Lesson: How To Define Your Business Vision, Mission and Values
My first business was a classic example of ‘start a business doing what you know how to do.’ I was a nanny, and I started a nanny agency.
I had no vision or purpose deeper than I wanted to do something different, the idea of going into a corporate environment didn’t appeal, and I thought other nannies from abroad needed more support in the UK.
For years I worked on the business not understanding the power of finding a stronger vision.
I struggled to find enough customers, and I struggled to find the motivation I needed to keep going and project positive energy into everything I did.
It was a long, hard slog.
In contrast, when I started She Owns It my business dream was huge, impactful and change making. Bigger than I thought I could achieve. But chasing that dream has been so exciting and motivating to me. It's helped me continually overlook my fears, work with courage and stay laser focussed on my goals.
What I now know to be true is this:
Having a big dream can be transformational- not only for your business but also for your life.
Crafting a meaningful vision will serve you in so many ways:
- you’ll be able to share a strong message with the world
- It gives you purpose, it gives you powerful motivation
- it gives your customers, family, partners, employees and contractors a reason to get behind your business
- you’ll attract your ideal customers easily, they’ll choose YOU over other businesses who sell similar things
- That in turn reduces marketing spend and helps you grow faster
- It helps you shoot for the moon so you fall on the stars
And guess what? A big vision can exist for every small business- even if you didn’t start out with one.
ALL businesses, tiny or huge, present an incredible opportunity to contribute to change in this world.
All you need to do is decide on a cause you care about that aligns with your business and decide to do something about it.
In this training you'll learn how to choose a powerful vision, mission and values that will drive your business forward with momentum.
Don't forget to download the Printable (available in the Action Steps), and share how you get on in the Facebook Group.
LESSON: How To Define Your Vision, Mission and Values
Before You Start
My friend, I believe this lesson is special.
I believe you should to schedule a good amount of time to work on this away from distraction, preferably in or near nature- where you can can reflect and give yourself the space you need to visualise a special future.
This is your official excuse to REMOVE yourself from the day to day grind and simply dream!!!
You are spending your life doing this work. Your life is so precious.
Please give yourself the honour of self belief and the freedom to dream without restrictions.
You deserve this time to reflect and figure out how to make your life a little more beautiful each day through your business.
So find that cosy, inspirational spot, get your felt tips out, remove distractions and get ready to dream!
Your Business Vision
Your Vision is a big, larger than life dream for your business and the people it impacts. It can be scary for a small biz owner to think about, because as a one woman band, it may feel impossible!
Your vision does not currently exist. It’s a futuristic picture of what the world could be like if your business had huge results for the people you serve.
It’s a movement or future reality that together with your customers, your partners, your team, you can passionately stand for and get behind.
Your vision, as you work towards it, positively impacts the day to day life of every person who supports it.
A powerful vision is a guiding light for your business that empowers a community and leaves a sparkle of sunshine in it’s wake!
At She Owns It it’s our vision that NZ is the best place in the world to be a woman in business.
This might seem simple but just imagine the reality of that dream. To me it could look like:
- women of all backgrounds have equal and easy access to resources and information to help them start and grow a successful business
- more and more women are reaching 6 figures within 12 months of starting their business, even if their business is a part time venture
- the government and big business see the value in this community and invest in it's success
- female business owners lean on each other for connection and support in a way that both empowers their businesses and enriches their lives
- our community shows inspiring leadership in driving change around equality for women and minority groups in business
When and as it comes to life this dream would mean incredible things for me, for you, for the women of today and for all those following in our footsteps. It’s game changing.
And yes, it’s scary and we’re not there yet! But it’s an honour and a pleasure for me to be working towards this goal every single day.
To come to my vision I:
- reflected on my ideal customer, their demographics, dreams and desires (go back to lesson one for help with this)
- considered the unique challenges my ideal customers collectively face as a group
- thought about what ‘movement’ I could create for them to get behind as a community- something that truly gets me excited, benefits customers individually but also impacts our entire community and fights for a better future
- considered which of the ideas I came up with would also motivate the wider community eg media, sponsors, partners to support our vision
So now it’s your turn! Get started by answering these questions (you can also download the printable from the Action Steps):
1. What are the dreams and desires of your ideal customer?
2. Why do they want these things?
3. What’s holding them back from getting what they want?
4. How are they currently being let down by society or their industry?
5. Finish this sentence: it’s not fair that my ideal customers (xxxx) have to (xxxx). They deserve (xxxxxx). EG It’s not fair that (NZ women in business) have to (start businesses with fewer resources, less investment and less time than men). They deserve (more support from society, from big business and from the government to make their businesses a success).
