“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”
~ Richard Buckminster Fuller
I have found that the entrepreneurs and companies that respond best to business challenges are the ones that employ mission statements.
What are mission statements? Mission statements explain what your business is trying to achieve. For example:
- Amazon.com’s mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.
- Since 1901, Nordstrom’s mission has been to “offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.”
Why do mission statements matter? For internal (e.g., employees) and external (investors, partners, customers) audiences, your mission can inspire and get them excited to be part of what your company is doing.
And, importantly, for internal decision-making, mission statements help as key decisions should be made with regards to how well they help your company progress in achieving its mission.
So, when your company hits a rut, rather than completely scrambling, you need to ask yourself what you should be doing to achieve your mission.
Your mission statement keeps you grounded. It helps you make strategic versus opportunistic decisions. Opportunistic decisions are ones that may bring in short-term revenues, but often guide you off course (these opportunities are often the “bright shiny objects” that distract entrepreneurs). On the other hand, strategic decisions are those that drive the company closer to achieving its stated mission.
When your company experiences challenges, go back to your mission statement. Decide what has to be done to allow your company to achieve its mission. It is true when they say there are “many ways to skin a cat” or many different ways of doing the same thing. So, find new ways to achieve your mission.
If you can’t raise funding, how else could you achieve your mission? Could you get another company to joint venture with you and provide cash and other resources?
If a key employee leaves, can you get them to still work on weekends? Could you find other human resources? Could you outsource parts of their job to a few others?
If you lose a key customer, can you find other customers? Can you identify why you lost the customer, and improve your product/service so you get that customer back along with many more?
If you have your mission statement set, and everyone in your organization knows it well, then you and your team will constantly make the right decisions towards achieving your company’s goals. And even when you and your company “get hit,” you’ll get right back up, and move forward towards success without skipping a beat.
Is Your Business at Risk of Failure?
Most businesses fail — they die a premature death. I hate to be so blunt, but this is the truth. The only thing that varies is just how many businesses fail.
What’s the number one cause of this failure?
Well, according to Dun & Bradstreet, the primary cause is lack of strategic planning.
Entrepreneurs and business owners don’t plan to fail. Rather, they fail to plan (which causes them to fail).
Today’s Question: What is the only way a banana tree can reproduce?
Previous Question: What music company owns the copyright to the song “Happy Birthday?”
Answer: Warner Chappel Music owns the song ‘Happy Birthday’ and makes over $1 million in royalties every year because of commercial use of the song.
Knowing when to get certain licenses and copyrights can save you time, effort and money later, along with helping you make money. Knowing a good thing when it comes your way makes all the difference.
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