Last week we worked on understanding your business and how it operates now. Now that you have a better understanding of what is happening now, you need to focus on where you want to go. This is your vision, your dream for the business. What do you expect to happen in your business? Be mindful, that this is not about how much money you want to make or whether or not you are going to sell to a particular company or set of individuals, it is a compilation of statements that help you figure out what your business is about.
Positioning Statement - A positioning statement is one or two sentences that explains who you are and what you do. This is not a market position statement that states how you are perceived by your customers. Instead this is about how you wish your business to be perceived. This is method of communicating to yourself as well as your clients. It is the core message that you want to communicate to the world. When people ask you what your business does . . . this should be it.
In its simplest form, the positioning statements should state who you are, who you work with, and what you do for them. If you need a second sentence, then it should state the business you are in, what is different about your business, and the benefits of using you. I have chosen to use a one sentence positioning statement that describes who we are, who we work with and what we do for them, if people ask more, then I explain.
Vision Statement – A vision statement explains where you want your business to be over a period of time. It shares the reasons your business exists and standards your business sets. It should be forward looking. How do you see your business in three to five years? Where do you aim to be?
There are four main parts of a vision statement: (1) future oriented; (2) describes the future in images or mental pictures; (3) vision about possibilities and (4) explains what is unique about the company.
Mission Statement – A mission statement discusses how you will get to where you want to be. It is larger than the vision statement in that it is about the present leading to the future. It defines the purpose and primary objectives related to your customer needs and team values. The primary function is internal, meaning that the public will not see it.
The Mission is the fundamental set of reasons for the organization's existence. In the widest, most durable sense it is what people in the organization want to contribute everyone else. It is a purpose that is pursued continuously but never fully achieved. It is not a specific objective that you accomplish and then say, "We are done." An effective mission is wide-ranging and moving, something that strikes a basic chord and provides a clear sense of direction for the organization and its members.
Once you complete these three components you will be on your way to creating a strategic plan for your business. Make sure that you allow others to listen and comment on your statements and tweak them as necessary.
Next week we will work on the plan: Goals and Objectives will be the focus. If you have not done so already, sign up for our newsletter and download a free copy of The 8 Step Guide to Growing Your Business.
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.