While it’s a challenge to summarize an entire business in a single statement, your company’s vision, mission and purpose need to be clearly and succinctly defined before it can be shared with your audience of customers, prospects, employees and other stakeholders.
Writing a business statement may seem straightforward, but being transparent about what your business stands for and intends to do in the world can become complicated and messy without the right focus.
If you’re not sure how to begin refining your business statement, the members of Forbes Coaches Council explored some must-haves that will help set your organization on a successful trajectory. See their list of critical elements that every business statement must get right below.
- What You Believe
Talk about what you believe. An example is, “We believe leadership is crucial to create a better future for everyone.” That statement connects you to your purpose, guides your actions and tells clients who you are and what you stand for. From there, you can talk about what you do. This statement also engages prospects differently than saying, “We provide coaching.” – Maureen Metcalf, Innovative Leadership Institute
- Alignment Of Vision And Values
When fine-tuning a business statement, it is important to understand how the business’ vision statement aligns with its values in this season. Getting that type of alignment empowers and enables organizational possibilities and success. – Dr. Flo Falayi, The Hybrid Leadership Institute
- The Desired Outcome
The most important element to create compelling and inspired buy-in is to clearly state your desired outcome. Paint a picture with words so that anyone reading this understands what you want. – Cynthia Howard,Work Smart Coaching and Consulting
- Capability Statement
Develop a capability statement to have on hand that you can tweak for different opportunities. Address your company mission statement, executive leadership, experience and the value you bring. – Barbara Adams, CareerPro Global, Inc.
- Your Unique Contribution
Ask yourself, “What is the need for and the ‘raison d’être’ of my business? What would the world miss if we were not here?” If you can truly convince your audience of your unique contribution to the world and how awful it would be if you were not here, then you have succeeded in crafting a powerful business statement. – Pernille Hippe Brun, Session
- Your Impact, Tangible Qualities And Deeds
Talk about your impact, not just the vision and mission. Tangible qualities and deeds stick out with stakeholders. If there is some measurement in place as well, be sure to highlight the good and the bad, what you will keep doing more of and what you will choose to minimize to achieve the maximum desired impact. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory
- Context, Not Just Maxims
You must examine the entire context and perception that the business statement suggests. To overtly repeat a maxim to the marketplace may seem benign. For example, “We stand for diversity, equity and inclusion” may sound good to you, but did you ever think about the unintended consequences of this general statement? What about people with physical disabilities? Create context, not just maxims. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
- Why It Matters
What need does the business address? What problems are solved? What is the impact? If the answers to these three questions are clear, considered and valid, the financial and strategic elements of a business plan will also hold water. As the keystone, the “why it matters” being solid opens the door to potential investors and clients to buy the dream. – Lisa Marie Platske, Upside Thinking, Inc.
- Your Unique Vantage Point
When fine-tuning your business statement, the most important element to get right is your unique advantage point. This will give you remarkable clarity about what your market needs and desires, simultaneously suggesting how you can fulfill those needs and desires in your unique way. You need to be an expert in the market you serve, not just the products and services you sell. – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
- Your Personal Story Of Why You Do What You Do
The belief that is behind the business statement and informs it is the most important: Why do you do what you do? Often, it is fueled by a deep personal story in which you are the hero who, faced with a great challenge, overcame it, transformed and now helps make the world a better place. This requires a good search within that helps you speak to not only the minds but also the hearts of the audience. – Amy Nguyen,Happiness Infinity LLC
- How Your Solution Fixes My Problem
It is popular to mention purpose as the most important element of a business statement, but there is something even more practical. What is the problem I have but don’t want, and how does your solution fix it for me with the least amount of hassle and time investment? If that is clear, I am interested in hearing more. If it is not, why would it matter what your beliefs and purpose are? – Csaba Toth, ICQ Global
- The Explicit ‘Why’ Of Your Business
The business statement usually describes the “what” and the “how” of the business. This only creates connection at the transactional level. To go beyond that, the “why” must be made explicit. This goes a long way in building a deeper connection to purpose, vision and values, which can create resonance and meaning for both internal and external stakeholders. – Thomas Lim, Singapore Public Service, SportSG
This article was originally published on Forbes.com