Boje's Small Business Toolbox
Missions/Visions and the Small Business

Eight out of ten times the small business does not have a mission statement.
Nine out of ten times if there is one, only the consultant or the owner know about it.  It is most often something someone's nephew drafted, after hearing the sales pitch from the consultant who wanted $7,500 to write it for you. Or the web site architect asked you a question: "what is your mission?"  You gave a cute reply and went on about your business.  Perhaps it just sits on a shelve, a page in that old business plan, the one you had to have to get last year's bank loan.

There three levels is this tutorial: beginners who want to just do it, intermediates who want a more sophisticated analysis, and advanced for the intellectuals in the crowd.  There are many good examples of the beginners and intermediate analyses on the web (see links).



BEGINNER LEVEL

What is the difference between mission and vision statement?
 

A mission statement answers two questions: A vision statement answers one question: Vision creates a concept of the future you intend to inhabit. It sets your compass for your journey into tomorrow.  The gurus tell us the vision and mission are written to be so noble and admirable that minimum wage slaves will forget their pay and work for the glory of the mission.
How do these relate to strategy?
 
A strategy answers the question: "how will we get there?
Why?
Banks require them.
Everyone else has one.
Dilbert Mission Generator Machine - examples (see links)
We proactively create effective catalysts for change and seamlessly disseminate inexpensive resources to meet our customer's needs

We envision to completely maintain professional deliverables for 100% customer satisfaction



INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (MBAs)

So you wrote a mission, vision, and values statement.  Now what? Does anyone know about it?  How will you integrate these fine statements into your firm's behavior, image, and strategy?

Strategic visioning.  In strategic visioning, your mission, vision, and values are integrated with your strategic plan to take you from today to tomorrow.  After the SWOT analysis and the statement writing, its time to translate these ideas into measurable objectives, action plans, resource charts, and task assignments.



ADVANCED LEVEL (PhD's)

there are good reasons for not paying some expert to write your vision, mission, value statements.  First, they don't know your business. Second, if an expert creates it, then no one that works with you or does business with you has been involved.  Third, there is a mega gap between espousing statements and enactment.

So how about a little participation:

Bring together a diverse group of employees, customers, vendors, and family. Sit down and figure out who are your customers, where you are going, and what you value.

Discuss how you will involve all the stakeholders in setting up a mission, embarking on a vision, and measuring your results.



to other Mission/Vision sites and resources

Beginners

Intermediates


Advanced

Examples of Mission Statements