Advertising
Advertising

7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

What’s not to like about being your very own boss? You decide your own work hours. You set your own rules. And there’s no office drama to get in your way, right?

Wrong.

These fantasies cater to the illusion of an ideal work environment. In reality, you have to be ready to face the challenges that come with putting up your own business. You decide your own hours, but you’ll frequently need to adjust your schedule to accommodate more work. You get to set your own rules, but adhering to them won’t simply be a matter of discipline – it could make or break your company. And while you certainly won’t have to tolerate petty office drama, you’ll still have to deal with difficult people day in and day out.

Before you start a business, you need to have the desire, drive, and passion for change and innovation. Wanting to simply escape office politics is not enough. Shallow, self-centered motivations will not give you the drive to last on your own in any industry. In the end, you’ll give up and ask yourself “What am I doing? Who am I kidding? This is not for me.”

Advertising

Before you decide to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon, consider these 7 valid reasons to start a business:

1. You have an idea you can’t stop thinking about

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”  –Josh James, CEO and Co-Founder of Omniture

Do you often ponder an idea before you go to sleep and think about it again first thing in the morning? Does brainstorming this idea leave you staring into space for hours? If you keep thinking about bringing this idea into reality, perhaps fate is telling you to make that move. When Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky first turned a profit renting out three air mattresses on their apartment floor and serving breakfast, they thought their idea could actually work. It did. What started as two guys’ solution to earn rent money is now called Airbnb.

2.  You have a solution to a major problem

“One can get anything if he is willing to help enough others get what they want.”  –Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker and Author

This is the reason some businesses thrive and grow into huge corporations. All problems are meant to be solved, but not all of them require mega fundraising or massive investments. You need to have the solution to a large-scale, tangible problem. Dave Barnes, CEO and Founder of Gym and Fitness, started his business at the young age of 18. He was shopping for home gym equipment and noticed a huge gap in the online market. What started out as a hobby quickly became an obsession. He quit school, and is now the owner of multiple gym equipment stores all over Australia.

3. You are in a perfect situation

“Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.”  –Victoria Ransom, Co-Founder of Wildfire Interactive

You are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. This formula often leads to something epic. If an opportunity comes knocking, and you feel with all the bones in your body that it’s best thing to do, then you should probably follow your instincts. When Chad Mureta, founder of App Empire, got into a debilitating accident that left him in the hospital with a mountain of bills, he took a leap of faith by venturing into an industry he was not familiar with. Now, Mureta has already produced 46 apps and sold three app companies.

4. This is your passion

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple

If you’re starting a business just because you can, then you’re starting out wrong. It takes more than knowledge and experience to become a successful entrepreneur. Hannah Grant, owner of Captura: Wedding Photography in Adelaide, started her business because she was drawn to capture the emotions of people and paint those heartfelt, authentic, joyful sensations through photography. That is passion. It’s beyond the financial aspect. If your work is your passion, then you won’t have to work a single day in your life.

5. You are born to be an entrepreneur

“Trust your instincts.”  –Estée Lauder, Founder of Estée Lauder

Do your friends or relatives often say you have huge potential to succeed in business? Did you ace your backyard lemonade stand or your scout troop’s cookie quota when you were a kid? You should use that unique instinct on something bigger. That is a trait that cannot be learned over time. It’s something you are born with. Embrace it. Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, began what is now a groundbreaking company specializing in innovation in technology… in his parents’ garage.

6. You have years of experience behind you

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  –Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder and former CEO

Like a soldier, trained and armored for war, you already know the ups and downs of your business and the complex nuances of your industry. You know this is what you want. You have years of experience behind you. It’s time to blaze a new trail. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, co-founders of Home Depot, were once fired from their executive jobs. However, that didn’t stop them from revolutionizing the home-improvement industry. Combined, they had years of experience in the industry and changed how we deal with DIY projects.

7. You’re a fresh graduate

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” –Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook

You just graduated and you’re ecstatic. Let that feeling make you do crazy things you’ll probably not want to do in three or four years. Use that confidence to start your own business. What’s there to lose when you have all the time you need? While your friends work toward a promotion at some other company, you’re on your way to becoming the boss of your own company. Mark Zuckerberg was an undergraduate when he started Facebook, but fast-forward, and his one-time “hot or not” site has become a central part of our lives.

As Mr. Donald Trump once said, “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Yes, becoming an entrepreneur is always risky. Yes, it’s constantly changing. And yes, there’s no such thing as playing it safe. But the feeling of accomplishing something, doing what you love the most — that feeling will just propel you to go further. You never know – you might become the next Bill Gates!

Advertising

More by this author

Jane Dizon

Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

Do Memory Supplements Work? 10 Supplements to Boost Brain Power How Much Sleep Do Kids Need for a Productive Day? 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout These 17 Life Skills Will Teach Your Kids Responsibility Struggling with What to Eat Tonight? Here are 20 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes For You To Choose!

Trending in Work

1 How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business 2 20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated) 3 How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career 4 8 Critical Skills for Workplace Success and Career Advancement 5 How to Find Work Motivation When You’re Unfulfilled at Work

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

Advertising

Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

Advertising

You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

Advertising

8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

Advertising

Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

Read Next