Defining the Purpose and Goals of Your Business


Why are you in business? Every year, thousands of small businesses start and end. Entrepreneurs spend their days keeping their startups afloat and dealing with the stress of financial shortcomings and difficult clients. Maybe you inherited a business from a parent or family member. Maybe you saw an untapped opportunity. No matter how you started in business, it isn’t easy to maintain your energy if you don’t have a strong sense of why.

Many of our BlueSoft clients are small business owners, independent people who never wanted to work for someone else. Their purpose in running their businesses ranges from a desire for financial freedom to wanting to make a living doing what they love. This personal purpose is a place to start, but a mission shaped by a growth mindset need more focus. This article will examine how to think about the mission of your business and use it to establish long-term goals.

Creating Your Mission Statement

People may associate mission statements with large corporations. Multi-faceted businesses develop a statement to help focus their efforts. In turn, individual branches of the business will create organizational statements that feed into the overarching mission.

Small businesses may not feel that such a statement is necessary. After all, an independent plumber knows the purpose of his business is to provide plumbing services. Yet, what you do in your business is not the same as why you do it.

Focusing on why you’re in business will change what you do and how you do it.

A simple mission statement begins with whatever happens after you say, “My business exists to…” There are endless options for what you say next, and each one will impact the character of your company.

A simple formula you can use is  “Our mission is to” + a present tense verb + your market + a result + your means.

  • Our mission is to: This section is mostly a label. Many corporate mission statements lop it off and start with “to.”
  • Present tense verb: provide, make, lift up, and help are common examples.
  • Your market: small businesses, local residents, homeowners, and seniors are some possibilities. Your starting to give your business a little more definition at this point.
  • A result: The result will depend on the service you provide or the problem you solve. You might help local residents improve their homes or seniors maintain their independence. A sporting goods might empower outdoor enthusiasts to find new adventures.
  • Your means: This phrase is about what you do and how you do it. It often starts with “through” or “by”. For example, “by selling high-quality outdoor products,” or “through connecting them with the latest digital marketing tools.”

Examples of effective mission statements

IKEA, the Swedish furniture company’s mission statement is: “To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

Nike, the famous sportswear company’s mission statement is: “To create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work.

Looking Forward with a Vision Statement

A vision statement defines what your business aspires to become in the future. It provides long-term direction and inspiration for your company.

Differences between a vision statement and a mission statement

  • A mission statement focuses on the present and defines the purpose and primary objectives of your business.
  • A vision statement is future-oriented and describes what you want your business to achieve in the long term.

Steps to create a compelling vision statement

  1. Reflect on your long-term goals and aspirations.
  2. Consider the impact you want your business to have on your industry, employees, and community.
  3. Write a clear, concise statement that captures your future aspirations.

Examples of vision statements from successful companies

  • Continuing with IKEA, their vision statement is: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.
  • For Nike, the vision is: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Tips for aligning your vision with your mission

  • Ensure that your vision statement complements your mission statement. Your vision is the imagined result if you live out your mission for next 10 or 20 years.
  • Regularly review and update your vision statement to reflect any changes in your business goals or industry trends.

Defining What Matters with Values Statements

Core values are the fundamental beliefs that guide your business’s actions and decisions. They shape your company culture and influence how you interact with clients, employees, and the community.

Values help establish a positive work environment and build trust among employees. They serve as a compass for decision-making, ensuring your business remains true to its foundational principles.

Steps to identify and define your business values

  1. Reflect on what is important to you and your business.
  2. Consider the qualities and principles you want your company to embody.
  3. Write down a list of core values that resonate with you and your team.

Examples of core values statements

  • Integrity: Conducting business with honesty and transparency.
  • Innovation: Continuously seeking new and creative solutions.
  • Customer focus: Putting the needs and satisfaction of customers first.

Ways to communicate and integrate values within your organization

  • Incorporate your values into your company’s mission and vision statements.
  • Share your values with employees during onboarding and training.
  • Lead by example and encourage employees to embody these values in their daily work.

Taking Practical Steps with Business Goals

Setting clear, measurable goals is essential for the growth and success of your business. Goals help you stay focused, track progress, and hold yourself accountable. Setting goals is the final step of defining because your goals should align with your mission, vision, and values.

Steps to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals

  1. Define your objective clearly and specifically.
  2. Ensure the goal is measurable so you can track progress.
  3. Set realistic and achievable targets.
  4. Align the goal with your business’s mission, vision, and values.
  5. Set a deadline for achieving the goal.
  • Short-term goal: Increase website traffic by 25% within the next six months.
  • Long-term goal: Expand to three new markets within the next five years.

Examples of goals aligned with mission and vision statements

  • Short-term goal: Increase website traffic by 25% within the next six months.
  • Long-term goal: Expand to three new markets within the next five years.

Connecting Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

To ensure consistency and coherence across your business, it’s essential to connect your mission, vision, values, and goals.

  • Regularly review these elements to ensure they remain aligned.
  • Communicate them clearly to all employees and stakeholders.
  • Incorporate them into your strategic planning and decision-making processes.

As your business grows and the market changes, your mission, vision, values, and goals may need to be updated. Periodic reviews help you stay relevant and responsive to new challenges and opportunities.

Defining your business’s purpose through its mission, vision, values, and goals is essential for long-term success. These foundational elements will guide your decisions, inspire your team, and communicate your business’s identity to the world. Investing time and effort in creating and refining these statements will help you build a strong, resilient, and purpose-driven business. If you need help with this process, the BlueSoft team would be happy to work with you. Contact us to set up a consultation.

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