Mission/ Vision / Values
What is the personality of your company? What image do you want to portray to your customers? Are you the one-stop shop or the niche supplier? The high-end product or the low-budget option? The first to market or the best in the business?
An important step in building your business strategy is figuring out who you are,
before you start really engaging with customers. We often spend an afternoon with our clients, a white board, and some coffee, working through their mission, their vision and their values. Here’s a sneak peak at what that exercise entails. (please note the examples I give below are general for reference purposes; the brainstorm we conduct with our clients delves much deeper than the space of this blog allows)
The mission is what you’re trying to achieve for the company’s stakeholders. It answers the question “why do we exist?”
1. Who are the stakeholders?
The stakeholders are the ones that have an interest in seeing the business succeed. For example:
- The owner
- The more general “society”
2. What do the stakeholders want?
They all have their different reasons for wanting the business to succeed, and it is from these reasons that you can derive your mission. For example,
- The owner wants the business to be profitable and efficient
- Customers want the business to offer a quality product and stellar customer service
- Vendors want the business to be trustworthy and dependable
- The more general “society” wants the business to give back and offer educational opportunities
3. So what’s your mission?
Now we take these bullet points for each stakeholder and turn them into phrases. Something like this:
Our mission is to offer quality products and stellar customer service to all of our patrons while engaging with the community as a knowledgeable and trustworthy business leader.
Your values set the parameters for your business.
1. What ARE you? What AIN’T you?
Start a running list of verbs and adjectives that you think describe what your business is, and one describing what your business ain’t. Try to avoid just the “un” words in the ain’t category (Kind/unkind, trustworthy/untrustworthy, etc). For example,
2. Look at other companies you want to emulate (and those that you don’t), based on floor plan, customer service, technical advancements, product quality, “personality”, etc.
|Banana Republic||Payless Shoes|
3. So what are your values?
Use these lists to shape and prioritize your core values, such as:
- Be a source of information for the industry
- Give back to our community
- Always respond to customers
- Deliver the highest quality product, always
The vision is how you go about achieving your mission within the parameters of your values.
So now smush them together: How do you achieve your mission based on your values? Look forward, dream big here. This statement should envelop your goals and aspirations in a broad way, so even if you change strategy, the vision can hold true.
We will be the premier product producer and thought leader in our industry nationwide by offering quality products and educating industry participants.