What’s Your Mission?

Many small business owners don’t see the need to have a vision or mission statement.  This type of thinking will only lead you to frustration and defeat.  Here is why you want both.

A vision statement is a defined look at the future.  A mission statement is how you get there.  A vision is futuristic and your ultimate reason for being.  Your mission is the daily/weekly/monthly tactical steps to achieve these things.  We’ll talk about goals and how they relate later.  I want to focus on the vision and mission alone in the article.

Your vision is vital to the success of your company.  Without a vision, you cannot attain significance.  Vision Statements also define the organizations purpose, in terms of the organization’s values (values are guiding beliefs about how things should be done.)  The vision statement communicates both the purpose and values of the organization.

I believe a mission statement supports the vision, not the other way around.  A Mission Statement defines the organization’s purpose and primary objectives. Its prime function is internal – to define the key measure or measures of the organization’s success.

Let’s look at Starbucks to understand the importance of a mission statement.  They have one for every aspect of their business.  Nothing is left to chance, but rather, it helps ensure all members, suppliers and communities are on the same team.  This information is taken from their website and should inspire you to do the same for your small business.

Starbucks Coffee Mission Statement:  “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

To accomplish its mission, Starbucks has principles that guide all of its employees as they go about their daily business:

Our Coffee – It has always been, and will always be, about quality.

Our Partners – We always treat each other with respect and dignity. And we hold each other to that standard.

Our Customers – When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers – even if just for a few moments.

Our Stores – It’s about enjoyment at the speed of life – sometimes slow and savored, sometimes faster. Always full of humanity.

Our Neighborhood – We can be a force for positive action – bringing together our partners, customers, and the community to contribute every day.

Our Shareholders – We are fully accountable to get each of these elements right so that Starbucks – and everyone it touches – can endure and thrive. So, do you think they just sell coffee?  Think again, and begin to think differently about your business.  Market Naturally.