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What's your business philosophy?

blog business Sep 01, 2019
4 stacked wooden blocks with the words Vision, Mission, Strategy, Value on each block on a bright blue circle background

The word ‘philosophy” is an umbrella term for company vision, mission and values. Having the courage to start your own business probably means you've dreamt about just how your business would look and feel for a long time. It probably also means that you already know what you want to bring to the world. If not, then let's go through it now and determine your business philosophy. 

When somebody asks about y
our business philosophy, they want to know why you want to start your business and what your core values are. Your philosophy will also be communicated by what your store or your e-store looks like – the vibe, the colourseven the smells. If you have staff who interact with your customersthey need to understand your philosophy, too, and especially how your product will make your customers feel.  

You can't be in and running your business 24/7. Even if you have employees once in a whileyou need to get everyone on board with your mission and your vision for your business's future. So, how do you achieve that? The first step is putting it into words. 

It might seem old school, but all of the best businesses have defined their company mission, vision and values before they've even opened their doors.  

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement
 is simply a brief explanation of the purpose of your business, or its reason for existence. It sets this out for both your employees and your customers.  

When preparing a mission statement for your business, ask yourself: 

  • Who are you (the you being your business)?
  • What is the purpose of your business?
  • Why does your organisation exist?

Here are some examples of company mission statements:

  • Nike – “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world” (*if you have a body, you are an athlete)”.
  • Apple – “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods, and iTunes online store, Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad”.
  • Amazon – “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavours to offer its customers the lowest possible prices”.
  • Kora Organics  “To nourish people’s mind, body and skin. A holistic approach to skincare as everything within us is connected. Nourish your skin; think health; and glow from within”.

What is a Vision Statement?

A vision statement
 communicates with words what you see for the business when you look forward. It creates a mental picture of exactly what your business wishes to achieve or accomplish. Ideally, it will be both inspirational and aspirational and articulate the dreams you have for your business. This can then become a resource for your strategic planning as well as a reminder of why you started and where you saw yourself headed. 

Typically, a vision statement doesn't have lots of details on how you propose to achieve your vision 

When preparing a vision statement, ask yourself: 

  • What problem are we seeking to solve?
  • Where are we headed?
  • When I achieve my dream, my business will look like….

Here are some examples of company vision statements:

  • IKEA – “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
  • Spell and The Gypsy Collective  “It is our vision to become one of the most inspiring and conscious fashion brands in the world”.
  • Shopify – “To make e-commerce better for everyone”.

What is a Value Statement?

A value statement
 explains what you believe in. It lists the core principles that will guide and direct your business, including your employees and work culture. The values create a moral compass and should guide every decision that's made within your business.  

When hiring staff, the best businesses look for people who share their values.  

When preparing a value statement, ask yourself: 

Here are some examples of value statements:

  • Uber – “We do the right thing. Period”
  • Apple – “Humanity is plural, not singular. The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out”.

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