Is Your Mission Statement Truly Driving Your Business?
When was the last time you referred to a company’s mission statement while considering a purchase? Chances are, not often. Many companies simply put up a set of words on a plaque or their website footer, treating them as rigid guiding principles, which end up being confined to investor presentations or annual reports.
Your mission statement is meant to be the most crucial internal tool for driving business growth. It should unite everyone in the organization and direct them towards a common goal. However, if the direction outlined in the mission statement isn’t clear, achieving positive outcomes becomes challenging. As John Maxwell wisely said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Therefore, it’s time to rethink how we perceive mission statements and make them dynamic, helping them genuinely propel our businesses and teams forward. If calling them “goal statements” helps you grasp this concept better, feel free to do so.
Three Components Your Mission Statement Might Be Missing
Economic Objectives: Does your mission statement include any specific numerical targets? I’m not referring to mentioning the year of your establishment or the number of people you’ve helped. Instead, does it incorporate sales-related figures? Defining clear sales targets is essential for guiding your team’s focus. After all, the primary purpose of any business is to generate revenue, and money, when used responsibly, can bring positive changes to the world. A steady and growing revenue stream is the foundation of every successful business, and it must be an integral part of your mission. Consider the top three ways your business generates income, be it direct product sales or building a leads pipeline for future sales, and tie specific and measurable economic goals to these methods. This alignment will facilitate better collaboration and efficiency across your organization.
Deadlines: Setting a deadline for a mission statement might seem unconventional, but consider it a necessary aspect. Just like a military unit embarking on a mission, having a timeline and deadline is crucial. It adds a sense of urgency and accountability. One practical approach is to create a new mission statement for each year, giving you a tangible 12-month timeframe to achieve your goals. At the end of the year, evaluate your progress, celebrate achievements, and craft a new mission statement for the following year. Your mission should be achievable within the set timeframe, and it should provide measurable ways to track progress toward the deadline. Should you surpass your deadline ahead of schedule, that’s cause for celebration, but remember to promptly rewrite your statement and keep moving forward.
The “Why” of Your Business: While increased sales are undoubtedly vital for business growth, not everyone is primarily driven by economic objectives. To rally everyone on your team and align them in the same direction, it’s crucial to highlight and identify the purpose behind your endeavors. Even if the ultimate goal is financial success, there’s often a deeper belief that what your business offers will make a positive impact on people’s lives in some way. This aspect of the mission statement is particularly important for employees who might not directly benefit from increased sales. It helps foster a common ground that everyone can connect with and commit to.
Examples of Effective Mission (Goal) Statements:
“We aim to close 40 new home sales, place 15 homes on the market, and increase our email list by 240 people within 24 months, providing everyone with a smooth real estate experience and a home they love.”
“Within one year, we will increase recurring donors by 50%, raise $10,000 a month in project-specific revenue, and meet with four potential partnering organizations per month, ensuring no woman or child is left on the street and without help.”
“We will boost sales of add-on items by $250 a night, organize four revenue-generating special events, and engage our current customers at least twice a month through communication and offers over the next 24 months, providing everyone with a dinner experience that exceeds expectations.”
Is It Necessary to Share Your Mission Statement Publicly?
In most cases, the answer is no. Unless your company is a Fortune 500 corporation with legal obligations, your mission statement should primarily serve as an internal guiding force for your team. It should keep everyone moving in the same direction and act as a litmus test for evaluating ideas. While there might be many good ideas, if they don’t significantly contribute to one of your three main goals, they should take a back seat to those that do.
Does Your Mission Statement Fall Short? Fix It Now!
You don’t have to wait for the beginning of the year or a big meeting to create or refine your mission statement. Take action right away. Jot down three measurable goals that will ultimately drive revenue, set a time frame, define your “why,” and keep this statement visible as a constant reminder. Remember, a well-crafted and purposeful mission statement can be a powerful tool for your business’s success.