Mission and Vision Statements – What is a good one?

Let’s talk about Mission and Vision Statements , over the years, I have been able to help new businesses and charities start up. Again and again it seems that the most important topic in the mind of a startup owner(s) is the mission statement.  Most new entities feel that is the first thing they need create. It is like they are thinking – “I need a slogan, mission, and vision or people will not see me as a ‘real business’.”  Well to be honest, the mission is central to the business but on a day one, the most important goal is to define the business’s profitability and internal processes.  Once that is layed out, it is better to circle around and tie it all together with a simple statement. But I disgress, back when I was active in a new startup chamber of commerce, I was active in the organizing/admin/operations committee. At that time, a few of us were have a lively conversation about mission/vision statements. With a lot of opinions shared of course, the friendly argument on what is a good mission and vision statement is an ongoing one…
So I decided to write on my blog about the subject – is it better for a mission and vision statement to be shorter or longer?  

Here are a few little known facts about the average length of each:1 – Nationally average mission statement is about 15 words long not including brand positioning components.

2 – Nationally average vision statement is about 14 words long not including brand related components.

So what is a branding component when used in a mission statement? 

Well, that is straight forward, it is the official business name or in some cases it’s nickname. Plus wording like: “The mission(or vision) of ……” But a well crafted brand related positioning statements generally include but isn’t limited to the following:

1 – A basic description of it’s target audience

2 – A basic goals/reasons for reaching and engaging it’s target audience

3 – What makes it different and special – in some cases more competitive

Okay, longer is better – right?

Maybe not – the best mission and vision statements should be concise, easy to understand, and of course easy to remember as well.

Okay, shorter is better – right?

Well, maybe not – when the statements become to short it could mislead or confuse someone (i.e. the client) about what you do.

Okay, so what’s the answer when it comes to a good mission or vision statement?

Here is my final thought – the best mission statement serves as the foundation of the organization that easily understood by the general public and the best vision statement clearly serves to enhance the mission with an artistic or a literal wording on why the organization should be deemed relevant.  Either way just smile because you as the owner or the organization’s board of directors (i.e. you pluralized) have the final say on the subject. (as long as you feel confident and you are making money – just keep smiling)

Want more insights on this subject?  Call me for a consultation about this topic or visit my business’s website: i4advertisingagency.com