Before you go furthur, consider is this movement/ vision actually achievable in your own eyes and those of your community?
For example, if it’s your vision to ‘save the environment,’ is singlehandedly saving the whole worlds environment actually achievable? It would be nice, for sure! But in practical terms it's near impossible.
So it’s ok to bring the scope of your big dream into a more measurable, reachable realm. For example, going from ‘It’s our dream to save the environment’ to it’s our dream eliminating plastic packaging from household products’ is measurable and contributes to the bigger dream.
Now write down the game changing, inspiring vision that your community can get behind!
Your Business Mission
People often ask what’s the difference between a vision and a mission. For me, your vision is the futuristic dream to work towards, and your mission is what you’re doing right now through your business to get results for your customers and bring that dream to life.
She Owns It Vision (the futuristic dream): At She Owns It it’s our vision that NZ is the best place in the world to be a woman in business.
She Owns It Mission (version 1): At She Owns It it's our mission to make that dream come true by helping you reach your business goals
But! Not all mission statements are created equal. For me, a powerful mission:
So I can build on the above Mission to give it some pop. At the moment it speaks to a result but is flat of personality and evokes no visual experience.
So let's figure out so wow factor to add in there!
EG She Owns It Mission (Version 2):
At She Owns It it's our mission to make that dream come true by helping you blast your biz goals- with a smile on your face, money in your pocket and a country of digital biz besties cheering you along 💥.
So, to help you craft a powerful mission consider:
1. What results do you get for your customer?
2. What makes you or your offer unique?
3. How can you inject personality into your statement?
4. What emotions do you want your reader to feel?
5. How can you evoke those feelings through visual language?
(Don't forget to use the printable to support your learning)
Now write down the personality packed, results driven Mission statement that your unique customers will love!
Your Business Values
We all have values that guide our decisions and help us reach towards the type of person we want to be.
It's important that you give this gift to your business as well.
Your business values build on your Vision and Mission. They unite people, and will motivate, inspire and guide your community on a daily basis.
Strong values also build on your business personality and unique offer to the world. Your values are an opportunity to further distinguish yourself from other businesses and help your customers know that you're for them.
Let's consider two businesses that sells children's toys. The values of business one are: Do Good, Give Great Value and Grow Together. The values of business two are: Deliver WOW Experiences, Live Adventurously and Create Fun.
Those two businesses may sell the same thing but they're going to have very different vibes and present very different images to the world.
Your core values should be non negotiable, highly inspiring and distinctive to the personality and beliefs of your brand.
You should be able to demonstrate throughout your day to day activities how your values are being upheld.
So, how do you know what your business values are?
You can find your business values happily sitting where your personal values, your team values and the values of your ideal customers collide.
To get started exploring your values:
1. Consider your own personal values. Give yourself time and space to reflect and brainstorm a list of all of the values you stand by. Highlight any that stand out to you and that you feel might align with your business.
2. Ask your team and your community/ customers what's important to them. Ask them what they believe your business stands for, what it's values are- and if those values resonate with them.
3. Collate a list of values from the above and narrow it down as tightly as you can. Fewer values are more easily remembered and more easily integrated into your day to day business life. Ask yourself if those values are unique to your company. Can you tell me what you're doing day to day to live by those values?
At She Owns It, our core values are:
Feel Good Business
The more we craft our business journey to feel good, the better the rewards for all. Deliver Wow. Be creative. Have some fun along the way!
We acknowledge our fears and lean in to discomfort to grow as humans and as business owners. We make mistakes. With courage, empathy and compassion we take responsibility for our actions and move forward fast.
Lift Each Other
For the good of the whole we lift each other. Our women of colour, marginalized groups and those in need of support feel heard and are actively promoted, prioritised and lifted up.
You'll see our values splashed around our website and we hash tag them regularly on social media and in our comms so our community knows what they are.
Our third value, 'lift each other' is an aspirational value. This is something that's important to us to live by but we're not there yet. We're working toward it becoming a more significant part of our journey together.
Now write down your core values! Remember that these will likely evolve over time as your business and community grows.
*Don't forget you can work through all of this step by step using the printable found in the Action Steps!
Rachel Lewis is the founder of She Owns It, a family of savvy Kiwi women in business. Rachel had a 5 figure launch week when she released her first online product, the Members' Club to her Facebook Group. Since then she's grown She Owns It into a multi 6 figure business, attracted hundreds of members to her Membership and attracted lucrative brand partnerships and PR opportunities.
Follow Rachel and She Owns It on her on Facebook and Instagram.