflect upon your thoughts

Ask yourself what drives you forward? What keeps you motivated? When you have figured out the answer to these questions, put it down in writing.

2.  Ask yourself how best you can serve your customers

What will your business stand for in the heart of your customers? What will be the ultimate benefit your customers can derive from your business? When you figure the answer to these questions out, put it down in writing.

3. Brainstorm for your vision statement

The vision is the most important component of your mission statement. Simply put, this is a picture or idea of what you plan to achieve in future . A vision statement is always concise and easy to remember, and for this reason, every stakeholder in a business can easily focus on it; and their decisions and activities are directed towards achieving the vision. Here is a good example of a vision statement:

“ Creating a vibrant rural economy driven by value-added agriculture. “

Once you get one down, then getting other components becomes very easy. To find the best vision statement for your business, simply ask yourself the question, “Why does this business exist?” Present answers from various angles, and you will find your mission statement among them.

4.  Get down your mission statement

As stated earlier, your mission statement is that action sentence that describes how you will achieve your vision. Finding this is much easier once you have found your vision statement. If you are stuck, just do it this way: If your vision is “A diabetes-free society” , then simply add the word “ To ” and another suitable verb to convert it to an action sentence. And there you will have your mission statement.

Using the same vision, you will get “To bring about a diabetes-free society .” You can go further by tweaking it, so that you will have something like: “To manufacture products that can cure diabetes effectively and permanently.” You get it now?

5.  List your core values

First off, you need to clarify your values. This means taking into account all the various stakeholders that your business is ( or will be ) accountable to—including investors, customers, employees, and suppliers. Now, consider how you would like to ideally conduct business with each of these stakeholders. Start making a list and your core values should start to emerge.

These are the various steps you will follow in your quest to achieve your vision. Brainstorm for as many as possible, list them down, and the prune your list down to as few as possible without leaving out any important ones. Now, let’s look at some additional tips that you will need to keep in mind when preparing your mission and vision statement.

4 Extra Success Tips for Developing a Business Plan Mission and Vision Statement

  • Your mission statement must be brief and simple. Being succinct as demanded by a mission statement isn’t easy. And you may need to go through several hours of tweaking and editing before arriving at the perfect sentence. Though short, your mission statement must capture the very essence of what your business plans to achieve. The fewer words the better. Use just only the few words needed to pass the message without leaving out any vital details.
  • Your mission statement must be in tune with your vision, and both sentences must blend to form a single thought.
  • There’s no rule that says you must get it perfectly at once. You can keep review your mission statement later, if necessary.
  • Your mission and vision statements must give the reader an insight, a covert one, at least into what you offer. This is more important if the name of your business doesn’t suggest what products or services you’re offering.

If you follow the guidelines I shared in this post, you will prepare a perfect vision and mission statement that will drive your business to success. Now I want you to know that no one can help you develop a mission statement. You alone can develop your mission and as a final note, it’s worthwhile you know that of the entire business system, the mission is the most important.

  • Go to Chapter 8 Part C: Writing your Business Plans Goals and Objectives
  • Go Back to Chapter 7 : H ow to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary
  • Go Back to Introduction and Table of Content

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It’s Time to Take a Fresh Look at Your Company’s Values

  • John Coleman

mission vision and values of business plan

The world has changed — and so have your employees and customers.

As you think ahead to what may be the “new normal,” now is a perfect opportunity to refresh what your organization stands for. It’s almost certain that your old mission, vision, and values don’t fully match today’s context. But how can a company seek to refresh its mission, vision, and values?

First, start by asking a series of straightforward questions: What is the core purpose of our collective work together, or our mission? What are we hoping to achieve together, or our vision? And what core principles, or values, will guide the way we work together as colleagues and for our clients? Finally, what’s changed? What is outdated and needs to be left behind? What’s new that needs to be embraced?

With these questions in hand, leadership teams at companies should design a process for asking these questions in community and then embedding the answers in the culture. Engage your employees as you ask the questions and then communicate the answers out to everyone in the firm.

Every great culture needs a mission, a vision, and values. Its mission is the organization’s indelible purpose and reason for being. Its vision is its aspiration for itself. And its values (or virtues) are the way an organization commits to working — a statement of how a company does what it does and the principles it will consistently abide by. But these are never meant to be static. Just as the environment around a company changes, so must the company itself.

mission vision and values of business plan

  • JC John Coleman is the author of the HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose . Subscribe to his free newsletter, On Purpose , follow him on Twitter @johnwcoleman, or contact him at johnwilliamcoleman.com.

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How to Write Mission, Vision, and Values Statements - 100 Examples to Help Guide You Through the Process

How to Write Mission, Vision, and Values Statements - 100 Examples to Help Guide You Through the Process

Matthew Mitchell, PhD

Mission, vision and values statements serve as the foundation for an organization’s strategic plan. They convey the purpose, direction and underlying values of the organization. When developed and implemented in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, these statements can serve as powerful tools that provide organizations with meaningful guidance, especially under times of rapid change. Consequently, taking the time to craft relevant mission, vision and value statements should be carefully considered.

To get started, please review our tips in the article below on how to write good mission, vision and values statements. To go deeper, download our full compiled list of 100 sample mission, vision and values statements by providing your contact information in the form below. Be sure to check out our how-to video where we walk through the creation process step-by-step!

Vision Statements

Mission Statements

The mission statement defines an organization’s purpose or reason for being. It guides the day-to-day operations of the organization, communicates to external stakeholders the core solutions the organization provides in society and motivates employees toward a common near-to-medium term goal. In short, the mission statement paints a picture of who the company is and what the company does.

A good mission statement should only focus on what is most important to the organization. It should be brief, clear, informative, simple and direct. It should avoid elaborate language, clichés, and generalizations and it should emphasize outcomes and the people the organization is serving.

When writing a mission statement, consider the following questions:

  • What do we do today?
  • Who do we serve?
  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • What impact do we want to achieve?
  • LinkedIn : To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
  • Starbucks : To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
  • Twitter : To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.
  • TripAdvisor : To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.
  • Tesla : To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
  • Sweetgreen : To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Best Practices Video Bâton Global's shares our secrets learned from helping organizations worldwide write winning Purpose, Mission, Vision and Value statements.

Download 100 Examples

Interested in viewing examples from other organizations? Download our collection of of 100 mission, vision, and value statements below:

Vision Statements

The vision statement describes the future of the organization. It reveals what the company aspires to be or hopes to achieve in the long-term. The vision statement is inspirational and motivational but also provides direction, mapping out where the organization is headed. In this regard, it serves as a guide for choosing current and future courses of action.

An effective vision statement should be concise, unambiguous, futuristic, realistic, aspirational and inspirational. It shouldn’t be generic but rather focus on outcomes specific to the organization.

 When writing a vision statement, consider these questions:

  • Where are we going moving forward?
  • What do we want to achieve in the future?
  • What kind of future society do we envision?
  • LinkedIn : To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
  • GoDaddy : To radically shift the global economy toward independent entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Wikimedia Foundation : Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.
  • Habitat for Humanity : A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
  • SouthwestAirlines : To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.

Values Statements

The values statement highlights an organization’s core principles and philosophical ideals. It is used to both inform and guide the decisions and behaviors of the people inside the organization and signal to external stakeholders what’s important to the company. An organization’s core values shape daily culture and establish standards of conduct against which actions and decisions can be assessed.

A values statement should be memorable, actionable and timeless. The format of the values statement depends on the organizations; some organizations use one, two or three words to describe their core values while others provide a short phrase.

 When drafting a values statement, some questions to consider include:

  • What do we stand for?
  • What behaviors do we value over all else?
  • How will we conduct our activities to achieve our mission and vision?
  • How do we treat members of our own organization and community?
  • Ownership mentality.
  • Don’t optimize for the short term.
  • We are all builders.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Do what’s right.
  • Be transparent.
  • We commit to our craft.
  • We minimize waste.
  • We embrace differences.
  • We dig deeper.
  • We lead with optimism.

The mission, vision, and values statements are the guiding forces behind an organization. The mission statement communicates the purpose of the organization. The vision statement provides insight into what the company hopes to achieve or become in the future. The values statement reflects the organization’s core principles and ethics. Together, these statements provide strategic direction for an organization, informing current and future business strategies.

Learn how Bâton Global supports organizations in building lasting and impactful core commitments here .

Mission Statements

‍ Download 100 Examples

Other helpful resources.

365 Careers, January 26, 2018, The mission, vision and values statements [video file].

Bain & Company, April 2, 2018, Mission and vision statements .

Diffen LLC, n.d., Mission statement vs. vision statement .

Paula Fernandes, May 4, 2018, What is a vision statement?

Linda Le Phan, April 12, 2018, How to define your company’s core values (37 experts share their advice) [blog].  

William A. Nelson & Paul B. Gardent, March/April 2011, " Organizational values statements ," Healthcare Executive, 56-59 .

Edward L. Powers, 2012, " Organizational mission statement guidelines revisited ," International Journal of Management & Information Systems , 16(4), 281-290.

Britt Skrabanek, August 19, 2018, Difference between vision and mission statements: 25 examples .

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Written by Nathan Chan | November 9, 2022

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What is your company’s reason for being?

Is it simply to get people to buy products, or for people to hire you? Or is there something else you long to accomplish, and your business is merely the path toward this accomplishment? Why do you want to accomplish this purpose with your company? What is it about the world you seek to change or improve?

You may have seen the word’s “mission statement” and “core values” floating around a lot. Without context, they may seem like fancy words big companies use to improve their marketing facade or ensure they don’t get sued.

However, a company’s core values, and mission and vision statements are not limited to big businesses.

They are essential for any business, regardless of where the business is in its growth period. They are the difference between your business flourishing or flopping.

Here at Foundr, we have our own core values, and mission statement that we use as our North Star:

  • Our Core Values: Curious, Unified, and Transformational
  • Our Mission is to bring true entrepreneurial education to the masses to drive humanity forward.

Both our values and our mission have helped Foundr become the global success we are today. (You can read about them more on our about page ) So, we have decided to give you all the information and guidance you could ever need to help you define who your business is, and who you want to be.

Table of Contents

Core Values

What is a mission statement, how long should a mission statement be, the two types of mission statements, mission statement vs. vision statement.

Why do we Need a Vision Statement

Why Your Business Needs Mission Statements and Values

When you start a business or when you are a business manager, you are doing far more than just creating a company. Sure, it’ll look and run like a company, but there’s a lot more going on than you may think.

Consider this: the most essential step in building a strong house is laying proper foundations. A house built on wonky foundations won’t last, and the more you build on top of those shoddy foundations the more likely a collapse will happen.

Building a company is no different.

The foundation on which you build your company needs to be solid. You need to have a strong base that will ensure your upwards growth over a long period of time. Your business needs to be structured, sustainable, and scalable.

The foundations of business building are your mission and vision statements, and your core values.

When you follow through on your business’s purpose by articulating your mission and acting on your company’s values, not only will you win more customers, but your customers will also be more likely to stick with you, through thick and thin.

Let’s delve into core values first, and then the mission and vision statement later on.

Culture vs. Values

Some people get the two confused, so let’s examine the key differences between the two.

Culture is a flexible set of norms, an agreed-upon framework for how things are done. Culture applies to countries, families, companies, or any group, really.

Culture changes. The bigger the group, the longer it takes for these changes to occur, but it does change. As new people enter the mix, they bring with them their own interpretations and perspectives, and this influences how other members of the group think and feel.

Your core values, however, are fixed. Core values are the foundations of culture. They represent the fundamental beliefs around which culture develops. If you do a good enough job at determining and living your core values, your culture should always reflect this.

