How do you sum up the purpose of your business? Regardless of your business size or project, how will you know if you are successful and how will you move forward if you don’t have a plan. Writing down a mission, vision, goals and objectives helps you to form the strong foundation of a strategic plan needed to guide your business forward. Start the year off on the right foot by ensuring you know where you are going with a clear and concise vision and mission statement as well as clear goals and objectives.
A mission statement clarifies a reason, a motive, something to be accomplished. It describes what your business wants to do now. What do you do today? For whom do you do it? What is the benefit?
Keep these guidelines in mind when writing or evaluating your mission statement:
- Focus on what the customer needs
- Base your mission on your business point of difference.
- Your mission statement should be motivating. It should inspire you and make you feel that your work is significant and that it contributes to people’s lives.
- Your mission statement should be realistic.
- It should be specific, easily understood and memorable.
A vision states the result you aim to achieve. It outlines where you want your business to be in the future. It should inspire and motivate you and illuminate the path forward. Where do you want to be? What are you pursuing? How do you want to do it?
An effective vision statement consists of the following elements:
- Provides a picture of what your business will look like in the future.
- Represents a dream your business is striving to reach.
- Clarifies the direction in which your business needs to move.
- Creates enthusiasm and poses a challenge that inspires and engages you and any employees.
- Builds on your business core competencies, strengths, unique capabilities, resources and assets
The vision and mission statement along with your business core values establish your business foundation so change should be kept to a minimum. You need to formulate these before you can effectively develop your business goals and objectives.
Goals describe what a business expects to accomplish over a specific period of time. They define where you are heading – a desired destination.
Objectives are all about the tactics to achieve the goals. They are actionable steps to be achieved within a timeframe. Objectives are very specific as well as measurable.
Clarifying your business direction and purpose can help you stay inspired and on the right path, especially when starting out. It may seem like a lot of hard work. You may say they are clear in your head but writing them down forces you to focus on the following questions. What difference do you want to make? What do you want your business to be recognised for one day? Aim for something otherwise you will just be drifting. Make sure your vision, mission, goals and objectives really mean something to you. However, writing these is no easy task. It may require several drafts. You need to capture the very essence of what your business does, what you are aiming to achieve and how you will achieve it.
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