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.

3 Critical Indicators you should search for in your Financial Statement Analysis

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Are your financial reports giving you the information you need?

In order for your financial information to be as valuable as possible, it is important to make proper use of the information they generate.  Simply producing reports on a monthly basis is not enough. The tools you use to analyze and monitor these reports can give you a read on financial “vital signs”, gauge your progress towards financial goals and identify problems within your business.

Financial Statements determine your growth potential

1. Risk – Do you have sufficient assets to cover your liabilities?

The ability to pay off your liabilities is a measure of how much risk your business carries. Lower risk means your have the ability to pay and while risk is not necessarily bad it is important to know what balance to have. Borrowing money is a traditional way to fund growth but if that growth doesn’t work as planned your business could collapse

2. Profitability – Are you making sufficient profit?

Profit is the key to long-term survival of your business. You can survive without it for a while, but consistently operating at a loss will eventually collapse your business.

3. Liquidity – Do you have enough cash available to cover your expenses and support your growth?

Liquidity is the key to short term survival. Surviving without profit relies on accessible liquid cash and when that runs out your business will come to a grinding halt.

Review your reports as often as possible

Keeping track of your financial reports will help you detect the impact of activities on your strategic objective.  While many companies might focus on gross sales, a more accurate measurement is profits, as your business needs profits to survive.  Don’t avoid reports; make them a part of your management strategy.

 

For more insight in to your business, you should try our Business Strength Test

How to use job specification to boost employee productivity

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The key to creating jobs that have high job satisfaction and motivate employees is striking a balance between specialization and flexibility. As working environments transitioned from single production cottage industries to standardized mass production, repetitive tasks requiring very little involvement became a symbol of the unsatisfied employee. By creating more dynamic roles that incorporate elements of specialization but with enough flexibility to make jobs interesting. Let’s start by looking more closely at specialization and flexibility.

Specialization:  One worker performs one specific task or narrow group of tasks as part of a large production system. In general, a specialized working environment promotes:

  • A quicker learning curve due to repletion and simplicity
  • Faster production due to increased efficiencies
  • Reduced labour costs due to lower wages and faster production

Flexibility: One worker performs several tasks in the same production process or they may rotate, performing different tasks at different times. In general, a flexible working environment tends to promote:

  • A happier, more dedicated workforce, due to reduced tedium
  • A more educated workforce with the ability to multi-task when necessary
  • Reduced hiring and training expenses due to lower turnover rates
  • Reduced overtime expenses due to more flexible working schedules

Specialization and flexibility are two ends of a continuum

If your employees find the work in your production process to be excessively tedious and repetitive, you may be able to improve the situation with one or more of the following techniques:

1.  Job Rotation

Consider rotating employees through different production jobs on a predetermined schedule. It gives employees the opportunity to expand their skill set.

2.  Job Enlargement

This is the horizontal expansion of the number of different tasks performed by each worker, for example, a factory worker, who previously was just installing the upholstery, may get the opportunity to assemble the entire chair. The additional activities may alleviate boredom and encourage employees to expand their skills.

3.  Job Enrichment

This is the vertical expansion of a job by involving workers in various aspects of the production process, specialized workers preforming specialized tasks, for example, a salesperson may be given approval to offer discounts on certain products, without first seeking approval from the sales manager. This technique requires more authority on the part of the employee and more trust from the employer because they are part of the entire process more directly.

Job satisfaction has a major impact on employee productivity

When people are inspired by the work they do they will work to complete tasks with more energy and ingenuity. Increasing job satisfaction comes hand in hand with a strong company culture, one where the right working relationshipsconflict resolution and team work come into play.

4 Useful Tips for Greater Business System Efficiency

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When you think of your business as a system, you can see that it is a collection of activities working towards a common goal, an organization of individual elements working as a unit. The effectiveness of your business is measured outcome of these activities.

Each system within your business needs to have a purpose

Systems will run most effectively when they align with the achievement of your Strategic Objective. You can more successfully meet your goals when you seek to continuously improve the efficiency or productivity of your systems.  If you can reduce or eliminate problems, your system will automatically improve.

Start with accurate business systems information

How do you know your systems are working? What information is currently monitored in your business and how accessible are the results? Information is the central nervous system of your business. It provides feedback on nearly every aspect of your business, it can show whether you are actually making progress or it just seems that way. Effective business leaders use organized accessible information to make intelligent, independent and immediate decisions.

Four ways to reduce inefficiency in your business systems:

Reduce idle time

Look for gaps in your system. Must one task be put on hold while it waits for another task to be completed?

Tip: Analyze each step of your process to determine where equipment is not fully utilized.

Reduce travel time

Any time something or someone has to move from one place to another, time, energy and money are wasted. Can a more efficient route be planned?

Tip: An overlooked source of wasted travel time may exist right inside your own facility.

Reduce correction

Correction occurs when errors are found through an inspection check. The error must then be corrected, drastically reducing the efficiency of the system that produced the error.

Tip: Consider building in mechanisms to ensure that your system is followed completely.

Reduce complexity

You can dramatically reduce errors due to confusion by simplifying your system.

Tip: Test complexity by trying to explain your system to someone who doesn’t already know it.

Successful Businesses Think in Systems

Your business is a complex series of moving parts and elements. With the right information you can increase the efficiency of these elements by aiming these systems to address your strategic objective and reduce idle time, travel time, correction and complexity. Wardell can analyze your business system efficiency for free with our Business Strength Test.

 

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