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Successful businesses do not happen by accident. Considerable thought and concern are key ingredients in building a business. Each innovative business was the vision of someone or some number of persons before it was created. Your vision defines what type of business you hope to build.

Although your vision defines your expectations, growing your business requires more than thought and concern. A common mistake made by entrepreneurs is a failure to adequately define where the business is go-ing. Goals and values for the business are essential. Many problems can be avoided by implementing sound management of goals and values.


A critically important management tool for the start-up business is the development of a meaningful mission statement and written goals. In short, the mission statement and goals describe "your vision" for your business. Time invested in thoughtful development of a mission statement and goals is time well spent.

Once developed, your mission statement and goals form the guiding principles by which the business operates. Mission statements and goals streamline decision-making. Often the choice most consistent with growing your business becomes clear after careful consideration of the issue and reflection upon how the alternatives square with the mission statement and goals. Amazingly, the mission statement and goals developed in the early stages of the business frequently serve to remind management what is really important and point the company in its desired direction.

Failure to develop a mission statement and goals robs the company of a valuable framework. As a result, every decision, from hiring staff to protecting intellectual property, is difficult.

In this regard, numerous excellent books, tapes, and seminars are available in the marketplace today. Such resources are well worth the investment of time and money.

With goals and a mission statement firmly rooted in the fabric of your business, decisions regarding intellectual property needs and advis-ability are more easily made. If your business relies upon developing new products, patents and trademarks may be valuable, but copyright protection may be less important. If your primary product is creative or artistic, copyrights will likely dominate your intellectual property portfolio.