8 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Small Business Owner

8 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Small Business Owner

When running a small business, you’re at the center of everything. You juggle meeting client deadlines, handling finances, and leading your team. It might often seem like there’s no end to your to-do list. 

Let’s face it, time is priceless and managing it well is a crucial skill for you, as a small business owner. There’s no perfect formula for mastering time management but you can always develop habits that align with your schedule and work rhythm. 

Here are  eight practical time-management strategies that will empower you to ramp up productivity, make wiser choices, and shift your focus to the expansion and success of your business. 

How to best manage your time

If you feel like there are never enough hours in the day, these tips can help you better manage your time.

1. Get organized.

An organized workspace and a clear work plan can vastly improve your productivity. If either is chaoticit’s easy to get overwhelmed and have your workflow disrupted. Take these simple steps to streamline efficiency: 

  • Organize your workspace. This involves decluttering and designating places for important items. Discard needless items or effectively store them away. Convert your physical files to digital versions to create more room for yourself. Organize these digital files based on the client or the project, depending on what works for your business.
  • Organize your work. Organize your work process by setting clear, achievable goalsCreating a list of about five tasks you want to target within the week is a good start. Elaborate on each task, specifying its importance, and then focus on executing them one after the other. This strategy ensures you make substantial progress towards your broader plans.
  • Know when you are most productive. Recognizing your productive periods can contribute to better work efficiency. Note the times when you’re more active and productive. I could be after morning exercise or post-lunch. A digital app, like Toggl, could be beneficial in understanding your productivity patterns by keeping track of the time spent on each task. Once you’ve identified your peak productivity period, you can devote that time to more challenging, higher-priority tasks, leaving simpler ones for other times. 

By following these simple suggestions, you can overcome the clutter – both tangible and intangible – that may be hindering your effectiveness, and direct your effort more productively towards achieving your business goals. 

2. Embrace apps.

If you have a smartphone, turn it into your ultimate small business tool with apps designed to help you take charge of your schedule and workflow.

Here are some excellent time- and task-management apps:

  • Wunderlist: If traditional paper to-do lists aren’t cutting it, the Wunderlist app allows you to prioritize tasks, set reminders and share your to-do list with others. It’s accessible from smartphones, laptops and Apple Watches, so you can stay on top of your tasks from any location.
  • Harvest: If you’re a small business owner who charges clients by the hour, an app like Harvest can easily keep track of the time you spend on each task, making invoicing easy. Even if you don’t charge by time spent, Harvest lets you track how much time every project takes, making you more aware of how long a project truly takes to complete.
  • Trello: When it comes to managing overall workflow, Trello is an excellent resource. You can create boards for each project and set up step-by-step pipelines to send them through, allowing you to track tasks from beginning to completion. It’s also a great tool for collaboration and tracking your remote staff’s productivity and efficiency. 

3. Learn when to delegate

When you’re starting out, it’s natural to take on anything and everything to do with your business. You’re likely accustomed to learning on the job and have picked up marketing skills, accounting skills and other abilities required to run your organization. 

However, as your time becomes more precious, delegating becomes crucial. Learn to outsource some tasks or assign projects to employees, giving yourself the freedom to take growth opportunities. 

First, decide what tasks you’d like to offload. Pinpoint tasks you typically procrastinate on to determine who could better handle the job. If you don’t have a staff ready to pitch in, find independent contractors or freelancers specializing in that area who can work on an as-needed basis.

Reach out to your professional network and get referrals to find trustworthy people who can do the job. A delegated task is only successful if it gets done properly, so hire carefully and enforce deadlines.

4. Keep track of your finances.

Handling finances can take a great deal of time and cause massive stress. Implementing an accounting system early on will help you stay organized, which will save you time later.  

If you don’t already have accounting software in place, consider one of the best accounting solutions to get you on the right accounting and bookkeeping path. 

These are a few to consider:

  • MineralTree lets you track the accounts payable process from invoice approval to final payment. 
  • QuickBooks, which is compatible with MineralTree, offers myriad functions to simplify your accounting. Read our in-depth QuickBooks review to learn more.
  • Xero is a timesaving, cloud-based tool that graphs your payment schedule and debts, so you can better manage your cash flow and make payments on time. Find out more in our full Xero review

5. Avoid unnecessary distractions.

If you’re a solopreneur, it’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and stay focused on your work. There’s no one else to make sure you’re working hard or keeping on top of things. Here are some tips to help you limit distractions and remain productive: 

  • Keep your phone on silent. 
  • Consider using tools like the SelfControl app, which restricts access to websites you tend to waste time on. 
  • Pay attention to your emotional state and general well-being during working hours. Be present and aware of your work. 
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance by keeping business discussions separate from family time. Planning your day allows you to manage your time effectively, helping you to make the most of each hour. 

