Answer these questions:
- Do you think small business owners and entrepreneurs should have a mission statement for their businesses?
- Do you think most small business owners and entrepreneurs think a mission statement is pointless?
- Do you think mission statements are a bunch of corporate propaganda perpetrated by overpriced management consultants?
Denise O’Berry draws our attention to a recent study that showed over a 5-year period, 98% of the 50 most profitable Fortune 1000 companies had mission statements in place. The goal of the study was to find correlations between corporate growth, profitability and the existence of a company mission statement.
The study quantifiably supports what most management consultants and public companies have known all along; Companies that have a long-term vision of their future and a stated mission for their employees grow faster than their peers.
The study then goes on to suggest that small and medium sized businesses should take the hint from their larger brethren and focus more on longer term vision and writing a mission statement. According to the study, less than 50% of smaller businesses have a mission statement.
Bplans.com says a mission statement is, “a cross between a slogan and an executive summary.”
I suspect many small business owners and entrepreneurs consider mission statements to be a bunch of hooey. And in some cases, I’d agree. We only have to look at Bplans.com’s points about how to write a mission statement to recognize the fact that others think so too.
Make sure you actually believe in your mission statement, if you don’t, it’s a lie, and your customers will soon realize it.
Good point. You wouldn’t have to point that out if mission statements weren’t often fraught with “ra ra silliness” and “over-blown horn-tooting.”
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are very often focused on today and not much else. We’re busy, wearing a million hats and juggling more balls than a circus clown. And you want me to think about long-term vision? Yup. Aren’t I a demaning son-of-a-gun?
Long-term vision can accomplish quite a bit. It’s not just “pie in the sky.” Done properly, having a long-term plan for your company (and a mission statement) can create tangible, actionable goals. It can help motivate employees and create a sense of accomplishment for them (and you.)
So where do we begin?
Try these links out:
And in the near future…I’ll bring you 1 bonus benefit of mission statements and 1 way of taking mission statements to heart.