Website: Athyr Beauty
Rosa says, "Working in corporate life for over a decade, I learned the importance of a mission statement to a large corporation, but I wondered if a new, small business with three employees who were all owners needed a written mission statement. It sounded so formal."
Rosa's business partner insisted that they spend a couple of hours to come up with one. This would ensure that they understood the core of their business as individuals and as a team, captured their corporate values, and agreed on a company direction.
Together, they set out to write their company's mission statement. Rosa recalls, "I thought this would be a no-brainer, right? Wrong!"
Rosa describes the utter frustration of a process expected to take only a few hours, but instead lasted for days. "We started to brainstorm as a group, throwing out thoughts and words, and it all sounded awful. It didn't take long to realize that although we all knew our business inside and out, we were not on the same page in some ways. Because of this, we learned that a written mission statement isn't as easy as it seems, especially if you get stuck trying for perfection the first time out."
Rosa wondered if her team was getting caught up in wordsmithing or if they just fundamentally disagreed. They decided to take a step back and find more information on the whole process to help them structure their thoughts. To do this, they read mission statements of companies they admired and respected. They also found Internet sites that discussed mission statements and offered helpful tips for the whole process. "Now the three of us were sitting across each other with all this new information, and yet it still seemed as if we were writing ideas in invisible ink. None of our statements would stick and the words just didn't feel right!"
"It turns out that writing a clear and concise statement that expressed our values and direction was not the easiest task in the world." Rosa says the process reminded her of making pancakes. "It's one thing to whip up pancakes for breakfast after you have been making them for years, but it's quite another to sit down and write out the recipe so someone else who has never heard of pancakes can understand what a pancake is -- ingredients, exact measurements, mixing and baking instructions, and finally what a pancake should look like so as not to be confused with a waffle."
Who cares if your company has a mission statement?
Now that the partners understood the importance of being on the same page, they thought about who else might care. It turns out that at least three important groups of people care.
- "First, the customers, because it may help answer why they should buy from us."
- "Second, the employees, because it should help us convey to them what we care about."
- "Last, the potential business investors, because it helps us define what is unique about what we do, how we strive to do it, and why they should invest in us."
Was it worth the time it took to get it right?
Rosa says, "Being a new business, we don't have a 'brick and mortar' location yet. For me, writing out our mission statement on paper was the difference between seeing the beautiful colors of the fall leaves through pictures sent over the internet, and actually taking a walk along the river and seeing the colorful leaves blowing off the trees and swirling all around you. Somehow the process of writing our mission statement gave me that feeling of being real. It took Athyr Beauty out of the abstract and gave her a more 'concrete' feeling."
"After a few grueling days and what seemed like fifty thousand revisions, reworking every last word -- and the ideas behind the words -- forced us to examine the meaning and value of our business. In the end, we celebrated the fact that we finally had a mission statement we could be excited about, and one that accurately represents the passion we all feel."
Athyr Beauty Mission Statement
Here at Athyr Beauty, our team's mission is to raise awareness regarding the importance of safe handling and storage of your makeup, skin care and perfume products.
We believe that proper tools are essential to keeping your cosmetic products fresh and are key to maintaining a clean and healthy beauty routine.
We are committed to continuous improvement to provide you with ways to maximize your products' full benefits.
What is your experience?
If you have not written your mission statement yet, you should spend a little time thinking about it and putting it down in writing. This is an important component to your business plan. Remember, you only have to write it in semi-permanent marker. Your company will continue to grow and change over time, so you don't have to try to include everything in today's statement.
If you have written your mission statement, was it worth the time it took to hash it out for everyone to see? Get Noticed: Share Your Business' Mission Statement and thoughts on About.com