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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.
Nov
04

Business Planning Time: Dos and Don’ts of Mission Statements

By

kid with magnifying glassWhat’s your mission? It’s time to begin writing your business plan for 2016. In November and December, I want to give you a few tips on creating various parts of your business plan. One of the important, but often-left-out parts of a business plan is your mission statement. What it is? It’s literally your mission in your business.

Mission statements answer the questions:

Why are you in this business?
What do you want to accomplish?
How are you going to achieve your mission?
What’s important to you?

Why Have a Mission Statement?

To keep yourself on track.
To decide what you will and won’t do.
To state who you work with (and to think about who you wouldn’t work with).
For time management
For clarity and focus

To convey to potential recruits what you’re about
To use as a springboard to your marketing

Mission statements should be:

• Well-defined
• Restrictive
• Complementary with your company statement (and the company statement should be reflected in any branch office/associate statements)

Mission statements are:

• Not lightly changed (usually stay the same through your
years’ business plans)
• Written in the present tense
• Do not contain objectives or goals
• Not tied to time

3 Don’ts for Mission Statements

1. Mission Statements Are Not Objectives or Goals

Mission statements are not quantifiable. Leave out any numbers – they go into your objectives. Following is an example: A person may write, “I am a profitable agent. I will make a profit of $50,000 every year.” The first part of the statement, “I am a profitable agent” has a place in a mission statement. But the last part of the statement is an objective, or quantifiable end result, and should be placed in another section of your plan. The mission statement is broader; it guides you as you make long-term decisions. The above offers some valuable tips on writing mission statements.

2. Mission Statements Aren’t Changed Lightly

Because mission statements are really statements of you as a businessperson, these statements are not lightly changed – just as you would not lightly change yourself. That does not mean that you might not work over time on how your statement is constructed, but it does mean that you do not change the essence of the statement, the specialties, the ideals – without considerable thought.

3. Mission Statements Aren’t Statements of the Future

I’ve seen many mission statements that say ‘I will be’ or ‘we will be’. No. Mission statements assume we are what we state–in the present.

Plan_Act_CelebrateWant to see many agent and company mission statements? Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Step by step, I take you through the planning process with a much more in-depth, interesting, and helpful process than you’ll find in those ‘easy squeezy’ form planning products!

There’s one for managers and one for agents.

Managers: I teach your agents how to plan in webinars. I show you how to lead the planning process. I make it really easy for you to get great plans from your agents! Check it out here.

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