Businesses create mission and vision statements to convey the direction in which they’re going. These statements help communicate the intentions of the business and its goals for the future. Each statement is created for a separate reason and each holds a different meaning.
A vision statement outlines your key values and lays out where the business intends to go over time. It’s designed to provide inspiration and focus to employees, as well as give customers a sense of what the organisation believes in. A vision statement can include things that are not true now but that you are striving to make true. For example, a vision statement may say that a company has a goal of becoming the largest player in its industry, even if it is not so now.
A mission statement describes your overall purpose, including defining its key measures of success. A mission statement’s target audience is primarily internal. When businesses create mission statements, they take into account the products and services they offer, as well as the company’s image, values and priorities. The focus is on how the businesses should be operating, and it serves as a very general blueprint for employees to follow.
One key difference with mission and vision statements is the time element. A mission statement talks primarily about what the business is currently doing. It focuses on the present state. A vision statement is a projection of where the company wants to be in the future. These statements are designed to work together. If a business follows its mission statement, then the vision statement will be what the business has to look forward to in the future. Vision statements are generally created before mission statements, because a vision statement will direct the company on how it must operate today to get to where it wants to be.