God’s vision, mission, goals can be unclear, but they are real. Doing them under His guidance is important if you are a Christian business owner. When you do them, the result will be a business that will bring Him glory and be the best it can be.
Small firms employ almost 50% of Canada’s private sector workforce. That’s an important employment growth area. Are you in or planning to join this sector? Probably thinking about starting a home-based business? If you follow Jesus, ensure you work with God’s vision, mission, goals. It’s vital you have a clear vision, explicit mission, firm values, a coherent strategy, and a solid value creation platform.
Most Bible translations tell us in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no vision the people perish. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states that a better translation is ‘without God’s word, people abandon themselves to their own sinful ways. On the other hand, obeying God’s Law brings happiness.’
If you follow Jesus and intend to start a business, listen for God’s word. Try to hear God’s vision, mission, goals. He will show you the business He prepared for you to bring Him glory. Even if you have a dream to do such and such, turn it over to the Lord. To be sure, if that’s His plan, He will place the desire in your heart (Psalm 37:4).
Racing ahead of Him will be disastrous. You don’t know the future. He does. You don’t know what’s best for you. He does. You wouldn’t allow your two-year old daughter to do what she likes that is harmful to her. Surely, you know what’s best for her. That’s how you and I should view God. He will show you His best, as He did with Moses, Joseph, Apostle Paul, and others in the Bible.
The vision is a broad roadmap of the firm’s activities. It is the owner’s view of the future he or she believes comes from God. It provides the picture to the question, “What will I do?” When it comes from God, it is more than a dream. The vision should convey an overall sense of what you want your business to become. Once you get God’s vision, you have the basis for an amazing business if you choose to let Him guide all your ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). Those whom you will employ must understand and buy-in to it so they can focus on it and work to it diligently.
The owner must try to convince everyone in the business to believe the vision. Everybody must think it is realistic and accept it. It should be challenging, but realistic. If the owner does not convey it passionately, clearly, unambiguously, and confidently, others might not commit to it and might not be dedicated to achieving it.
The vision statement should be simple, broad, memorable, inspirational, brief, and show broadly what the firm is trying to achieve.
Avon’s vision is to be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.
To clarify the vision, the business needs a mission. The mission shows broadly, the purpose of the organization. It answers two questions broadly. First, “why is the owner doing this?” Second, “how does the owner intends to carry out the vision?” Broadly, the mission shows how God is leading the owner to do the vision at a specific time.
A mission statement captures the vision clearly, concisely, and completely, and aligns with the business’ vision. It should highlight the firms’ commitment to focus on its core values as it works to doing its goals.
Avon’s mission is focused on six core aspirations the company continually strives to achieve: (1) Leader in global beauty (2) Women’s choice for buying (3) Premier direct-selling company (4) Most admired company (5) Best place to work (6) To have the largest foundation dedicated to women’s causes.
Values are ethical guidelines the business will follow always. They will show that the business should do what’s right in every situation.
The owner will stress in the values’ statement that it is irrelevant how difficult a task might be. Everybody must do what’s right no matter the results. And the basis of right and truth is the Bible. Values should include respect for individuals and families, trust, integrity, transparency, caring, rigour, good stewardship, and right accountability.
To carry out the business’ vision and mission, it needs a strategy. Many businesses confuse its strategy with its goals, to its detriment. Goals are the specific targets the business plan to achieve in a defined period. However, specific strategies show how the business plans to carry out particular goals as it works to do the overall mission. It is the path to achieving the mission. The strategy must be compatible with the firms’ values and other operating principles. The strategy should flow from analyses of the business’ environment—economy, markets, opportunities, challenges.
Value Creation Platform
A business’ value creation platform is the organization and principles it applies consistently to carry out its mission. How it buys, manufactures, sells, relates to customers and suppliers. How it operates its business to earn its income. It shows the business’ uniqueness. It is the basic operational structure in place to do specific goals to achieve the mission.
Individuals in the business should apply the organization’s practices and principles in the designed structure systematically, methodically, and consistently. Most of all, the business must establish clear guidelines to prevent changes to the value creation platform without rigorous, high level discussion and debate.
The business must be alert to changes in the business environment, anticipate market shifts, and generally be alert to overhauling the value creation platform as needed. Complacency, arrogance, and myopia can be fatal. Blackberry is an example of huge success, sitting on its laurels, and then struggling to be relevant.
Avon’s value creation platform or business model is multi-level marketing using direct selling through door-to-door representatives and through brochures.
McDonald’s value creation platform includes quality food, speed, consistency, and franchising.
God’s Vision, Mission, Goals – Summary
A Christian business owner should do God’s vision, mission, goals under His guidance. Some firms do not have explicit vision statements. Instead, their vision is mixed in their mission statement. That’s not a problem as these mission statements show clearly, and broadly, the organizations’ purposes and core values.
Operating a business can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. Running it while doing God’s vision, mission, goals is even more satisfying. Sadly, the reverse can be true, particularly when folks take control and let money lead their decisions. Pray that you will see God’s vision, mission, goals, and for the ability to focus on doing them. Apply them consistently using a coherent strategy, and trust Him to guide you through the valleys. Stay in your circumstances always, confident Jesus will never leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:18-20). He will guide you through.
For more on managing God’s money for small businesses, click here.
© Copyright 2013, Michel A. Bell