From the archives… reflections from my days running a photography business.
When I started my business and at various times since then, I attended workshops and seminars to understand how business planning should be done, and with every experience I was given the chance to refine my vision, mission and values. I was told this was the essential foundation to a successful business.
I’m a big picture person, so working on these type of ideas really appeals to me. If that’s not you, however, I want to assure you that, even though it is challenging to take the time out of day-to-day operations necessary to work on your vision and mission statements, and it IS a bit of hard thinking work, there is nothing more important as a business owner than stepping away long enough to do that thinking… in my opinion, nothing can bring you greater success, faster.
As my business and I have grown together, the way my business ‘looks’ – its branding, its product and service packages – has changed significantly. But though I’ve revisited and reworked the wording of my vision and mission statements a number of times, I’ve found that the core message was always there from the start and remains the same now: the vision, to create a business that would provide me with a life of creativity and freedom; the mission, to do that through delivering beautiful, high-impact photographs tailored to the individual and their brand, along with excellent communication and customer service.
I think that if you start a business because you are truly passionate about what you do, your vision and mission are already there… and there is power in distilling these ideas into a few words, and displaying them on your website and in your marketing, your workplace, and in all your words and actions.
If you’re not sure what the value is in taking time out to write down your vision and mission for your business, consider this: we are living in the idea age. People buy ideas. With so much choice in the market, people will buy from businesses that resonate with who they are. If you don’t take time to define and demonstrate who you are, how will your target market know if you are their kind of people?
If you don’t know your vision and mission, it’s time to ensure you have a clear destination for your business. If you have them written down already, but don’t know them by heart, consider whether they are really the daily signposts they are intended to be, guiding all your actions and decisions in business.