6. Use the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort – and vice versa. Identify the 20% of your tasks that result in the most “bang for the buck” and concentrate on them. Delegate or spend less time on the rest. 

For instance, if you spend a large chunk of your time on the phone, ask people to email you rather than call.

Some customers or employees are high maintenance, taking up more than their share of time with complaints or drama. Consider letting these time-wasters go.

7. Avoid multitasking.

While multitasking may seem like a great way to get everything done, it’s ineffective because the brain takes a little while to refocus attention, making you less productive and more error-prone. 

Concentrate on one thing at a time, and organize your day that way. For example, you could focus on answering emails first thing in the morning to get that out of the way, and select another block of time to return phone calls. Once finished with a task on your list, move on to the next one.

8. Schedule downtime – really!

Working non-stop can tire you out, both mentally and physically. It can dim your creativity and reduce your knack for problem-solving. You’ll often hear business owners sharing how their best ideas were sparked when they were taking a relaxing stroll, enjoying a refreshing shower or just chilling out. 

Giving yourself some downtime helps your unseen mind sift through various data and cook up innovative solutions. This doesn’t just mean going on a break, though that’s a great start. Make some time for family and friends, dive into a hobby, step out and get moving, or explore a fun book. It’s about balancing work with relaxation. Harness these moments of peace to help your business shine. 

Why time management is critical for entrepreneurs

Here are several key reasons why time management is crucial when you’re running a business:

  • You should think of time as a limited resource. There are only so many hours in a day to get things done. Don’t you want to make the most of them?
  • It increases competitiveness. This is especially important if you are in a highly competitive industry. Being first to market or the first to come out with a new feature can be the difference between success and failure.
  • It could boost your bottom line. Whether you pay your employees hourly or with a fixed salary, the more productive they are, the more value you gain. If you’re disorganized, you can’t efficiently assign tasks and monitor employee productivity, so you may end up spending more money than necessary.
  • You make better decisions. When you prioritize critical tasks, you have more options and can make a bigger impact on your operations. Conversely, when vital tasks get buried and neglected, you may miss out on opportunities and need to hustle and pay a premium to get stuff done.
  • You’re better able to focus on growth. When your day-to-day operations are a smoothly running machine, you’re free to consider expansion opportunities.
  • You could get more clients. Business efficiency creates higher-quality work and a better customer experience. Happy customers are loyal and can boost your business with positive reviews and referrals.
  • It reduces stress. Being organized, taking things off your to-do list, and getting things done efficiently is enormously satisfying and eliminates some of the stress inherent in being a business owner. Stress lowers productivity, so stress reduction is crucial for business operations and your physical and mental health. With lower stress levels, you’ll be less likely to experience burnout.

Meredith Wood contributed to the writing and reporting of this article.

Original document, 8 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Small Business Owner
Source: Business
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

Tips for Protecting Small Business Proprietary Information

Tips for Protecting Small Business Proprietary Information

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. | Last updated on 

In this day and age, business is fiercely competitive. Almost everything can be found on the internet, from confidential information to private business information to trade secrets getting leaked online.

Protecting your proprietary information is more important than ever and could mean gaining a competitive advantage over similar business owners and startups.

Your first step is having cybersecurity and secure computer systems in place. Whether it’s information on a patent you are developing, a customer list, or “just” a hamburger recipe, you have a strong need to keep your private information private.

Here’s some information on why and how you should do that. It is imp

Why Do I Need Any Protection at All?

Let’s say you have a worker that one day, for whatever reason, decides to set up a competitive operation. You did not restrict their employee access, so they know your pricing, marketing plans, trade secret information, and other sensitive information. You want to ensure their new company — at the very least — offers a unique product compared to yours. But how do you do that?

If you have to wait to sue the person in court, the damage may have been done by the time the case is determined.

Your best bet is to protect yourself upfront by:

  • Keeping your proprietary information corralled to only those that need to know

  • Having a legal agreement in place in case things go awry

Having confidentiality agreements or other trade secret protections in place is key — consider it a prenup for your employees.

Non-Compete Agreements Aren't Ideal

For better or for worse, non-compete agreements, even non-compete clauses within other agreements, usually don’t hold up in court.

America was built on the concept of capitalism. Our legal system believes everyone should be free to do whatever they want, especially when it comes to earning a living. But they can’t lie, cheat, or steal.

Most non-compete agreements that eventually do hold up in court are too limited in scope or require too large of a payout. Frankly, this means they aren’t worth it. You have better options.

Nondisclosure Agreements Are Better

Nondisclosure Agreements, or NDAs, are a much more effective way of protecting your proprietary information. In essence, this is a contract that both parties sign to agree to keep private information private.

It has a damages clause in place if the information is ever disclosed. NDAs can be one way or mutual.

