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Having a Mission Is What Real Businesses Do

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners make the mistake of not taking the time to craft a mission statement. They think it's just fluff and a waste of time.
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Many entrepreneurs and small business owners make the mistake of not taking the time to craft a mission statement. They think it's just fluff and a waste of time.

Truth be told, it's just easier to think that than put the effort into crafting one.

Just think about it for a moment. If you don't have a clear vision of what your mission is, how can your employees, your joint venture partners, your vendors and most importantly, your customers? The answer is they can't.

Instead confusion takes charge. And when this happens you may as well say good-bye to growth, good-bye profits and good-bye to your business!

If you do not have a mission statement, I urge you to write one immediately.

Once you do so, you will find that your customers understand you better. You will begin working only with joint venture partners who share your values. All of your employees will have a better understanding of their purpose in your organization. You will find that it is much easier to make decisions about how to run your business, including whether an advertising campaign or your marketing methods are appropriate and truly representative of you and your organization.

Know Your "Why"

Your mission statement should be a formal, short, written statement of your company and/or organization's purpose. In a nutshell, it should answer the question "Why does my company exist?"

2014-05-29-20140312questionmark1323680m.jpgIn Peter Drucker's book, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask about Your Organization, Mr. Drucker writes "A mission cannot be impersonal; it has to have deep meaning, be something you believe in -- something you know is right. A fundamental responsibility of leadership is to make sure that everybody knows the mission, understands it and lives it."

If you've never developed a mission statement before, here are a few essentials it should address:

  • The purpose and aim of your organization (i.e., a definition of what your company is and does)
  • The products and/or services your company offers
  • What your company aspires to be
  • What features/characteristics distinguish your company from its competitors
  • Your company's core ideology, values, purpose and visionary goals
Your mission statement should be specific and narrow enough that it couldn't apply to just any company... but it should be flexible enough to allow for growth and change.

Make sure that the statement is clear (i.e., it does not contain a bunch of buzz words or industry jargon) and easy for potential clients, partners, and employees to understand.

Here are some examples of mission statements from some incredible companies:

Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Apple: Bringing the best personal computing experience to consumers around the world.

Facebook: Give the people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Adobe: To help people express, share, manage and collaborate on their ideas in imaginative and meaningful new ways.

Samsung: We will devote our human resources and technology to create superior products and service, thereby contributing to a better global society.

Netflix: To revolutionize the way people watch movies.

The CEO's Edge: To give every CEO, Entrepreneur and Business Person the facts and essential tools for running a PROFITABLE business.

Once you have your mission statement laid out, you can turn to it for help guiding your company's actions, laying out its primary goals, offering direction, and directing decision-making.

After your mission statement is finalized and written, post it a spot where everyone who walks into your office or visits your website can see it.

Review it on a regular basis with your employees and business partners. And always make sure when you bring a new employee into your business they know this is what you stand for and why you are in business.

Allow your mission statement to guide you... and you will never find yourself making questionable decisions. The decision will be made for you.

Of course, writing a mission statement is not enough. What matters is living it on a daily basis.

Use it as a tool to help you make decisions about your business -- from which companies you partner with, to which products you design. to how you communicate with your clients.