To show how core values are more permanent than culture, we’re going to look at a company that’s been around for a long time.

Walt Disney first started drawing cartoons and making movies because he wanted to entertain people. He wanted to make people laugh, smile, and enjoy themselves when they watched his movies.

Take a look at how they define themselves today:

Disney Core Values

Not really much different than how it started. But if we were to look at the culture of the Walt Disney Corporation now as compared to when it began, wow! Talk about change. A company that has been frequently accused of reinforcing racial and gender stereotypes now actively works to break down these barriers.

They’ve stayed this successful because they’ve never drifted from their core values, but also because their culture was able to adapt to changing circumstances and recognize when customers wanted the same thing in a different form. People still want to be entertained, but just not in the same way as they did in 1950.

As an entrepreneur, you need to figure out what it is that is unchanging about your company. Establishing this, in the beginning, will help you clarify what it is you need to be focusing on.

If anything takes you away from your business’s core values, you know it’s not worth your time.

How to Define Core Values

What’s your vision for the world.

What impact do you want to have on the world? Being able to effectively communicate your vision to members of your audience means you need to be completely sure what it is.

Start by asking yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Who am I trying to help? How am I going to do it?
  • How will people’s lives be different because of my company’s product or service?
  • What needs to happen for my product or service to reach people?

If you can imagine a world that your startup is actively shaping, then you’re that much closer to making it a reality. After pinning down your vision, it will make it much easier for you to determine your core values.

For example, if you envision a world where it’s easier for people to freely express themselves, then freedom of expression will likely be one of your core values. Or if you see a world where people can safely store personal information on the web, then privacy and security will likely be a defining characteristic of your company.

Your vision for the world will help you be clearer about what you are trying to do, and this will put you in a better position for success.

What Problems Do You Solve?

A good business solves a problem. Usually, it’s a problem from your life that you share with others and to which no other solution exists. If this isn’t the case, then success will be much harder for you to achieve.

You’ll need to work to incorporate your purpose into your core values. But how exactly do you find this match between who you are and what your customers need?

There are a few ways to do this, but I personally like creating a “day-to-day customer map”.

This is an activity where you create a fictitious ideal customer and try to learn as much as possible about them and how they live. It’s important to be as specific as you can when creating this persona. Give them a name, and describe briefly who they are and what they do and don’t like.

Then, begin to map out their day, including even their smallest actions. What time do they get up? How do they get to work? When do they have lunch? What do they do after work?

Game changing advice button

Place these events as moments on a timeline, putting those that are positive or happy experiences near the top, and those that are negative or unhappy experiences at the bottom, making sure to come up with reasons why each experience is positive or negative.

As you work through this person’s life, you’ll begin to realize more about them. What do they value? How do they spend their time? What do they consider a waste of time?

You’ll quickly realize your company cannot possibly satisfy all of this person’s needs. And the solution you offer alone will not solve all of their problems. But your product or service will solve one, and that’s important.

By taking the time to learn your customers’ pain points, and by identifying where you fit into their quest to relieve this pain, you can position yourself as a company sensitive to the problems your target audience faces every day, helping to reinforce the connection between person and brand.

Gaining a detailed understanding of your customers, and how you solve their problems is essential for coming up with core values that will resonate and help you build a company that works for people.

One great example is Patagonia, the outdoor apparel company. Their mission statement reads:

Patagonia Core Values

If you go through Patagonia’s site, taking some time to see the work they do for the environment and other social causes, you’ll see how powerful these values have been in shaping this brand.

You’ll also want to tailor all your marketing , branding, and other communications to reflect these values. These traits are what make you special and different, so they need to shine through, one way or another, at every touchpoint.

Go through any policies you already have written and make sure they also reflect these values and begin working on prototypes for ideal employees so that you can be prepared to conduct interviews to find people who support your vision and values.

This is not something that happens overnight. Building a company like this is the product of starting with a clear vision, and of using core values as the building blocks for growing a company from nothing into something that will stand the test of time.

Mission and Vision Statements

A mission statement clearly articulates your company’s purpose and how it goes about achieving that purpose. It helps the world understand your business’s reason for being.

It’s an important communication tool that communicates information about your products, targeted customers, services,  beliefs, values, and plans for future growth .

This means that your mission statement is one of the most important communication pieces you can write for your business.

Who are Mission Statements for?

Human resources experts would tell you that a mission statement is a motivational tool for employees, whereas product and brand managers would tell you a mission statement is a way to build trust with your customers.

And they’re both right!

But ultimately, a mission statement is a guidepost for a company’s leadership.

  • It’s a reminder of the promises you made to the world when you started your company.
  • It’s a pledge to honor that promise, even when coming through on the mission becomes difficult.
  • It’s a vow to innovate through the hurdles and deliver on the mission.

And if you can’t complete your mission, it’s time to reassess your planned mission and see if it was meant to be.

It depends on your purpose and what you’re seeking to communicate. Usually, a mission can be boiled down to one sentence, but some statements can be a paragraph and others can be two words.

Regardless of length, the most important characteristic of a mission statement is this:

Your company’s core mission should never change. It doesn’t matter if your company grows from a garage to a Googleplex, and it doesn’t matter if you pivot from a piano company to a motorcycle manufacturer.

What can change is how you deliver on your mission, but the mission itself stays the same.

Here are two examples of mission statements for big companies that started small but kept their missions intact even when they ballooned into the giants we know today:

  • Amazon “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
  • Airbnb “Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.”

Can you see how both companies have stuck with their missions despite huge transformations in their size and business models?

Amazon started out as a website that sold discounted books, DVDs, and CDs. Now it’s the world’s largest ecommerce company in the world. But the Amazon mission for best prices, selection, and convenience has never changed.

Airbnb started out as a couple of dudes renting air mattresses on their living room floor to conference-goers who couldn’t get hotel rooms. Now, Airbnb has changed the face of the hospitality industry with hosts in 81,000 cities renting to millions of users worldwide. But are they still delivering on their mission to provide ‘healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable’?

They sure are.

The importance of a strong, achievable mission statement is essential in good brand building . The good news is that building something so critical doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

The Unlikely Rise of Airbnb | $31B EMPIRE

Most mission statements can be put into one of two categories that sometimes has a little overlap:

Customer-Driven

Your mission as a company is to solve a problem for someone. Your solutions can come in the form of products, services, platforms, organizations…the sky’s the limit. When you tie the purpose of your company to solving a problem, you open up opportunities to innovate and evolve as you come up with more and more solutions.

LinkedIn example of customer driven mission statements

LinkedIn, for example, started in 2003 as a closed network for professionals (no public profiles back then). As the years went by, they added more ways to achieve their mission and now the profiles are just a fraction of LinkedIn’s ecosystem. Companies use LinkedIn tools for recruiting, training, and sales.

Product-Driven

Your mission as a company is to deliver a certain kind of product. Companies with product-driven missions often have a dedication to quality and the methodology behind making their products. Here’s Apple’s mission statement:

“To bring the best user experience to its customers through innovative hardware, software, and service.”

Just remember, products have short life cycles. If you tie your company’s mission and longevity to making a certain kind of product, you are going to have to constantly up your game by releasing newer, better versions.

The 3 Key Questions a Mission Statement Should Answer

Here’s a quick way to tell if your mission statement is on target. Answer the following questions:

  • What do we do?
  • Who do we do it for?
  • How do we do it?

(Notice that there’s no “why” to this question. We’ll talk about the “why” later in this post.)

Examples of Powerful, Actionable Mission Statements

Let’s take a look at a few companies that live by their mission statements with every step they take and analyze it using the 3-key questions.

Here’s the mission statement for ClickUp, an all-in-one productivity platform (FYI, we featured ClickUp’s founder Zeb Evans on one of our covers).

Save people time by making the world more productive. 

Notice that this mission statement communicates the values that drive the mission. Saying what you believe in is a powerful way to communicate why you care about your mission. It proves to your customer that you’re committed to helping them live their values through your offerings.

Here’s how All Good answers the Three Key Mission Statement Questions:

  • What do we Do? Save people time.
  • Whom do we Serve? People.
  • How do we Serve Them? Making the world more productive.

Now, this mission statement seems pretty basic, but its simplicity allows for ClickUp to grow beyond just software. They follow up their mission statement with these details tied to their mission statement:

While we absolutely love productivity software, we believe productivity, in general, is broken. There’s just too many tools to keep track of, too many things in entirely separate ecosystems. There has to be a better way to work – that’s why we created ClickUp, first an internal tool, now as a way to fulfill our vision of making the world more productive.

Here they break down further their vision of making the world productive by solving the problem of too many tools. ClickUp’s mission and vision statements include everything you need to know about why this business exists and how it can help you.

How to Create a Billion Dollar Product | Zeb Evans of Clickup

While a mission statement answers your what, who, and how, your vision statement lays out your why. It’s about the long-term impact you seek to make in the lives of your customers, your employees, and the world at large. Some leadership experts call it your “desired end state.”

What Does Having a Vision Statement do for Your Business?

A strong vision statement will gain buy-in from all stakeholders, from investors and board members, and from employees and customers. And when everyone involved shares a vision, the mission is a lot easier to accomplish.

Why do we Need a Vision Statement?

Let’s say you’ve been sailing across the ocean for weeks and you finally spot land on the horizon. That island is your vision statement: it’s the destination of your mission. Every worthwhile endeavor, whether it’s a race to put the first human on the moon or a company that seeks to outfit adventurers while protecting the environment, has a clear, shared vision of success that rallies a team to work toward making it happen.

How Can you Track Your Progress Toward Your Vision?

Some companies refer to their vision as their “North Star.” They always keep within their sight to make sure they’re going in the right direction with their mission.

Accordingly, Sean Ellis , founder of Growth Hackers, uses what he calls a “North Star metric:”

The North Star Metric (NSM) is a powerful concept that has emerged in recent years from Silicon Valley companies with breakout growth. It helps teams move beyond driving fleeting, surface-level growth to instead focus on generating long-term retained customer growth,” Ellis says. “To uncover your North Star Metric you must understand the value your most loyal customers get from using your product. Then you should try to quantify this value in a single metric.

For example, Philippines-based HR platform Sprout, whose vision is to help transform the developing world into a robust economy, uses its customer satisfaction score as their North Star Metric.

The Three Key Questions A Vision Statement Needs To Answer:

  • What are our hopes and dreams?
  • What problem are we solving for the greater good?
  • Who and what are we inspiring to change?

Mission and Vision Statements FAQs

Do i need both a mission and vision statement.

You can, but a mission without a vision would defeat its purpose. Imagine that you're about to get on a plane. The airplane's purpose or mission is to use the latest technology in aeronautics to carry lots of people to faraway places in the safest possible way. But, when you look at your plane ticket, there's no destination listed. Also, the pilot's navigation system in the cockpit is missing. Would you get on that plane? That's what a business mission without a vision is like: a powerful vehicle with no idea where it's going or how it will get there.

When do I need to write mission and vision statements?

Ideally, you'll define your mission and vision statements early on in the development process of your business. But don't get caught up spending too much time on the words—building a business that solves an actual problem is much more critical. What good is a powerful mission statement without a business that lives up to it?

What's the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Purpose Statement?

A mission statement is visionary. A purpose statement is grounded in why your business already exists. Is one or the other better? That's for you to decide. Sometimes companies use both, but we suggest creating a solid mission and vision before adding more language to your About Us page.

What is Your Vision for Change—and How Will You Make it Happen?

