Three rules to Creating your Business Mission Statement

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 “Why does your business exist?”

The answer to this fundamental question is often more difficult to uncover than meets the eye. A corporate mission is a way of understanding the purpose of your business beyond that of simply making money. A corporate mission statement is essentially a communication tool to give various stakeholders in your business a foundation for your work.

A corporate mission has a positive effect on your bottom line

A well-defined and properly communicated corporate mission will impact four specific areas:

  1. Your People
  2. Your Customers
  3. Your Suppliers
  4. Your Lenders

The creation of a business mission statement begins with you

Writing a mission statement should begin with a reflection on why you started the business in the first place. How did you begin? What did you want to accomplish? When you’re ready to engage your business, follow these steps to create your corporate mission.

1.       Your corporate mission statement must work for you

The principles of your mission statement must agree with your Personal Foundation. It’s your company, so if it doesn’t work for you, there’s very little point having one.

2.       Involve everyone in your business

A mission statement that only serves the interests of the owner is as good as no mission statement at all. The final decision is yours but feedback and opinions from the people in your business will build acceptance and adoption

3.       Give your people some place to start

Involving large groups can waste a tremendous amount of time and energy going around in circles if the agenda is too wide open. It’s much more efficient to solicit feedback and input in stages, based on your initial ideas than it is to begin with an open-ended question.

Your goal is to get your whole company moving in the same direction

Even the smallest companies can have a vision because every company should have a purpose. Some of the most successful companies have defined their missions and established a strong and effective corporate culture as a result. Here are some more examples of meaningful mission statements to get you started.

Google, Mission Statement:

Google’s Mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful

 

The Body Shop, Mission Statement:

Our Reason For Being

  • To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.
  • To creatively balance the financial and human needs of our stakeholders: employees, customers, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders.
  • To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
  • To meaningfully contribute to local, national and international communities in which we trade by adopting a code of conduct which ensures care, honesty, fairness and respect. 
  • To passionately campaign for the protection for the environment, human and civil rights, and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.
  • To tirelessly work to narrow the gap between principle and practice, whilst making fun, passion and care part of our daily lives.

 

Wardell Professional Development: Our Mission

Wardell Professional Development is a progressive organization, dedicated to helping people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

 

 

 

How to Strengthen your Brand with Product Positioning

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What’s so unique about your business?

Your position in the market is the status consumers give to you in their minds.  While every customer has different needs and opinions, looking at groups of consumers reveals clusters of individuals looking for specific needs.

Why you can’t be everything to everyone

In a competitive market, businesses will attempt to cater to increasingly specific consumer needs. By defining your market position you ensure:

Security – you are guaranteed a position in the market by claiming a piece of it as your own

Growth – it positions your value proposition to address a large base of consumers

Communication – a defined market position is a powerful marketing message that cuts through advertising clutter

Solidarity – it aligns internally with your Corporate Vision

Learn from the positions of market leaders

Some of the most successful brands have built their followings by taking a position that maximizes their growth and expansion. Here are some examples of successful market positions:

Positioning by product and business history

  • E.g.: Heinz “There are no other kinds” or Coca-Cola “It’s the real thing”
  • This approach works best when the product or business is first to market or has a substantial history

Positioning by size and popularity

  • British Airways “The world’s favourite airline”
  • Being a number in a category can also be one that is narrowly defined

Positioning by convenience

  • Shoppers Drug Mart “Everything you want in a drugstore”
  • This could be convenience of product  selection, proximity, or number of locations

Positioning in relation to a competitor

  • Avis “We’re number two. We try harder.”
  • Avis positioned against the number one competitor, Hertz.

Positioning by product attribute

  • BMW “The ultimate driving machine”.
  • If you have to differentiated your product on a specific series of superior differences

Positioning by Target market

  • Blackberry “Mobile business tools”

Use tools to help visualize your location in the market

A positioning matrix can help more concretely define your palace in the market. By comparing variables you can see where the competition has clustered and where you can fit in. For more on positioning please review this article.

A Business and Management Lesson from the 2013 Masters

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As rain pounded down for the concluding round of the Masters, a number of wonderful story lines were being watered as well.

Adam Scott wins for himself and an entire nation.

Angel Cabrera makes a spectacular shot on the 18th to force a playoff.

With clients in both Australia and Argentina we say CONGRATS to both!

Beyond the winners and almost winners, the rain became a story in itself.

The greens, always slippery and treacherous, had become a little slower but still very tricky.

One of the TV commentators stated (paraphrased), ‘the players are aware of the rain, they just haven’t adjusted to the rain’.

I actually paused my live TV, hit the 7 second rewind and listened again.

They were AWARE, but hadn’t ADJUSTED.

They knew it was raining. It was obvious. Golf towels and gloves dangling from the branches of the umbrella’s inner dome.

Rain pounding down as the players stepped out from the dry confines to take a shot.

They knew.

