Vision Statement

Vision Statement
By Susan Ward, Guide
A vision statement is sometimes called a picture of your company in the future but it’s so much
more than that. Your vision statement is your inspiration, the framework for all your strategic
A vision statement may apply to an entire company or to a single division of that company. Whether
for all or part of an organization, the vision statement answers the question, “Where do we want to
What you are doing when creating a vision statement is articulating your dreams and hopes for your
business. It reminds you of what you are trying to build.
While a vision statement doesn’t tell you how you’re going to get there, it does set the direction for
your business planning. (For more on the role of your vision statement in business planning, see
Quick-Start Business Planning.) That’s why it’s important when crafting a vision statement to let your
imagination go and dare to dream – and why it’s important that a vision statement captures your
Unlike the mission statement, a vision statement is for you and the other members of your company,
not for your customers or clients.
When writing a vision statement, your mission statement and your core competencies can be a
valuable starting point for articulating your values. Be sure when you’re creating one not to fall into
the trap of only thinking ahead a year or two. Once you have one, your vision statement will have a
huge influence on decision making and the way you allocate resources.
A vision statement for a company offering whale watching tours: Within the next five years, ZZZ Tours
will become the premier eco-tour company in ________, increasing revenues to 1 million dollars in
2010 by becoming internationally known for the comfort and excitement of the whale-watching tours
it offers.
Mission Statement
By Susan Ward, Guide
A mission statement is a brief description of a company's fundamental purpose. A mission
statement answers the question, "Why do we exist?"
The mission statement articulates the company's purpose both for those in the organization and for
the public.
For instance, the mission statement of Canadian Tire reads (in part): “Canadian Tire is a growing
network of interrelated businesses... Canadian Tire continuously strives to meet the needs of its
customers for total value by offering a unique package of location, price, service and assortment.”
The mission statement of Rivercorp, business development consultants in Campbell River, B.C., is: “To
provide one stop progressive economic development services through partnerships on behalf of
shareholders and the community.”
As you see from these two mission statement samples, mission statements are as varied as the
companies they describe. However, all mission statements will "broadly describe an organization's
present capabilities, customer focus, activities, and business makeup" (Glossary, Strategic
Management: Concepts and Cases by Fred David).
The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement
focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future.
Every business should have a mission statement, both as a way of ensuring that everyone in the
organization is "on the same page" and to serve as a baseline for effective business planning. See How
to Write a Mission Statement to learn how to write one of your own.
Slogans derived from some mission statements serve as the basis of successful ad campaigns, such as
the B.C. Credit Unions' "people before profits" campaign.