Business Plan Basics
mission and vision statements set the tone for not only your business plan, but
also for your company. They define the path your company will follow and
act as a guiding principle by which your company functions.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
some of the "don'ts" to avoid when writing your Mission Statement or
In the context of a business planÖ
Say It With Passion
assume that your Executive Summary clearly outlines your idea, business concept,
opportunity, market, management team, and investment opportunity. Let's also
assume that it's grabbed the attention of your reader/investor and has inspired
them to read on. Moving forward, your reader quickly flips past your Table of
Contents and glances at your company's Mission Statement.
will they read? Is it compelling? Exciting? Does it give them the impression
that your company and you are more than just business oriented, but also
passionate? What does it tell your reader about you, your company, and your
chances of future success? And will it stick in their mind as they read through
the other sections of your business plan? If you can answer yes to these
questions, then your mission statement has done its job.
in mind that you don't want to put the carriage before the horse in regards to
the relationship between your mission statement and your business plan. In many
ways, your business plan (i.e. your business) should develop BECAUSE you have a
mission, not because The Company Mission is a section in your business plan. A
great mission statement will not make up for a poor business plan in the eyes of
investors, but an undefined and uninspired mission statement may lead an
investor to think twice about the quality of your business and it's goals.
mission statement isn't just for the readers of your business plan. Instead it
should be viewed as the guiding principle for your entire business. It tells
you, your company, your employees, your vendors, your customers, your investors,
and your lenders what your goal is, what you stand for, and where you're headed.
Essentially, your mission statement defines your company's values and outlines
your organizational purpose and "reason for being".
solid business plan is organized to convey information to outsiders about the
nature and intentions of your business. A clear mission statement serves as the
"guiding light" of your business plan, powerfully condensing the
message you want to send to the reader.
good mission statement is compelling, passionate, and energizing. It should be
risky and challenging, but also achievable. If it falls between "we can't
do it", but "we will do it anyway" then you're on the right
track. Also remember that a mission statement isn't written in stone, and is
likely to change over time as a business grows and market conditions change.
Think of your mission statement like a race; give it a clearly defined finish
line and determine a time period when it will be achieved.
a mission statement can be a difficult and challenging task. If you don't know
what you stand for and what your company believes in, then it's impossible. If
you don't know what principles you operate from and how you will treat those who
come in contact with your company, then it's impossible. If you're not excited
about what you are doing and lack a passion for your product or service, then
it's impossible. Instead of trying to just "write it" or "get it
done", devote some serious thought and soul searching to your mission
statement. It must boldly state what you, your company, and it's future are all
about - and it's worth the effort.
two other famous examples:
to keep your mission statement simple, but this doesn't necessarily mean it
should be short. Try limiting it to one paragraph, although it could vary
anywhere from one sentence to a full page.
mission statement should be different. So don't try to use one of the examples
above or one that resembles the flavor of your closest competitor. Instead write
a mission statement that reflects your individuality, creativity, and