When we work with a new client, the first thing we will do is identify their mission, vision, and values. This helps to paint a clear picture of the business so that everyone is on the same page and understands what they are trying to achieve. This exercise will involve and motivate many members of the team, bringing in new ideas and innovative thinking to the process.
By creating a shared vision upfront, along with a few good ground rules, you enable other people on your team to make decisions independently. Rather than referring to you, the business owner, for everything that needs to get done, you’ll be able to entrust routine decisions to others. As a small business owner, you can only do so much. You have limited time and it’s important that you structure other people within your business to feel confident and empowered.
Mission – Where You Are Today
Your mission should focus on your business’ main purpose and function as well as its unique strengths. A few questions to ask yourself here will include:
- Why do you exist as an organization?
- What is it that you actually do?
- What do you create?
- Why does it matter?
- How does it make a difference?
- Who do you serve?
- How do you treat employees and partners?
- What can you do better than anyone else?
Asking yourself these types of questions will provide you with some keywords to help you craft a mission statement that is true to your business.
Vision – Where You Want To Be
What do you want your business to look and feel like in 1, 3, or 5 years? For every business owner, this may look a little bit different. Success is measured differently by all people. The goals you set out to reach, should be unique to you and your business! Ask yourself…
- Where are we going?
- What can we realistically achieve and how long will that take?
- What words or phrases depict the end goals we want?
- What do we need to get us there?
When answering these questions, be as specific as possible. Be clear about the number of stores, new employees, partnerships, or sales figures you would like to achieve. Being realistic with these numbers will let you budget, plan, and execute without any bumps in the road. Proper planning will help you to achieve your vision, accomplishing the goals set out for you and your team.
Your core values are the guardrails that keep you on a straight path to get to from where you are today, to your Vision for the future. The Core Values can help with the culture of your business and the message you want to convey to your clients.
A few examples of core values a business could use include:
- Customer First
- Be Remarkable
- Take Ownership
- Double-Digit Sales Growth
- Be Accountable
- Executional Excellence
- Work-Life Balance
- Be Extraordinary
- Think Long-Term
- Never Stop Improving
- Be Curious
- Keep it Simple
The Core Values for your business should be thoughtful and genuine. They will help to define a mentality shared by your employees that will ultimately benefit your entire team. Many businesses will have 5 or so core values.
Mission, Vision, and Values are the foundation for your Strategy!
Creating your Mission, Vision and Core Values will give you the foundation to create your overall business strategy. The strategy of your business will involve strategic initiatives that encompass all things financial, customer, employee, and operational related – in other words, profits, people and processes!
All it takes is a little discipline and accountability to build a plan but your business will thank you if you do!