If you are thinking of starting up a new business, it is important to get the basics right. In this article we explain why building a clear Vision, Mission and Value statement will help you stay on track and achieve your goal of building a successful business.
WHAT IS A VISION, MISSION, AND VALUES STATEMENT?
A Vision, Mission and Values statement (VMV) is a way to bring together everything you want your business to be in a clear articulate way. It is a path to follow when you have decisions to make and you are not sure which way to go. It will define how you deal with suppliers, your branding, your ethos and your pricing so that every choice you make is working towards your end goal with clarity and precision.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Businesses must take the time to take a step back and be clear about who they are. Your VMV really does define who you are as a business and how you operate. Every element of how you operate should follow the theme set initially.
“Over the years I have seen so many clients come my way with new business ideas that have changed dramatically as soon as they have gone live or failed after a short period of time. Real life experience of dealing with these situations does bring a level of integrity which enables us to help clients to choose the right path to ensure they take their business forward.
It is a known fact that around 80% of new businesses fail within 5 years. Laying strong foundations in the early days via a strong Vision, Mission and Values (and sticking to it!), in my opinion really helps secure future success. Of course, things change over time and the business will evolve but they should always be done strategically and not in a scatter gun approach.”
Katie Bullon, MD.
WHERE TO BEGIN.
How do you define your VMV? The best way to start is by identifying where you are now.
You will need to research and fully explore all elements of your business by asking lots of questions. For example:
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- What sets you apart from competitors?
- What do competitors do better than you?
- Do you need to strive to improve or decide that you take a different and more differentiated approach for example?
- What do your customers think of you? What do they like?
- What are the market conditions?
- Is there a need for a certain element of your business?
- Does the 80/20 rule apply?
- Is your business operating efficiently?
- Which elements of your business bring in the most revenue?
- Does that part which takes the most effort offer the most profitability?
Do not just rely on what you think you know about your business, your opinion is not the only one and this stage is the perfect opportunity to gather information from lots of other sources such as focus groups, customer surveys, staff discussions and social media opinion polls to get a well-rounded look at where you are.
In addition to a collection of opinions you should also look at and analyse any data that you have available. Look at sales data, financial records, website statistics, keyword research and search engine ranking positions for both your business and for that of your competitors.
Once you have all the information about your business you then need to be concise and clear as to your Vision.
To understand your Vision, you need to take all the information and research from identifying where you are now and then work out where you want to be in the future. That way you can identify your long-term strategic objectives.
Do you have a clear idea of your main business goal?
The Mission statement declares what your business intends to accomplish.
The Mission statement should focus on what your business can do every day to achieve your Vision.
To achieve our Mission statement we constantly put ourselves in our client’s shoes. It sounds cliché but your business is our business. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the support we give by measuring the website analytics, social media statistics and search engine ranking positions.
Lastly, you should lay out a set of principles and Values that yourself and employees can work to that define your beliefs and that will help to accelerate your progress together.
When you have a clearly defined VMV statement you can then use it to build a business strategy.
At activ we can work with you to help you achieve your goals. Together we can break down your long-term strategy into smaller short-term strategies with specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound objectives.
From working with many types of SME’s and from our own experience we now have a wealth of knowledge and advice that we are happy to share with you.
If you would like to know more about building a Vision, Mission and Values statement for your business or would like to work with us to achieve your strategic objectives then please get in touch.