You wanna start a business huh? Maybe a new social media campaign? Or maybe it’s a new year and you got some resolutions you wanna see actually come to reality. You can’t enter a new market without doing the research to know if it’s worth your time and money. You shouldn’t put your business on Facebook or Twitter without having a real purpose to be there. And you’re not going to accomplish any of those resolutions unless you make them specific and realistic.
Where should you begin then in creating this plan?
You need a mission statement.
A mission statement is a formal, short, written statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.”
The mission statement is the foundation for your company. Every decision you make should clearly reflect this mission. With such importance but behind a short statement, there are three keys to writing a strong mission statement:
A mission statement must be clearly stated. It should be specific to your goal and easily understood by everyone on your team. When you make a decision, it should flow out of this mission. So the more specific it is, the more easily others can plan their actions to your mission.
Under Armour’s mission statement is to “find new technology and enhance the performance of every athlete and outdoorsman. Lighter. Faster. Stronger. Better.”
The ideal mission statement is not too broad, too narrow, nor too shortsighted. Under Armour’s mission statement leaves no doubt about the focus of its business.
What good is a mission statement if you achieve it in a day or you never know if you actually are meeting your goal? A mission statement should be something you can go back to on a continual basis as a sense of evaluation. Are you meeting your goal? Are you staying true to the purpose you began this endeavor on? If you’ve gone off track, where did you go astray? A mission statement that is measurable gives you the ability to track each step of progress and a form of accountability while you strive to achieve your goal.
It doesn’t do much good to claim, “We are in the business of making high-quality products,” or “We offer the best service and reasonable prices.” It’s hard to find a firm that doesn’t make this claim. Rather, make your statement specific to what sets your company apart from any other while measurable in that it’s something you can track the progress of. You cannot measure high-quality or always having the best price.
Having a specific goal isn’t enough. What good is a goal if you can’t actually accomplish it? If your company cannot fulfill the mission due to lack of resources, technology, or other factors then you should adjust your mission statement to reflect what you actually can do. If your new years resolution is to lose twenty pounds, that is attainable (albeit with some hard work). If your resolution is to look like Eva Longoria Parker and right now you look like Ugly Betty, then sorry friend, you need to change your resolution because that goal is not attainable!
So with this new year, may you start it off right! Make your plan specific, measurable and attainable!
As Col. Hannibal so eloquently puts it, I love it when a plan comes together!
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