Analyzing your Business

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A mission statement defines an organization’s purpose. Market definitions of a business define the company’s mission in terms of satisfying the customer’s needs. Mission statements must be realistic and specific. Make the statement workable, designed to use as an analysis with you business plan. It must guide you along. For example, a mission statement asserting you want to be the best in the industry, producing the highest quality products at the lowest price, does not provide much value in helping you make tough decisions in the future. It is too generic and does not define your unique products/services and who your customers are. The mission statement must say something about what business you are in, your customers, and how you are positioning yourself in the marketplace.

Answer these questions when developing your mission statement:

Questions Possibilities
What is our business? Hairdressers are in the beauty business.
Who are our customers? Women, 55-65, income level $40,000+, etc.
What do our customers value? Perceived increased beauty given by hairstylist at a
Reasonable price
Easy accessibility
What will or should our business be? Leaders in Design
Where is our preferred location? Small strip centre, with ample parking
When is our service in demand? Highest, evenings and weekends

These may be difficult questions to answer. But businesses, large or small, must continually analyze the answers to these questions to guide them in their business decisions.

The following are sample mission statements:

1. A Fictional Company
Brian’s Book Barn will become the premier source of books and magazines for the Municipality of Ladbrokes and communities in the surrounding area. Our goal is to provide customers with a wide variety of choices and to promote reading in the community.

2. Canadian Tire
To be the first choice for Canadians in Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home products, providing total customer value through customer-driven service, focused assortments and competitive operations.

3. Telus
To be recognized as the premier Communications Company in the world. To help people communicate effortlessly.

4. Ballard Power Systems Inc.
We will be the First, Best, Highest Quality, and Lowest Cost Manufacturer of PEM Fuel Cells, creating investment value.