When it comes to setting up a small business, lots of work needs to be done to effectively set it up. For instance, you need a place to operate your business from, whether this is via an actual location or simply online. Then you have to think about website setup, pricing, staff, what types of products and services you’ll offer, marketing, and more. With this super long to-do list, you may decide that taking the time to create a mission statement is unnecessary. However, you’d be wrong.
Mission statements aren’t just words put on a piece of paper or online about what you hope to do. No, they’re much more than that. So, if you don’t currently have a mission statement, here are five reasons why you need to actually sit down and create one sooner rather than later:
It Solidifies Your Brand
How are your clients and customers going to know what you stand for, what you offer and what you’re working towards in this world, if you don’t come out and tell them? That’s exactly what a mission statement does. It explains your company and what it provides your ideal customer. It essentially tells others why you’re so passionate, solidifying your brand as a result.
It Creates a Personal Connection with Your Consumer
There’s a reason why social networking is so popular nowadays: It creates a personal connection between family members and friends, mentors and mentees, companies and consumers. A mission statement does the same thing. When you share that the whole purpose of creating your own small business is that you’re working toward a particular goal, you’ll become more appealing to others who want the same thing. They’ll connect with your desires, which makes you more human and, therefore, more attractive as a company they’d like to do business with.
It Helps You Make Better Business Decisions
Determining the mission of your business is like setting a goal to lose 20 pounds. As you go about your day, you’re going to be faced with many decision-making points, like whether to eat that piece of cake or a carrot stick, whether to go for a walk at lunch or sit at your desk instead, or whether to grab a bottle of water versus a soda. Because you have that mission to lose weight set in your mind, you’re more likely to make the decisions that will get you closer to where it is you want to be. The same is true with business. Put another way by Time’s Small Business Tip of the Day, having a mission statement “can give you the framework for evaluating opportunities and deciding whether they fit your core business model and strategy.” Exactly.
It Keeps You Focused and Moving Forward
Do you ever have those days when your energy is lagging and you’re wondering why on earth you started your own small business? Of course you do. We all do. Well, having a mission statement can help keep you focused and moving forward, inspiring and motivating you to accomplish all of the things you’ve set out to do. Put your mission statement on a sticky note on your computer, paint it on your wall, even print it on your letterhead. Look at it often and remind yourself why being successful is so important to you. Let it help drive you forward on days when you find it difficult to just get out of park.
It Gets Your Employees on the Same Page
In addition to a mission statement keeping you on task, it can get your employees on the same page as well. After all, how can your staff help get you to your desired final destination if they have no idea what that destination is? Simple. They can’t. Perhaps The Growth Coach says it best by stating, “The mission statement serves as a ‘North Star’ that keeps everyone clear on the direction of the organization.” This makes going over your mission statement upon hiring a new employee a good idea so that he or she knows where it is you intend to go as a business. It’s also a great topic to bring up at least annually at staff meetings, reminding everyone of where you want to see your small business 5, 10, or 50 years from now.
If you’re convinced that you need a mission statement, then it’s time to create one.
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!