This article is part 2 of a 3 part series on Mission, Vision, and Culture all necessary elements to your Strategic Business Plan
< Article 1 – The Business Vision
Crafting Your Business Mission Statement
In Part 1 of this series, I focused on establishing the foundation for leadership and team prioritisation – the business vision. Once created the business owner should create a description of how the vision is accomplished. This is called the business mission statement. The business mission statement should include:
- Who we are as a company
- In what business we are employed
- The markets that we serve
- How we differ from our competition
All of the above points are worthy of some extended deep thought and discussion, especially the final bullet. The outcome should be the company’s unique value proposition or unique selling proposition (USP). The USP is a valuable gem that will strategically drive all of your marketing efforts. When properly crafted and deployed, your USP will mitigate your company’s exposure to price competition by so dramatically differentiating your business from the rest of the pack that the unique value your company can provide should divert the need to discount!
You might be thinking “I’m in a commodity business so I don’t have anything of unique value to provide.” I guarantee that with proper self-assessment, any group of individuals assembled for a common purpose (a company) can find something, within that umbrella of purpose, that they can do better than anyone else; if for no other reason than they choose to focus on that “something” and make it so. We at ActionCOACH have assembled a USP creation methodology that takes a group through that discovery process.
To illustrate the above let’s consider ActionCOACH’s mission statement:
ActionCOACH is a team of committed, positive and successful people who are always striving to be balanced, integral and honest. They will work within their “14 Points of Culture” to make sure that the ActionCOACH team touches everyone who touches, or, will benefit greatly and in some way move closer to becoming the person they want to be or achieving the goals they desire.
We will always work in co-opetition with all those who believe they are in competition with us. We are in the business of ‘Edutainment’. We will educate ourselves, our clients and all those with whom we work, while we entertain them and create a fun learning environment. We will train our customers in world-class marketing and business development techniques using audio, video, CD’s, other technologies, and simple workbooks, workshops and seminar formats. Our products and services will be of the highest quality, value for money and, whether sourced from within the company or externally, will always add the most value using the latest and most effective training methodologies available. ActionCOACH clients, whether they are small, medium or large, will have a desire to have us help them in achieving their goals and be able to take on Our Commitment to them by returning their Commitment to ActionCOACH. They will be forward thinking, willing to learn and grow and be prepared to work as a team player in the development of an organisation of people. Our clients will be selected more on attitude than size, and they will want to do business with us because we understand people are critical, systems should run a company, we offer the most practical, most applicable and fastest strategies on growth, and most importantly because we mean what we say. We will give people back their spirit and freedom through business development.
Here are a few thought-provoking questions (from Instant Team Building by Brad Sugars) to ask when developing your mission statement:
- What do we, as a team, want in abundance?
- What do we, as a team, want to reduce?
Describe the relationships you wish to have with your:
As a quality check for your mission statement asks the following questions:
- Is it future oriented?
- Is it likely to lead to a better future for the organisation?
- Is it consistent with the organisation’s values?
- Does it set standards of excellence?
- Does it clarify purpose and direction?
- Does it inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment?
- Does it set the company apart from the competition?
- Is it ambitious enough?
- Is it exciting?
With a well crafted and communicated vision and mission statement, your team will be able to cross-check their priorities with yours.