One-Way NDA Basics

A one-way NDA might be used when you are presenting your idea to an investment banker or contractor, to see if they can offer what you are looking for. This only protects what you are disclosing from being revealed. It doesn’t protect what they say.

Mutual NDA Basics

A mutual NDA allows for a deeper conversation. Whatever is said by either party is protected. NDAs will protect information that is not generally known from being divulged. And if it is, the terms of the NDA will secure the damages.

The intellectual property violation discussion basically becomes a contractual issue. This is much easier for a court to determine, and consequently, easier for them to identify violations and declare remedies.

Protecting Your Trade Secrets

It is very important that you protect your proprietary information, even if there are NDAs in place. After all, NDAs only protect information that isn’t generally known.

If you’ve divulged it before, or it leaked out because you haven’t protected it, the know-how is already generally known. This means it is outside the scope of the NDA.

A court will only consider private information private if you treated it as such. Therefore, when dealing with NDAs, ensure that as many people who touch the proprietary information have signed NDAs.

Using NDAs Correctly and Effectively

Date the NDA agreements and make sure everyone has a copy. And also make sure to take security measures to ensure that your private information stays private since that will be an issue if it goes to court. NDAs give teeth to leaking proprietary information. But it is every employee’s job to protect trade secrets.

If you need help protecting your proprietary information, contact a contracts attorney. So long as you don’t need an intellectual property attorney helping you with patents, a contracts attorney can help you create the necessary NDAs that you need to conduct and grow your business. Consider it an investment, not an expense, and call one today.

If your business isn’t fully formed yet, you don’t need an attorney for every step along the way. You can form a business with DIY forms online and get the ball rolling. We can guide you through the entire process of forming an LLC online in FloridaTexas, or any other state. 

Related Resources:

Original document, Tips for Protecting Small Business Proprietary Information
Source: Find Law
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

What is a Sphere of Influence and How to Leverage One for Business

What is a Sphere of Influence and How to Leverage One for Business

Before we talk about what is a sphere of influence and why its critical for many in business, let me first give you a short history lesson to provide you a useful analogy.

If you’re old enough to have lived through parts of the Cold War, or are a student of history, you probably have heard of the term “sphere of influence.” According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, this principle has its origins in the ancient empires. Each empire had its surrounding area where they got to shape policy and trade rules, without directly ruling the area. For instance, the Romans would trade with surrounding areas, and then help with defense if necessary.

Later on, during the Victorian period, the Germans and British had an agreement on the “sphere of influence” for each country. The agreement stipulated that the British wouldn’t interfere in areas influenced by the Germans, and vice versa. Finally, the biggest recent example of a political sphere of influence is the Cold War. Here, you had the Soviet Union exercising its influence on Eastern European countries. Then, the Americans and British had their sphere of influence in Western Europe and most of the Americas.

Most recently, we have seen both Russia try to revive the Soviet Sphere as well as China trying to expand their spheres of influence in Asia and globally through their Belt and Road Initiative, fostering economic development internationally, as well as the construction of new military bases in the South Pacific. Both of these developments have made the United States tap into its own spheres of influence in the European Economic Union, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia in order to counter-balance their efforts. The expansion of NATO to include Sweden and Finland has only expanded its own sphere of influence in European politics.

As you can see, spheres of influence in politics are as strong as ever today, but they are also a force in business and personal relationships. And when we convert that sphere of influence digitally, it becomes a powerful form of influencer collaboration that can drive real business.

How a Sphere of Influence is Used in Business Today

In business, we think of a sphere of influence as the people who find what we say trustworthy. This might mean that someone asks your opinion on what product is best. For example, if you are an expert at giving financial advice, someone might ask you about the stock pick of the week. Or, someone looking for a used car might ask a trusted mechanic what is easy to fix or known for its reliability. This position of trust is used in various ways when nurturing business relationships.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular business areas in which a sphere of influence is used in business today.

Realtors

For most people, the biggest purchase they’ll ever make is a home. Whether that’s a two bedroom starter home or a mansion with lots of land, the buyer will typically hire a Realtor. Then, this Realtor will help the buyer find a great house at an affordable price. This person is being paid for expertise, advice, and logistical support.

Let’s say that the Realtor does a great job with a particular sale. For instance, by dealing with a seller who keeps trying to change the rules during escrow (this does happen, unfortunately). Finally, the Realtor cuts through the nonsense and gets that sale closed. In such cases, a buyer is typically all too happy to recommend that Realtor to a friend or colleague who wants to buy or sell a home.

Here, we see two examples of the sphere of influence. First, the Realtor influences the buyer to choose a particular house, based on his or her experience and professional judgement. Second, the buyer rewards great service by giving a referral. In both cases, the person giving advice is exercising influence. Over time, the Realtor will get more referrals, and the person making the referral will become more trusted as reliability is proven. Some Realtors will send postcards or similar on occasion to let a buyer or seller know they’re still in business, just in case the need for another real estate transaction arises. In that way, they’re keeping track of their sphere of influence.

