With a strong mission, vision, and values, you can create a lasting foundation for your business. You’ll be able to make decisions more easily, allocate resources appropriately, and keep employees aligned towards common goals.

Mission, vision, and values are the base of your strategic plan, which, in turn, informs your business plan. The strategic plan defines what the business is, what it will do, and how it will proceed. It’s tempting to immediately throw yourself into budgeting, recipe testing, or crop planning when starting a new business or enterprise, but without a clear roadmap for why the company exists you won’t get very far.

In this blog post, we will define mission, vision, and values and explain why they are so valuable both internally and externally.

What are mission, vision, and values?

Your vision, also known as your purpose, is the evergreen reason for why the business exists beyond making money. The vision speaks to the problem you hope to solve and the way you want the world to look. When creating your mission, vision, and values statements, start with your vision.

Your vision should be a relatively broad statement that provides direction for all decisions moving forward. It should never change because it’s the reason the business exists.

Vision examples:
Starbucks – To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Sweetgreen – To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Kitchen Table Consultants – To pursue a more sustainable future of food by strengthening the resilience and financial viability of farm and food businesses.

Instead of answering the question of why the business exists, your mission shows what the business will do to achieve its vision. The mission statement outlines what the business wants to accomplish in the short term (think 3-5 years) and how it will do so.

Your mission statement should start with an action verb and speak directly to your short-term goal. The mission can change over time as the focus of the business shifts.

Mission examples:

  • Honest Tea – Create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
  • Common Ground Farm – Common Ground Farm supports and engages our community by fostering access and connection to fresh food and local agriculture through farming, education, and farmers’ markets.
  • Two Gander Farm – Our mission is to align with regenerative farming practices that are key solutions in achieving food sovereignty and restoring climate stability.
  • Kitchen Table Consultants – Help farm and food businesses become profitable for good.

Values are the principles that guide how your business will operate and accomplish its goals. The values determine how the business functions internally, and also send a signal externally of what you believe in. They determine the business culture and how both individual employees and the company as a whole behave.

Values are those things that don’t change regardless of financial circumstances, so it’s important to make sure that they stand up under pressure before you set them in stone.

Values Examples:


  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.

Middle Ground Farm

  • Respect – We respect our soil, our local ecosystem, our employees, and most importantly, our customers. We’re obsessed with quality and providing a great experience.
  • Fun – Veggies are fun! They’re colorful and beautiful and fresh and alive. At Middle Ground Farm, we celebrate playing with your food.
  • Connection – In an age where 99% of goods come from far away, there’s magic in being connected to local people and local food.
  • Learning – We enjoy sharing the rhythms and realities of farm life with our customers, and we’re invested in educating the next generation of sustainable farmers.

Kitchen Table Consultants

  • We’ve walked a mile in your shoes. – Our team has spent more time in the trenches than consulting. We know what it feels like to make payroll, hire, fire, motivate, sell and run businesses.
  • There’s no BS. – We’re not worried about our next paycheck, we will tell you what we’re thinking, even if you don’t like it and even if we’re wrong—we’re going to be honest, period.
  • We roll up our sleeves, right alongside you. – We act like a partner without equity.
  • We provide more value than the cost of our services. – In many cases we will lower our base fees by as much as 50% in exchange for a share of the bottom line improvement.
mission vision and values map

Why do Mission, Vision, and Values Matter to Business Success?

Mission, vision, and values matter internally because they:

  • Guide decision making
  • Inspire employees
  • Define standards for behavior, new projects, and prospective clients

Mission, vision, and values are important externally to:

  • Attract the right employees and customers that share common values and goals
  • Create connection with a like minded community of other businesses and individuals

In both cases, the mission, vision, and values help you make sure that you’re making the right decisions to do the right work with the right people. Ultimately, they make it possible to get close to achieving that overall purpose of your business.

Creating Actionable Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

Your mission, vision, and values should reflect the work of the entire business and apply to each employee. To avoid disconnect, gather a diverse team from across the business or the group of people involved in starting the business to craft your statements. Start by identifying themes then narrow in to write the statements themselves.

Once you’ve defined your mission, vision, and values, disseminate them to the whole team to make sure you have buy-in. Then, use them to craft your strategy for the next steps of your business.

A business can’t thrive without a solid strategic plan, and a strategic plan needs a strong foundation to be actionable. Mission, vision, and values are the first layer of foundation of your business so make sure that yours are rock solid.