Companies with mission statements are more productive.
Mission and Vision can be a bit different.
A good way to think of it is that the Vision is where the company is going.
The Mission is the reason why the company is going there.
There’s probably a lot going on with your SaaS company.
Funding. Growth. Hiring. Payroll.
All kinds of things.
But have you considered a vision for your SaaS company?
Reasons To Have A Vision
We saw above that a vision leads to a more productive company.
Employees doing better, inspired work and bringing more efficiency and profit to the business. And not profit just through better efficiency, but also through growth.
Why do employees respond to a vision?
Imagine you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You’re floating. You’re with a handful of others. The leader of the group asks the group to row the oars.
You and the team would probably comply. It might lead to something. You’re doing something and perhaps making some kind of progress.
But something is obviously missing.
Now imagine that the leader says that you’re going to reach land. And the reason for doing it is to become the first humans to row a boat from the US to Africa across the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Now you and the team know where you’re going and why you’re going.
If you or other team members aren’t on board with that you can opt out. But if you are on board you’re likely fully committed to the vision.
That’s the biggest reason to have a company vision. It gives the company purpose.
And that purpose permeates throughout the company affecting it in many positive ways. With a big one being attracting the right people to the cause and getting their most inspired effort.
Now let’s get into the steps for creating a company vision.
Step #1. List Goals, Big Goals
Sometimes you kind of find yourself with something people want. That happens a lot of times with software. You may start out with an idea, but over time the idea changes. The product changes.
And before you know it you’re just kind of along for the ride. You’re getting customers and just keeping up with the day to day.
That can leave you hanging without a purpose. Without a goal.
But to ensure the future of your company it’s important to take time to think about the company’s future. And the goals you have for the company.
The key is to have big goals.
What’s the hurt?
You want to think big.
Think 20 years down the road. You want to think long-term. Bill Gates is often quoted as saying that we overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten.
I’ve found that to be true.
If you think too big in the short-term you can run into disappointment. Both for yourself and for the team.
But the tendency is to underestimate ourselves in the long-term.
So look 10+ years out. List what you might want to do. Multiple goals. Just list.
Step #2. Refine & Simplify
Once you have your big list you’re sitting in good shape. But now you have to refine.
A key to a good life is the realization that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
That’s not saying that you can’t try new things. You can’t have a diverse life.
Let’s say you enjoy playing sports. You can probably play 5 sports at once. Will you be really good at one or two? Maybe. But even then you probably can’t play 10 or 20 sports. There’s just not enough time, energy or focus to go around.
A business needs focus. One big goal provides focus.
Now, depending on who you’ve listed your goal you’ll likely need to simplify it.
There is no room for vagueness or terms that don’t mean anything.
Your company vision needs to instantly make sense to anyone that reads it especially the team. They need to know where the company is going so they can buy-in and get on board with working to help accomplish that vision.
Professional golfers often struggle when they say they want to be the best they can be. That’s too vague. It doesn’t really mean anything.
If they say they want to become the #1 golfer in the world. That’s concrete. That’s simple. They can buy into that and figure out what work needs to be done to accomplish that vision.
Step #3. Establish Values
Along with the vision is the mission. And that often comes from your values.
Now, values aren’t really things you create. It’s more of a discovery. That comes from Jim Collins, author of the Good To Great series of books.
To establish values you look at your own life as the founder of the company. Or if there are multiple founders you get together and discuss what’s important to each of you in life. And look at where you share values.
It could be punctuality. Maybe giving back to society. Maybe creating better lives for small town families. Or maybe it’s just making the most profit possible.
There are no right or wrong answers.
Values are things developed within a person over their lives. Values are things important to the way you live life. They’re the things that drive you no matter the situation. And especially in difficult situations.
Establishing values allows you and anyone in the business the ability to make decisions. They guide decisions as you all work toward the vision.
Creating a company vision for your software company could be one of the most critical things you do. You may have been along for the ride up to this point. But if you have big dreams for your company it’s extremely important to follow the steps above.
Give a goal and purpose to your business. Attract the right people and inspire them to help the company achieve its vision.