Many business owners do not take their big-picture seriously, or they do not even have their big picture on paper. Sometimes, business owners do not think big picture enough. So the starting point for all Big Picture Business starts with your Mission, Vision, as well as your Core Values.
It can be confusing to determine “what is your mission” and “what is your vision.” Let’s use the common analogy of comparing your company to a boat. If your company was a boat, your mission would describe: what kind of boat you’re steering, what you’re delivering, and to whom you are delivering that product or service. Your vision would be where you hope to end up. (For Christopher Columbus, his vision was India, but he got America. So you don’t end up on the wrong side of the world, read Part II: Executing your Mission and Vision). Finally, your core values would be what you should do as a captain to guide your boat and crew when you encounter a problem. Therefore, let’s look at each in more detail.
Essentially your mission answers the question “Who are we?” It should address three main parts:
(1) What Products and/or Services do we offer?
(2) Who is our consumer and/or who is our target market?
(3) What medium do we use to connect with our market, including technology?
A mission will help you when you are given or creating new opportunities. Choosing how to seize or to reject that opportunity should align with your mission.
A vision answers the question “Who do we want to become?” This vision is imagined to keep your business directed and on point but should be broad enough that you have the flexibility to grow your business and overcome obstacles. You will never actually reach your vision, instead, it is an achievement that constantly drives your business.
Your mission, vision, and core values are the foundation of your business. They should rarely change, but that does not mean they won’t ever change.