In this way clients become part of a realtor’s sphere of influence, but it doesn’t stop there. Friends and family are often an important part of an agent’s sphere of influence. And let’s not forget about all of the other companies that need to work together to serve the consumer: mortgage bankers, home inspection professionals, financial advisors, insurance salespeople, etc. These professional relationships that become part of an agent’s sphere of influence can also become a powerful source of leads and introductions for both parties over time.

Insurance salespeople

Here’s a similar example. When we buy insurance, it’s sometimes hard to know how much insurance we actually need. Worse, knowing how to get the right insurance for an affordable price can seem daunting. The more complicated our insurance needs, the worse this problem becomes. Insurance agents help us bridge that gap. A good one will listen, evaluate, and recommend. Then, if the plan needs tweaks, these can be made. In this way, the agent is working within their sphere of influence.

As with Realtors, insurance salespeople need referrals. Especially when someone new moves into town or has a major life change, that person might ask around for recommendations for a new insurance agent. Then, they’ll often call a recommended agent for advice.

Unlike Realtors, insurance agents often need to deal with the same people many times over the course of a few years. For that reason, they typically work harder to keep up relationships with existing customers. One example of this might be an auto insurance agency that sends swag with the agency name on it to the customer whenever the policy is up for renewal. Another way this can be done is to occasionally call a customer to see if their needs have changed recently.

Similar to real estate agents, though, professional relationships are also an important part of an insurance salesperson’s sphere of influence.

General Sales

If there’s one thing that sales professionals are known for, it’s constant networking and follow up. Some will search LinkedIn for prospects, and others attend conferences. Over time, they develop quite a list of leads that are then followed up on. Then, like other kinds of sales people, they’ll ask for referrals.

Keeping up with these leads can be challenging, which is why CRM software and other resources are often used heavily. Email marketing, for instance, is used to maintain a sphere of influence over sales prospects. So is content marketing, which gains customer loyalty through education. This way, once a customer contacts the sales department, they already have an idea of what’s being offered. Sales then guides a customer to the most advantageous choice.

How Social Media Allows You to Extend and Keep in Better Touch with Your Current Sphere of Influence

One of the challenges that sales and marketing professionals face is keeping track of their efforts to expand their sphere of influence as well as regularly keeping in touch with them to maintain top of mind mindshare. While CRM software is important for maintaining customer contact information, the information has to be used to better keep in touch with their sphere of influence.

Among the more effective tools for leveraging a sphere of influence which is also the most under-utilized by many is social media. Here are some ways this can be done.

Prospecting

It used to be that sales prospecting required a lot of painstaking work that included cold calls and sending letters. While these methods are still used on occasion, social media is rapidly taking over as a method of choice to expand one’s sphere of influence.

Some social networks not only embrace this change, they encourage it. For instance, LinkedIn has a premium service for sales professionals. Unlike ordinary LinkedIn members, subscribers to Sales Navigator can more easily get sales leads. For instance, they can instantly become more contactable by being part of the OpenLink network and can send direct messages to top prospects in the form of InMails. Enterprise level members can even plug LinkedIn profile information directly into CRM software such as Salesforce.

Content distribution

Another way in which companies or individuals can expand and maintain their sphere of influence on social media is by using it for content distribution. For instance, many business websites have blogs. These contain all kinds of useful information, but it’s hard to find them without both proper SEO and distribution. So, companies will use social media to distribute the content and drive site traffic. Maybe they advertise the post through illustrations on Instagram. Or, they might post the content on LinkedIn directly or through a link. Facebook and Twitter, likewise, are great ways to drive traffic.

Smart real estate agents and salespeople take it one step further by leveraging company information and sharing it in social media with their networks to both keep in touch with and influence their sphere of influence. I have seen savvy salespeople even curate 3rd part content that is geared not towards promoting their own company but in supporting their sphere of influence.

Updates

While content distribution focuses on sharing professional content with your sphere of influence that is often derived from your corporate marketing, social media updates allow you to keep in touch all the time simply by being active on social media posting lifestyle content or engaging on the feeds of your sphere with influence.

As with content distribution, the point of updates is to keep track of and engage with your sphere of influence. Whether it’s the travel junkie posting the latest trip photos or commentary on the latest happenings, updates allow social media followers to see what is going on. Sales people often will post about the latest product launch, for instance. Similarly, there might be regulatory changes in the industry that require the attention of customers. These can be mentioned on social media with an invitation to follow up.

Even a relatable photo of yourself will maintain mindshare with your sphere of influence who, like the rest of us, spend more and more time on social media.

