When you start a business, there is a whole laundry list of software, tools, and skills you need to be successful and operate efficiently. However, there is a key element to starting (and growing) a business that is often forgotten or put on the back burner. What is it? The company’s vision, mission, and values statements. These statements define the core of your business. They are the heartbeat of why you do what you do. So why do entrepreneurs often rush or skip over this step? To put it simply, they aren’t sure where to start or how to go about this process.
Recently, we came together as a team at our virtual team retreat to spend time brainstorming, evaluating, and developing our vision, mission, and values statements for Neapolitan Creative. As our business has grown and changed, so has our vision, mission, and values. Today, we’re sharing the simple process that we went through to determine these key elements in our company.
Why you need a vision, mission, and values statement.
Imagine you’re going on a road trip, driving through the beautiful countryside, taking in the scenery. You’re in awe of everything around you until you come to a fork in the road. You have no cell service, no map, and it’s almost dark outside. What do you do? Left or right? You have nothing to guide you. Nothing to help you make a solid decision. You. Are. Lost.
That’s a perfect metaphor for what happens in business, too. When your company is clicking right along, taking on clients, knocking out projects, and doing day-to-day tasks, it can be easy just to keep checking off the boxes. Heck, it feels good!
But eventually, you’ll come to your own fork in the road. You’ll want to pivot and scale your business. You’ll need to hire new teammates to help you keep up with your growth. You’ll need to evaluate your client load and ensure you’re working with the RIGHT people.
That will all be difficult to do without a clear map to guide you. Have you guessed what your company map is yet?
That’s right; it’s your vision, mission, and values statements.
Having solid vision, mission, and values statements for your company will help you and your team get and stay clear on the goal and impact you are working toward. This practice will ensure that you remain in your zone of genius, doing the work that lights you up that you are a true expert in. You’ll be more confident in knowing who your ideal clients are by looking at their values and ensuring they align with yours.
These statements will be imperative to the hiring process as your team grows as well. As you hire new teammates, you’ll ensure that they share your values and align with your vision and mission. If they are, this will solidify your decision and ensure that you have the right people in your company. You can feel confident knowing that your team will operate and represent your company well, according to the company’s beliefs.
Not only will your vision, mission, and values be the guidepost for your business growth, but they’ll also be your guidepost when making decisions for your business.
Entrepreneurs are dreamers, and new ideas are always flowing. However, it’s essential to review your vision, mission, and values and determine if the ideas align with where your company is going and its purpose. Decisions regarding clients, teammates, and services should all be considered against your company vision, mission, and values.
What is a vision, mission, and values statement?
Now that you know these components are essential to have in your company, let’s break them down, so you know exactly what they are and what their purpose is.
Your company vision statement describes what the future perfect for the business looks like and what it’s looking to accomplish.
The mission statement of a company describes WHY the company lives and breathes, what it does, and what it’s sole purpose is.
A company’s mission statement describes WHY the company lives and breathes, what it does, and what its sole purpose is.
Steps to develop your vision, mission, and values.
We firmly believe that it is essential to bring your team together to work through these steps in developing your vision, mission, and values statement. When we did this for our company, Neapolitan Creative, our entire team was present and gave their input and ideas. If your team is larger, you can work with your leadership team as you go through this process.
After all, your team will be the ones living out the vision, mission, and values on a day-to-day basis, so it’s key that they’re engaged in creating these statements.
- Come together as a team to brainstorm and discuss. Block out some time where you can take a break from client work and truly focus.
- Dream as a team. Get out your pretty pens and start brain-dumping your thoughts and ideas for your vision statement. Ask yourselves, where will the company be in 1, 3, 5, 10 years? Who will we serve? What impact will we make? What are we known for?
- Work together to bring the ideas together and form a draft vision statement. Add to, take away, and mold the statement until it is clear, measurable, and descriptive. Infuse your company’s personality in the wording.
- Once you have the vision statement, do a similar brainstorming exercise based on your vision statement to determine your mission statement or the “WHY” of your business. This should reflect the sole purpose of the company and why it’s in existence.
- With a vision statement and mission statement solidified, it’s time to define your company values. These are the values that your company and all teammates share. These values are what the company operates by and how decisions are made. Brainstorm as a team once again and come together to choose 5-10 words that describe your company values.
When determining our company values at Neapolitan Creative, we chose a set of company values as well as determined our own individual sets of values. It’s important to us to share our individual strengths and beliefs with the world, aligning with our company mission and vision. Each teammate’s individual will be infused on our website in the “About” section and through our social media posts.
Key things to keep in mind.
While developing a vision, mission, and values statement is a process, it doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it should be fun, joyful, and exciting! Getting these pieces of the puzzle in place will give you a roadmap for the future. As you go through this process, keep these few key things in mind:
- The shorter, the better. Make your statements clear and concise.
- This will help your ideal customer know right away that they belong with you.
- It will also help ensure your teammates and future teammates align with your company and thus, will do a great job.
- Infuse your personality. Present your vision, mission, and values in a way that feels true to your company.
One more thing before we leave you! We know this process will take some time and effort, so we’ve put together a workbook to help you organize your thoughts and walk through this process with your team step-by-step. Grab the Vision, Mission, and Values Worksheet below and get those company statements out into the world…and on your website!