Every business needs a ‘Mission’ statement – preferably hung up above your computer centre so you see it every day, OR hung up publicly so your customers/clients can see it, too! Mission statements help you stay focused on why you are in business. They should explain exactly what that business is – and conversely, what it is not.
The first time I was introduced to this concept was when I opened my balloon store in 1988. I started out with a mission statement about providing balloon bouquets, “etc.,” for birthdays, “etc.” — kind of vague, huh? My mission statement ended up being about my GREETING AND CELEBRATION business, which allowed for a broader range of products and services I could offer, yet still kept my business focused on a theme. I didn’t, for example, want to be selling ‘toys and novelties’ – but if they were ‘greeting’ or ‘celebration’-related, then they fit!
A mission statement identifies the major reason you exist to provide products or services to your customers – think in terms of the NEED you are fulfilling, or the BENEFITS of what you provide, to your clients. Your mission statement should identify your company’s uniqueness, yet give you room to grow. It never has to be etched in stone, either – since one of the prerequisites to being successful in business is flexibility, you probably should plan to re-write it once a year, anyway.
Finally, your mission statement should answer the standard ‘reporter’s questions’: who, what, why, when, where and how?
Will you create a Mission Statement for your business this week?