I remember hearing those words right at the beginning of my business, during a Start your Own Business Course (SYOB). At the time I was thinking it all sounded very holistic to me. I as a Sole Trader, personally felt I needed to work on the “mechanics” of my business before considering wishy-washy stuff like that. I remember wanting to sort out my elevator pitch, my sales and my USP. All good things to be on top of for sure, yet these two statements fell by the wayside for at least another year.
So what changed? Why did I return to this a year later? Mainly because I wanted to understand and follow the business plan I had drafted out during the SYOB course and already my business looked like it needed to pivot!
Business Model Changes
In the first year of business I was targeting my audience with a various amount of different services than I am today. I had to change it up as what I was doing wasn’t working. I just wasn’t engaging the audience in the right way and my own business had to shift from Marketing and PR to just Social Media Training and Management.
This change wasn’t a simple thing either. I felt it necessary to create public polls and then a segmented focus group within my business and the feed back came back conclusive. My audience at that time saw me as the go to for Social Media and pretty much nothing else. So it made sense to make that change fully.
This very change made me realize that my mission had to change and most certainly my vision too.
What Comes First?
I would say your mission statement is your most important of the two. It clearly outlines what your services or business is fundamentally about. It’s the framework that your business sits on and becomes recognized for.
A restaurant isn’t just a place that feeds you. It’s a comfortable, welcoming location that brings relaxation, versatile tastes and convenient opening hours that caters to all faiths and beliefs.
Social Media Management isn’t just to take the work off you because you don’t like it or don’t have time for it (though it helps in fairness). It’s adding a useful member to your team that creates, strategizes and manages your front facing of the business on social media channels.
Why not try and either update or create yours by using the tips below:
Creating a Mission Statement
- Do keep it short and concise. Sum up the company’s mission in just a few sentences.
- Do think long-term.
- Do find out what your employees think of the mission statement.
- Don’t write an essay.
- Don’t make it too limiting.
- Don’t be afraid to change it.
A vision statement is very much useful for creating the ongoing strategy and measurement of your business. If you create reachable goals over a period of time it makes you accountable and responsible for your own growth. I’ve seen most vision statements are for five to ten years in the future but you can make it as long or as short as you like.
Creating a Vision Statement
- Determine your purpose and position as an organization.
- Describe what success looks like in your operations.
- Consider your company type and structure.
- Reference your competitors or create an analogy.
- Describe a measurable goal.
Once you have created these – it’s worth sharing it on your website and perhaps even on your social media. One place it’s worth sharing, is perhaps on any quotations you send out or perhaps literature that your audience gets access to offline as well.
The purpose of these is to focus your business on what matters to your audience and these should be things you keep re-engaging with until they become second nature.