Now that you have the tools you need to craft mission and vision statements that will drive you to build your products, market your services, and grow your company, time to learn the other skills to build your business. Check out our free training courses taught by successful founders that have been in your shoes.

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About Nathan Chan

Nathan Chan holds a Master of Business from Victoria University and is widely respected as one of the brightest minds of his generation. An expert at entrepreneurship, he started Foundr -- a global media and education company that reaches out to millions of people across the world. In the last seven years, Nathan has interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time such as Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, and Tim Ferriss. He currently leads the team at Foundr as their Chief Executive Officer.

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4.3: The Roles of Mission, Vision, and Values

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Learning Objectives

  • Be able to define mission and vision.
  • See how values are important for mission and vision.
  • Understand the roles of vision, mission, and values in the P-O-L-C framework.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and are typically communicated in some written form. Mission and vision are statements from the organization that answer questions about who we are, what do we value, and where we’re going. A study by the consulting firm Bain and Company reports that 90% of the 500 firms surveyed issue some form of mission and vision statements (Bart & Baetz, 1998). Moreover, firms with clearly communicated, widely understood, and collectively shared mission and vision have been shown to perform better than those without them, with the caveat that they related to effectiveness only when strategy and goals and objectives were aligned with them as well (Bart, et. al., 2001).

A  mission statement  communicates the organization’s reason for being, and how it aims to serve its key stakeholders. Customers, employees, and investors are the stakeholders most often emphasized, but other stakeholders like government or communities (i.e., in the form of social or environmental impact) can also be discussed. Mission statements are often longer than vision statements. Sometimes mission statements also include a summation of the firm’s values.  Values  are the beliefs of an individual or group, and in this case the organization, in which they are emotionally invested. The Starbucks mission statement describes six guiding principles that, as you can see, also communicate the organization’s values:

  • Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity .
  • Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business .
  • Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.
  • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time .
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment .
  • Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success  (Starbucks, 2008).

Similarly, Toyota declares its global corporate principles to be:

  • Honor the language and spirit of the law of every nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the world .
  • Respect the culture and customs of every nation and contribute to economic and social development through corporate activities in the communities .
  • Dedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all our activities .
  • Create and develop advanced technologies and provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwide .
  • Foster a corporate culture that enhances individual creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and management .
  • Pursue growth in harmony with the global community through innovative management .
  • Work with business partners in research and creation to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits, while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships  (Toyota, 2008).

A  vision statement , in contrast, is a future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. In many ways, you can say that the mission statement lays out the organization’s “purpose for being,” and the vision statement then says, “based on that purpose, this is what we want to become.” The strategy should flow directly from the vision, since the strategy is intended to achieve the vision and thus satisfy the organization’s mission. Typically, vision statements are relatively brief, as in the case of Starbuck’s vision statement, which reads: “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow (Starbucks, 2008).” Or ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, which states their vision as “an agency defined by its devotion to brands (Ogilvy, 2008).” Sometimes the vision statement is also captured in a short tag line, such as Toyota’s “moving forward” statement that appears in most communications to customers, suppliers, and employees (Toyota, 2008). Similarly, Wal-Mart’s tag-line version of its vision statement is “Save money. Live better (Walmart, 2008).”

Any casual tour of business or organization Web sites will expose you to the range of forms that mission and vision statements can take. To reiterate, mission statements are longer than vision statements, often because they convey the organizations core values. Mission statements answer the questions of “Who are we?” and “What does our organization value?” Vision statements typically take the form of relatively brief, future-oriented statements—vision statements answer the question “Where is this organization going?” Increasingly, organizations also add a  values statement  which either reaffirms or states outright the organization’s values that might not be evident in the mission or vision statements.

Roles Played by Mission and Vision

Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization’s strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles, and the relationships among them, are summarized in the figure.

Mission statement leads to vision statement, both of which communicate purpose to stakeholders, and inform strategy and goals. See also paragraphs above and below

First, mission and vision provide a vehicle for communicating an organization’s purpose and values to all key stakeholders. Stakeholders are those key parties who have some influence over the organization or stake in its future. You will learn more about stakeholders and stakeholder analysis later in this chapter; however, for now, suffice it to say that some key stakeholders are employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and institutions such as governments. Typically, these statements would be widely circulated and discussed often so that their meaning is widely understood, shared, and internalized. The better employees understand an organization’s purpose, through its mission and vision, the better able they will be to understand the strategy and its implementation.

Second, mission and vision create a target for strategy development. That is, one criterion of a good strategy is how well it helps the firm achieve its mission and vision. To better understand the relationship among mission, vision, and strategy, it is sometimes helpful to visualize them collectively as a funnel. At the broadest part of the funnel, you find the inputs into the mission statement. Toward the narrower part of the funnel, you find the vision statement, which has distilled down the mission in a way that it can guide the development of the strategy. In the narrowest part of the funnel you find the strategy —it is clear and explicit about what the firm will do, and not do, to achieve the vision. Vision statements also provide a bridge between the mission and the strategy. In that sense the best vision statements create a tension and restlessness with regard to the status quo—that is, they should foster a spirit of continuous innovation and improvement. For instance, in the case of Toyota, its “moving forward” vision urges managers to find newer and more environmentally friendly ways of delighting the purchaser of their cars. London Business School professors Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad describe this tense relationship between vision and strategy as stretch and ambition. Indeed, in a study of such able competitors as CNN, British Airways, and Sony, they found that these firms displaced competitors with stronger reputations and deeper pockets through their ambition to stretch their organizations in more innovative ways (Hamel & Prahalad, 1993).

Third, mission and vision provide a high-level guide, and the strategy provides a specific guide, to the goals and objectives showing success or failure of the strategy and satisfaction of the larger set of objectives stated in the mission. In the cases of both Starbucks and Toyota, you would expect to see profitability goals, in addition to metrics on customer and employee satisfaction, and social and environmental responsibility.

Key Takeaway

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and aspirations, and are typically communicated in some form of brief written statements. A mission statement communicates the organization’s reason for being and how it aspires to serve its key stakeholders. The vision statement is a narrower, future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. Together, mission and vision guide strategy development, help communicate the organization’s purpose to stakeholders, and inform the goals and objectives set to determine whether the strategy is on track.

  • What is a mission statement?
  • What is a vision statement?
  • How are values important to the content of mission and vision statements?
  • Where does the purpose of mission and vision overlap?
  • How do mission and vision relate to a firm’s strategy?
  • Why are mission and vision important for organizational goals and objectives?

Bart, C. K., & Baetz, M. C. (1998). The relationship between mission statements and firm performance: An exploratory study.  Journal of Management Studies, 35 , 823–853.

Bart, C. K., Bontis, N., & Taggar, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance.  Management Decision, 39 (1), 19–35.

Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C. K. (1993, March–April). Strategy as stretch and leverage . Harvard Business Review , 75–84.

Ogilvy, Retrieved October 27, 2008, from  http://www.ogilvy.com/o_mather .

Starbucks, retrieved October 27, 2008, from  http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus

Toyota, retrieved October 27, 2008, from  http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/vision/philosophy .

Toyota, retrieved October 27, 2008, from  http://www.toyota.com/about/our_values/index.html .

Walmart, retrieved October 27, 2008, from  http://www.walmart.com .

  • Business strategy |
  • How to write a vision statement: Steps ...

How to write a vision statement: Steps and examples

Julia Martins contributor headshot

The vision statement is designed to inspire employees, compel investors, and engage the imaginations of your customers. It paints a picture of your company's future and the impact you want your business to have on the world.

It takes work and creativity to write an inspiring vision statement. Here, we'll break down the elements of a great vision statement, guide you through the process, and walk through a few examples of excellent vision statements and explain what makes them great.

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement is your company’s guiding beacon. It zooms out to give perspective on the overarching reasons for your company's mission. Rather than articulating the specifics of your business operations, the vision statement describes how your company seeks to impact and improve the world around it.

Vision statement vs. mission statement

While both statements help define your company's character and personality, there are some key differences between a vision statement and a mission statement.

The mission statement describes what your company does in the present. It's comprised of three parts: what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. 

A vision statement outlines the company's long-term goals and aspirations for the future in terms of its long-term growth and impact on the world. Your mission defines what your organization does and what you stand for, while your vision statement speaks to your goals and ideals for the future. 

[inline illustration] Vision vs. mission statement (infographic)

Characteristics of a great vision statement

Vision statements are like snowflakes—each one is unique to its company in length, form, structure, and scope. Your vision statement should reflect your company's personality. However, there are a few traits that all great vision statements share. No matter how unique a statement is in terms of size, shape, or structure, a good vision statement should be:

The purpose of a vision statement is to inspire employees, investors, and customers to believe in your company's mission. Great vision statements are aspirational and ambitious. They convey a sense of passion for the ideal future toward which the company is working.

Though your vision needs to be ambitious in order to be inspiring, it shouldn't be so far out of reach that it feels impossible. You want to choose something that your company will have to strive for, but a completely unattainable goal isn't a vision—it's a fantasy.

A vision statement connects your company mission to your goals, but it isn’t a goal in and of itself. If your vision statement feels too finite or specifically achievable, try to zoom out and broaden the scope of your vision.

Don’t try to cram every detail of your vision into your vision statement—be strategic in selecting the ideas that feel the most relevant and compelling to your stakeholders . You might dream of someday having offices in every major city in the world, but your vision statement should focus on aspirations that speak to your company's mission and purpose.

[inline illustration] Characteristics of a great vision statement (infographic)

Vision statement writing tips

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you start writing your vision statement:

Collaborate. The vision statement should reflect the character of your entire company, and there's no better way to accomplish this than to write the statement alongside key members of your team. Gather leaders from across the organization to participate in vision statement brainstorms, and run drafts by these same people to get buy-in on your final vision statement.

Write first, edit later. Don't try to write a succinct, well-crafted vision statement right out of the gate. Put everything you think of down on paper, no matter how small. You may not see the value in a particular idea when it crosses your mind, but if you write it down anyway, it may spark better ideas later on.

Keep your own vision statement separate. Many people have personal vision statements that reflect their individual goals, and if you're a business owner, our own vision statement may overlap strongly with the vision of your company. It's important to keep your personal aspirations and your company's vision separate, so that your company's vision statement is something that your entire company can relate to and feel represented by. 

Avoid buzzwords and jargon. Using "industry-speak" makes a brand feel aloof and inaccessible, even to people within the industry. Plain language is always more powerful than jargon, so if you find yourself falling back on buzzwords, isolate the phrase in question and picture a friend or family member asking, "What does this actually mean?" Write or record the explanation you would give to that person and use that language to replace the buzzwords in your vision statement.

Avoid ambiguity. Vision statements don't have to be concrete the way a mission statement should be, but you want to avoid using words that could potentially be interpreted in a way that changes the entire vision statement's meaning. You won't be there to clarify or offer context to everyone who reads your statement, so it needs to be able to stand on its own.

7 steps to write your company's vision statement

There's a lot more to crafting a great vision statement than just writing a few sentences. In order to create a statement that's truly aspirational and inspiring, you're going to need to do a little bit of work. Here's our seven-step process to write a great vision statement:

1. Identify important stakeholders

Your vision statement speaks on behalf of your entire company, so make a list of co-founders, fellow executives, and high-level employees who can help you craft and refine your statement so that it represents your organization as a whole. Getting buy-in from company leaders is also a smart strategic move—the more they believe in the vision statement, the better they'll model it in their daily work and communicate it to their own departments and teams.

