In my last post, we started picking apart strategic planning by looking at the S.W.O.T. assessment. S.W.O.T. of course stands for Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.
You can go back and read that article here if you like.
For those of you who still think that Vision, Mission, Culture, and Purpose is nothing but Unicorns and Rainbows… I don’t think you'll like this blog post very much.
However, I get to be the guy who gets to give you the straight goods. All of those things are critically important – if you ever want to grow beyond a 1 to 10 man show.
The reason we do Strategic Planning is like setting a clear project scope or the blue prints, elevations and take off drawings of the trades world.
It would be foolish to try and build a solid stable structure without a set of blueprints. And you’d never get the project done right by a sub-trade if you didn’t have a common set of prints to work from.
It’s really the same with Strategic Planning. We set out to create a plan so that we can get our staff and employees and subcontractors to help us achieve it.
Or - - we stay small and continue thinking about how we can work harder to get ahead instead of how we can work smarter.
And Strategic Planning is working smarter.
Again, to start this process off you might want to go back and read the first couple of blog posts in this series. If you’ve already done that then let’s talk about Purpose.
Our purpose is our “why”. Our “Why” is what looks like a really short statement; but takes a lot of thought.
The good news is that there’s a system for writing this out. Use this to create your own. As you’ll see in my examples, you have some leeway as long as you get all of the parts in there somehow.
The Purpose Formula
(Our company) + exists to provide + (name the benefit) + to + (the clients we serve)
So if you were a Trades company ,your purpose might read like this
Hot Tin Roofing exists to provide and install hi-tech living roofs for a caring world.
Polar Bear HVAC is the most educated and efficient contractor for Hotels who value comfort and consistency for their guests.
…And if you were a company that built websites and apps;
At Gremlin-ware, we’re here to make programming seamless and integrations flawless for Freight and Distribution networks .
You get the point.
So - now can you see the value? Where can you use this Purpose Statement in real life to help grow your company?
Here, let me lay a few out for you…
Hiring new staff –
(You) : ”Ok Samantha- tell me about a time you rolled out a project where the programming was seamless and the integration flawless….”
(Samantha saying to herself) Oh wow, they do that here? I have to get this job!
Training / Onboarding new people -
(You) : “Fred, today we’re going to learn about heat loads and volume displacement for industrial buildings and how we do it here at Polar Bear HVAC. You see, we are the most educated and efficient mechanical contractor for Hotels in BC.”
(Fred says to himself) – Wow, this place is great. I’m going to have to work hard to keep up.
In your marketing – Call us at Hot Tin Roofing- Your roof is our baby!
In your sales script – What’s important to your Hotel in a Mechanical Contractor?
For customer issues/ installation questions in the field: To answer the question- what should we do to fix things when something goes wrong.
Fred calls into the Polar Bear HVAC office to talk to Paul the owner.
Fred: Uhh, Hi Paul, we have a problem. The Hotel wants me to put in the smaller, cheaper unit.
Paul- for the Ballroom? It won’t be able to keep up.
Fred: well- that’s what they want.
Paul- Their guests wont be comfortable and they’ll end up getting complaints. Can you go up and talk to Susan the VP Ops? She knows we researched all of this on the original install. …Fred- we’re the most educated HVAC guys in BC, right? This is free, good advice.
Can you go talk to her? Let her know the right thing to do for guest comfort is to go with the unit we suggested.
Fred: Yup, I’m on it
So, without scripting all of these, I’m hoping you’re starting to see why this matters.
A Purpose Statement tells our clients, employees and the world why we exist.
If you’re like me, you didn’t start this company so that you could just come in with the cheapest bid. You are excellent at what you do, you’re proud of what you produce, and you want to deal with clients who respect the effort you put in.
That’s why we have a purpose statement.
So- I get that every single company is different, and that every market is different. And you might completely disagree with some of the examples that I gave above.
And that’s okay. You also might have completely agreed.
For those of you wondering if I would share my own Purpose Statement here it is.
BizStratPlan works exclusively with family and privately held businesses to show owners and entrepreneurs how to work even smarter.
This is a good place to wrap it up for now. Again if you want to know more about Strategic Planning, this is a link to the first post in the series.
If you want to know why Strategic Planning takes a whole day, I suggest you read this post! You’ll hear what one of my clients had to say about the process , after they stalled on it for 3 years!
As you know, I love what I do. If you ever want to talk about your business, lets get on the phone for 20 minutes.
One more thing – I’m the Chairman for Vancouver’s GSEA this year. The GSEA is the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and its hosted by EO Vancouver*. Do you know of a University Student who also runs their own business? They qualify for this prestigious award.
The 2015 winner was Daniel Dubois, founder of ShareShed.com and graduate of Capilano University.
The 2016 winner is Bunny Ghatrora of BCIT, with Elleboxco.com. Bunny will be competing at the National Finals here in Vancouver on Feb 21 at the Hootsuite offices. If you’d like to be on the guest list, let me know!
Click here for more information on the GSEA and EOVancouver.