Is Your Business Mission Bold . . . or Blah?

Bizz Buzz . . . bimonthly business basics by Susan K. Maciak

CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting LLC | cameo100.com

Do you take your business mission seriously? What do you hope to accomplish through your company? Is it "to make money selling pizza," or something loftier like "serving the most nutritious pizza on the planet?"


What is your business all about? Do you open your doors five days a week "to straighten teeth," or are you in the dental business "to help people gain confidence with more attractive smiles?"


Leaders of the most successful companies usually have something bigger in mind than basic business. Instead of just selling T-shirts, for example, companies like Nike see themselves as "building character through sports." Their mission is conveyed cleverly in their motto: "Just Do It!"


McDonald's grew into one of the world's biggest businesses not by selling hamburgers, but by "providing fast and affordable meals for families on the go." Every successful, new idea since the beginning of time came from someone's lofty goal, or customer-based mission. Enviable entrepreneurs ask, "What will my company do for my customers," not "How can I make the most money?"


Henry Ford dreamed of putting the world on wheels. That mission led him to pay ordinary workers enough to purchase his product, the automobile. When he founded Apple, Steve Jobs instinctively knew that communication could go much further than traditional telephones. In retrospect, Apple's real mission appears to have been "to give ordinary folks small, computerized devices to solve multiple problems." Apple products now do everything from following the weather to monitoring the health of their owners.


Once the world could see how higher goals (written or unwritten) help humanity, other altruistic company missions catapulted more of them to the top. Having a purposeful mission has grown into best practice in business.


If your company is still at the "selling" stage and you want to grow, it's time to do some strategic planning. Start by deciding on a mission aimed at making the world a better place.


For more information on strategic plans and mission statements, ask@cameo100.com


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