Defining Your Mission
Welcome to day 2 of the 5 Day Business Makeover Challenge. Yesterday we examined how perspective is vital to maintaining a vision for your business. Today we’ll look at defining your mission.
Are you able to clearly state the mission of your business? This foundational concept goes beyond simply making a profit. This is about having clarity as to why your business exists. Your mission is the driving force – the engine – of your business.
A mission statement shouldn’t be generated simply because every other business has one. It also shouldn’t be generic or vague. Your values are on display in your mission.
Tim Berry, the originator of Lean Business Planning, says he loves it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy.
Your mission is what gives you and your employees purpose. It’s also what helps you set business goals and objectives.
Berry goes on to say that “A good mission statement:
- Defines what the company does for its customers
- Defines what the company does for its employees
- Defines what the company does for its owners
Some will go even further to include what the company does for its community and the world.”
Think about what makes your business unique. What good does it accomplish? Why is your business different than other businesses in the same field? If your mission statement could be used by some other business, then it’s definitely not specific enough.
Take time to get clear on your mission:
What do you want to achieve as a business – for yourself (including any other owners), for your employees, and for your customers? Include community and beyond if applicable.
Put your mission statement into one or two concise sentences. Some business mission statements begin more broadly in the first sentence, but the second sentence is much more specific as to how they’ll accomplish the first.
Is your mission big enough to stretch you and your employees, but realistic enough to be achievable?
Will your mission take you to where you want to be in a year? What about five years? Ten years?
Again, don’t rush through this exercise. Your mission is your foundation. If your foundation is unstable, you won’t be able to build a highly productive business on top of it.