Mission Statement Deep Dive, Part 2: Announcing Your Deadline

February 22, 2024 - 5 minutes read
Mission Statement

We spoke last week about economic objectives and why they are the foundation of your mission statement. They serve as the primary targets your business is trying to meet or exceed.

Today, we will look at the second piece that should be incorporated into your mission statement: Clear deadlines.

I know what you’re thinking — it’s rare to see a deadline in any mission statement. If most companies aren’t doing that … why should I?

Well, that’s actually one of the main reasons most mission statements are not effective. And, ultimately, it’s why a lot of businesses struggle or fail to achieve everything they want.

The best kind of mission statements are those that inspire action and rally your teammates. That’s very difficult to do without creating any sense of urgency. By stating, “The product must be on the shelves within 12 months,” or “Our sales of this product must increase by 20% by the end of the year,” each department is aware of the timeline and will shift their focus to meet it.

There have to be specific things that get accomplished before a specific period of time expires. Even while you’re watching a movie, you will notice the value of a deadline. Screenwriters will use a countdown clock within the story to make the plot more compelling. And you, the audience, will be reminded of it multiple times. If there is no pressure to overcome the obstacle or solve the problem in a timely manner, it’s hard to stay invested in the story.

Remember, it’s about urgency!

Which is why it also doesn’t work if the deadline in your mission statement extends too long. It shouldn’t go beyond two years, or your team won’t have the fire and intensity that it should while working on their projects.

Once you define your three economic objectives, your deadline should be stated directly after them. It should follow the simple formula of, “We will accomplish X, X, and X … by Y … because Z.”

(Don’t worry, we will tackle the final part your mission statement in next week’s post)!

A Few Examples

  • If you’re a bakery:

“We will sell 250 cakes, 500 special orders of custom cookies, and attract 2,500 new leads by the end of the calendar year … because Z.”

  • If you’re a content creator:

“I will finish the new book, create 50 new sales emails, and produce 1 webinar per quarter by the end of March … because Z.”

  • If you’re an HR service:

“We will serve 100 clients, with an average monthly fee of $4,000 and a gross margin of at least 60% by the end of 2025 … because Z.”

What if you fail to meet the deadline?

It’s okay! Not all missions are going to be completed, particularly for a small business that’s new to the market, or still learning how it wants to operate. If you fail to meet your deadline as a company, you can do one of two things: Learn from the hiccup and extend the deadline, or choose different economic priorities.

If the mistakes you and your team made are correctable, there is no harm in extending the deadline and making sure everything is in order for the second try. But if your priorities weren’t realistic in the first place, that calls for a larger team meeting to address what the new goals should be.

Once you line out what objectives make sense for your business, rewrite the mission statement and determine a new deadline.

Do you need assistance working through your mission statement? Are you running into trouble determining your economic objectives, or figuring out what your deadline should be?

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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