How to Leverage Your Sphere of Influence for Influencer Marketing

In many ways, influencer marketing is as old as word of mouth. Think about it this way: friends and social contacts tend to ask each other for advice. If I move to another town, I’ll need a barber, and honest car mechanic, and a great physician. Besides calling my insurance company for a doctor referral, there’s a good chance I will reach out to people I know. Finding a barber might involve looking at Yelp reviews, and the same goes with an honest mechanic. However, I probably will talk to people I’ve gotten to know in my new area. Later, after I’m established, I’ll be happy to tell the next newcomer where to get the car fixed. From this phenomenon, we can see how influencer marketing developed.

Those sales professionals who have been networking and developed their own sphere of influence might be considered nano influencers. From that perspective, they can yield their digital influencer and leverage their network in many ways.

Create your own platform

The more you are considered an influencer, the more your sphere of influence will listen to you and the easier it will be to expand your influence.

As I have said before, blogging is a great way to become an influencer. As people read your posts and follow your recommendations, they’ll begin to see you as an expert. It doesn’t really matter what subject you’re blogging about, but as a general rule you’ll want to talk about your specific niche for best results.

Over time, your blog, augmented by your posting about it in social media, will begin to generate inbound traffic for you and generate leads. It will also help you find more professionals to add to your sphere of influence who reach out to you from seeing your blog content.

Solicit online testimonials

Often, your customers and employees are your best advocates. Furthermore, some of them are influencers themselves. For customers who aren’t social media influencers, offer an incentive to post a review on sites like Yelp, Google Business, and Angie’s List. In this case, you’re converting the organic referral network into an online sales-generating machine. Incentives can include a drawing for gift cards, purchase discounts, and so forth. This is an inexpensive way to increase your profile. Just make sure that what you’re doing is FTC compliant.

Encourage your friends and family to give referrals

Sometimes friends and family are the best influencers, especially for small businesses. For example, the mother of a mechanic who specializes in a particular make of car can help her son get business. In this case, she might mention his expertise to someone who owns that type of car. Or, members of a social club might mention that a different member is one of the best dentists in the area.  Word of mouth has always been a powerful marketing tool.

In the age of social media, this can be done online and through one’s sphere of influence. For instance, most of us have seen “recommendation requests” on Facebook. Here, someone is asking their network if they know someone who can provide a given service. Encourage your sphere of influence to spread the word in these situations. While they may not come around often for some of us, other people are known for being experts on who’s good at what. Those people often have opportunities to give recommendations.

Are You Ready to Expand Your Sphere of Influence?

As you can see, your sphere of influence can be an important driver of sales when used properly. At the same time, most of us have benefitted from everyday influencers in our own lives. Modern social media-based influencer marketing is just the latest evolution of getting referrals when you understand what is a sphere of influence and how you can leverage one digitally.

Original document, What is a Sphere of Influence and How to Leverage One for Business
Source: Neal Schaffer
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

How to Write a Business Plan, Small Business Administration

How to Write a Business Plan, Small Business Administration

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template.

Business plans help you run your business

A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.

Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.

Pick a business plan format that works for you

There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.

Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.

Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long.

Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as one hour to make and are typically only one page.

Traditional business plan

This type of plan is very detailed, takes more time to write, and is comprehensive. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan.

Traditional business plan

This type of plan is very detailed, takes more time to write, and is comprehensive. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan.

Traditional business plan format

You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail-oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources.

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Traditional business plans use some combination of these nine sections.

Executive summary

Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.

Company description

Use your company description to provide detailed information about your company. Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific, and list out the consumers, organization, or businesses your company plans to serve.

Explain the competitive advantages that will make your business a success. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location for your store? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths.

Market analysis

You’ll need a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market. Competitive research will show you what other businesses are doing and what their strengths are. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now’s the time to answer these questions.

Organization and management

Tell your reader how your company will be structured and who will run it.

Describe the legal structure of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you’re a sole proprietor or limited liability company (LLC).

Use an organizational chart to lay out who’s in charge of what in your company. Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.

Service or product line

Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it benefits your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you’re doing research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.

Marketing and sales

There’s no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.

Your goal in this section is to describe how you’ll attract and retain customers. You’ll also describe how a sale will actually happen. You’ll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.

Funding request

If you’re asking for funding, this is where you’ll outline your funding requirements. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you’ll use it for.

Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you’d like applied, and the length of time your request will cover. Give a detailed description of how you’ll use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.

Financial projections

Supplement your funding request with financial projections. Your goal is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.

If your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. If you have other collateral you could put against a loan, make sure to list it now.

Provide a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly — or even monthly — projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections, and match them to your funding requests.

This is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business.  

Appendix

Use your appendix to provide supporting documents or other materials were specially requested. Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.

Example traditional business plans

Before you write your business plan, read the following example business plans written by fictional business owners. Rebecca owns a consulting firm, and Andrew owns a toy company.

Lean startup format

You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan.

