The Profit Clinic

Business Planning

Your Business Mission and Business Vision

At its most fundamental level, a Business Plan is all about PERSONAL CONTROL. It’s a tool to put YOU in control of your enterprise. Without it, chances are that your business will control you.

There are two critical factors that need to be understood before you can ever be truly in control… correct perspective and correct definition.

1. Correct Perspective

This entails getting the big picture that reveals the cause-and-effect relationships at work in your business. You can't get that kind of higher view when you’re stuck on the ground amidst the hurlyburly of daily operation. From that viewpoint, you won’t be able to see the forest because of all the trees!

You need to take time out to think and plan. To pull back from the day-to-day frenzy and look at the overall picture. To identify trends, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats.

This entire website is designed to give you correct perspectives on small business. Sections Six and Seven of the book Don’t Go Into Small Business Until You Read This Book!are all about correct perspectives.

2. Correct Definition

You can never control what you can’t define, for the simple reason that you don’t know what you’re talking about or dealing with! The real dilemma, for most small business people (in fact, for most people, period!) is that they can’t define much at all. Instead, when asked to define why something works, they’ll describe how it works in excruciating detail.

They’re quite different things.

Knowing how something works doesn’t put you in control. If the process doesn’t work, you have no idea why.

Because correct perspective reveals the cause-and-effect relationship, it enables you to both define why and describe how.

But what does this have to do with our Business Mission and Business Vision?

Everything!

Your Business Mission Statement is a succinct definition of WHY you’re making the journey.

Your Business Vision Statement is a detailed description of HOW things will be when you eventually reach your destination. It details WHEN it will be, WHERE you'll be, WHO you'll be with, WHAT you'll be doing and HOW you'll feel about it.

A Business Plan is essentially a set of precise definitions for your enterprise, and detailed descriptions of how you’ll implement your definitions.

If this suggests to you that most Business Mission Statements don’t really define why the enterprise exists, you’re right. The majority of “Mission Statements” we see are a meaningless mish-mash of noble sentiment, puffery, braggadoccio and gooey, warm fuzziness.

A true Mission Statement should be a succinct statement expressed, preferably, in a single sentence.

Why?

Because EVERY decision made in the operation and direction of the business must be in harmony with that Mission Statement. Frankly, things would grind to a halt in most businesses with a so-called “Mission Statement” if that were to be strictly applied, because it would take so long to wade through the mumbo jumbo that nothing would ever get done.

So the inevitable outcome is that, like the Business Plan itself, the Mission Statement is set aside as a well-meaning, worthy expression of good intentions that simply cannot be put into practice in real life.

The wrong thing, done for the wrong reasons. Again.

And because the definitions are either misleading or missing, the perspectives are inaccurate and misleading — so wrong decisions continue to be made for the wrong reasons.

Your Business Vision Statement can be as detailed as you like. In fact, the more detailed, the better and more real it will be to you, and the more likely it will to be finally realised. (It's the old story -- "if you aim at nothing in particular, that's what you'll hit!")

It’s the basis for true leadership in your enterprise

Consider the three hallmarks of a leader:

1. They have a clear vision of a potential reality that they want to create.

2. They have the ability to communicate that vision to people whose resources they need in order to realise their vision. (Communicating it to anyone else is just breast-beating or attention seeking. You don't have time to waste on emotional insecurity of this kind. DO it -- don't talk about it.)

3. They have the ability to inspire and motivate those people to willingly contribute their resources to help realise the vision.

Consider those three attributes carefully.

They apply to every role you'll fill in your business, whether in your Customer Relationships, Internal Relationships or External Relationships. Selling is leadership in action (you're communicating a vision of what the customer's potential reality will be, and how they'll feel when it's achieved, then inspiring them to contribute the only resource they have of value to your business -- their money!). So is motivating and training staff. EVERYONE connected to the business needs to clearly understand and share your vision (or your vision for THEM) and be inspired to contribute willingly.

To view The Profit Clinic’s Mission Statement, click here.

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