"Many business owners have dutifully written their vision and mission statements, working hard to craft statements with impact and importance," writes Marla Tabaka at Inc. "But what happens to those statements?"

All too often, they're shuffled out of sight—and out of mind. In Tabaka's experience, many clients can't articulate a mission statement; often, they've simply forgotten what they wrote in the first place.

So how can you regain—and maintain—a laser-sharp focus on your company's raison d'être? Tabaka recommends this three-step process:

Define your true and full vision. Almost everyone starts a business with the purpose of turning a profit, but you might have additional humanitarian or environmental goals. "Certainly this isn't true for everyone," she notes, "but don't negate the importance of your higher purpose if you have one."

Use imagery to communicate the big picture. Sometimes a written statement isn't enough. Tabaka suggests the creation of a poster board that keeps your mission front-and-center with drawings, photos or collages. "Too often the rewards connected to our goals get lost in the passion and dream of carrying out our mission," she notes. "Give yourself permission to include meaningful symbols of the rewards you seek; money, travel, fame, respect, or whatever is important to you."

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