Sunday, March 31, 2013

Vision & Mission Statement in Your Business Plan – GEC Business Review

by Jess Lee

When writing a Vision and Mission statement in your business plan, often, you will notice that business plan experts or templates suggest you include a vision, mission statement, and objectives. Why? And what are the differences between them?

Based on our experience in business plan development, here are the clues.

Vision Statement
Undeniably, vision statement is often confused with the mission statement. There are people using the two terms interchangeably. In fact, the vision statement is about what your business's future, and what will your business look like if the missions are achieved.

One of the classical examples of vision is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Visions are frequently related to social good, however, they are equally important for both profit- and non-profit organizations.

Mission Statement
Mission statement is important too. Your vision will flop if missions are not accomplished. Your mission statement defines the long-term goals of your business in three ways:

a. What does your company do for your customers? You should think broadly about the benefits you your business offer. Air Asia, for instance, offers no-frills “Everyone Can Fly” low cost air fares to the masses.

b. What does your company do for your employees? If you want employees to stay with your company, you should provide meaningful workplace, useful training and development, attractive benefits and compensations and so on.

c. What do you intend to obtain from your business? Profit certainly, your mission is probably to generate sustainable profits, values to shareholders and more.

Your business's mission statement is more permanent than an objective in a business plan, business objectives may vary from time to time, but missions must be applied consistently over time.

Business Objectives
The objectives of your business plan are the most important section. It is where you should spell out your goals and specify results (e.g. return on investment – ROI) intended that can be easily tracked. Goals may include increasing monthly sales or profits to some specific number or percentage; decreasing costs or operating expenses to a specific number or percent.

Nevertheless, your business objectives may not need to be financial, as setting objectives for growing customer satisfaction, lower disposal rate etc. can be considered. As long as the performance is measureable. For instance, if your business intends to reduce disposal rate, considering quantify the monthly disposal rate is ideal, the latter can be determined by a daily record of disposal, implemented by an assigned employee. 

"Being the National No. 1 Company" is great, but it should not be a business objective unless the performance can be evaluated and measured.


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