Make a second list of stakeholders that represent your vision statement's audience. This list may consist of personas rather than actual people, and should include:

Board members

Partner organizations

Different customer personas

Shareholders

Depending on your industry, this list may be longer or shorter; the main point is to write down a basic overview of the group of people you're writing for. If you're only thinking about your customers, your vision statement may not feel as relatable to employees or might not inspire potential funders to invest. Check your drafts against this list to make sure it feels applicable to all of your key stakeholders.

2. Start with a list of keywords

Ultimately, you're aiming to craft a few concise sentences—and the process of crafting those sentences will be a lot easier if you have a "word bank" of sorts to draw from as you write. Hold an open brainstorming session with your internal stakeholders to come up with a keyword list. 

Make sure your keyword list is comprehensive by subdividing it into smaller categories and making sure you have a good list of keywords for each. At a minimum, you should collect keywords related to:

Your product or service

Your mission and values

Your company's goals and initiatives

Your company's long-term strategic plan

Adjectives that describe your company, product, teams, community, and ideal future (e.g. expert, innovative, affordable, inspiring)

Adverbs that describe the way in which your company operates (e.g. flexibly, sustainably, cooperatively, fearlessly)

Just like your list of stakeholders, the number and type of keyword lists you should generate will vary depending on your industry and company. The important thing is to create a document filled with keywords that you can draw from as your writing, if you get stuck trying to communicate an idea, or if you need to replace some jargon-y text.

3. Answer foundational company questions

In addition to your keywords document, take time during your brainstorm to answer the following questions:

What is our organization’s main purpose?

What are our company’s main strengths?

What are our company values?

Why does what we’re building matter?

How do we want to make a difference as a company?

What is our vision for our company culture ?

What are our most ambitious goals?

What impact do we want our company to have on the world?

What are our company wants? What about company needs?

If our company succeeded in everything it set out to do, how would the world be different?

4. Sort your answers by importance

By the time you're finished brainstorming, you should have a lot of stuff written down.Put all of this content aside for a few days, so that your mind is clear when you return for the next step: deciding what goes in your vision statement and what gets left on the cutting room floor.

Sit down with your vision statement tiger team and a highlighter and review everything you have written down. Highlight ideas and phrases that your group feels are the most important to your company, and cross out items that you're ready to eliminate from consideration (however, don't throw this content out entirely—everything you brainstormed can be helpful in creating other important documents, like your core values, roadmap, or business plan). 

5. Write your company's vision out longform

At the end of step four, you'll have a smaller "word bank" of your most important phrases, ideas, keywords, and answers to foundational company questions. Your next step will be to organize these ideas into sentences that flow logically and are ordered according to your company's priorities.

Right now, don't worry about length—focus instead on communicating your vision in a way that makes sense, touches all of the key points you want to include, and feels relatable to your stakeholders and your audience. It's much easier to edit a long but comprehensive statement than it is to bulk up a statement that's missing pieces.

6. Step back and evaluate

Before you go through the work of editing your vision down to size, take a step back and look at your vision paragraph from afar. This is another point where you may benefit from setting it aside for a few days and returning with fresh eyes.

As you review your vision paragraph, check for the following things:

Is it ambitious enough? Your paragraph should feel aspirational, not like a finite goal to be accomplished.

Is it too ambitious? Make sure you strike a balance between idealistic and unrealistic.

Does it accurately reflect your organization? Run your paragraph by internal stakeholders who weren’t involved in creating it, and as for their feedback on what may be missing, what parts may be unnecessary, or how certain ideas may be phrased more effectively.

Does it make sense? Have friends and family members read your paragraph to confirm that it makes sense to the average reader.

7. Write your final vision statement

Once you've adjusted your vision paragraph and made the changes you wanted to make, it's time to edit your vision paragraph down to a vision statement. In many cases, your paragraph may naturally shrink as you solicit and implement feedback from others, and you may even want to specifically ask for opinions on how your paragraph could be more concise.

Here are a few ways to shorten your vision paragraph:

Eliminate what's unnecessary. Now that you've stepped away from your paragraph a few times and gotten a few rounds of feedback, are there any phrases or ideas that don't feel as necessary as they did when you wrote it? Cut any parts that feel lackluster or less impactful than the rest of the paragraph.

Look for synonyms. Are there any areas where you used several words to say something that there's already a word for? For example, you might replace the phrase "give people the ability to," with "provide access."

Edit each concept individually. Chop your paragraph into sentences and chop your sentences into phrases. Pick up each small segment on its own and see if you can come up with a shorter way to phrase it. It helps if you evaluate the smaller segments out of order—hopping around or going backwards piece by piece will help you notice things that your brain smooths over when you're reading a full sentence.

When your vision statement is finished, bring it back around to your stakeholders to get final feedback and make any finishing tweaks. 

Vision statement examples

There's no way around it—writing a vision statement is hard, especially if it's your first time doing so. Before you get started, or if you get stuck and need to spark some new ideas, take a look at some of these example vision statements for inspiration. 

Note that not all companies have both a mission and a vision statement. Some companies combine the two into a single small paragraph that touches on tangible objectives (mission) as well as more long-reaching aspirations (vision). In some cases, companies won't label either statement, encasing them in a broader page dedicated to "purpose," "who we are," or another similar title.

Here, we've gathered mission and vision statements for a few companies that have publicly set both. 

Mission: To act in the public interest, BBC serves all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.

Vision: To be the most creative company in the world.

Mission: IKEA offers a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low and accessible prices.

Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people.

Southwest Airlines

Mission: Southwest connects people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.

Vision: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.

Mission: Hasbro creates the world's best play and entertainment experiences.

Vision: To make the world a better place for all children, fans and families.

Mission: To make things universally accessible and useful, Google organizes the world's information.

Vision: To significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.

Mission: To harness the next wave of innovation and solve customers’ toughest challenges, VMware uses disruptive technologies like edge computing, AI, blockchain, machine learning, Kubernetes, and more.

Vision: To build a sustainable, equitable and more secure future for all.

Use your vision statement to help you grow

A company's vision statement is a living document—it should adapt and change as your company achieves its business goals and sets new ones, grows in size, expands its offerings, and updates its mission. Revisit your vision statement once every year or so to make sure it still accurately reflects your company's ideal future; if not, adjust it! 

But for now, enjoy the fact that your vision statement is written. Share it with your team, announce it to your customers, and use it to proudly guide your company forward.

35 Vision And Mission Statement Examples That Will Inspire Your Buyers

Lindsay Kolowich Cox

Published: February 28, 2024

100 Mission Statement Examples & Templates

mission vision and values of business plan

Mission statements from 100 companies and templates to create one for your business.

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Why do you choose to buy products and services from certain brands even when cheaper options exist? It often comes down to a compelling brand mission — like these 35 mission statement examples.

mission and vision statement examples

Brands use a mission statement to express their values. As consumers, we like to patronize businesses that have values we believe in.

→ Free Resource: 100 Mission Statement Templates & Examples

A strong mission statement makes it easy for consumers to understand your values and feel confident purchasing from you.

Still, loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand loyalty, like creating mission and vision statements, takes time. You may just find the inspiration that you need in someone else’s mission statement, so we’ve gathered 35 example mission statements to help make your research easy.

If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, use this table of contents to find precisely what you’re looking for to inspire the development of your company’s mission.

Table of Contents

What is a mission statement?

How to write a mission statement, what is a vision statement.

  • Mission vs Vision Statements

Mission and Vision Statement Template

Best mission statement examples.

  • Best Vision Statements Examples

A mission statement is a simple statement about the goals, values, and objectives of an organization. A mission statement summarizes why a business exists and helps a company respond to change and make decisions that align with its vision.

This brief description helps customers, employees, and leadership understand the organization’s top priorities.

An effective mission statement will naturally change over time. As a company grows, it may reach its early goals, and they’ll change. It’s important to revise mission statements as needed to reflect the business’s new culture as it achieves its goals and develops new targets.

What makes a good mission statement?

A great mission statement combines physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer (and employee) experience that you value as much as they do. A good mission statement will not only explain your brand’s purpose but will also foster a connection with customers.

When your brand creates a genuine connection with customers and employees, they’ll stay loyal to your company, thereby increasing your overall profitability.

Mission statements also help you stand out in the marketplace, differentiating your brand from the competition.

I’ve personally observed that there’s more brand recognition for companies when consumers think they have an important mission.

When wearing a pair of TOMS shoes, I’ve noticed that people comment more on my shoes than when I’m wearing Converse or Nike shoes (which are both more well-known brands). TOMS famously created the One for One® model, where they vowed to donate one pair of shoes for every one purchased.

A memorable company mission makes your product more noteworthy.

What are the three parts of a mission statement?

Your mission statement should clearly express what your brand does, how it does it, and why the brand does it. You can quickly sum this up in your mission statement by providing the following:

  • Brand purpose. What does your product or service do or aim to offer and for whom?
  • Brand values. What does your company stand for? For example, are you environmentally conscious and provide a more sustainable solution to solve a problem? Values are what make your company unique.
  • Brand goals. What does your company accomplish for customers? Why should they purchase from you instead of other competitors?

With these three components, you can create a mission that is unique to your brand and resonates with potential customers. Next, we’ll guide you step by step on how to write a proper mission statement to build on as your company evolves.

You understand the importance of a well-crafted mission statement that effectively summarizes a company’s purpose, but how do you write one? Let’s look at the steps to write a good mission statement, and then we’ll dive into mission statement examples to inspire your creativity.

  • Explain your company’s product or service offering.
  • Identify the company’s core values.
  • Connect how your company’s offering aligns with your values.
  • Condense these statements into one.
  • Refine your mission statement.

1. Explain your company’s product or service offering.

A good mission statement helps prospects understand what your company does in a literal sense. This means explaining your offering in basic, clear terms. Your explanation should answer the most basic questions like:

  • Are you selling a product or service?
  • Why would customers buy it?
  • How does your offering solve for the customer?

Record your answers and focus on how your product or service brings value to your buyer personas , otherwise known as your target audience.

2. Identify the company’s core values.

Now, this is where you can start thinking bigger. You didn’t just make a product or service at random. Instead, you’re most likely motivated by a set of core values . This is particularly important for socially conscious businesses and brands that care about well-being.

Core values are deeply ingrained principles that guide a company’s actions. Take HubSpot’s culture code, HEART , for example:

  • Empathetic.
  • Remarkable.
  • Transparent.

These are principles that not only company employees respect but are principles that our customers appreciate as well. By identifying core values that hold meaning on personal and organizational levels, you’ll have an appealing set to add to your mission statement.

3. Connect how your company’s offering aligns with your values.

So, how can your company offering serve your core values? You need to draw a connection between the two in a way that makes sense to the public.

For example, if one of your core values centers on innovation, you want to frame your product or service as pushing boundaries and explaining how it helps customers innovate their lives or business practices. Essentially, you’re taking the literal benefit of the offering and expanding it to serve a higher purpose.

4. Condense these statements into one.

A mission statement can be as short as a single sentence or as long as a paragraph, but it’s meant to be a short summary of your company’s purpose. You need to state the what, who, and why of your company:

  • What — The company offering.
  • Who — Who you’re selling to.
  • Why — The core values you do it for.

Condense this to be between one and three sentences long. At this stage of development, it’s often helpful to write several mission statement drafts to help process ideas and experiment.

Once you have successfully conveyed your brand’s message, it’s time to refine and perfect your mission statement.

5. Refine your mission statement.

Above all, your mission statement stands as a marketing asset that is meant to be:

  • Free of fluff.

Your mission statement should clearly outline the purpose of your company offering, capture the company spirit, and show the common goals the company is working to achieve.

