Setting up and running a business can be a deeply challenging but rewarding venture. As we explained in our previous article about the definition of an entrepreneur, business owners and entrepreneurs like you, play a very important role in society.
Entrepreneurs have strong characteristics like passion, grit and incredible self-confidence that allow them to solve problems, create jobs and contribute to the economy. However, the journey of entrepreneurship is not always a smooth one and for that reason, we have put together some tips on how to run your business. For more tips and guidance, check out our dedicated entrepreneur training program.
Running A Business
For most entrepreneurs, running a business means dealing with the day-to-day challenges of client acquisition, marketing, finances, supplier relations and people. As these are all very important aspects of your business to focus on, there are things such as your mission, vision and values that are very important when it comes to running a successful business.
A company’s mission, vision and values set the direction of the company. These may sound like things that only large companies need (or have the time to do) but you will quickly find, without an overall North Star and guiding direction, you can get lost quickly. Especially in the constantly changing environment of a new venture, these are essential.
What are Vision, Mission and Values?
A vision statement describes the organization as it would appear in a future successful state. When developing a vision statement, try to answer this question: If the organization were to achieve all of its strategic goals, what would it look like 10 years from now? An effective vision statement is inspirational and aspirational. It creates a mental image of the future state that the organization wishes to achieve. A vision statement should challenge and inspire employees.
Sample Vision Statements:
- Disney – To make people happy.
- Oxfam – A just world without poverty.
- Ikea – To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Microsoft – A computer on every desk and in every home; all running Microsoft software.
- Nike – To be the number one athletic company in the world.
- Wal-Mart – Become a $125 billion company by the year 2000.
- Ford – To become the world’s leading Consumer Company for automotive products and services.
A mission statement explains the company’s reason for existence. It describes the company what it does and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.
Sample Mission Statements:
- “We strive to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle!” -Adidas
- “We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators.” -Amazon
- “To inspire and connect with women to put their best selves forward every day.” -Ann Taylor
- “To connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else.” -AT&T
- “To care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society.” -Aveda
- “The world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.”-BMW
- “To make people’s lives better every day – naturally.” -Burt’s Bees
- “To champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity.” -Charles Schwab
- “To be the leading brand of quality lifestyle accessories offering classic, modern American styling.” -Coach
- “To refresh the world; to inspire moments of optimism and happiness; to create value and make a difference.” -Coca-Cola
A values statement describes what the organization believes in and how it will behave. Values create a compass for the company and its employees. This compass guides decision-making and establishes a standard that actions can be assessed against. A values statement defines the deeply held beliefs and principles of the organizational culture. Establishing a company’s mission, vision and values are critical to setting the direction of a company.
Starting and Running Your Business
In conclusion, when you run a business without a guiding direction, you can get lost quickly and as The HuffPost reported, most startups fail because “the founders and team members have lost focus on their true vision”. For more small business tips, have a look at our one-stop shop for entrepreneurs online.