To kick off the year, we discussed the primary benefits of a strong mission statement and the results it can yield for your business.
Now, it’s time that we dive into the key components of a mission statement.
First, it’s critical to start with the main objectives or priorities of your business. This can be viewed as the ‘what’ part of your company’s initiative: What will you accomplish as a team? What do you plan to achieve during the calendar year, or the time-frame you set for your mission (we will touch on deadlines later).
If you’re wondering why your mission statement isn’t effective, or you’re failing to get results out of your team, the reason likely points to the lack of clarity or direction. A lot of business owners struggle with articulating their vision. Or, they have a million ideas in their mind about what the company should strive for and they have trouble drilling down what’s most important.
Your statement should include three primary objectives that your company hopes to achieve within a given time period. Specifically, these should be economically-driven objectives. Because let’s face it — the point of every business is to create profitable revenue. And when that doesn’t happen, progress will stall and companies ultimately crash. That leaves the customers’ problems unsolved and your entire team out of their jobs.
Why should we only include three economic objectives?
Well, you’ve heard the old saying: If you prioritize everything … you prioritize nothing. The human brain simply has trouble focusing on more than three objectives at a time. If your team stretches itself too thin and tries to tackle 10 different objectives, there’s a high probability you won’t meet any of the initial deadlines.
To maximize productivity and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the mission, only include the three objectives that you deem most profitable or the most significant.
Your economic priorities should:
- Be specific and measurable.
- Every company needs clearly-defined targets or goals to aim for. This is important because it should be obvious at the end of your deadline whether or not you accomplished the mission.
- Drive company revenue and profit.
- At the end of the day, your business is a machine designed to serve customers and make a profit. If your everyday initiatives aren’t leading you down this road, it’s worth reconstructing your mission statement to include the right priorities.
Make sure they are not:
- Elusive or unattainable.
- A lot of companies are too general when outlining what they plan to focus on. For instance, if you’re a restaurant owner trying to rally employees around a new objective, don’t say “We want happy customers.” Not only is it far too broad — it doesn’t give your team anything specific to work toward or strive for. Instead, by saying “We want to 250 return customers within the next 24 months,” you are stating the objective in a measurable way that allows you to engineer a plan to achieve it.
Economic objectives can also include lead measures, such as: “We will get 45 applications” or “We will get 100 new email addresses that enter our sales funnel.”
While those are not direct financial objectives, they do eventually lead to sales. The biggest key is to make your economic objectives tangible, which allows your team to aim for checkpoints throughout the year. It also provides you, the owner, the ability to track the company’s progress and reassess the overall mission if it becomes clear those goals aren’t attainable.
If you do fail, it’s not the end of the world. That’s why mission statement should never be static. They can always change for a variety of reasons. So, if you realize the targets might have been unrealistic (or something needs to change within your operations), then it’s okay to step back, adjust your plan, or extend your deadline.
Let’s say you are running a restaurant:
Maybe your team wants to be known for having incredible desserts. A solid economic objective for this would be, “We will average 47 desserts per dinner segment each night.”
It will cause you and the staff to initiate efforts to hit those marks. Then, if two weeks later you realize the average is only 20 desserts, your team can begin asking each table if they like dessert, or you can print out a separate dessert menu and present it to the tables as they are finishing up dinner.
Let’s say you have a Brewery:
Your mission statement could start with, “We will increase our distribution of beer to 75 more restaurants, four more grocery chains, and 27 pubs by … X.”
In this instance, you are presenting clear targets for your marketing and sales department, but also challenging your production line as well. After all, a growth in sales means a demand for more of your product or service.
Let’s say you have a popular magazine:
You might come up with these economic objectives: “We will increase our subscriber base to 22,000, increase our advertisers by 40, and increase their average advertising investment by $20,000 by … X.”
Or, if you’re leading a consulting firm:
“We will serve 30 new clients, sell five new retainer packages, and receive 98% client satisfaction survey results during the period of … X.”
For the real estate industry:
“We will help 40 clients sell their houses, 50 clients buy new houses, and hold 20 open houses by … X.”
If your grow the three financial priorities you’ve listed in your mission statement, will the overall business grow significantly? If the answer is yes, then you have a good mission statement.
For our next post, we will focus on the value of implementing deadlines into your mission statement.
Do you need assistance working through your mission statement? Is your team having trouble coming up with the 3 main objectives to focus on?
We’d love to hear about your company and help provide the clarity you deserve. Book a call with us today!
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