Today on THE ONE BURNING QUESTION blog, I dig in to understand how having a mission, vision, and values statement can help your business. To listen to the episode, click here.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I believe this in my core. I’m just not much for winging it. I’m an operational consultant helping small business owners build strategic plans and quarterly objectives, so I wouldn’t be much of an operations consultant if winging it was my strategic game plan.
From an early age I was planning and organizing everything from my wedding to my funeral (true story). I organized a play in fifth grade and a couple of years later organized a menu of fun activities for the kids at my dad’s company picnic. Not only is planning in my genes, but I completely geek out on it.
So, when I come across brilliant CEOs, entrepreneurs, and expertpreneurs churning out their next great idea without the benefit of a foundational plan, I fear they’re on the path to:
- Costly financial decisions,
- Limiting their opportunities, and
- Compounding their capacity issues that lead to overwhelm
AND THAT’S WHEN THEY ABANDON THEIR CURRENT IDEA – IT’S JUST TOO MUCH TO FIGURE OUT THE OPERATIONS – IT’S MORE FUN TO DO THE IDEA CHURCHING! SO, THEY JUST COME UP WITH THE NEXT GREAT IDEA, UNTIL OF COURSE, IT COMES TIME TO FINALIZE THE DETAILS FOR THAT IDEA. THEN THEY ABANDON IT AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT.
Does that sound like you? Well, you’re going to love the next few episodes where we focus on building your Mission, Vision, and Values, and talk about strategic planning in your business.
Can you relate?
Did you begin your business with flames of passion that quickly burned out because you’ve taken on too much? Have you hired employees or contractors (virtual or otherwise) without the right set of skills or fit? Or, do you find yourself procrastinating tasks like invoicing, marketing, fixing website glitches, and other operational job hazards because you didn’t have a plan or the right plan, or the right people to execute the plan to get them all accomplished?
If this sounds like you, you, my friend, need a strategic plan and it all begins with the mission, vision, and values statements that help create the foundation of your business.
When working with clients, I always start my small business strategy sessions with the triple threat: A mission statement, a vision statement, and a value set. From there, business owners find they have much more confidence building out their strategic plans, outlining their projects and crafting KPIs that help keep them on track.
OR, they realize they can hire someone to take care of that and they’re THRILLED that they get to go back to being creative, artistic, and doing what they love the most. Which is why they started their business to begin with.
Even those who’ve found success winging it in the past felt more secure and less frazzled about running their business when they went back to identify their mission, vision, and values. They had more time to create, build, design, and envision.
Remember the three reasons (amongh many, by the way) having mission, vision, and values are important? 1) they risk making costly financial decisions, 2) they risk limiting their opportunities, and 3) they are compounding their capacity issues and all of these lead to a sense of overwhelm.
Without Mission, Vision, and Values, Clients Made Costly Financial Decisions
Let’s look at how mission, vision, and values help you make better financial decisions:
Before I had my mission statement clearly defined, my services were not very well defined.
They were too broad, and I had a difficult time explaining my services in a clear and concise manner. I had no ‘elevator pitch.’
I didn’t understand whether my financial choices were helping or hindering my success. I made decisions based on a perceived need rather than whether it tied back to my strategic plan or quarterly goals. Often, this was a costly error.
I purchased every webinar, template, and resource I heard on a podcast or read about in a Facebook group and was left with credit card debt and an inbox full of expensive tools that clouded the mental and emotional capacity I needed to work on my priorities.
After getting my mission statement in place, I better understood the problems my clients faced and exactly how I was uniquely designed to solve them. I didn’t waste money on advertising or soliciting clients who didn’t need my services and I didn’t invest money on masterminds, courses, and coaching, though highly valuable, did not meet the needs of my mission, and vision.
Without Mission, Vision, and Values, Clients Limited Their Opportunities
Secondly, not having mission, vision, and values statements limited my opportunities.
I had an Etsy client who didn’t capture the process for onboarding and tracking new customers. She simply took the order, captured the least amount of information possible, then delivered what was asked. They completely missed the opportunity to build a relationship that captured more personal information so they could keep in touch, send personal notes on birthdays, celebrate the anniversary of their purchase, email them holiday discounts catered to their purchase, etc. While they had ‘in their head’ that customer service was one of their values, they’d never stopped to outline and plan what their customer’s experience should look like.
After getting her values in writing, she was then able to put each one into actions that specifically linked to each strategic objective. For example, one of her values was serving others, yet she couldn’t define how she did that in her business. After going through the exercises, she now has a clearly laid out plan for how that looks for her business.
She’s increasing her opportunities rather than limiting them.
Without Mission, Vision, and Values, Clients Compounded their Capacity Issues
Finally let’s talk about how having your MVV in place helps your capacity issues.
Entrepreneurs like yourself often get through the week on caffeine and fortitude, but this can lead to burnout. QUICKLY. When the solution to meeting unrealistic deadlines or fixing operational inefficiencies is always, ‘work harder,’ or ‘make more sacrifices,’ burnout is inevitable.
I want us to focus instead on creating the strategies that will drive the decisions that most successfully support the MVV. If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “I’ll figure it out later. I know what works for my business right now,” you may be missing out on best practices and key ideas that will help you increase your income or reduce your hours. Or reduce your stress!
I’m convinced that without these in place, you will be less resourceful, more reliant on desperation, and left wondering why you’re not growing.
Some entrepreneurs are doing great without them, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re wondering why your business isn’t growing or are frustrated because you haven’t made the sales you’d like, you need to take a strong look at your mission, vision and values.
- Your mission is the path you take to get your objectives in place. It’s what dictates the daily work you do.
- Your Vision is the motivation that propels you to accomplish and exceed the goals surrounding your daily work.
- Your Values are the lantern that lights your way.
They work in harmony and are absolutely foundational to your business.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?
If you’re ready to dig in, I have a couple of options for you. 1) Schedule a call and during the free consult, I’ll listen then provide feedback on one of the items we discussed today, or 2) Sign up for the Mission, Vision, Values min-course. It’s a value-packed mini-course designed to help you get laser-focused on your mission, create an even bigger vision, and nail down the values that will matter most to you in your business. Join the waitlist to get a sweet discount at vimandvigorbiz/mvv and you’ll find a course package that fits within your budget.
Be sure and join us for the next few episode where I’ll share questions you need to ask when creating your strategic plan.