Why Your Business Needs Vision, Value, Mission and Culture Statements

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You’ve heard about them. You’ve tried to write them. You’re confused about them. You’ve forgotten about them.

Does any of the above sound familiar when we mention value, vision, and mission statements within your restaurant, bar, or nightclub? What if we throw you a curve ball and say there should be a fourth statement?

Yes, you should also have a culture statement—the statement no one seems to include but is in fact just as important as the other three.

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It’s quite common for businesses today to confuse or blend together what we refer to as your core statements. The outcome, when they’re not written correctly, is a lack of strategic alignment or reflection of the brand. That’s simply not good for business!

Why are they so important? The four statements provide the compass for your venue while delivering principles that give you and your employees a sense of direction.

To survive this cutthroat industry, each statement should be clear, powerful, and broad enough to guide your decision making, and help explain your venue’s intentions to your brand’s leadership team, staff members, and desired guests.

Where should one start? It is always best to start with the value statement.

Value Statement

Creating a value statement will build the foundations for the other three, creating consistency, accountability, and room for growth.

Your core values are values which tend to support your venue’s vision, reflect its true values, and shape its culture. Your core values define your venue’s beliefs, principles, and the philosophy behind the values.

However, you must try and limit your core values to just five. Once it crosses five, it becomes difficult for your employees to remember them. Here are some helpful hints to get you in the right frame of mind:

  • List ten key items that will make your concept competitive. Example: The customized decor and vibrant and energetic atmosphere.
  • List five key items you know your guests will talk about. Example: Knowledgeable and attentive staff with effective attention to detail.
  • List ten key items that you dislike when you’re a guest at another restaurant. Example: Dirty dishware, floors, tables, menus, and washrooms. Make sure to turn these into positives for your venue.
  • List five key ways you can recover from a poor customer service scenario. Example: Taking the corrective and fast action to resolve the situation.
  • List three key ways (for each) that your team can increase awareness, revenue per customer, and repeat business. Example: Being active within the community, using suggestive selling techniques by understanding the menu, and by creating consistency.

Now summarize your findings and create a top five list using short, powerful words on how you’re going to drive importance, worth, and usefulness.

Here’s a challenge: Try not to use basic words such as ethical, teamwork, authentic, and customer-driven. Remember, what you care about is so personal that your top five value statements need to be crafted carefully and not like everyone else’s.

That’s the real magic behind a value statement—it can be used both internally and externally. It’s both a guideline for operations during your hiring process and a way of marketing your brand to your targeted, most ideal audience.

Vision Statement

A lot of people confuse vision statements with mission statements, and vice versa. The vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what you want your venue to become. Mission statements focus on today and what the venue does currently.

When written appropriately, your vision statement should drive the goals and decisions of your venue. Here are some helpful hints to get you started on your vision statement.

  • Define your optimal, desired future and deliver a mental picture with just a few words of what you want to achieve with your venue over the next three to five-plus years.
  • Write it so it functions as the “north star,” something all your employees will understand and can contribute towards during their time with your brand.
  • Your vision statement should be inspirational, making it easy for all employees to repeat it at any given time.

When writing your vision statement, choose positive, carefully crafted words to create a short—20 words or less—summary that won’t hinder your future growth by being too specific.

Mission Statement

The mission statement indicates what your venue actually does. Like the others, it needs to be concise, specific, and easy to remember. Your company’s mission statement needs to be different than those of your competitors because that helps create brand differentiation.

Using your value and vision statements, you can develop a paragraph that will build focus, service levels, experiences, and accountability. To assist, review your strengths and weaknesses, your target customers, and your suppliers. How will you turn your vision into a promise?

You want to answer three questions about why an organization exists:

  • WHAT does it do?
  • WHO does it serve?
  • HOW does it accomplish both of the above?

The mission statement within your venue should be in the form of a sentence or two, but for a shorter timeframe than your vision statement (one to three years). Keep it simple but actionable, and under 50 words.

Culture Statement

Now that there’s purpose and focus, who’s going to deliver your vision and mission while adhering to your values? Ask yourself these questions when thinking about the team you’re going to hire.

  • What personal values and characteristics must they bring to your venue?
  • How will they be compensated? How will they be rewarded?
  • What kind of work environment are you going to build and sustain?

Summarize your findings and create a top five list using short, powerful words, like when you drafted your value statement. To inspire your staff to do good work for you, find a way to express the organization’s impact on their lives—make them excited to come to work each and every day.

Remember, you want to see the business through the eyes of both the customers and your staff. Creating these four statements should assist you in defining your venue’s positioning and should be reflective in all your future hiring processes, day-to-day operations, marketing campaigns, and customer service sequences.

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