Successful businesses are built on a solid foundation of values and principles. Of course, the most important of these is the company’s vision statement, which is what informs every decision in the organization. However, there are many other key elements that make up this foundation: mission statements, branding objectives, organizational structure, business models, product strategies, to name just a few. This blog post will provide an overview of these pillars to help you get started building your own successful business!
#1 Mission Statements
Your mission statement is the driver of your business. It outlines why you are in business and how you will accomplish your goals.
- Your mission statement should be concise, clear, coherent, compelling, and aspirational.
- A cohesive vision for success begins with a well-defined mission that clearly states what it is that keeps everyone on track throughout the company’s lifespan
- The language used in these statements must be simple yet powerful enough to motivate associates within an organization to work toward common goals without confusion or ambiguity.
- Write short phrases rather than sentences whenever possible as they are easier for people to remember when internalizing them into daily tasks. I recommend keeping them around 15 words long at most!
When crafting your mission statement, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Who is your customer?
- What need does your product or service fill for them?
- How will you make money?
An excellent way to approach this question is by filling out the “I statements” below and then turning them into a mission statement. For example, if I want to open a pet store that specializes in selling dog food, my mission might read something like this: The [pet store] provides high-quality dog food for local customers who care about the health and well-being of their pets. We achieve this by sourcing only from trusted brands, offering competitive prices, and employing knowledgeable staff members who love animals.”
#2 Branding objectives
Your branding objectives describe who you want to be as a business and what impression you want to leave on your customers. They should be consistent with your mission statement and vision and must take all aspects of the customer experience into account: visual identity, tone of voice, values, etc.
Branding objectives give customers a snapshot idea of who you are as a company. It’s important that these messages are communicated through every aspect of the customer experience, from advertising to the checkout process. Branding objectives also define what success looks like for your brand- is it generating awareness? Increasing loyalty among current customers? Gaining market share? Making a profit? All of these are valid goals, but they need to be measurable in order for you to know if they have been accomplished.
#3 Organization structure
Your organization structure defines how the company will be run and who is responsible for what. It should reflect your mission statement and branding objectives, as well as the business model you have chosen. There are a variety of different organizational structures to choose from. Still, the most common are hierarchical (top-down), flat (everyone has an equal say), or matrix (a mix of both). Whichever structure you choose, it’s important that it is efficient and scalable so that it can grow with the company.
A good way to determine your organization’s structure is by answering these questions:
- How many levels of management are necessary?
- Which functions need to be centralized and which can be decentralized?
- What reporting relationships need to be established?
- What kind of expertise and experience is required at each level of management?
#4 Business models
A business model is a description of how your company will be profitable. There are many different types, but they can generally be divided into three categories:
- Product or service-based models
- Service only models
- Subscription and/or membership models
In order to ensure you find the right one for your organization, it’s crucial you know what value proposition each type provides from both a customer and an investor perspective. A great way to do this is by using Porter’s five forces analysis.
Your goals should inform which kind of business model works best for you; otherwise, if executed poorly, your profit margins may not reach their potential! For example, some businesses choose subscription or membership models to increase customer loyalty and encourage them to return over time. However, above all else, always make your company’s finances a priority – using a company like Suretax will help you keep a firm hand on the comings and goings of your business!
Once you’ve answered these four questions, you should have a good idea of the basics for setting up your business. Of course, there are many other things you will need to consider as well (marketing strategy, hiring plan, etc.), but having a strong foundation is essential for success!
#5 Product Strategies
Products are at the heart of any successful business, and developing a product strategy is key to making sure your products reach their potential. There are three main aspects to consider when creating a product strategy:
- Product mix
- Product life cycle
A product mix is simply a list of all the products and services your company offers. It’s important to have a diverse mix that meets the needs of your target market, as well as your own capabilities and resources. You also want to make sure each product is profitable so that you can continue investing in them.
Product Life Cycle
Every product goes through four stages during its lifetime: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Knowing which stage your product is in and how it will change over time allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly. This means that some products may require more investment early on if they are expected to have a greater impact later down the road!
Your positioning strategy defines what makes each of your products unique compared with its competitors. It should be based on both consumer needs as well as company capabilities- for example, Apple positions itself as an innovative technology leader. At the same time, Starbucks focuses on creating premium coffee experiences. Your position can be differentiated or low-cost; however, each entails different costs, so it’s important to determine which best fits your business model before finalizing any strategies!