Vision, Mission and Values
When you are developing your strategic plan, three key topics to cover are your overall Vision, Mission and Corporate Values. If you spend time getting these sections right, then the rest of the plan is easier to pull together. They should set out the direction of your strategy in 3-5 years to help decision making in that period.
The vision should be a descriptive section, covering what you want your business to look and feel like in 3-5 years’ time. Questions you might want to think about are as follows:
· Where will you be located?
· What kind of clients would you like to have?
· What will your team structure be?
· How will it feel to work in your business, what will the culture be like?
· What long-term goals and aspirations do you have in terms of turnover or profit?
Someone reading your vision should be able to visualise your business in 3-5 years. You can include a fair amount of detail in this section, and really paint a picture of what life will be like in the future. Your vision may change as circumstances do so you can be flexible, but it is an important opportunity to set the direction of your business.
Your mission statement is an opportunity to define your business at the most basic level. It should tell your company story in less than 30 seconds: who your company is, what you do, what you stand for, and why you do it.
It can be a useful statement for anyone connected to the business, whether customers, investors or employees, to fully understand what you are in business for, and what is important to you.
Your corporate values are the core beliefs which ideally should be held by all those in your business. You would not expect your corporate values to change as they are fundamental to your business. When you are developing them, it is important that they feel ‘real’ to you and your staff. If you are going to use words like ‘integrity’ or ‘professional’ try to include some detail as to what that actually means for you and your business. How would your staff demonstrate they are acting with integrity? What would you see happening if they were being professional? If your values are too high or vague, your staff won’t know exactly how to live those values. You want them to be specific to your business and how you want your team to work.
When you have developed your vision, mission and values sections, they are likely to be something you come back to, to help you make decisions. You can check whether proposed courses of action are likely to help you achieve your vision, or whether they fit in with your corporate values. Remember; like all sections of your strategic plan, your vision mission and values should be regularly revisited, to ensure that they are still as accurate as possible.