Have other team members or advisors read your mission statement draft and make adjustments if needed according to their recommendations. This is normally a slow process for brands, and I’ll share ideas and company mission statement examples in a moment to help inspire creativity in the writing process.

A vision statement is aspirational and expresses your brand’s plan or “vision” for the future and potential impact on the world. They often serve as a guide for a brand’s future goals and explain why customers and employees should stick around for the long haul.

What makes a good vision statement?

A good vision statement should be bold and ambitious. It’s meant to be an inspirational, big-picture declaration of what your company strives to be in the future. It gives customers a peek into your company’s trajectory and builds customer loyalty by allowing them to align their support with your vision because they believe in the future of your brand as well.

What are the three parts of a vision statement?

Your company vision is meant to be inspirational while also aligning with the company’s mission. A vision statement should have the following characteristics:

  • Aspirational and ambitious. Have a lofty outlook for what you want your business to accomplish? Here’s the place to put it. Your vision statement should be aspirational and showcase how your business will grow in the future.
  • Practical and achievable. While your statement should be ambitious, it shouldn’t be impossible. Set a goal that is both challenging and practical.
  • General. Your vision should be broad enough to encompass all of your brand’s overall goals. Think of it as an umbrella for your mission statement and company objectives to nest under.

Both mission and vision statements are often combined into one comprehensive “mission statement” to define the organization’s reason for existing and its outlook for internal and external audiences — like employees, partners, board members, consumers, and shareholders.

The difference between mission and vision statements lies in the purpose they serve.

Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement

A mission statement clarifies what the company wants to achieve, who they want to support, and why they want to support them. On the other hand, a vision statement describes where the company wants a community, or the world, to be as a result of the company’s services.

Thus, a mission statement is a roadmap for the company’s vision statement.

A mission statement is a literal quote stating what a brand or company is setting out to do. This lets the public know the product and service it offers, who it makes it for, and why it’s doing it. A vision statement is a brand looking toward the future and saying what it hopes to achieve through its mission statement. This is more conceptual, as it’s a glimpse into what the brand can become in the eyes of the consumer and the value it will bring in the long term.

In summary, the main differences between a mission statement and a vision statement are:

  • Mission statements describe the current purpose a company serves. The company’s function, target audience, and key offerings are elements that are often mentioned in a mission statement.
  • Vision statements are a look into a company’s future or what its overarching vision is. The same elements from the mission statement can be included in a vision statement, but they’ll be described in the future tense.

Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into some useful examples of each across different industries.

100-mission-statements examples

4. American Express : Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.

Company mission statement examples: American Express

  • 100 real examples
  • 10 industries
  • Instructions & guidelines
  • 10 free templates

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

10. Cradles to Crayons : Provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive — at home, at school, and at play.

Best mission statement examples: Cradles to Crayons

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100 examples and templates of mission statements to help you build your own.

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17 Seriously Inspiring Mission and Vision Statement Examples (2024)

Money is a by-product of value .

So, to thrive in the long run, businesses must remain focused on producing value.

However, it’s easy to lose sight of value creation and get sidetracked by other things like profit margins, expanding your product catalogs , or competitors.

To become a runaway success, businesses must have a purpose that unites and inspires people – “make more money” won’t do the trick. As the author Simon Sinek said , “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

This is why organizations create mission and vision statements.

These statements unify the organization and keep everyone focused on what really matters – because if you get these things right, the profits will follow.

This post will give you an introduction to the two statements. Plus, we’ll share some great mission and vision statement examples to help inspire your own. 

Now, let’s dive in.

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mission vision and values of business plan

What is a Mission Statement?

A mission statement is a short summary of an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims. This usually includes a brief description of what the organization does and its key objectives.

What is a Vision Statement?

A vision statement is a short description of an organization’s aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create. It should be a guiding beacon to everyone within the organization and something which underpins internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization.

Mission Statement vs Vision Statement: What’s The Difference?

In short: The mission is the “ what ” and the “ how ,” and the vision is the “ why .”

The mission statement defines what an organization does and includes tangible goals which the organization strives to accomplish. The vision statement, meanwhile, should clarify the aspirations of the organization and define the direction it’s heading in.

Many organizations combine the two statements to form one clearly defined reason for existing that unites the efforts of everyone involved.

Does Your Business Need Mission and Vision Statements?

Mission and vision statements are signposts.

Effective mission and vision statements will unify the focus of an organization – for the organization and their target audience .

Okay, but what if you’re only just starting a business ?

Well, whether you’re a massive corporation or a solopreneur , you can use mission and vision statements to gain clarity and ensure that you consistently make decisions in line with your ultimate goals.

These statements also help you develop a stronger brand that differentiates you from the competition.

Now, let’s look at some examples.

Mission and Vision Statement Examples

For quick reference, here are 17 examples of mission and vision statements from highly successful businesses:

  • Tesla : To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
  • Nike : Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
  • MVMT : Style shouldn’t break the bank.
  • Warby Parker : To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
  • Shopify : Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
  • Patagonia : Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
  • IKEA : To create a better everyday life for the many people.
  • TED : Spread ideas.
  • Amazon : To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
  • Southwest Airlines : To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
  • Google : To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Asos : Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
  • Loreal : To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
  • Bulletproof : Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.
  • Honest Tea : Create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
  • Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
  • Passionfruit: Create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.

17 Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements Explained

Now you know what they are and how they serve organizations, let’s take a closer look at these mission and vision statement examples and draw out the key components.

Tesla Vision statement

Mission statement: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.

Vision statement: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Tesla’s mission and vision statements are a class act.

Their mission statement clearly defines their core goal: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century.” Then it tells you how they intend to accomplish that goal: “By driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”

It’s simple and it works.

However, it’s Tesla’s vision statement that stands out.

The car company’s clever use of the world “accelerate” helps to enliven their lofty aspiration. This vision statement also showcases their drive (pun intended) for sustainable energy and how it steers (pun intended) the business.

It also allows them room to explore and develop their other set of energy solutions, Powerwall, Powerpack and Solar Roof.

All in all, Tesla’s vision for sustainable energy is one that resonates with countless people around the world.

Nike Vision Statement

Mission statement: Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work.

Vision statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.

*If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Nike’s mission statement might sound run-of-the-mill, but it effectively sums up what they aim to do and how they aim to do it.

Take note of the words that declare Nike’s underlying company values: Innovation, sustainability, diversity, and community.

However, it’s Nike’s vision statement that has captured the hearts of millions.

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” sounds a little vague at first. It’s Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s addition that hits you right in the feels: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

Bowerman’s statement staunchly stands up against body-shaming and is a powerful call for inclusion. And it’s not hard to see this shape Nike’s philosophy and marketing:

As a result, Nike’s vision statement is transformed into a moving sentiment that impacts every person who reads it. It’s also one of the best vision statement examples for business owners to use for inspiration.

MVMT Vision statement

Mission and vision statement: We were founded on the belief that style shouldn’t break the bank. Our goal is to change the way you think about fashion by delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.

MVMT have combined their company mission statement and vision statement and addressed it directly to customers.

It begins with the vision: “Style shouldn’t break the bank.”

This business vision statement cuts straight to the point and perfectly sums up MVMT’s key selling proposition of high-quality fashion watches at low prices.

The statement then goes on to explain the mission.

First, they tell you what they aim to achieve: “Change the way you think about fashion.” Then, they tell you how they intend to do it: “By delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.”

It’s short, punchy, and music to customers’ ears.

4.  Warby Parker

Warby Parker Vision statement

Mission statement: Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.

Vision statement: We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.

Warby Parker’s mission statement reminds us of why it was founded and then reveals its aims for a better future.

Note their core business aim: “Offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price.”

In the vision statement, they address the core problems consumers face when purchasing glasses: It can be annoying, boring, costly, and still leave you anxious about whether or not they look good.

Instead, they aim to solve these problems and make buying glasses easy, fun, pleasing, and inexpensive.

Both statements also mention Warby Parker's dedication to providing glasses to people in need around the world.

Shopify Vision statement

Vision statement: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.

Shopify’s vision statement begins with their overarching vision: to make commerce better for everyone.

Then they promote the reason why they’re driven to remove the hassle and complications of managing an ecommerce website: so businesses can focus on what’s most important to them.

Shopify’s business mission statement and vision are clear: empower businesses.

6. Patagonia

Patagonia Vision Statement

Mission and vision statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Patagonia starts with the basis of their success in business: high-quality products .

Then they explain their environmental stance in three points which explain their aim to make their business as environmentally friendly as possible and actively combat the environmental crisis.

Patagonia goes on to say, “a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them.”

And the business isn’t afraid to put their money where their mouth is. The company donates at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups around the world.

If you’re looking for vision and statement examples that clearly articulate a company’s values and goals, this is one right here.

IKEA Vision statement

Mission statement: 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 statement: To create a better everyday life for the many people.

IKEA’s mission statement is clear and to the point.

Note the use of the words, “wide range,” “well-designed,” “functional,” and “prices so low.” If you’ve ever been to IKEA you’ll know how well they’ve managed to embody these attributes.

IKEA’s vision statement focuses their mission statement into one singular purpose: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”

Both statements use inclusive phrasing that solidifies IKEA’s commitment to being accessible to “as many people as possible.”

Mission statement: Spread ideas.

Vision statement: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

TED , which stands for “technology, education, and design,” managed to boil down their entire mission into two simple, yet powerful words: “Spread ideas.”

With such a simple, highly focused mission, it’s easy to see how the TED brand has become a global phenomenon in recent years.

It’s a truly great mission statement that focuses all of their efforts.

“Everything we do – from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by The Audacious Project, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series – is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas?”

In what could be considered their vision statement, TED goes on to explain that they “believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.”

Mission statement: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

Vision statement: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Amazon ’s mission statement sums up the three things that have made them loved by millions: low prices, a huge selection, and incredible convenience.

Like all great mission statements, it shines a light on the values that bring success.

Amazon’s vision statement brings these elements together into one unified goal: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

10. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Vision Statement

Mission statement: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.

Vision statement: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.

Southwest Airlines is all about customer service .

Their mission statement summarizes this dedication to customers and highlights the importance of one-to-one interactions between staff and customers.

So it’s no surprise that Southwest’s vision statement is “to become the world’s most loved, most flown airline.”

However, although they heavily emphasize customer service , they don’t forget to mention the thing which allows the company to exist in the first place: profit.

mission vision and values of business plan

Google’s mission statement perfectly summarizes what they aim to do.

Take note of the last word: “useful.”

Google understands that it doesn’t matter how well organized or accessible information is if it can’t be readily applied in life.

Their mission statement is brilliant.

But unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to have a vision statement that clarifies the reasons why they want to organize the world’s information for everyone to use.

ASOS Vision statement

Mission statement: Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.

Asos’ mission statement solidifies their purpose by voicing exactly what they want to achieve.

In what could be considered their vision statement, they go on to say, “We focus on fashion as a force for good, inspiring young people to express their best selves and achieve amazing things. We believe fashion thrives on individuality and should be fun for everyone.”

The addition gets a little vague in places, such as wanting young people to “achieve amazing things” – I mean, don’t we all?

However, it successfully showcases their brand image and their passion for individuality and expression .

Loreal Vision Statement

Mission statement: To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.

Loreal’s mission statement comprises two key parts.

The first lays out their dedication to providing the best in cosmetics innovation. The second is all about inclusivity.

This is key.

They aim to include people from all over the world, “with respect for their diversity.”

And despite most companies marketing cosmetics solely to women, Loreal is looking to the future as gender stereotypes break down.

