We have all been asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some of us haven't
figured that out yet. The lucky people who have found their callings seem to be the ones who have had a focus early on in life. Or, if they found their dream job later on, they visualized themselves in a different career, formulated a plan, and had the discipline to achieve their goal. They made their own luck.
Likewise, if someone asked you, "What do you want your business to be when it grows up?" How would you answer? Your answer is your mission statement. Your business will not succeed without one.
Your mission statement is your reason
for being. And before embarking on any
business endeavor, you must have a focus -- a plan to help you accomplish your goals.
W. Clement Stone is known for his
"17 Principles of Success" which include
a positive mental attitude, a definiteness of purpose, self-discipline and a creative vision. Using these principles, we can conclude that in order to grow your business, you must
1) believe in yourself and in your business,
2) know the purpose of your business,
3) write your business and marketing plan and have the discipline to stick to it, and,
4) visualize the future of your business.
Before you write your mission statement, you must ask yourself these questions:
1) Who are you? Can you become a brand name? What makes you special?
2) What makes you different? Why should a customer or client choose your product or service?
3) Who is your competition?
4) Who is your customer?
5) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
6) What are your opportunities and threats?
7) What marketing activity makes you most comfortable?
8) Who do you need to meet/reach to achieve your goals?
9) What venues should you use to communicate your message?
10) Where do you see your business in 2, 5, 10, 20 and 30 years from now?
Sometimes the simple questions are the hardest to answer. "What do you want
your business to be when it grows up?" Invest the time in answering these questions and you are half-way there. Good luck!
If you have any suggestions for future marketing columns, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for my class in "How to Market and Promote Your Business" at Hofstra University's School of Continuing Education.
(c) Debra Scala 2000