Business Planning Series: Mission (statement) Accomplished

Laurie Wolinski, Extension Agent;

Writing your business objectives and mission statements is a great start to developing your business plan. As mentioned, mission statements should be short and concise. Below are two examples. Note that both examples include action words – create, promote, organize, and access.

  • Honest Tea ©: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
  • Google ©: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

In the first example – you know right away what the company creates – organic beverages. In the 2nd example – you know that this company is committed to making information readily and universally available.

While you are putting the finishing touches on your mission statement, you can also start thinking about business goals; SMART goals can help you define what you want your business to accomplish. Below are some examples for a creamery business:

  • Specific – By the end of 2022, we want to increase ice cream sales by 10%.
  • Measurable – We will commit 3 hours/week to marketing and promoting the creamery.
  • Achievable – We will hire four new part-time employees to manage the increase.
  • Realistic – We will add 3 new ice cream flavors in 2022.
  • Timely – Three new housing developments are drawing families to the community – increasing ice cream sales.

The specific goal of increasing ice cream sales will be supported by committing time to marketing, hiring additional employees, adding new flavors, just as customer base increases.

Another approach to goal setting is to consider the CLEAR acronym. Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable.

These adjectives encourage family members and employees to work together (C) with clear time frame (L) and with excitement (E) about achieving the goals. All parties involved should feel accomplishment and appreciation (A). Business owners should be open to adapt and adjust goals should unforeseen events occur (R).

Goals can be basic or broad. A basic goal might be to provide opportunities for family members and community members. A broader goal might look like this: Increase business sales and profits so that by 2028, the business will support two families with $50,000/year income.

Once you’ve had time to think more about a mission statement and goals, a business plans begins to take shape with direction. Remember Yogi Berra’s words: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

Look for more business planning tools and tips in future WCUs.

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