Lean startup formats are charts that use only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualizing tradeoffs and fundamental facts about your company.

There are different ways to develop a lean startup template. You can search the web to find free templates to build your business plan. We discuss nine components of a model business plan here:

Key partnerships

Note the other businesses or services you’ll work with to run your business. Think about suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners.

Key activities

List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Highlight things like selling direct to consumers, or using technology to tap into the sharing economy.

Key resources

List any resource you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets could include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Don’t forget to leverage business resources that might be available to womenveteransNative Americans, and HUBZone businesses.

Value proposition

Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market.

Customer relationships

Describe how customers will interact with your business. Is it automated or personal? In person or online? Think through the customer experience from start to finish.

Customer segments

Be specific when you name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody, so it’s important to have a clear sense of whom your business will serve.

Channels

List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Most businesses use a mix of channels and optimize them over time.

Cost structure

Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face pursuing it.

Revenue streams

Explain how your company will actually make money. Some examples are direct sales, memberships fees, and selling advertising space. If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.

Example lean business plan

Before you write your business plan, read this example business plan written by a fictional business owner, Andrew, who owns a toy company.

Original document, How to Write a Business Plan, Small Business Administration
Source:https: SBA
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

Evaluate management scenarios and select a course of action

Evaluate management scenarios and select a course of action

Ultimately, understanding shifts between ecosystem states, particularly given interacting and changing stressors, requires getting comfortable with estimation and prediction, and investing in good data. Ongoing research on effective system indicators, costs of management action or inaction, and societal preferences and trade-offs among management options will continue to generate new insights into how best to manage ecosystems prone to tipping points.” – Selkoe et al. 2015

Background

Once you have a clearly defined set of objectives, benchmarks, and targets you are trying to reach, and limits to avoid, it is time to decide on a course of action. Here we build on Strategies 1, 2, and 3 to use the information that has been gleaned throughout the process to take management action.

What set of strategies will help you to reach your goals? In the face of uncertainty and complexity, scenario analysis can help you weigh the costs and benefits (aka tradeoffs) of different alternative management actions. Depending on your particular policy context, it may be useful (or requisite) to evaluate the anticipated ecological, social, economic, and cultural impacts of any proposed action or plan across multiple species, habitats, and stakeholder groups. For systems prone to tipping points, the challenge is to do so while also specifically evaluating whether the alternatives under consideration can reduce the chances of crossing undesirable tipping points or enhance the chances of recovery. Such scenario evaluation may range from qualitative to quantitative analysis, depending on your team’s technical capacity and access to data and what is appropriate to the management decision under consideration (See Figure 23 above).

Strategy 4a. Develop potential future management scenarios and choose appropriate decision support tools to evaluate them

What does this mean?

Scenario analyses allow for the development of a range of potential future scenarios and trajectories due to social and ecological changes. These scenarios can then be investigated with both qualitative and quantitative methods. They can be developed to encourage dialogue among user groups about the benefits and challenges associated with different future scenarios and thus require information on how ecosystems and social components interact (Collins et al. 2011).

Scenario analysis can help identify the costs and benefits of different alternative management actions and can be an especially powerful decision tool in ecosystems prone to tipping points (Levin and Mollmann 2014). In such systems, scenario analysis allows you to explore alternative perspectives about thresholds, feedbacks, and system resilience, and gain insight into the potential consequences that may occur with abrupt or non-linear changes. Ecosystems that experience tipping points often surprise scientists and managers, and thus ‘what-if’ scenarios offer a useful approach for analyzing consequences of abrupt social-ecological changes.

Where social-ecological thresholds exist, cost-benefit analysis can also assist in the decision-making process and may push managers to prioritize precautionary actions that result in economically or socially beneficial ecosystem outcomes. Where the cost-benefit relationship is linear, there is no obvious policy choice—each unit of cost will yield a consistent amount of benefit, and the agency must decide among alternatives solely based on social preferences and values. Conversely, where a nonlinear relationship exists between the costs and benefits of action alternatives, cost-benefit analyses can help to identify alternatives that provide the greatest benefit at the least cost.

In the case of nonlinear ecosystem responses, the costs and benefits of management actions may also change nonlinearly as that threshold is approached (Kelly et al. 2014). Here, cost-benefit analyses can provide agencies with a dual incentive to implement threshold-based management: both carrot and stick. The carrot is a management action that accounts for a more cost-effective economic threshold; the stick is often an existing regulatory requirement to conduct a cost-benefit analysis under certain statutes. The usual caveats apply: costs associated with restricting economic activity that may generate risks to ecosystems and ecosystem services are often highly salient and relatively easy to quantify, while benefits are often not salient and difficult to quantify, exacerbating discount rates and failure to adequately consider non-market costs and benefits.

