When I was speaking at conferences this fall about my new book, Creating and Marketing Your Birth Related Business, one thread seemed to resonate with nearly all attendees - creating a business seems overwhelming!
What I want to do in the next few blogs is take you step by step through some of the most difficult parts of becoming a business. The first part is the business plan.
Although there are many parts to a business plan, two of the most important parts is writing the mission/vision statement AND the budget. Part 1 will focus on the mission and vision statement:
Think of your mission/vision statements as the very foundations on which your business will be built. Obviously like a structural building, the foundation must be strong, clear and precise. So should your mission/vision statement.
A mission statement usually dictates how people are to respond in given situations. It is the guide in difficult or challenging times. A mission statement is a brief description of a company's fundamental purpose. A mission statement answers the question, "Why do we exist?" The mission statement articulates the company's purpose both for those in the organization and for the public. (Do the Non-birth Friend Test: show your mission statement to a non-birth friend, perhaps a male friend. If they don't understand it, start again!)
A vision statement photograph in words of your company's future, it provides the inspiration for both your daily operations and your strategic decisions.
A vision statement could be two or three sentences that answer three questions:
1. Who are our clients/customers?
2. What do we sell or provide?
3. Why would a client/customer find value in a business relationship with me/us?
Take two sheets of paper. Write Mission Statement at the top of one page, and Vision Statement at the top of the other. Take notes daily on these pages, related to Mission and Vision. At the end of this week, on November 13, you may have enough information and thoughts to create wonderful Mission and Vision Statements.
Here are some non-birth related Mission Statements:
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream: "To make, distribute & sell the finest quality all natural ice cream & euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment."
Joe Boxer: "JOE BOXER is dedicated to bringing new and creative ideas to the market place, both in our product offerings as well as our marketing events. We will continue to develop our unique brand positioning, to maintain and grow our solid brand recognition, and to adhere to high quality design standards. Because everyone wants to have fun everyday, JOE BOXER will continue to offer something for everyone with fun always in mind."