Almost all small business consultants want to provide the highest quality services to their clients. Woodard Consulting is no exception. However, the desire to do that, alone, won’t get you to the goal. You need something more … a secret sauce that will give your practice a cutting edge and keep your clients squarely on your side of the table. Although it won’t prevent every challenge or bump along the way, the sauce should motivate you and your team members to get client projects across the finish line.
This secret sauce has three ingredients: Vision, Mission and Purpose.
Your vision is your life goal – your perpetual passion and your perpetual pursuit until the day you die.
A vision defines the high level direction of your firm, but it is not ultimately achievable. If your vision is something you can accomplish within the span of your career, your vision is far too small. Instead, your vision must, by its nature, extend beyond what you can do alone or even what an entire company can accomplish in a single generation. A vision, therefore, is ultimately a baton you pass along to your successors.
It may seem strange to speak of a business vision as a “life goal,” but the artificial separation many of us try to create between our professional lives is both unnecessary and ill-advised. Rather than seeking a balance between work and life, I suggest harmonizing the two. Your work is an extension of your personal passions and your personal goal, and vice versa.
Here are our visions:
- Woodard Consulting’s Vision: To radically and positively impact the way small businesses operate.
- Woodard Events’ Vision: To radically and positively impact the way small businesses operate through small business advisors.
Your mission is a set of measureable actions you perform toward the fulfillment of your vision.
Most people understand the need to create a mission statement. That concept is ingrained in us from our first business class at college and reinforced in every other business development class we attend. In fact, most of you reading this article have written a mission statement and have placed that statement on your website. However, when I read most mission statements, I see either a vision statement or a nebulous confusion between vision and mission.
Unlike the vision statement, a mission statement is achievable and measurable – but, it is not exhaustible. In other words, you can complete your mission statement, but you can also repeat your mission statement over and over again, hopefully with higher and higher degrees of excellence.
Simply put, a mission statement is what your firm does – the actions your firm performs as part of the perpetual journey toward the firm’s vision.
Woodard Consulting’s Mission (What Woodard Consulting Does):
- Implement the best solutions at the highest standards
- Train clients toward product proficiency
- Partner with clients through ongoing support & training
- Coach clients toward organizational health
Woodard Event’s Mission (What Woodard Events Does)
- Foster networking relationships among small business advisors
- Conduct the highest quality learning experiences for small business advisors
- Builds relevant, powerful resources for small business advisors.
- Provide Consulting Opportunities to Small Business Advisors
Your purpose is a client-centric statement that defines every action you take.
Your purpose statement connects the mission statement to the daily operations of the company, infusing the mission statement into the energy of your team and the culture of your practice.
- Woodard Consulting’s Purpose Statement: We empower small business.
- Woodard Event’s Purpose Statement: We empower small business advisors.
If written correctly, your purpose statement is the only answer to the question, “What are you doing right now?” A team member at Woodard might be setting up a new QuickBooks® file, but that is not what he is doing. Instead, he is empowering a small business. Setting up the QuickBooks file is how he is fulfilling the purpose.
The same applies to the receptionist answering calls from clients and routing the calls to the correct person on our accounting department that is making sure the clients’ accounts stay current and their checks get deposited. Everyone in your firm, professional and non-professional team members, should adopt this purpose and understand the connection between the purpose statement and their daily tasks.
What is Your Sauce?
The secret sauce for excellent client service is a blend of a compelling and communicated vision, a challenging but achievable and measureable mission, and a practical sense of purpose.
To spice up your practice, I challenge you to forge your own vision, mission and purpose statements, and then communicate these statements clearly and consistently to your team members and your clients.
I challenge you to become a purpose-driven firm. What are you waiting for?