How easy is it to get caught up in our every day operation of the business? We’re working 60-80 hours a week budgeting, sorting, and hopefully strategizing our next move.
However, an interested customer (or dinner party guest for you social butterflies) asks you: “Why exactly did you start doing what you do?”
Standing there frozen, you’re unable to answer. You realize that, at some point, money wasn’t and shouldn’t be your main driver for your business.
Having a Mission & Vision Statement is a key necessity to the overall success of your business. Without this, you are roaming aimlessly from opportunity to opportunity like cows grazing in a field with no direction.
Before we take a deep dive into the meanings behind these statements, write down your personal beliefs and purpose for your business… Then, write down where you can see your business in 10 years.
Alright? Here we go!
What exactly is a “Mission Statement”?
A “Mission Statement” should define your business’s purpose, and why exactly the organization exists in the first place. Think of it as your day-to-day guide for doing what you do. Hopefully, your business was established for a greater reason than just making money.
Let’s take a second to think about why you even started your own business… To serve? To help others? To solve a specific problem? Try to put the money aspect out of this. Financial reward should be the positive consequence of serving the greater good.
Let’s take a look at some examples of some well defined mission statements:
“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.” - Walt Disney Company
“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.” - Southwest Airlines
“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” - Chick-fil-A
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” - Starbucks
Do you see how this statement is bold, powerful, and gives a precise order to it’s entire operation?
The mission statement is not something that you take lightly. It cannot be something that will simply look good on a brochure, poster, or website. Your clientele will see right through this, producing negative results for your business.
Take the Volkswagen Group’s mission from 2013, expressed as their company goal:
“The Group’s goal is to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which can compete in an increasingly tough market and set world standards in their respective class.”
VW was thought to be the environmental leader in fuel-based cars. News broke in 2015 that the company had programmed their vehicles to give false emission readings, and were actually proven to not be friendly to the environment at all.
Result: VERY BAD REPUTATION AND LOST CUSTOMERS!
Moral of the story: Be passionate and precise about how your business should operate on a daily basis, and what greater good it’s serving. Only this will provide your business and your guests clear expectations from your venture.
Defining your Vision
The “Vision Statement” is an inspirational and motivational description of where you want your business to be in the future.
What do you aspire to create or achieve? How does your business inspire your customer base to rave about you and purchase from you?
If your “Mission Statement” is strong enough, like some of those above, you can clearly see that the vision of the company has been encompassed in the mission. The “Vision Statement” is not required if you can clearly define your future goals in the “Mission Statement”.
When you are thinking of your vision statement think about the following:
• What beliefs do you want your business known for? What is the feel of your company?
• Other than financial success, what do you want to see your business do long-term?
• Aspire and inspire.
• Change is good, so be open to this in your statement for future success.
• Where will the company be long-term? A leader in the industry? The greatest community servant in your town?
The goal of a vision statement is to define the ultimate result of your hard work and efforts that will be produced from your mission.
Let’s do this!
To review, a “Mission Statement” defines your day-to-day operation. It gives a clear picture of how your business should run, and the value it will provide to your customer base.
Your “Vision Statement” should be your compass, which will direct you to an ultimate defined goal in the future.
Here is my ultimate goal for you: Take time to think about these things if you are already operating your business. If you are thinking about starting your own operation, let’s get this done before we move further.
Let’s clearly define why you started (or want to start) this business. Treat this as a practical guide and tool that will determine your direction and strategy.