Despite lower unemployment rates and a stronger market, the downsizing is very real. Shortly before the 2006 recession, more than 550,000 businesses opened. In 2015, the most recent year surveyed by the US Census Bureau, this number was 414,000.
It seems that entrepreneurs are still afraid to venture into the unknown and turn their ideas into reality. But one of the ways they can empower themselves is to create a mission statement that explains what a company does and provides a clear sense of purpose to employees and consumers. Although entrepreneurs can not control market volatility or future business developments, they can use mission statements to better reflect the visions of their organization and be in a dynamic market.
From conception to execution
The best mission statements appeal to the type and extent of public that a company hopes to achieve. For example, Nike's general statement – "Bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world" – represents precisely a global company that speaks to billions of consumers, because the anatomy of an athlete does not make a difference. is not culturally or geographically prescribed.
Small businesses and startups, however, are often more specialized organizations that operate in more refined niche markets. Thus, they could use a sharper statement that their potential consumers find convincing and educational. Brandless, for example – an online packaged food store selling everything from food to body products – is presented as a company offering high quality products at low prices to consumers who value social and environmental responsibility.
Beyond the definition of objectives, the mission statement of a company can also guide the supply of products and services, in addition to production methods or codes of conduct . Yet understanding the concept behind a good mission statement and creating one are different processes. Here are some strategies that entrepreneurs can use to define and shape the purpose of their organization.
1. Define Your Mission – for Consumers and Employees
Why did you start your business? What is different from the competition? What role do your employees play in your business? What is your growth platform? You must dig up the ideology and goals of your business to determine what your mission statement should say.
For employees, your statement will allow new employees to be on the same page as the rest of the team. For consumers, a well-crafted mission statement includes a barometer of satisfaction and success. Instead of sticking "To be the best at …" in the summary of the business plan, include real and measurable goals that help consumers see your business as an opportunity.
Amazon, for example, wants to be a place where consumers can find and buy just about anything. Both of these goals are measurable, helping the company define itself to consumers while promoting directional growth.
2. Write a rough draft. Then another one. Then another …
Mission statements come in all shapes and sizes, from Universal Health Services Inc. to Life Is Good, to this example of "spreading the power of optimism". Whatever the complex hurdles that attack a business embrace simplicity.
Defining and refining your business is a difficult process, however, and it will probably take a number of tests. Often, when your team sits down to write a mission statement, the focus on the perfect wording creates too much back and forth. While it is important to get the right word or phrase, focus first on the message and the content of the statement, perfecting the copy only afterwards. Finally, do not be afraid to ask the help of those with whom you trust or with whom you work.
3. Keep it up to date
Even current small business owners who have already implemented mission statements may find that the nature, scope, or scale of their activities have changed since the company's inception. Do not be afraid to periodically refine this statement to reflect your current operation.
There is no concrete limit to the number of revisions you can do, although changing it too often can have a negative effect. In this case, consumers may feel that your business is unstable or unpredictable, so try to keep some degree of consistency by basing the changes under a larger, more fixed umbrella, even when you update your return.
A mission statement does not have to be deep, nor to reveal everything about your business. By clearly defining your goals and your vision, by simply writing and maintaining a current and consistent approach, entrepreneurs can get a clearer picture of their business and what it offers, even when the nature of the business. Business remains nebulous. So do not be afraid to sit down and put something in writing when you get into your big idea, because it will definitely help your business to take off.