How to Perfect Your Start-Ups Vision and Mission Statements

Start-ups are filled with aspiration and excitement, a great idea turning into a business. If you want your business to thrive and grow don’t make the mistake of overlooking your vision and mission statements. As a start-up, you might underestimate their importance and influence on your success.

11 September 2019 by Tanya Milazzi

Start-ups frequently base their survival on hard work and constantly adapting to situations and maybe thinking why to bother with the future and a vision when you can only focus on getting to the end of the week. Why is it important to create a vision and mission amongst pure chaos? The chaos and uncertainty within your start-up are the reason why you need a vision and mission in place. If you want to keep rapidly evolving and responding to change you need to know the foundation of your business. The most important thing to remember during this chaotic period is why you are here and where you want to go with your business. Having a vision and mission statement from the start is what creates the baseline for your business. Providing the drive behind your business will keep it moving forward and on track. Pitching your start-up without them only half pitching. Your business needs to appeal on a conscious level, to draw in investors and consumers with the same outlook and values.

Your VISION is the guiding statement for the direction of your business, making a conscious connection between you, your investors and your customers. Your vision statement is where people will look for answers, what was the reason why you started and what is the cause of your business? Your vision statement should be simple, where do you see the business going, what do you hope your business will achieve, not just internal but externally, how do you want to impact the outside world and what kind of future do you want to create? Although it may seem like a bit of a puff piece it helps give direction and an inside into the business’s values. It should state something that almost feels impossible yet worth pursuing, it should have the ability to inspire employees and investors. Although it may seem all in the future your vision statement will help in day to day operations, it will assist in strategic direction and decision making, it will define performance standards and help connect with customers. If the decisions and actions, you are making don’t help you achieve your vision then you need to re-think them.

Your MISSION is the what and the how of your business venture. What are you doing and how are you doing it? It should cover the logistics of your business and wrap it up into a clear and concise paragraph for people to easily read and get a better insight into your business. Your mission statement will help them understand your day to day functioning and how your business will use its resources to accomplish its vision. Unlike your vision statement, it is a description of the present day. Your mission statement is also important for your internal team, internally it will be used to structure procedures, workflow and hierarchies. Most importantly it will provide a standard level of achievement for people to align with. Within your mission statement you need to answer; WHY do you do what you do, WHAT do you do, WHO do you do it for and HOW you do it? By answering these simple questions everyone who reads your statement will understand the purpose of the business and the standard that is expected from them. Customers, investors, employees and even you will be able to refer to the mission statement if they need guidance within the day to day operations. Getting rid of misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Including a vision and mission statement at the beginning of your business enables you to have a strong and succinct vision without all the business jargon. They will allow you to connect with your investors and customers and let them understand the purpose of your business. People need a purpose and person behind the business to which they can connect to, without it, your business will just fall into the pile of all the other start-ups. Explaining your operations, internal structure and standards will show investors how you plan to achieve your vision, connecting on a more conscious level. Your statements will be essential for any pitch deck and businesses website as new customers and investors will look for answers.

Once you have investors interested, your vision and mission statements will still be crucial to your business, they will continue to provide guidance and structure for the evolution of your business. You want to be able to grow, but stay in line with your original goals, this will help your business stay on track and reach them while still venturing out and trying new things. Sometimes business can move fast, decisions need to be made and many people involved will look to you for answers. Your business may be approached by other businesses, people wanting to collaborate or maybe new ideas for your business. Referring to your statements when making these decisions will help find the right answers. Your choices need to reflect your statements. They should help your business reach its goals and live up to its standards, if not, then they may not be the right choices for your business. Your vision and mission statements act as a decision filter which can be applied throughout the business’s operations, product design, marketing, partnerships and employees. Having the proper foundation set up means the building of the business will be strong and long-lasting.

How do you create a kickass Vision and Mission statement?

While it may be hard to focus down your business to a few short sentences it will pay off in the long run. To get started you should do your research check out other similar businesses’ statements and some larger company statements to get a better understanding of how they are structured and what they include. Reading other statements will also help you clearly distinguish the difference between a vision and mission and grasp a better concept of what you are trying to create. Do NOT copy their statements but gain inspiration.

Add your unique style and purpose to a similar structure and then write about fifty more. Draft as many as you can trying different styles, structures and wording. Refine them and then narrow them down to a few favourites. See which ones you hate and which ones you like then work and grow the ones you like. Draft and re-draft them. This will take time and effort but don’t give up. If you need to bring in a team to help draft statements, a group of like-minded people that know your business on a personal level. It is important to make sure these statements accurately reflect your business and its goals. They need to be as close to perfect as you can get them, they will be sticking around and used in every aspect of your business’s future.