Mission, Vision, Values

Mission, Vision, Values: The Foundation of Your Business

by Nicholas Tart on October 29, 2010 · 11 comments

Last night I helped a friend start a non-profit because she had no idea where to start. It made me realize that there are lots of people who want to start something but have no idea where to begin.

Before you do anything, you need to know who you are as an organization (mission), what you want to do (vision), and how you’re going to do it (values).

Every major decision you make will be based on this foundation. If you’ve never established your mission, vision, and values, you need to do it now. Let me show you how Google did it.

Creating Your Mission Statement

This is your identity. What are you in it for?

Your mission statement needs to reflect the purpose of your business. Everything your business provides needs to be a part of this mission. It needs to be broad enough to encompass your business but not too broad to avoid losing your identity.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

More on: How to Write a Mission Statement with Examples

Crafting Your Vision Statement

This is what you want to become. What is the end goal of your business?

While your mission helps define your purpose, your vision gives you an end-goal. This is the ultimate result of all your hard work.

Google’s vision is to develop a perfect search engine.

Confirming Your Core Values

These are things that you will never, ever compromise. No matter what.

Your core values for your business should come from your personal values. What do you do to gain the trust of your friends? What do you look for in a good friend? Build your business on these same values.

One of Google’s first slogans was “Don’t be evil” because so many companies were being evil. This has become one of their core values:

  1. We want to work with great people.
  2. Technology innovation is our lifeblood.
  3. Working at Google is fun.
  4. Be actively involved; you are Google.
  5. Don’t take success for granted.
  6. Do the right thing; don’t be evil.
  7. Earn customer and user loyalty and respect every day.
  8. Sustainable long-term growth and profitability are keys to our success.
  9. Google cares about and supports the communities where we work and live.
  10. We aspire to improve and change the world.

What to do with Your Mission, Vision, and Values

Google Mission ValuesType them up to make them official.

Print them out and put them on your wall.

Put them on your website.

Leave them in small print at the bottom of your invoices.

Paste them above your toilet so you see them every morning.

Make sure they become a constant reminder to you and anyone you’re working with. Ideally, you should see them daily.

You can find ours at the top of our about page.

If Google did it, you should do it too.

Photo by: Blyzz

{ 9 comments }

1 Nick Scheidies October 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

“Don’t be evil.”

Unfortunately, given my long history of evilness. This is easier said than done, for me at least.

2 Nick Tart October 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Yeah, I thought about King when I wrote about that ;)! He uses “evil” to describe mischievous but brilliant plans to take over the world.

3 Samuel October 31, 2010 at 9:03 am

Awesome post man!
Creating the 3 keys, i mean the Mission,Vision and Values are the keys to build a successful business. Thanks for sharing man. Have fun.

4 Nick Tart October 31, 2010 at 11:08 am

Sure thing, Samuel! So what’s your mission with MegaBizFlake$?

5 Samuel November 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

if i should start writing it, the whole comment page won’t be enough! :D

6 Nick Tart November 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

I understand why your mission will take up the whole page, and I appreciate you not wanting to dominate the comments area :). But your mission statement should be a sentence or two that summarizes your overall mission. Let me know if you can fit it in a few sentences, Samuel!

7 SenseiMattKlein November 6, 2010 at 5:30 am

Superb article Nick. Your mission statement is your guiding light. Some 15 years after I started my business, I still revisit my mission statement to ensure we are still on track. It is what made us successful, so it pays to remember. When making a big decision, I ask myself which way would be in keeping with the mission statement? It helps.

8 Nick Tart November 7, 2010 at 10:14 am

That’s awesome, Matt! It’s always nice to have a sentence or two that is set in stone to lead your company. When I’m making decisions, I always come back to our values. If I think about doing something that’s only 99% honest or transparent, I don’t do it. It’s too bad because a lot of the strategies that people are using to sell their products online are half-honest, so I can’t use them. In the end, it’ll help the brand, but it’ll take much longer.

9 kev@ aerial installation Birmingham April 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

Yes every company should definitely have a short but meaningful mission statement which should say so much about their company. It shows the companys aim and passion.

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