Tradeoff analysis can be another powerful tool that incorporates scenario and cost-benefit information into the process and can help managers understand potential resource use conflicts and stakeholder priorities (Lester et al. 2013). Trade-off analysis allows stakeholders to engage in management decision-making by evaluating the benefits and costs of different potential management strategies across multiple sectors or ecosystem services (White et al. 2012, Lester et al. in review). Quantifying the tradeoffs can help determine management priorities and options. It begins with identifying stakeholders and their interests, which inform different potential future scenarios, and then this information can be fed into a multi-criteria analysis which can rank the alternative future management scenarios from least to most socially preferred (e.g., Brown et al. 2001)

Given adequate information, such analyses can allow an agency to maximize benefit, minimize cost, and closely match economic decisions to environmental impacts on the ground. Moreover, such analyses may serve as a simple translation device for natural scientists to communicate the complexity of ecological thresholds to decision makers in a digestible manner.

Why is it important?

Deploying tools like scenario testing, tradeoff analysis, and cost-benefit analysis can save time and money by ruling out ineffective or inefficient strategies based on evidence. Where they exist, these tools can also reveal win-win solutions. And where tradeoffs exist, comprehensive analysis has been shown to focus attention on true (versus perceived) tradeoffs, which can help to defuse conflict. It may also help managers and stakeholders cope with uncertainty: exploring a range of future scenarios can help you to evaluate how robust your strategies are in the face of uncertainty. Such analysis may also provide insight into which strategies will be most resilient or adaptable in the face of future change.

How do you do it?

The first step in developing management scenarios is to identify the potential management alternatives that are most likely to keep your system within the ‘safe operating space‘. This step builds off of the science and decision-making processes we reviewed in Strategies 1, 2 and 3. Key questions to ask to help you apply and expand the knowledge gleaned throughout these previous steps include: 

  • Which drivers are within your influence and what management decisions can you make to affect them? 
  • What set of options do you have at hand to avoid crossing undesirable tipping points or to increase the chance of crossing desirable ones? 
  • What stakeholders and sectors may be affected by the management decisions under consideration and what ecosystem functions, goods and services do they value and depend upon?

Depending on how comprehensive your scenario analysis process is, you may be able to consider all possible options (e.g., all possible spatial configurations in an ocean planning exercise) or a smaller set of alternatives.

The second step is to decide on your planning and decision-making time horizons. Questions to ask include:

  • Are you considering a short-term decision, such as a fishing quota that will last through a season, or a longer-term decision, such as an area designation that may be in place for years? 
  • How far out into the future do you want to consider when weighing the tradeoffs associated with different actions you could take? 

For example, when planning for new offshore development, you may want to consider how the infrastructure will affect the environment and existing users over its foreseeable lifetime. If climate change is a potential driver of ecosystem state change in your region you may want to forecast its effects over the coming decades and assess how best to adapt your management through time. 

Third, consider whether there are different potential future conditions to evaluate in the plan. Again this will incorporate the information that has been gathered throughout the planning phase and will rely heavily on Strategy 2 (“Define management objectives in relation to ecosystem state”). We want plans and actions that can be robust to a range of socioeconomic and environmental conditions. The longer the management decision-making time horizon, the wider that range of future states might be. In a system that is prone to tipping points, this is particularly important, because those conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time. It is valuable then to evaluate management strategies under a range of likely possible futures to see how they perform or how they would need to be adapted to continue to meet your management objectives. 

This can be done with discrete scenario testing (i.e., comparing how a strategy performs under Future State A versus Future State B), with a dynamic model(s) that can simulate fluctuating future conditions, or a combination of the two. As an example, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment used a qualitative discrete scenario approach to compare outcomes for two different general approaches to sustainable development (promotion of economic growth and public goods versus proactive management of ecosystems and their services) under two different basic futures (expanding globalization versus increasing regionalization) (ME Assessment 2005, Scenarios Assessment Report). This resulted in four different possible future states (see Figure 24 below), for which they then used interviews with international leaders and thinkers and other qualitative information to assess the risk of extreme ecosystem events (those affecting >1 million people) in each scenario.

Below we detail three additional examples of scenario and tradeoff analysis to inform environmental management decisionmaking in the face of tipping points.

Weighing tradeoffs associated with reducing sediment runoff to reefs in West Maui, Hawaii

Increased runoff of sediment and pollutants from land threatens coral reef ecosystems around the world. These land-based source pollutants (LBSP) have been linked to degradation on some Hawaiian reefs. As an example of how to quantitatively evaluate management options for reducing key drivers of reef change, we developed a decision support tool that analyzes the costs and benefits of different management strategies aimed at reducing LBSP (Oleson et al. 2017). Specifically, we examined the tradeoffs, in terms of management cost and sediment reduction, among potential agricultural road repair management actions in West Maui, Hawai‘i. We identified the most cost-effective roads to repair (the most sediment reduction per dollar spent), and found significant cost savings associated with repairing these roads. We also found that the best environmental gains for lowest economic cost could be achieved if landowners cooperated, although the benefits of cooperation dissipate if landowners do not target cost-effective roads (See Figure 25 below).

