By Alexis Fortier
Let me guess, you started your business for a few reasons…
Maybe you wanted to leave your dead-end cubicle job to pursue the freedom of entrepreneurship. Or maybe you wanted to step into a line of work that allowed you to impact the lives of others.
Whatever that reason was, I can probably guess that you want to create a thriving business on your own terms. A full client-roster that is filled with dream clients to work with. A team, whether large or small, to assist you with all of your big ideas.
However, sometimes we get so wrapped up in all of the “shiny objects” that are available to us in the online space: a course to teach us how to show up consistently on Instagram, a website with all of the bells and whistles, and a tool or platform that organizes our entire workflow (now you’re speaking my love language!)
We’re so distracted by the shiny objects and the “fun tasks” of running an online business, that we forget about the foundational pieces that will help us create a sustainable business that checks off our list of must-haves.
I’m talking about your mission, vision, and values – a.k.a. the foundation of your business.
Let’s break these three components down:
• Mission – The mission statement defines how & why your business does what it does.
• Vision – The vision statement defines where your business is going & what it aims to achieve.
• Values – The values define beliefs and how people within your business behave.
These three essential components will lay a foundation of your business that helps you get clear on your goals, figure out what systems you need in place to support you, and it helps you make decisions easier and more strategically.
At the core, not defining your mission, vision, and values leads to you working on things that aren’t truly moving the needle in the direction you want to go and it leads to you making short-ranged decisions based on what’s happening now instead of based on where you want to go. This creates a lot more work for you and your team, meaning your time and money ends up flushed down the drain. No bueno.
In this post, I’m going to show you how you can craft these three essential components that are vital to your business (and I’ll share some examples from businesses that you know and love!)
Before we dive into these, I want you to keep in mind that these statements DO NOT have to be super long paragraphs, you can keep them short and sweet. If you’re having trouble with any of these, take a step back and revisit them later. This is some deep work you’re about to do!
1. How to Define Your Mission
Your mission statement is a declaration of purpose and short statement of what your business does, who it does it for, and the benefit. It’s about the how and is more focused on the present, so it might change over time. With that being said, you should evaluate it annually!
As an entrepreneur, your company’s mission statement should be concise and specific so your customers understand your purpose and how you provide value to them.
A few questions to ask when defining your mission:
• What does your company do or provide for its customers?
• What is it your business does well, how do you do it?
• What do you want to be remembered for?
For an example, let’s look at Facebook’s mission statement: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Does that clearly define their purpose? It sure does. In just a few clicks, someone can create their Facebook profile and connect with friends, family, and their community.
2. How to Clarify Your Vision
A vision statement describes your business as it would appear in a future successful
state. It should be inspirational and aspirational. Your vision statement is a broad view
of how your company is going to leave an impact on customers and the greater community.
I want to also encourage you to include more personal details here about what
your company will do for you personally… how would you like your business to support your personal life?
A few questions to ask when clarifying your vision:
• What are your hopes and dreams?
• If your company were to meet all of its goals, what would it look like in 5 years?
• What problems do you expect to solve in the next few years?
Keep in mind that your vision statement should be forward thinking!
Now, let’s look at Facebook’s vision statement: People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
3. How to Establish Your Core Values
Core values describe what your business believes in and how it will behave. These
provide a moral compass for the company: it directs how you will hire employees and
build a company culture.
You may not realize it at first, but they also guide decision-making and establish a standard against which actions can be assessed.
A few questions to ask when establishing your core values:
• What are your guiding principles?
• What are your core beliefs?
• What are you opposed to?
Your values tell the world what you’re about, they give your employees a reason for what they do, and they give your customers a reason to cheer you on.
Let’s circle back to our example, and evaluate Facebook’s core values: Be bold, focus on impact, move fast, be open, and build social values.
You’ve developed your mission, vision, and values… now what?
When you have clearly defined your mission, vision, and values you have clarity on where your vision is headed, a solid understanding of who you should work with, and a clear company culture that will allow your business to grow and thrive. In addition, it’ll help you find the right clients to work with and the right people to support you.
This lays the framework for you as the CEO to create and validate your future goals, projects, investments, and opportunities. It’s vital to your business planning! Every decision you make in your business should tie back to these.
Want more clarity in your business?
Now that you know how crucial it is to incorporate these three components into your business, download my free guide! In this guide, I’m walking you through the process of defining your mission, vision, and values so you walk away with more direction and confidence than ever before!
What’s your main takeaway from this post? I’d love to hear it! Tag me when you’ve downloaded the free guide or send me a DM @alexismfortier!
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