This type of sensitivity and awareness will position Loreal for long-term success.

14. Bulletproof

Bulletproof Vision statement

Mission and vision statement: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better using a proven blend of ancient knowledge and brand new technologies, tempered by research, science, and measured results from our customers, top athletes, and medical professionals.”

Bulletproof has combined their vision and mission in one short paragraph.

It starts with their purpose: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.” Then it goes on to explain exactly how they plan to do it: Using ancient knowledge, brand new technologies, and science.

Sure, it’s a little wordy.

But it gets to the heart of why Bulletproof exists and how they plan to make an impact on the world as a business.

As a result, Bulletproof’s mission and vision statement is well-suited to unify everyone in the company and guide their decisions.

15. Honest Tea

Honest Vision Statement

Mission statement: Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our recipes, with sustainability and great taste for all.

Honest Tea’s mission statement aims to live up to their brand name.

It starts by explaining what it is they do, and by doing so, they also tell you what they don’t do: chemical-laden, artificially produced beverages.

They’re talking directly to their target market and conferring their key selling proposition: beverages that are great-tasting and healthy.

They go on to showcase their values by using words like honesty, integrity, and sustainability.

And this brand doesn’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk.

Each year, the company publishes a Mission Report in an effort to be transparent about their business practices.

16. Starbucks

starbucks' vision statement

Mission statement: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Another short and sweet mission statement that tells a lot about the company.

Starbucks doesn’t use big sentences or fancy words to communicate its goals. It uses clear, simple, and direct language to express what the company wants to be and for whom.  

They aspire to be known for more than just coffee by creating a culture of warmth and exclusivity.

In other words, Starbucks wants to ensure that anyone who comes through its doors feels welcomed and at home.

17. Passionfruit

passionfruit vision statement

Mission statement : We strive to create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.

The folks at Passionfruit strive to promote the idea that pride is not just a one-day event.

Rather than making their mission statement about trendy clothes for the LBGTQ+ community, they promote the idea that pride is an everyday expression of oneself.

And by doing so, they remind people that the brand is aligned with LBGTQ+ values and supports the community by giving back.

All in all, it’s clear that Passionfruit wants everyone to recognize the truth for the queer community and spread inspiration – we’ll take it.

Done right, mission and vision statements are powerful things.

They can unify an entire organization’s efforts and be the signpost that continually focuses everyone’s efforts on the things that truly matter.

The key to great mission and vision statements is clarity.

Remember, a mission statement is the “ what ” and the “ how ,” and the vision statement is the “ why .”

Plus, it doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, every business can benefit from strong mission and vision statements.

If you’re considering writing a mission or vision statement for your business, start with your core values. Then, consider the wider impact you hope to have on the world through your customers.

What’s your business’s mission or vision statement? Let us know in the comments below!

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Chapter 4 Developing Mission, Vision, and Values

The roles of mission, vision, and values, learning objectives.

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Be able to define mission and vision.
  • See how values are important for mission and vision.
  • Understand the roles of vision, mission, and values in the P-O-L-C framework.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and are typically communicated in some written form. Mission and vision are statements from the organization that answer questions about who we are, what do we value, and where we’re going. A study by the consulting firm Bain and Company reports that 90% of the 500 firms surveyed issue some form of mission and vision statements [1] Moreover, firms with clearly communicated, widely understood, and collectively shared mission and vision have been shown to perform better than those without them, with the caveat that they related to effectiveness only when strategy and goals and objectives were aligned with them as well [2]

A mission statement communicates the organization’s reason for being, and how it aims to serve its key stakeholders. Customers, employees, and investors are the stakeholders most often emphasized, but other stakeholders like government or communities (i.e., in the form of social or environmental impact) can also be discussed. Mission statements are often longer than vision statements. Sometimes mission statements also include a summation of the firm’s values. Values are the beliefs of an individual or group, and in this case the organization, in which they are emotionally invested. The Starbucks mission statement describes six guiding principles that, as you can see, also communicate the organization’s values:

  • Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity .
  • Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business .
  • Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee.
  • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time .
  • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment .
  • Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success . Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus .

Similarly, Toyota declares its global corporate principles to be:

  • Honor the language and spirit of the law of every nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the world .
  • Respect the culture and customs of every nation and contribute to economic and social development through corporate activities in the communities .
  • Dedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all our activities .
  • Create and develop advanced technologies and provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwide .
  • Foster a corporate culture that enhances individual creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and management .
  • Pursue growth in harmony with the global community through innovative management .
  • Work with business partners in research and creation to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits, while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships . Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/vision/philosophy .

A vision statement , in contrast, is a future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. In many ways, you can say that the mission statement lays out the organization’s “purpose for being,” and the vision statement then says, “based on that purpose, this is what we want to become.” The strategy should flow directly from the vision, since the strategy is intended to achieve the vision and thus satisfy the organization’s mission. Typically, vision statements are relatively brief, as in the case of Starbuck’s vision statement, which reads: “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.” [3]

Any casual tour of business or organization Web sites will expose you to the range of forms that mission and vision statements can take. To reiterate, mission statements are longer than vision statements, often because they convey the organizations core values. Mission statements answer the questions of “Who are we?” and “What does our organization value?” Vision statements typically take the form of relatively brief, future-oriented statements—vision statements answer the question “Where is this organization going?” Increasingly, organizations also add a values statement which either reaffirms or states outright the organization’s values that might not be evident in the mission or vision statements.

Roles Played by Mission and Vision

Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization’s strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles, and the relationships among them, are summarized in the figure.

Figure 4.5 Key Roles of Mission and Vision

First, mission and vision provide a vehicle for communicating an organization’s purpose and values to all key stakeholders. Stakeholders are those key parties who have some influence over the organization or stake in its future. You will learn more about stakeholders and stakeholder analysis later in this chapter; however, for now, suffice it to say that some key stakeholders are employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and institutions such as governments. Typically, these statements would be widely circulated and discussed often so that their meaning is widely understood, shared, and internalized. The better employees understand an organization’s purpose, through its mission and vision, the better able they will be to understand the strategy and its implementation.

Second, mission and vision create a target for strategy development. That is, one criterion of a good strategy is how well it helps the firm achieve its mission and vision. To better understand the relationship among mission, vision, and strategy, it is sometimes helpful to visualize them collectively as a funnel. At the broadest part of the funnel, you find the inputs into the mission statement. Toward the narrower part of the funnel, you find the vision statement, which has distilled down the mission in a way that it can guide the development of the strategy. In the narrowest part of the funnel you find the strategy —it is clear and explicit about what the firm will do, and not do, to achieve the vision. Vision statements also provide a bridge between the mission and the strategy. In that sense the best vision statements create a tension and restlessness with regard to the status quo—that is, they should foster a spirit of continuous innovation and improvement. For instance, in the case of Toyota, its “moving forward” vision urges managers to find newer and more environmentally friendly ways of delighting the purchaser of their cars. London Business School professors Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad describe this tense relationship between vision and strategy as stretch and ambition. Indeed, in a study of such able competitors as CNN, British Airways, and Sony, they found that these firms displaced competitors with stronger reputations and deeper pockets through their ambition to stretch their organizations in more innovative ways. [4]

Third, mission and vision provide a high-level guide, and the strategy provides a specific guide, to the goals and objectives showing success or failure of the strategy and satisfaction of the larger set of objectives stated in the mission. In the cases of both Starbucks and Toyota, you would expect to see profitability goals, in addition to metrics on customer and employee satisfaction, and social and environmental responsibility.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Mission and vision both relate to an organization’s purpose and aspirations, and are typically communicated in some form of brief written statements. A mission statement communicates the organization’s reason for being and how it aspires to serve its key stakeholders. The vision statement is a narrower, future-oriented declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. Together, mission and vision guide strategy development, help communicate the organization’s purpose to stakeholders, and inform the goals and objectives set to determine whether the strategy is on track.

  • What is a mission statement?
  • What is a vision statement?
  • How are values important to the content of mission and vision statements?
  • Where does the purpose of mission and vision overlap?
  • How do mission and vision relate to a firm’s strategy?
  • Why are mission and vision important for organizational goals and objectives?
  • . Bart, C. K., & Baetz, M. C. (1998). The relationship between mission statements and firm performance: An exploratory study. Journal of Management Studies, 35 , 823–853. ↵
  • . Bart, C. K., Bontis, N., & Taggar, S. (2001). A model of the impact of mission statements on firm performance. Management Decision, 39 (1), 19–35. ↵
  • Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus . Or ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, which states their vision as “an agency defined by its devotion to brands.” Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.ogilvy.com/o_mather . Sometimes the vision statement is also captured in a short tag line, such as Toyota’s “moving forward” statement that appears in most communications to customers, suppliers, and employees. Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.toyota.com/about/our_values/index.html . Similarly, Wal-Mart’s tag-line version of its vision statement is “Save money. Live better.” Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.walmart.com . ↵
  • Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C. K. (1993, March–April). Strategy as stretch and leverage . Harvard Business Review , 75–84. ↵
  • Management Principles. Authored by : anonymous. Provided by : anonymous. Located at : http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/management-principles-v1.1 . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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The importance of mission, vision and values for business strategy

Business woman leading a meeting

By  Michael Feder

This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee.  Read more about our editorial process.

This article has been reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP , Dean, College of Business and IT

At a glance

  • Mission, vision and values for business strategy help guide a company’s goals and principles.
  • Vision statements focus on the future while mission statements focus on a company’s short-term or long-term goal.
  • Clear foundational statements and values can attract employees who are passionate about their work.
  • Learn more about business strategy and concepts through online business programs at University of Phoenix!

Every company will face important daily decisions as it develops. Rather than making each call independently, an organization can use its business plan as a guiding light, aligning each decision to its overarching goals and principles .

Determining the mission, vision and value statements is an integral step during the business planning process . Together, these three elements establish the purpose of a company , its goals and aspirations, and the ethics and principles that will guide it.

If you study for a bachelor’s degree in business , start a company or take steps to learn entrepreneurship , you will need to understand the differences between mission, values and vision statements. You will also need to grasp the important role that each one plays in establishing a company and dictating its direction. 

Start your business career on the right foot. Explore business degrees at University of Phoenix! 

What are core values?

Core values are the principles that guide your operational and strategic decisions and goals. In many business plans, this step comes first. The company’s mission and vision need to fit with its founding principles.

It might be tempting to reduce a core values statement to marketing slogans about customer service or honesty. However, this aspect of a business plan is not meant only for external use. It includes a code of ethics that will guide employees and management and help foster a strong company culture.

More and more employees seek jobs that give them a sense of purpose , strong relationships and work they feel passionate about. With well-defined values, you can attract employees and executives who believe in the company’s culture and mission and embrace the shared sense of passion for the ultimate purpose of the company.

Core values are also practical for a day-to-day work environment. They provide ethical guidelines for dealing with clients, hiring employees and guiding behavior in the office. Clear rules ensure employees are aware of expectations about workplace actions.

Business ethics vs. personal ethics

It can be difficult to distinguish between personal and professional ethics.

Your code of personal ethics governs individual activities. These rules come from your upbringing, religious or philosophical beliefs, or experiences. They help you decide how to treat other people and make decisions during personal interactions.

Business ethics (or professional ethics) are different from personal rules. In a workplace setting, you need to make decisions based on what is best for your company or employer. This professional code will guide you with decisions such as hiring the best-qualified applicant (even if you have compassion for an unqualified candidate who needs the job more) or letting go of an employee who failed to meet expectations but with whom you have a strong, personal bond.

In most cases, personal and professional ethics exist side by side. But often in a company, the decisions should be based on what is best for business rather than what makes you feel the best personally .

