There are certain strategic ingredients including a vision, mission statement and core values that bind a company together. When starting out I had a hard time grasping the significance of spending time on defining these areas. After all, I knew the reason for doing what I did was to provide a service that my clients wanted and to make a living doing it. What I didn’t realize then was that there are certain ways to manage a business that make it, the people that work there and the customers, work together in a more cohesive manner so that they achieve more together and have a positive impact on the world around them. As we grew we needed to make sure our entire team was on the same page. We wanted to define who we were, what we believed in and why we existed. It really doesn’t matter what business you are in, there are certain best practices that apply to all industries.
The way to start out is to develop your vision. Where do you want to be five years down the road? Don’t make it to short or too long. Make it reasonable. However, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. By doing this you aren’t just working day to day or month to month, but setting your sights (your vision) farther out. You have a goal to work towards. You can direct your plans and actions toward achieving that goal and challenge yourself and your team to achieving that vision. You have something to monitor and take necessary corrective action if you are off course. Our firm’s vision is to reach a specific monetary target as a firm by June 2013 by focusing and developing market, industry and service specializations.
Next, state your company’s mission. This shouldn’t just be a sales tool that sounds good. It should be something you and the other members of your team believe in and live by. It can state how you will treat your customers and how you will treat the people you work with. It can state how you will differentiate your company from others in the industry. Our firm’s mission is to deliver a five-star experience to our customers and our team members
The third ingredient should be your core values. In order to achieve your vision the entire company has to buy into the same core values. These values are what tie the team together. They shouldn’t just be words. They should be the values that, if adopted and exercised by all members of the company, will allow it to function and grow as one efficient cohesive unit. This will happen as the result of all members being responsible for their actions, being honest, being accountable to themselves, their team members and their customers and embracing the concept of personal growth. In our company everybody has a copy of our vision, mission statement and core values. They are discussed frequently at company and department meetings. They are the glue that binds us together.