What is your mission?

March 23, 2009 at 6:00 am 2 comments

What is the mission of your business?  When is the last time you looked at your mission statement?

I’m hoping your answer to the latter question is, “Michelle, I just looked at it an hour ago as it is emblazoned in hot pink on my walls.”  But, if you are like most small business owners (myself included) you just winced with the thought of it and mumbled “Make the bad man stop.”

But, it’s time to face it: you need to know what your business is all about and what the purpose is of your business.

We’re going to do two things today: break down a successful mission statement and begin to craft one of our own.  EGADS!

Starbucks’ Mission Statement

The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary is a great read.  The book breaks down the secrets of all that is Starbucks.  The company has an amazing mission statement:

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

WOW! That’s a lot of pressure for a little cup of coffee! The book goes on to talk about how the company’s five guiding principles direct everyone in the organization to achieve this mission.  They are:

  1. Make it your own (Be welcoming, be genuine, be considerate, be knowledgeable, be involved)
  2. Everything Matters  (It really is the little things that count)
  3. Surprise and Delight  (What is the extra something? The je ne sais quoi?)
  4. Embrace Resistance (Learn from criticism, challenge skepticism, do not avoid conflict)
  5. Leave Your Mark (Leave a powerful and positive mark on the community)

By having this clearly communicated mission statement – and the five guide principles – the company has been able to achieve unbridled success.  Employees know what to do and how to do it.  Clients understand the product and the company.

YOUR Mission Statement

Now… drumroll, please!  What about your mission statement?  Dust it off and let’s get started.  Here are questions taken from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Your Own Business to help you in the construction/re-construction of your company’s mission statement:

  • Why are you in business?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What is the nature of your products and services?
  • What level of service do you provide?
  • What roles do you and your employees play?
  • What kind of relationships do you maintain with suppliers?
  • How do you differ from competitors?
  • How will you reach your goals?
  • What underlying philosophies or values guide your business?

Spend some time fleshing these out.  They will help refine the backbone of your business. On Tuesday, we’ll work on fine-tuning these and helping you turn them into a working mission statement.  We’re on a mission!


Entry filed under: Excercises, Plan It, Strategy.

Insider to Insider: Kelly Simants ~ Sweet Pea Events On a Mission

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