Though you should place importance on your code of ethics and values, it is also essential to remember they are guidelines that inform decisions rather than unbreakable rules. In many workplace situations, your professional experience will make the correct decision apparent.

What is a mission statement?

An organizational mission statement identifies a company’s goals. It should go beyond simply mentioning benchmarks and future aims to also include an explanation of how the organization will achieve its goals.

A mission statement is practical in and of itself because it helps with planning operations . Also, investors and stakeholders want clear information about company goals in order to make funding decisions and assess performance.

Mission statements also help inform daily operations . Decision-makers can take specific steps based on where the company is in relation to its mission. In other words, it can serve as a road map for hiring, budgeting, investing and strategizing. 

Example mission statement

To create a mission statement, look to other companies first for direction. For example, LinkedIn® offers a  succinct, one-sentence mission statement  that details its primary purpose. “The mission of  LinkedIn  is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” With this sentence, LinkedIn   offers insight into its purpose and also into its brand and what it plans to focus on as it develops.

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What is a vision statement.

It is easy to confuse a mission and vision statement. Both have to do with an organization’s overall aims. While a mission statement takes a more practical approach to what a company plans to achieve from day one, a vision statement focuses on what a company aspires to become in the future . It explains how the business should look when it finishes its growth and development processes.

Because it is more aspirational, the vision statement may have less of an impact on day-to-day decisions. However, it does play a role in long-term planning, the formation of workplace culture, branding, and getting employees and investors to buy into the company’s plans.

Finally, many investors and employees want to be involved with ambitious organizations. Vision statements offer an opportunity to underscore this drive.

Example vision statement

Again, to create a vision statement, start by looking to successful companies for what a clear vision statement looks like. For example, Microsoft provides an example of an effective vision statement : “To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.”

Vision statements are typically more abstract than mission statements. This allows the company flexibility to develop and adjust to current conditions in the economy and its industry without contradicting its long-term vision.

Southwest Airlines provides an example of this with its vision statement: “To be the world’s most loved, most profitable, and most efficient airline.” Even if the budget carrier has to significantly adjust its operations due to passenger demand or fuel prices, it can justify these changes as necessary for moving toward its long-term aims.

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What does it mean to have a growth mindset in business and beyond?

Importance of mission, vision and values in business strategy.

Mission, vision and core values statements are foundational elements of every company. Businesses without well-thought-out philosophies or frameworks lack direction , have weak company cultures and poor organization. Management may be unsure of what to prioritize, what kind of workers to hire and where to invest assets and human resources.

Here are some specific advantages of having mission, values and vision statements.

  • Clear foundational statements can foster a positive work environment . They can help attract workers with the same values and interests as the company. These people are more likely to be passionate about their work and buy into the company’s long-term mission.
  • Well-planned statements can also inform management styles within the organization . Professional values and ethical guidelines can guide personnel and disciplinary decisions and help craft workplace policies. Meanwhile, executives can make strategy, budgeting and resource allocation decisions using mission and vision statements as standards by which each is measured.
  • Mission and vision statements can ensure uniform messaging . Consistency is key to building a strong company image and running effective marketing and PR campaigns.

Investors, stakeholders and other businesses will also look at these foundational statements to assess the company’s suitability for investment or partnerships.

How to create mission, vision and values statements

Regardless of the size of a company, anyone involved in starting or managing a business should be familiar with mission, vision and value statements.

Here are some parameters to keep in mind when crafting these business plan essentials:

  • Be concise : Statements should be clear and brief without unnecessary language or broad terms. The statements should be memorable enough that employees, customers and managers can easily recall them.
  • Be focused : It is tempting to add multiple clauses to your statements. However, focusing on a single goal or a set of closely related goals helps your statement serve its purpose of informing and guiding company actions.
  • Consider the time frame : It is important to remember that mission statements are for short-term planning, while vision statements focus on the future and values need to be applicable from the start of operations.

With strong mission, values and vision statements, you can create a business plan that provides clear guidelines for operating, planning and developing your company.

Earn a business degree from University of Phoenix

If you’re looking to learn more about more general online business programs that prepare students with skills for a variety of career paths, consider a program at University of Phoenix. Whether you’re looking to build the fundamentals or advance your skill set, there are plenty of degrees and certificates to consider.

Associate of Arts with a concentration in Business Fundamentals — From management to accounting, skills learned in this program are essential for anyone looking to build an educational foundation in business. 

Bachelor of Science in Business — Knowledge of the ins and outs of running a business can spell the difference between success and failure in a competitive business world. 

Master of Business Administration — Prepare for higher leadership roles in an organization. This degree program can prepare graduates for careers as business managers, operations directors and more.

Master of Management — Take your understanding of business organization and management to an advanced level. This degree program is perfect for those with experience in the workforce who are looking to take on greater leadership roles. 

Doctor of Business Administration — Expand your understanding of organizations, work environments and industry. This program invites participants to delve into cutting-edge research in the field of business and develop skills for solving complex organizational problems.

Photo of blog author Michael Feder smiling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Feder is a content marketing specialist at University of Phoenix, where he researches and writes on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare to IT. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program and a New Jersey native!

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Business Vision, Mission and Values – Why are they so important?

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Imagine driving into work each day, full of purpose and conviction. You know where your business is going (vision), you have a plan to get there (mission) and the standards (values) on how to operate your business.

What a great place to be!

Unfortunately, not every business owner has this satisfaction.

When I have an initial Coaching & Mentoring meeting with a business owner, I ask imagine we are having this conversation in +3 years, tell me what you have built and how you achieved it?  Most business owners can answer this with some semblance of vision, but when I go on to ask have you clearly and eloquently established this informal vision & mission statements they say no.  Some business owners have most of this in their business plan, if they have one, some do not.

The understanding of how important a clear vision, mission & values are in a business is grossly underestimated.

Business owners, plus their stakeholders, can be genuinely inspired if their business has a compelling vision and a clear, worthwhile mission. These statements can be highly motivating when they are expressed clearly and with intent. Especially when you communicate them effectively to everyone in the business. They also express the business’s purpose to customers, suppliers, and the media, on whom it can have the same effect as well. These statements are the words leaders use to explain an organization’s purpose and direction. When expressed clearly and concisely, they can motivate your team. or the business as a whole. With an inspiring vision of the future.

What do they mean?

Mission statements.

They define the business purpose and primary objectives. These statements are in the present tense, and they explain why you exist as a business, both to members of the business and to people outside it. Mission statements tend to be short, clear, and powerful.

Vision statements

They define your business purpose, focus on its goals and future aspirations, and should be uplifting and inspiring. They’re also timeless: even if the business changes its strategy, the vision will often stay the same.

They underpin the vision and mission and are the core beliefs or DNA of the business. The standards of how the business owner wants to operate the business. Whether it is how to treat customers and other employees, what they strive for, and how employees want to feel when they work there. The importance of business values is seen in a number of different ways. They help guide decision making They inform customers about what the business stands for, and what they can expect as a customer. And as a business, they are valuable for recruiting and retention. Everyone in the business needs to understand your values. Don’t become preoccupied with trying to sound like the next Shakespeare and create values from the heart. Use strong concrete language to make it clear what your values mean and how they represent your business.

Therefore the importance of vision, mission, and values so vital in your business. They become the very foundations upon which an owner will build a solid, sustainable, and growing business.

  • Use them to get the most from your employees, they will be as enthused as you if you have direction and a route. This is Alignment – everybody pulling in the same direction.
  • Communicate them to your stakeholders
  • Use the vision to become the lens to determine decisions, operations, and customer experiences. When your people see first-hand how purpose and vision translate to decisions, actions, and customer experience, they become true believers.
  • Review the mission regularly as to whether you are on track or not then take actions to get back on course if needed. Implement measures to track progress.
  • Be a leader and excel at your values, this will give you the right behaviours and set the culture and standards of your business.

If you would like more information about the business support Business Doctors offer, get in touch . Or you can find your local Business Doctor here .

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Business Plan: What It Is + How to Write One

Discover what a business plan includes and how writing one can foster your business’s development.

[Featured image] Woman showing a business plan to a man at a desk.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a written document that defines your business goals and the tactics to achieve those goals. A business plan typically explores the competitive landscape of an industry, analyzes a market and different customer segments within it, describes the products and services, lists business strategies for success, and outlines financial planning.  

In your research into business plans, you may come across different formats, and you might be wondering which kind will work best for your purposes. 

Let’s define two main types of business plans—the traditional business plan and the lean start-up business plan. Both types can serve as the basis for developing a thriving business, as well as exploring a competitive market analysis, brand strategy, and content strategy in more depth. 

There are some significant differences to keep in mind [ 1 ]: 

The traditional business plan is a long document that explores each component in depth. You can build a traditional business plan to secure funding from lenders or investors. 

The lean start-up business plan focuses on the key elements of a business’s development and is shorter than the traditional format. If you don’t plan on seeking funding, the lean start-up plan can serve mainly as a document for making business decisions and carrying out tasks. 

Now that you have a clear business plan definition, continue reading to learn how to start writing a detailed plan that will guide your journey as an entrepreneur.  

How to write a business plan 

In the sections below, you’ll build the following components of your business plan:

Executive summary

Business description 

Products and services 

Competitor analysis 

Marketing plan and sales strategies 

Brand strategy

Financial planning

Explore each section to bring fresh inspiration and reveal new possibilities for developing your business. Depending on which format you're using, you may choose to adapt the sections, skip over some, or go deeper into others. Consider your first draft a foundation for your efforts and one that you can revise, as needed, to account for changes in any business area.

1. Executive summary 

This is a short section that introduces the business plan as a whole to the people who will be reading it, including investors, lenders, or other members of your team. Start with a sentence or two about your business, your goals for developing it, and why it will be successful. If you are seeking funding, summarize the basics of the financial plan. 

2. Business description 

Use this section to provide detailed information about your company and how it will operate in the marketplace.

Mission statement: What drives your desire to start a business? What purpose are you serving? What do you hope to achieve for your business, the team, and customers? 

Revenue streams: From what sources will your business generate revenue? Examples include product sales, service fees, subscriptions, rental fees, license fees, and more. 

Leadership: Describe the leaders in your business, their roles and responsibilities, and your vision for building teams to perform various functions, such as graphic design, product development, or sales.  

Legal structure: Are you operating as a partnership or a corporation? If you’re registering a specific legal structure within your province or territory, include it here and the rationale behind this choice. 

3. Competitor analysis 

This section will include an assessment of potential competitors, their offers, and marketing and sales efforts. For each competitor, explore the following:

Value proposition: What outcome or experience does this brand promise?

Products and services: How does each one solve customer pain points and fulfil desires? What are the price points? 

Marketing: Which channels do competitors use to promote? What kind of content does this brand publish on these channels? What messaging does this brand use to communicate value to customers?  

Sales: What sales process or buyer’s journey does this brand lead customers through?

4. Products and services

Use this section to describe everything your business offers to its target market. For every product and service, list the following: 

The value proposition or promise to customers, in terms of how they will experience it

How the product serves customers, addresses their pain points, satisfies their desires, and improves their lives.

The features or outcomes that make the product better than those of competitors

Your price points and how these compare to competitors

5. Marketing plan and sales strategies 

In this section, you’ll draw from thorough market research to describe your target market and how you will reach it. 

Who are your ideal customers?   

How can you describe this segment according to their demographics (age, ethnicity, income, location, etc.) and psychographics (beliefs, values, aspirations, lifestyle, etc.)? 

What are their daily lives like? 

