The importance of mission and vision statements: SBEC

March 21, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Vision and mission statements are important foundational elements of any business. These statements can be highly motivating when they are communicated clearly and with intent as they can help provide objectives and direction. Externally, vision and mission statements can also help express your enterprise’s purpose to customers, suppliers, and the media. Vision and mission statements have different purposes, and they’re not interchangeable, so it’s important to have both for your company.

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement identifies your company’s purpose and is a way to share publicly why your company exists. Generally, it is crafted as part of your business plan to help you unify elements of your business and stay on track. 

A clear mission statement tells potential and existing customers and investors what to expect from your business and can provide your employees with direction, inspiration, and focus. A strong mission statement is brief – usually consisting of two to three sentences that set forward what the company does, who it provides services/products to, and describes how the company wants to be perceived. It can also include information on where the company is based, its target market or audience, or a general statement about the company values and goals.

Here are a couple of examples of mission statements from very successful companies:

IKEA: “To 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.”

This mission statement tells us what is provided – well-designed, functional home furnishings. It tells us that the target market includes people looking for quality at a reasonable price, and we learn that IKEA can be perceived as competitively priced and affordable by everyone.   (

Walgreens: To champion the health and well-being of every community in America.”

The reference to health and well-being represents the key areas of Walgreens’ mission statement. To support their identity as a specialist in healthcare the verb ‘champion’ is utilized to indicate to customers that they are the leading pharmacy chain in America. The urge to serve ‘every community in America’ further implies Walgreens’ desire to expand and continue to grow its business. (

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement is a short statement that describes the future-facing goals and ambitions of your company. Vision statements keep the longer-term goals of the company front of mind and can help steer decision making towards those goals. The outcome you envision, your dream for the future, and the success of the company, should be captured within the statement.  A well-crafted vision statement should also serve as a guide that inspires your employees to work toward the greater goal of your organization. Keep in mind that the statement should only include the vision, not an actual step-by-step plan for implementing solutions.

Here are a few examples of vision statements from some famous brands:

Southwest: “To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.”

Southwest Airlines is an international airline that strives to serve its flyers with a smile. Its vision statement is unique because it sees itself as excelling in profit but also in efficiency and customer service. (

Meta: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Meta, formerly Facebook, is a major social media platform with a concise vision statement. It provides a platform to stay in touch with loved ones and potentially connect to people around the world. (

Disney: “To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”

The vision statement shows us that The Walt Disney Company is focused on becoming a top player in the global market for amusement parks, entertainment, and mass media products.  ( 

Mission statement vs. vision statement comparison

While mission statements and vision statements are closely related, here are some of the key differences between them, according to

  • Purpose: A mission statement describes the “what” and “how” of the company (sometimes also including the “why”), while a vision statement focuses more on the long-term meaning behind the company’s actions. In short, a mission statement can serve as a roadmap of strategic planning to work toward the company’s vision statement.
  • Timeframe: A mission statement outlines what your company offers presently, while a vision statement describes what your company is building toward in the future.
  • Audience: Mission statements are public-facing statements primarily geared toward customers. Vision statements are typically more focused on employees of the company to help drive their work in the best direction for the future. (

Both the mission and vision statements play an important role in the organization and ideally, both will provide the business owner, employees, and target markets with a clear picture of what the company is about and what it aspires to be. The team at the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre is available to provide free guidance and assistance with developing your mission and vision statements. Contact us today to get started. 

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