ganization and make that person responsible for researching the competition
and disseminating that info throughout your organization, or have a contest
among your salespeople for the best competitive info presented at the next
sales meeting. Join industry organizations to tap into a network of knowledgeable colleagues.
Remember, though, this information is only as powerful as the people who
have access to it. Set up a system so everyone knows where to look to find updated
customer and competitor data and make sure this gets updated and checked regularly.
What’s My “Who” and “Do What?”
“Who” and “do what” is a fancy name for a mission statement
coined by Michael Port in Book Yourself Solid, a book on optimizing
sales. Organic companies are better than many at knowing why
they are in business, but there are still questions to answer. You—
and your employees—need a well-defined mission and vision to be successful. You
need to know where you are going so you can figure out how to get there.
In reviewing business websites, collateral, ads, etc., one of the biggest problems
can be the lack of passion and emotion related to mission statements. This problem is even seen with many organic companies. In many cases, companies don’t
even have a mission listed anywhere on their sites. Many companies who have
been in business for years have never taken the time to write out what they really
Why is the mission statement foundational in scaling your ‘change-the-world’
• It tells people what you do in a clear,
• Many times it can tell them why they would want to do business with you.
• It can become a mantra across your organization—a rallying cry.
• It can help you build a great culture at your company.
• It can even be the common denominator across all your marketing.
To create a great mission statement, there are three questions you need to
think about including:
1. What are we deeply passionate about?
2. What do we do?
3. Why do we do it?
Answer these questions and do some brainstorming; keep it simple, real and
authentic and give yourself permission to develop “version 1.0.” Make sure it
links to your passion and purpose and has “legs” to last for a while even as your
Here’s how to get started:
• Schedule a two-day offsite retreat to
define your market and mission
and map out the long term vision.
From there you can work backwards
into six month chunks that become
your execution plan. Ask yourself,
“What do we want to accomplish in
the next six months?” then “How
are we going to accomplish it?”
Voila! Strategic plan.
Strategic retreats give you the
confidence to go forward in an organized fashion. For example, one
major CPG company was at about
$15 million in sales and held a
strategic retreat to figure out where
they wanted to be in three years.
They analyzed marketplace data,
considered how many employees
they would need, discussed what
categories they would expand into,
etc. and came up with a target of
$60 million. The company came
within 5 percent of their goal. The
point is, having a strategic plan, including the applicable metrics,
made them feel secure in the decisions they made to ensure success.
• Hold monthly strategic meetings to
track your results against this plan.
Disseminate this information
throughout your organization. This
will help make your employees feel
a sense of ownership, empowering
them and making them feel included in the organization’s growth.
Who’s on the
Bus and Has the
People and systems are vital to
building a scalable business. In terms
of the former, in Jim Collins’ landmark
book, Good to Great, he talks about getting the right people in the right seats
on the bus. If you’re a high growth
company that has been scrambling
Do I Have a Clear Plan?
Now that you know what your stakeholders want, who your ideal
customer is and what your mission truly is, you need to figure out
how this relates to your vision. Do you have a strategic plan? Are
you constantly dealing with “urgent” crises and never completing
the “important” strategic items that will propel your company forward? What you
need is a three-year vision that will provide you focus so you can concentrate your
energies where you need to and have the confidence to say “no” to opportunities
that aren’t right for you.