What problems and challenges do they experience? 

What words, phrases, ideas, and concepts do consumers in your target market use to describe these problems when posting on social media or engaging with your competitors?  

What messaging will present your products as the best on the market? How will you differentiate messaging from competitors? 

On what marketing channels will you position your products and services?

How will you design a customer journey that delivers a positive experience at every touchpoint and leads customers to a purchase decision?

6. Brand strategy 

In this section, you will describe your business’s design, personality, values, voice, and other details that go into delivering a consistent brand experience. 

What are the values that define your brand?

What visual elements give your brand a distinctive look and feel?

How will your marketing messaging reflect a distinctive brand voice, including tone, diction, and sentence-level stylistic choices? 

How will your brand look and sound throughout the customer journey? 

Define your brand positioning statement. What will inspire your audience to choose your brand over others? What experiences and outcomes will your audience associate with your brand? 

7. Financial planning  

In this section, you will explore your business’s financial future. If you are writing a traditional business plan to seek funding, this section is critical for demonstrating to lenders or investors that you have a strategy for turning your business ideas into profit. For a lean start-up business plan, this section can provide a useful exercise for planning how you will invest resources and generate revenue [ 2 ].  

Use any past financials and other sections of this business plan, such as your price points or sales strategies, to begin your financial planning. 

How many individual products or service packages do you plan to sell over a specific time period?

List your business expenses, such as subscribing to software or other services, hiring contractors or employees, purchasing physical supplies or equipment, etc.

What is your break-even point, or the amount you have to sell to cover all expenses?

Create a sales forecast for the next three to five years: (No. of units to sell X price for each unit) – (cost per unit X No. of units) = sales forecast.

Quantify how much capital you have on hand.

When writing a traditional business plan to secure funding, you may choose to append supporting documents, such as licenses, permits, patents, letters of reference, resumes, product blueprints, brand guidelines, the industry awards you’ve received, and media mentions and appearances.

Business plan key takeaways and best practices

Remember: Creating a business plan is crucial when starting a business. You can use this document to guide your decisions and actions and even seek funding from lenders and investors. 

Keep these best practices in mind:

Your business plan should evolve as your business grows. Return to it periodically, such as every quarter or year, to update individual sections or explore new directions your business can take.

Ensure everyone on your team has a copy of the business plan, and welcome their input as they perform their roles. 

Ask fellow entrepreneurs for feedback on your business plan and look for opportunities to strengthen it, from conducting more market and competitor research to implementing new strategies for success. 

Start your business with Coursera 

Ready to start your business? Watch this video on the lean approach from the Entrepreneurship Specialization :

Article sources

BDC. “ Step 2—Prepare a winning business plan , https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/start-buy-business/start-business/create-effective-business-plan." Accessed November 13, 2022.

CBDC. " NEW fillable CBDC Business Plan ,   https://www.cbdc.ca/en/new-fillable-cbdc-business-plan." Accessed November 13, 2022.

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Strategic plan

2021-2026: Third Century Promise

Si’st Kasqimtlnaqnipunqekl Teli L’wi’tmasimk

Collage with gold overlay showing four portraits of people at Dalhousie.

A product of our shared aspirations as a Dalhousie community

Expressed through a comprehensive, engaging, and consultative planning process that has spanned two years,  Dalhousie's Strategic Plan (2021-2026): Third Century Promise , signals our long-term ambition while providing a clear, actionable strategy to guide us over the course of five years. Having been approved by  Dalhousie's Board of Governors  in April 2021, our focus now shifts to the implementation of our strategic plan and its 37 action items. Updates will be shared with the Dalhousie community throughout this process and made available online.

The stone steps and front facade of Dalhousie University's Henry Hicks Building on a clear, sunny day.

  • Developing our shared plan

A group of people dressed in business casual hold a discussion at a table.

  • Emerging plans

A graphic with three black and white arrows shooting upwards on a bright yellow background.

  • Annual progress report

Steele Ocean Sciences Building

View the Strategic Plan

More to explore, in this section >.

  • Mission, vision, and values
  • Leadership and governance

IMAGES

  1. Mission, vision and values. Business strategy icons, company value and

    mission vision and values of business plan

  2. Mission Vision Values

    mission vision and values of business plan

  3. Vision, Mission & Core Values

    mission vision and values of business plan

  4. Mission Statement Vs Vision Statement: What are the Key Differences

    mission vision and values of business plan

  5. Mission vision strategy and values diagram schema Vector Image

    mission vision and values of business plan

  6. Vision, Mission, Values

    mission vision and values of business plan

COMMENTS

  1. 4.3 The Roles of Mission, Vision, and Values

    Roles Played by Mission and Vision. Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization's strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles ...

  2. How To Create A Mission, Vision, And Values Statement

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes I was recently asked why a business needs a mission, vision, and values statement. My response was that a mission, vision, and values statement is a tool to help an organization accomplish what it has set out to do and helps provide a framework for strategy, focus, and decision-making.. A Vision statement describes the ideal future state of the organization.

  3. Why Mission And Value Statements Matter

    Creating a mission, values and vision makes a statement as to how a company and its personnel will interact with the consumer, its colleagues and even competitors. The value, mission and vision ...

  4. The 28 Best Mission Statement Examples (+Templates to Write Yours)

    A good business mission statement can help your company build trust with customers and create a connection with your target audience. " Build the best product cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.". 4. Full Cast Audio—compete with the big brands.

  5. Business Plan Mission and Vision Statement [Sample Template for 2022]

    1. The mission is the foundation on which your business will be built. It's the true purpose of your business and that purpose is reflected in the mission statement. Without a strong mission statement, you don't have a true business. All you have is just a profit making venture that will soon be wiped out with time.

  6. Mission, Vision, and Values

    The values statement, also called the code of ethics, differs from both the vision and mission statements. The vision and mission state where the organization is going (vision) and what it will do to get there (mission). They direct the efforts of people in the organization toward common goals. The values statement defines what the organization ...

  7. It's Time to Take a Fresh Look at Your Company's Values

    Every great culture needs a mission, a vision, and values. Its mission is the organization's indelible purpose and reason for being. Its vision is its aspiration for itself. And its values (or ...

  8. How to Write Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

    Mission, vision and values statements serve as the foundation for an organization's strategic plan. They convey the purpose, direction and underlying values of the organization. When developed and implemented in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, these statements can serve as powerful tools that provide organizations with meaningful guidance, especially under times of rapid change ...

  9. How to Develop Powerful Business Core Values and Mission ...

    They are essential for any business, regardless of where the business is in its growth period. They are the difference between your business flourishing or flopping. Here at Foundr, we have our own core values, and mission statement that we use as our North Star: Our Core Values: Curious, Unified, and Transformational.

  10. 4.3: The Roles of Mission, Vision, and Values

    Roles Played by Mission and Vision. Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization's strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles ...

  11. How To Write a Vision Statement: Steps & Examples [2023] • Asana

    There's a lot more to crafting a great vision statement than just writing a few sentences. In order to create a statement that's truly aspirational and inspiring, you're going to need to do a little bit of work. Here's our seven-step process to write a great vision statement: 1. Identify important stakeholders.

  12. 32 Mission and Vision Statement Examples That Will Inspire Your Buyers

    18. Microsoft: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Image Source. Microsoft is one of the most well-known technology companies in the world. It makes gadgets for work, play, and creative purposes on a worldwide scale, and its mission statement reflects that.

  13. 17 Mission and Vision Statement Examples to Follow in 2024

    2. Nike. Mission statement: Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work. Vision statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.

  14. The Roles of Mission, Vision, and Values

    Roles Played by Mission and Vision. Mission and vision statements play three critical roles: (1) communicate the purpose of the organization to stakeholders, (2) inform strategy development, and (3) develop the measurable goals and objectives by which to gauge the success of the organization's strategy. These interdependent, cascading roles ...

  15. Guide to Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

    At a glance. Mission, vision and values for business strategy help guide a company's goals and principles. Vision statements focus on the future while mission statements focus on a company's short-term or long-term goal. Clear foundational statements and values can attract employees who are passionate about their work.

  16. Company Core Values: 200 Examples (+How to Establish Yours)

    Company core values vs. mission, vision, and goals. Let's quickly define mission, vision, and goals: Mission statement: your function and purpose—what you do, who you serve, and why. Vision statement: what you hope to achieve, inspire, or solve for the greater good, the bigger picture of which your mission is a part.

  17. 15 Mission Statement Examples For Your Business

    3. Capture your why. Think about why you started your business in the first place, and what impact you hope to make. Customers want to know the backstory for a brand and why they should feel ...

  18. The Simple Business Plan

    Mission, Vision, and Values. Mission, vision, and values are an important part of your business strategy and its development. The basic principles of values such as honesty, integrity, respect, and professional behavior, are brought together to develop your mission statement. This describes what the organization is all about.

  19. How to Align Your Vision and Mission with Your Strategy and Goals

    A vision statement and a mission statement are two essential elements of any business plan. They communicate your purpose, values, and direction to your customers, employees, and stakeholders.

  20. Business Plan Basics: Objectives, Mission Statements, and Vision Statements

    Your business's mission statement is more permanent than an objective in a business plan. It must be applied consistently over time. The mission statement serves as a reminder—to you, your employees, and your customers—of the main purpose of your business. To avoid vague, fuzzy mission statements, review your statement for useless comparisons.

  21. 10 Mission and Vision Statement Examples (With Tips)

    Example 1. Royal Waste Control Inc. is a company committed to recycling, sustainability and reducing carbon emissions worldwide: Mission statement: Dedicated to creating a carbon-neutral world. Vision statement: We all return to the Earth one day, so we're committed to being stewards of this planet.

  22. Business Vision, Mission and Values

    Values. They underpin the vision and mission and are the core beliefs or DNA of the business. The standards of how the business owner wants to operate the business. Whether it is how to treat customers and other employees, what they strive for, and how employees want to feel when they work there. The importance of business values is seen in a ...

  23. Business Plan: What It Is + How to Write One

    A business plan is a written document that defines your business goals and the tactics to achieve those goals. A business plan typically explores the competitive landscape of an industry, analyzes a market and different customer segments within it, describes the products and services, lists business strategies for success, and outlines ...

  24. Craft A Missional Business Plan

    One of the tricks to pulling out your mission is to create an "I believe" statement. For example, I believe that businesses can change the world. I believe healthy people and healthy ...

  25. PDF Policing Vision 2025

    1.1 The mission of policing is enshrined in the Police Service Statement of Mission and Values. It will remain consistent despite priorities changing over time in response to external developments. The mission is: to make communities safer by upholding the law fairly and firmly; preventing crime and antisocial behaviour; keeping the peace;

  26. Strategic plan

    Dalhousie's Strategic Plan (2021-2026): Third Century Promise, signals our long-term ambition and provides a clear, actionable strategy to guide us. ... Mission, vision, and values. Strategic plan. Strategic plan 2021-2026: Third Century Promise. Si'st Kasqimtlnaqnipunqekl Teli L'wi'tmasimk. A product of our shared aspirations as a ...

  27. PJPB Mission, Vision, and Values

    Our Vision. Over the long-term, the Plan should maintain risk-adjusted returns by having an appropriate asset mix strategy to deliver the pension promise to its members, retirees, and other beneficiaries. Our Values. Accountability - We are responsible for our words, our actions, and our results.

  28. MADE FOR MORE. on Instagram: "@madeformoreuk x @lululemoneurope We are

    madeformoreuk on February 27, 2024: "@madeformoreuk x @lululemoneurope We are proud to confirm that MadeForMORE is now working i..."