However, the mental connection to be able to hit a shot 10 or 20% harder did not kick in for many.

They could not get their brains to push that putt harder because they hadn’t ADJUSTED to the rain.

How many times has this happened in our businesses?

It’s raining…i.e. sales are falling, customer issues are mounting…we KNOW it’s raining.

However, we struggle to mentally adjust so we play the same shot.

Playing the same shot in different weather conditions will lead to different results!! What was successful in the sun may not work so well in the rain.

They were AWARE but hadn’t ADJUSTED.

Where are you with your business?

 

Mark Wardell’s 10 Tips for Making Your Business More Effective

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1. Become an expert on your customers

Reaching new customers is always more challenging than getting in touch with the ones you already have. If you connect in new ways with your current customers, you will quickly discover why they do business with you and potentially, what would lead them to doing more business with you.

2. Systemize your business

Create manuals that document all the procedures involved in your operations including hiring employees, employee job descriptions, production procedures, production work-flow, sales and marketing, accounting and customer service. As you create these documents, you will develop a clearer picture of what you should be doing to ensure your business is running efficiently. Building accountability into your procedures will motivate employees, and develop a culture of effectiveness needed to take your business to the next level.

3. Empower your employees

No matter how hard you work, you simply can’t do it all yourself. Quit being such a “control freak” (yes, you) and start empowering the team around you to be responsible for the day-to-day tasks involved in managing your company. You will be amazed at what they can do without you.

4. Retain great people by not taking them for granted

If you have invested time into building a valuable team of employees, learn to appreciate them and acknowledge their efforts often. Say “thank you”, and mean it. It’s a little thing that goes a long way towards turning a group of individuals into a loyal and motivated team.

5. Create a “word picture” of what your business will look like in 3 – 5 years time

If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you tell if you’re heading in the right direction? It’s impossible, of course. The solution is to write a detailed description of the future of your company so that you know what you’re working towards. Next, regularly sharing your vision with the team who will help take you there. This will engage them in the dream and help make the journey significantly smoother.

6. Measure your marketing results

You know you need to invest in marketing, but how can you be sure it’s “working”? There are many different ways to approach marketing, including online social networking, advertising, blogging, and media relations. Whichever you use, you should install measurable strategic indicators so that you stay focused on your goals and retain a picture of which marketing strategies you should focus on.

7. Hire the best business professionals you can afford

Getting your business to the next level will require a team of leaders with a proven track record and excellent reputation: a more expensive team. When you hire the best you can afford, you can rest assured their higher salaries will be more than worth it.

8. Give regular, honest feedback to your employees

If you are involved enough in your business to be able to give your employees regular, useful feedback, you’ll go a long way toward fostering a more productive environment. I’m not saying become a micromanager, but you need be aware of the key projects underway, the lead roles and responsibilities, and the potential challenges your staff is facing, in order to keep your team focused on achieving the goals of your business as effectively as possible.

9. Solve problems rather than alleviate symptoms

It doesn’t take long to recognize problematic pattern – they are inherent in every growing business. Avoid the costly mistake of slapping a Band-Aid on a surface issue and instead address the source from which the problem is stemming. For example, don’t just resolve a customer’s complaint with a refund, do something to ensure it can’t happen again. This approach will save you time, money and morale in the end.

10. Use a gatekeeper

As a business owner, there is never enough time in the day to accomplish everything you need to do. If you install an assistant to manage your schedule, you’ll double your productivity, which means you’ll have more valuable hours for more purposeful work. It more economical to get help  than trying to do it all yourself.

How to Transform Change Management into a Positive Experience for Your Employees

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“Change Management” has become a sensitive word for many people. Changing your business environment and processes starts with your employees and unless they are comfortable with a new direction, the effectiveness and outcome of your changes will be in jeopardy. Your business systems need to adapt to keep pace with your environment, your product evolution, and ultimately, your growth.

Continuous improvement is an essential attribute to a systems based business. Change is inevitable and you can transform the culture of your business to be highly responsive to it.

1.       Change becomes permanent through socialization

Nurturing a “change culture” within your organization means that change will become a normal part of the daily actions of your employees.

2.       Involve employees in the process of change

Employees should take a leading role in developing the changes in the systems they use. Incorporating the best of their ideas into the process will ensure they are comfortable with new expectations

3.       Time your changes carefully

Making changes in the middle of large projects will create more stress than if they were made during a less active period.

4.       Teach employees the benefits of change

Positive changes are good for everyone in the business, though it may be hard to stray from the status quo. If the benefits are made clear to your employees they will be much more receptive to the process of change.

5.       Encourage employees to initiate change

Once systems are in place, your employees must become responsible for improving them.

Change Management is a Drive to Continuous Improvement

In order to remain competitive your business must change and your employees play a key role in the transformation. By empowering employees to spot issues and report or even fix problems as they appear, you can spend more time planning for future growth and less time managing issues.

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