What is Your North Star?

Is there a brand/restaurant/retail store that you are particularly loyal to? For most of us, the answer is yes.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I prefer this place to somewhere else?”  The reason is probably because you have something in common – your values.  They deliver a customer experience that you value as much as they do.

Building life-long customers is a solid path to long-term profitability for your business.  It is not always easy to do, and it takes time and effort.  The reward is not only loyal customers, it makes your customers part of your marketing team.

Start with Mission and Vision

Before you can share your organization’s values, you have to know what they are.  While Vision and Mission statements are often combined, they serve different purposes.  A Mission Statement tells your audience the reason you exist. It includes the purpose and objectives of the organization. The Mission statement address the current function of the company and will change as goals are met and new ones are created. It tells employees, investors, and customers what you want to achieve.

A company’s Vision Statement gives the direction you are trying to head, and the impact you wish to have. It is forward thinking and should be very grand. The Vision statement tells the world what you hope to accomplish through your Mission statement.

Now that we have identified Mission and Vision, how do you create them?

Creating a Vision

Your Vision is not a goal.  It is more of a legacy. The Vision should inspire everyone who deals with your organization. Your Vision is a reflection of three things: Core Values, Core Purpose, and an Envisioned Future.

When creating your Vision Statement here are several questions to ask yourself:

  • “What words best describe your business?”
  • “What qualities do you see in your business?”
  • “What qualities would you like to see in your business?”
  • “What are the qualities that set your business apart from others?”

Crafting the Mission

The Mission Statement is the roadmap to attain the company’s Vision of the future.  It is not meant to be a sign on the wall.  It tells your team how they are going to achieve the Vision. The Mission lays out the expectations of behavior and process.

A Mission Statement has to do with identity. Why are you here? When building your Mission Statement, the first question to be answered is “Who are we?” This simple question is often the most challenging.  Identifying what business you are in and who your customers truly are, who you serve, are additional components to the Mission Statement.

A vital piece of the Mission Statement is identifying your uniqueness.  What makes you different from every other hair salon/bookkeeper/dentist, etc. out there? Really focus on what you offer your customers and team members that no one else does.

Will my Vision and Mission really create Life-long Customers?

Let’s look at an example.  I love Italian food! One of my favorite places to eat proudly states that they offer much-loved, Italian family favorites. The chef/owner states, “This is all homemade. There is a lot of love and work that goes into it.” That sounds just like something my Italian Grandmother would say.  In other words, we have shared values.  There are no tacos or sushi on the menu, just quality, Italian dishes made with love.  This is a restaurant that clearly understands their mission and has a vision of serving the best Italian American cuisine in the city.  Not only do I patronize them regularly, I recommend it to other people. Those shared values have not only created a life-long customer, I have become a commission-free sales rep for them.

Next Steps

As your business grows, you are faced with a lot of decisions.  Weighing the pros and cons of your options can be a challenge.  It becomes a lot easier when you are being led by your Vision and Mission.  If a choice does not support your Vision, if it is not in alignment with the roadmap you have set with your Mission Statement, it will be more difficult to achieve and may even set you back.

To be an effective and successful business owner, you need to know exactly where you are going.  Having a clear Vision and Mission will allow you to grow your business and your team with less effort and better results.  Ready to get started? Let’s talk: https://calendly.com/sandymerritt/30min


Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY