Have you ever wondered why some startups manage to attract funds relatively easily and gain traction quickly while others go down without being noticed at all? No doubt, the value proposition, market niche, and timing – that’s all important. But how do you win investors and customers’ loyalty?
A clearly pronounced mission and vision statement will do just that. The gist of these statements is to convey to your stakeholders, why your company exists at all, and where it will stand in the future. Even if you are at the early stages of your startup or just have an idea that you want to pitch, shaping your vision and mission statements is precious.
Incorporating them also gives you a road map to navigate competitive markets, identify the organization’s objectives, and drive growth for your business.
Easy as it may sound, not that many founders can actually answer these questions without wavering. Can you?
Can you draw a clear line between the two statements? Why bother spending your time creating these statements? And how to approach this task?
Let’s get to the bottom of it, so you can talk about the vision and mission of your startup with confidence.
What is a startup vision and mission statement?
Truth be told, there is no single opinion on how to approach or define mission and vision for a startup company. In this article, we will review Waveup’s perspective, which helped many of our clients raise desired funding.
Startup vision statement definition
The way we see the vision statement definition: it is the future state of the company that you set out to achieve.
Startup vision statement is an inward-looking statement that is mostly used for internal purposes or in a pitch deck. Ideally, it should be something really big that would drive your employees’ aspirations and convince investors to fund your company.
It projects how your startup will evolve in the market and where it will be in the next 5-10 years. It also serves as a goal-setting framework for defining the day-to-day tactics and activities that help you carry your business toward fulfilling its vision.
These questions below will help you set your thoughts in the right direction when working on your startup vision statement:
In 5-10 years…
- How will your company stand out in the industry?
- How are you going to beat your competition?
- What will your brand be recognized for?
- What kind of growth will you achieve?
- Will it become a leader in a niche?
- What markets will it conquer?
Explain how you are planning to disrupt or revolutionize the market. What market share do you expect to conquer? What additional products or services do you plan to introduce?
Be bold, but use projections based on actual facts and numbers, not just your imagination. Any discrepancy between your business plan and the company vision will cause questions and undermine your credibility in investors’ eyes. You can’t aim to become a nationwide sneakers producer in 5 years if you have a small shoe repair shop in California. Opt for using infographics if possible – it is a good way to showcase your vision in a pitch deck to investors.
It’s okay to adjust your vision as you go. Once you glean more insights about your audience, your product or service will evolve, adapt to the market needs, or pivot entirely, and so will your startup vision statement.
Here are a few vision statement examples to get your creative juices flowing:
We received a request to help with defining a vision for a promising product startup. Having studied their product and the market, we realized that their competitive advantage was a comparatively low price tag and rapid production cycle. Therefore, we opted for a vision that capitalized on that advantage:
Becoming #1 producer and service provider in the lower segment of the UAV industry.
Startup mission statement definition
What’s the mission statement? A startup mission is an outward-looking statement. Mission denotes a greater goal that draws the path for your business and drives your long-term decision-making.
The questions that your mission statement may answer are:
- How does our product or service make this world better?
- How do we affect our customers’ lives?
- How do we make their lives easier?
- By what means?
- What is our social responsibility?
- Does our product or service inspire people to do something?
Think of a potential global impact your company is set to produce in a community, an industry, or even the entire world. The mission must relate to the problem that your startup is solving, which you indicated in your pitch deck. It has to be a concise, clear-cut, and easy-to-understand statement that immediately conveys the key purpose of your company’s existence.
Some inspiration for you:
- Grammarly: To improve lives by improving communication.
- Booking: To make it easier for everyone to experience the world.
- Airbnb: To unlock the power of sharing space, resources, and support in times of need.
- DocuSign: Accelerate business and simplify life for companies and people around the world.
- Protalus: To make the benefits of expensive custom orthotics affordable to everyone.
What is the difference between vision and mission statements?
Sometimes it gets confusing. You will find many examples in which these phrases are used interchangeably, combined into a single statement, or where the difference between them is very difficult to recognize.
Let us emphasize what is what once again:
- A mission statement explains how your product or service inspires or improves people’s lives and the world.
- A vision statement is focused on what your company could become in the future – your aspirations.
Why do you need startup vision and mission statements?
Some founders, especially in the early stages, dismiss these as unnecessary or useless. Indeed, they are not so easy to formulate. Why bother at all?
The reason is if you do not know where you are going, how are you going to plan your route? Will other people follow you? Why would they? Money for its own sake is no longer enough. People want to be useful, they unite around higher goals and ideas.
By clearly defining your company vision statement, you give your employees an understanding of where the company is going, instilling a sense of purpose and increasing their productivity.
The company’s mission is tightly intertwined with the employer and consumer brand perception. It helps to connect through common values and win the loyalty of all involved stakeholders – investors, customers, and employees.
Defining the company’s vision and mission statements might be difficult, particularly if you have no prior experience. But it is totally worth your time. It serves as an indispensable benchmark for all your future decisions. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you include at least one of these statements into your pitch deck.
If you still feel unsure what’s the mission statement or how to formulate your startup vision, the Waveup team, with a portfolio of 500+ projects and $400M+ raised by our clients for the last year, is always here to help you. Just give us a buzz.