The mission is how you move your business forward, live out purpose, and trek towards the vision. Within this mission lies the strategic guidelines directing us forward. And these guidelines contain four key ingredients for an effective small business mission.
Offering Strategy. (Our Solution to the Problem)
Positioning Strategy. (Our Unique Target Audience Focus)
Leverage Strategy. (How We're Uniquely Tailored To Deliver)
Promotion Strategy. (Our Ongoing Acts of Persuasion)
As we explore these four facets of our mission, it’s helpful for me to first visualize them in a metaphor of changing a tire on a car.
In this visual, we’ve got a problem, a flat tire and need for a working one. We have a wrench to tighten the bolts and switch it out for the spare in our trunk (offering).
When we use the wrench on the lug nuts, the position we choose determines if and how easy the process of loosening the bolts will be (It's hard to do so when the end is near the ground).
If I’m loosening the bolt and I place a long pipe over the wrench, I’ll have significantly more leverage to loosen the lug nut. What may be doable but hard with the wrench (even with good positioning) is easy with the pipe.
The final of the four pillars is the promotional piece. How do we effectively communicate the problem we solve (offering), who we solve it for (positioning), and how we're able to uniquely address that issue (leverage)? The answers to these questions are what transform a small business from a mediocre to top tier.
And when you as a small business can answer these four questions, you'll be far ahead and tremendously more focused than any of your competitors.
Let’s practically explore these four ingredients using my consulting practice as a living example.
On the horizon of possibilities, visionaries see all of the potential visions. And this is their Achilles heel. They see all the paths they can take, but they struggle on the choice of which one to take. Starting everything (with good intentions), and finishing nothing is their hallmark.
They are chronic abandoners, with a wake of broken promises on their path. They seek to shape reality as opposed to accepting reality for what it is. And the great clash ensues.
Explore the different aspects of visionary leadership
In the middle of February, I launched into another weekday blogging challenge with a group of friends. The first week, I knocked out five new articles, but quickly dropped my frequency in the subsequent weeks of the challenge to one or two posts per week. Including this article, I've now published a total of thirteen new blog posts as the challenge comes to an end this Friday. By week's end, I'll have two more posts to add.
This blogging challenge has been a valuable catalyst to help me finish writing the last few sections of my book for striving small business owners (It's hard to finish this project!). When I began the challenge, I listed out the articles I needed to write. I ended up consolidating some of them and discovering a few other sections requiring write-ups. Publishing sections of the books as blogs has forced me to write with a sense of self-containment on each one, making these sections of the book even stronger than they would have been otherwise.
Continue reading how this unexpected blogging challenge helped me finish my second book
Whether it's directly the case or not, you must accept responsibility for the state of your small business. It is because of you that the company remains stuck. And, it will always regress to your level of incompetence. So, unless you change, nothing else will. Your frustration will play out perpetually, and it'll become a state of hell for you, and those in your orbit.
Your first step forward is acknowledging this reality, your responsibility, and moving through the process, not just to pay lip service, but to fundamentally go on a journey to change for the better. To see yourself as others do. To see who you really are, not how you idealistically perceive your self. And to get the raw words from those around you, about what it feels like being on the other side of you.
Read my summary thoughts of the journey of personal transformation for small business founders
When we start our business and relentlessly pursue a goal, we entrepreneurs miss how many of our authoritative actions negatively impact those around us. And we usually fail to recognize along the way the wake we leave behind.
The wounds I inflicted on others is what I most regret from my time leading Noodlehead Marketing. It's an important lesson learned because of how it drives me to interact and lead people today. But, this lesson took me some time to recognize it. And to truly solidify it meant rectify it with those I hurt along the way.
Explore more about how I took responsibility for the broken relationships in my life
Listen or watch this BuiltOnAir Podcast Interview
When we don’t see the full lifecycle of how things unfold, we’re inclined to make poor decisions. We lose ideas, never plan, fail to execute, neglect maintenance, and forget to audit. When this is you and your business, you are toast.
In the first several years of Noodlehead Marketing, I felt as if something was missing from my toolkit. Companies had systems, processes, and people, but what held it all together? What brought cohesion to all these disparate parts working in different directions? If this cohesion is simply a person, they become a bottleneck, so there must be a stronger and better option.
Explore the reminder of IDEMA's power
When we feel stuck in our small business, it’s a powerful time to reflect on the journey and where to go next. No owner wants a stalling small business. We want a company that continues to grow and thrive. But when that no longer happens, we wonder what we should do next when everything we try simply perpetuates our wheel spinning.
You’ve got three options for how to move forward from here. You can keep going as-is, hoping things will change on their own (They won't). You can make foundational changes to orient the company how you want, or lastly, you can shut the business down (or sell it) and move on.
Same. Change. Or New.
Explore the 4 steps required to make the jump from chaos to clarity
Welcome to the next edition of my interview series where leaders I know share their insights about living better and working smarter.
For many years longer than I've been blogging, I've followed and read other blogs across the net. In my Feedly account, I'm now following 137 blogs on a variety of topics.
In pursuit of publishing my first book, and becoming a better writer, I added several writing experts to my newsfeed. One of those was the Bookish Fox blog, by Sarah Fox who helps authors write their best book possible. I invited her to share her insights. She generously agreed and so here we go!
Explore the insights from this interview with writer and book coach Sarah Fox