general boating industryshop talk

The importance of company mission statements.

Lately I have been reading a business book called “Say It and Live It — The 50 Corporate Mission Statements” that was published in 1995. Reading “Say It and Live It” has made me very curious about how mission statements stand in the marine industry—for individuals, companies, and as a whole.

I have taken notes about the companies, along with researching the ones I didn’t know of to see if they still existed. If a company still exists today, and has years under its belt, it is holding true secrets of success. I strongly believe we must take to our past to improve our future. It begins there. Reading about yesterday allows us to gain a better knowledge of how things have turned out.

As an employee or business owner in this industry — Does your company have a mission statement? If so, are you following your mission statement? When was the last time you looked it over and improved it or changed it to go along with the times?

One company in particular operated from 1945 to 1992 without a statement. After writing one in 1992, they said they were much more focused.

Another company—which is my favorite thus far—made revisions every year to their “mission statement” aka game plan. Changing and updating the statement meant that they were paying attention to the needs of customers, how they fit in the industry, what was working and what was not, and finally, how they stood in the economy.

It is understandable to not always be right the first few times, but with a couple of tweaks along the years of growth, you’ll surely get it right and your company name will become a staple.

Twenty years ago all of the companies in the book focused on nearly the same thing for customer service, employee well being, goals and achievements. In that world, the sales department would rely on the Yellow Pages and ads in magazines to gain new customers. Today all of our customers are constantly being sold to via websites, tv, radio and social media. A world apart from one another, but making all of the difference from constant exposure.

Reviewing the statements from a millennial’s point of view, it is no longer enough to just have the best products, provide the best service and employee morale. I believe it needs to go deeper.

What have you done lately that’ll make you stand out from the crowd in 2016 and stand side by side with your mission statement? Or, if you don’t have a mission statement, will this be the year you write one?

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