Who are you? Where are you going? Why do you want to go there? If this sounds a little existential… well, it is! The mission, vision, and core values of your business help answer these questions. They provide a compass, a North Star, a map – whatever analogy you prefer – to help you determine strategic direction, achieve brand-building goals, and create a buy-in so the people who can help grow your business are just as excited for the journey as you are.
Pieces of the Puzzle: Vision Statement, Mission Statement & Core Values
While each of these pieces is different, they fit together to create a cohesive picture of your brand. Let’s take a look:
College dropout Bill Gates started a little company in 1975. His vision was to ensure a personal computer was accessible to every home and business. He didn’t have an outline yet or specific steps by which he was going to make that happen. He had an overarching “dream,” if you will, of what he wanted to achieve.
This is vision. It is not married to the details. It is, instead, a statement that captures your dream of a future reality. Vision is about aspiration – and it may be audacious. “A computer on every desk and in every home”? Unheard of! Until Microsoft made it a reality. Other vision statements that picture a better future:
Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s Disease
IKEA: Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people
Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete)
Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis
What is your audacious dream?
Project 5 – 10 (or more!) years into the future.
Ask yourself: Why does my business exist? How do we do what we do differently, better, more efficiently? What should we do to achieve our goal? (This will be critical in your mission statement but think about it here as well.)
Determine what success looks like.
Set and describe a measurable goal.
Vision statements are short, succinct, inspirational, and aspirational.
A mission statement explains your reason for being. Why do you exist? In a short, concise action-oriented sentence or paragraph you capture your purpose – and keep those within your organization focused on moving towards the overarching goal. It can also inspire consumers and partners to come along for the ride.
As these brands demonstrate, mission statements are simple, clear, and aspirational:
Home Artisans of Indiana: HAOI is a collaborative community of business leaders dedicated to professional and personal growth. We build better businesses together.
Caterpillar: To enable economic growth through infrastructure and energy development, and to provide solutions that support communities and protect the planet.
Uber: Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.
When crafting your mission statement, look at four key elements:
Value: What value do you offer/deliver to customers and employees?
Inspiration: Why would someone want to work for or with you?
Plausibility: Your goal – mission – must be reasonable and seem achievable.
Specificity: Connect your mission back to your business.
Let’s look at the HAOI statement and parse it out. The value is a collaborative community of like-minded professionals. Members have the opportunity to grow in their career and as people with the support of their peers. Building better businesses is reasonable and achievable – particularly when we work together, which is a specific goal of HAOI.
What is your reason for being?
As entrepreneur Ajay Pattani writes in Inc., “Core values guide how an organization thinks and behaves; they’re the bedrock on which business decisionsare made and successful relationships are formed.”
Core values are threads that weave themselves throughout all aspects of your business from sales and customer relationships to hiring and development.
Even if you prefer to make your own coffee, there’s no doubt Starbucks nails it with their core values:
With our partners, our coffee and our customers at our core, we live these values:
Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity
Starbucks emphasizes human connection, an atmosphere that is inclusive and welcoming, as well as a culture that prioritizes innovation, courage, transparency, and accountability.
Core values are not just words you select at random because you think they’ll make for good marketing and PR. They’re the way of life for your business.
Depending on the size and structure of your business, gather a team to brainstorm ideas. (The “team” could be representatives from different areas – or your entire workforce, if you’re small!). Ask them to generate a list of values they feel drive the company. Group similar ones together and pare down to the essentials.
Create a short list and ask yourself: What behaviors do we value over making a profit? What’s most important to us?
Look to your mission and vision statements for guidance. Core values should align – these are all aspects of your identity.
Make the core values visible to employees, partners, guests… they are an integral part of your culture.
Revisit them annually. Your company will grow and change; while your core values should be rather unshakeable (integrity never goes out of style, for example!), they can evolve as your business does.
Celebrate wins. When you see behaviors or actions that bring the core values to life, acknowledge them and honor your team members.
We know that the day-to-day running of a home services business is challenging – and if there’s one thing we can’t create, build, fix, or update, it’s the number of minutes in the day. Crafting mission and vision statements and core values is often seen as a “we’ll get to it sometime” type of activity after you’ve launched.
Make it a priority to ask these questions, think about your brand identity, and develop compelling statements that show your people – and the world – what you’re about, where you’re going, and why they should believe you’ll get there. It can change the entire trajectory of your business.
HAOI is here to help with the resources, guidance, support, and collaborative environment you need as you’re working to develop mission, vision, and core values statements and grow your company. Remember, we build better businesses together!
Request your invite to Home Artisans today by visiting our website homeartisans.com.