For both small and large companies selling people on your mission and your vision are vital to your continued success. Not only do you need to be able to hire employees who can buy into these factors, but you must also convince your potential customers that they are true as well.
However, creating, maintaining and stoking your mission and vision can be incredibly difficult. You have a company to run, and your decisions are prioritized around growth and profit, which can make it easy to forget about the mission and vision that you have.
For this reason, small companies tend to be amazing at inspiring and captivating the imagination, but those same companies lose sight of their mission and vision as they grow. To resist this, you must prioritize these factors and continue to stoke them over time.
What is a Mission?
A mission statement is designed to summarize the aims and values of your company. This statement should tell people why your business exists, both for the public and employees within your organization to understand.
Having a mission statement is vital to ensuring that everybody in the organization and all of your customers is orientated towards to the same purpose. By developing such a mission statement, you can make business planning and decision making far easier because you have something to which to refer back.
In general, your mission statement will be about the organization’s capabilities, the customers who you are focussing on, the activities you do and what makes up your company.
What is a Vision?
Your vision is where you see the company in the mid to long-term future. It should be an aspirational dream which means that while it should be realistic, it should also inspire you to work harder and to achieve more than some others would think possible.
Having a goal or vision of the future isn’t just useful for cultivating motivation in your workforce, it’s vital for making strategic decisions. After all, if you don’t make it clear where you want to be ten years from now, how can you make the right decisions to get you there?
Creating a vision and a mission statement is the first step, but it’s critical that you continue to stoke those two factors to keep them at the forefront of the organization’s mind.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in your day-to-day work and forget they exist, which is why it’s your job as the CEO to continue to stoke the fire and to get people to buy into your vision and your mission.
One of the most critical factors in writing compelling mission and vision statements are being authentic to yourself and your company. It’s easy to write something down that look great on paper, but if you don’t truly believe in it, it’s not useful to your or your organization.
Therefore, being truthful about your purpose and having a realistic vision for the future is crucial to convincing people to buy in. After all, why would anybody follow somebody who lies or doesn’t know the direction of their own business?
Hire People that Fit
You must also be incredibly careful when you are hiring employees, not only to ensure that they are capable of their job but they must also fit into your culture. If you start to deviate from this and hire worse candidates that don’t fit your culture, mission and vision will disappear.
While the head of the company is vital, the employees that make up the workforce have a much bigger impact on the overall success of the firm. Therefore, taking the time to find the right candidates can save you time and money in the long run.
To do this, you should refer back to your mission and vision, cross-referencing them to the answers that the candidate gives you. Similarly, you might ask them in an interview to create their vision and mission for your company so that you can see how their values align with your own.
Finally, as well as being authentic when creating your statements, you should be authentic to your surroundings and the people that work with you. As a growing company in the Midwest, you should embrace that fact instead of pretending you’re in New York City or Silicon Valley.
The people that choose to work for your company instead of larger companies are doing so because they value a homegrown atmosphere. These are the candidates that you truly want, and therefore you must stay true to your mission and vision while embracing your surroundings and situation.
Startups and small businesses have an air of excitement to them because they are small, nimble and local. Losing this atmosphere is going to alienate some of your organization which is why it’s in your best interest to continue to cultivate the same close-knit connections and culture as your business grows.
Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency- Web Design Minneapolis, and is a web designer and SEO Specialist out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tweet him at @hookagency.