One of the fundamentals of business is to start with the ‘why’ your reason for being in business, or your mission statement. You need to communicate this before you get into the how you fulfil your purpose, through the products and/or services that you offer.
To help you identify your ‘why’ or your mission statement ask yourself these questions:
- What does your business do or sell?
- What does selling those products or services mean for your customers?
When you have answered the second question then you need to try to summarise everything that you have written, ideally you need to draw it down into ideally one sentence, certainly no more than 2.
The reason being it should roll off your tongue easily. If you cannot tell someone else in a short sentence (or two) what you do then it is either too vague, or it isn’t what you truly believe.
Once you have created the mission for your business which gives you a sense of pride and enthuses you, then the next step is to share it with your people. If they understand how they can impact on the lives of others, by simply doing their job then they are more likely to enjoy their work and give that bit more effort when required.
I have a great practical example of a mission statement that clearly expresses a ‘why’ in my book “A clear and concise guide to Building teams the SMARTer way: Creating the business you really want”.
To help you create your own, I would like to share it with you now, so that you can see the power of starting with the why.
Take a home security company.
Typically the marketing would talk about the fact that they sell and install intruder alarms, CCTV systems and so on. Sinek would refer to these as their ‘what’. They might suggest that they are the only company locally that can supply and fit the whole range of products, which could be their key differentiator or unique selling point (USP) which Sinek refers to as the how. But the overriding purpose (or ‘why’) for the business might be to ‘help local home owners to feel safe in the knowledge that their homes and possessions are protected’.
When you are talking to team members, particularly if you are recruiting, then it is difficult to expect them to be blown away by the products and services that you sell on their own. They are much more likely to be more enthusiastic about the why.
Imagine being asked when you meet someone new, ‘what do you do?’ and being able to respond ‘I help local home owners to feel safe in the knowledge that their homes and possessions are protected’. How much more motivated and proud would you be?
The next question on anyone’s lips is then likely to be ‘how do you do that’ and you can go on and tell them more about your business and its products and services.
Some of the best ones I have come across are:
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” – Nike “
“To make the world’s information universally accessible and useful” – Google
Over the last few years I have spent quite a lot of time at Woodside in Kenilworth, which is part of the Sundial Group of hotels. They have got their mission statement proudly displayed for all their customers and team to see.
I particularly like this one as not only does it have a clearly stated mission statement of “to proudly deliver great services, facilities and environments for learning, meetings and hospitality” it talks about the ‘how’ they do that in terms of ‘inspiring enthusiasm, loyalty, expertise and trust’ and also clearly shows their key differentiator or USP in that they are still a family owned and run business, unlike many of the other conference venues in the area which are part of larger corporations. It also links into the organisations values which are directly related to the mission and how they operate.
From my many visits I have seen all of this in action and after so many times of staying there each time I go now it feels like going home. All of the team at the venue are friendly and welcoming and genuinely remember you and go out of their way to make your experience a pleasant one.
But for me the biggest compliment to any business is the longevity of service of its team, as it tells me that the mission and values aren’t just a sign on the wall but something that everyone lives by.
- Have you determined your mission?
- Can your team tell you what it is?
- Does that feature at the heart of everything that you do?
Once you have done that you are ready to move onto the next step of building your effective team. To grab your copy of my book click here now to find out what that is.
Remember, to get help with coming up with your mission statement or ‘selling it’ to you team, then email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 077230 18414 and we’ll set up a chat.