Why You Need a Purpose or Mission Statement

One of the most common questions people ask is, “What is my purpose in life?”  For our discussion we will use the word purpose interchangeably with mission.  Until a person comes to grips with their purpose or mission in life, there remains a sense of restlessness.  Quite frankly, the same is true of a business.  Without a sense of purpose it is easy for a business to be like a boat adrift in the water without any sense of direction.  Oh sure, you may know your core value (see Why You Need a Values Statement), and you may even be able to picture what you want the future to look like for your company (see Why You Need a Vision Statement).  But, unless you know the why behind your actions, your vision remains a dream and values remain unapplied in a meaningful way.

Success demands singleness of purpose.” – Vince Lombardi

If you recall the years that Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers football team, you will remember he was one of the most successful coaches ever.  Part of that success was undoubtedly due to his singleness of purpose that was clearly communicated to everyone in the organization.

What is Business Purpose or Mission?

In a nutshell, purpose defines, “Why does this business exist?”  Yes, I know we generally go into business to make a profit, but it is more than that.  It aims your vision and identifies what you are attempting to accomplish.  It shows why you are different.  It communicates what you have to offer your customers and tells them how they benefit.  By what you have to offer, I don’t mean specifically your products or services, as those could change.  I mean things more like what you are really selling.  You may operate a business that sells clothing, yet clothing styles change and you may add or delete product lines.  So your purpose may really be, “We make people feel good about how they look.”  That feeling you provide is your core purpose and what you are really selling.  What is your business purpose?

What Does Purpose Do for a Business?

Have you ever worked somewhere where nobody seemed to be in agreement as to what really mattered? Chances are that was a business that had never taken the time to develop an overarching purpose and communicate it.   However, when your company’s purpose is clear and everyone is aware of it, decisions become easier because you now know the why behind them.  You also have a sense of direction.  In the example above of the company that sells clothing, decisions and actions should reflect whether they “make people feel good about how they look.”

A Final Word

Remember that your purpose may be completely different from that of another company.  Some purpose or vision statements may make you think yours is too simple.  That can be a trap.  Your purpose should fit your company.  It may a complex altruistic statement or it may be incredibly simple.  In fact, simple is usually best.

Now it’s your turn.  What is your business purpose?

Should you like to know more, contact us at: AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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10 Responses to “Why You Need a Purpose or Mission Statement”

  • Gosh, I wish I would have had that infroamtoin earlier!

    • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

      Thank you for your feedback. Please subscribe via RSS feed or email to be alerted to future articles that you may also find helpful

  • I learned a lot from this post, much appreciated!! 🙂

    • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

      So glad to know you learned something from this. One of the goals of AimCFO. Please feel free to share this with others you think might benefit.

  • The crux of your writing while appearing reasonable in the beginning, did not sit very well with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer unfortunately just for a short while. I still have got a problem with your jumps in logic and you would do nicely to help fill in those gaps. When you can accomplish that, I would certainly end up being amazed.

    • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

      Thank you for your feedback. If you would let us know where you have concerns about jumps in logic, etc., we will do our best to clarify, or, if necessary, correct. We learn from the input of our readers.

  • What a interesting read! Definitely something worth learning here.

    • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

      Alphonso,
      So glad to hear you found this interesting. We encourage you to bookmark this site for the future. If you desire to be notified of future postings, you may subscribe via the email or the RSS links. Please feel free to share this article with others you believe would benefit.

    • Grazi for maknig it nice and EZ.

      • Chris S - Your Small Business CFO:

        Thank you for commenting. We strive to make business as simple as possible and to cut through the clutter to get to the basics that are so often overlooked.

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