Informing target-setting for marine spatial planning in Puget Sound

Levin and co-authors (2015) developed a social-ecological framework for scenario evaluation and target-setting in social-ecological systems. Demonstrating the approach in eelgrass ecosystems of Puget Sound, they illustrate how to determine people’s preferences and willingness to accept specific management actions (i.e., risk tolerance). Puget Sound makes up a unique estuarine system that is valued for its beauty and ecological importance. Like other marine and estuarine ecosystems, Puget Sound supports a variety of human activities, leading to some degradation of the processes supporting its ecosystem. Eelgrass is a particularly important habitat in Puget Sound, highly valued for its ecological and economic benefits. The authors estimated changes in eelgrass in Puget Sound related to a variety of potential changes in human activities using expert elicitation and Bayesian network analysis to generate the relationships between changing human activities, different drivers, and eelgrass. They then developed seven scenarios based on alternative futures analyses of the system, including changes in growth management, transportation, and land use patterns, as well as projected changes in sediment and nutrient inputs, shoreline armoring and overwater structures. These seven scenarios projected changes in the state of the social-ecological system, linking the changes in eelgrass with changes to a food web model that evaluated how eelgrass influenced the ecological community. Applying these seven scenarios, the authors examined trade-offs among 16 metrics, including seven biological indicators, four human stressor metrics, two metrics of development, and three indicators of economic costs. To identify people’s preferences and willingness to accept the social-ecological outcomes from these scenarios, the authors generated social norm curves, where stakeholder preferences are linked to the social-ecological state (represented by the 16 metrics) from each scenario (Figure 27). They interviewed 128 individuals representing major stakeholder groups in the region, exposing the participants to the outcomes of the scenarios using two approaches: (a) radar plots that visualize trade-offs among the metrics (Figure 23), and (b) stylized images that provided visualization of the different states of the ecosystem (Figure 26). Participants were asked to score the desirability of each scenario on a Likert scale from -2 (completely unacceptable) to +2 (optimal state). This allowed the researchers to identify the minimally acceptable state, the unacceptable states, and the participants’ overall most preferable state, which was an increase of between 10% and 25% of eelgrass (Figure 27). The outputs from this approach could be used to inform management targets in the region.

Investigating social preferences for herring management in Haida Gwaii

Building on the methods of Levin et al. (2015), our team conducted scenario workshops with stakeholders in Haida Gwaii to explore people’s preferences around Pacific herring fisheries management. Interviews with Haida (the First Nation resident in Haida Gwaii for ~13,000 years) elders and community members informed our understanding of the linkages between herring and a variety of ecological, social and cultural dimensions (Poe et al. in prep). These linkages were further refined and quantified by Poe and colleagues through small focus group expert elicitation (Poe et al. in prep). Experts helped to quantify (on a 5 point Likert scale) the linkages between herring spatial distribution and biomass and each of four social benefits tied to herring for both Haida (via the traditional food fishery and/or commercial spawn on kelp fishery) and non-Haida stakeholders (via commercial spawn on kelp and/or gillnet or seine fisheries). The four benefits they scored were ability to practice harvest; access to herring eggs on kelp (k’aaw) for food and feasts; social relationships; and connections to herring, its places and the herring environment.

An existing Ecopath model of the ecosystem (Ainsworth et al. 2014) was modified to examine ecological changes that would result from changes in herring biomass under 13 different fishing scenarios (Levin et al. in prep). We then provided workshop participants with visual, graphical and written descriptions of how herring, other species, and social values could be expected to change under each scenario and asked them to rank the desirability of each scenario on a Likert scale. Aspects of governance, access, and the spatial distribution of fishing and processing activities were also included in the scenarios. Results of these workshops help to clarify community preferences for how herring fishing should be managed in Haida Gwaii.

Conclusion

In this Guide, we have laid out four strategies for incorporating knowledge about ocean tipping points into your existing management decision-making. We have embedded these steps into a general adaptive management framework model that is widely used throughout natural resource management. This serves to not only make it easier to embed these steps into any ongoing adaptive management process you may be undertaking, but also to show that tipping points science can help you accomplish the tasks you may have already laid out in any adaptive management context. As an example of how these steps lend themselves to other resource management processes, in the box below we show how our four step process maps onto the Fishery Ecosystem Plan loop developed by the Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem Task Force in 2016.

Box 4. Integrating with existing management processes

The Fishery Ecosystem Plan Loop

The main recommendation of the Task Force report is that Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEP) be developed to create a structured process for establishing ecosystem goals within fisheries management and translating them into action. The FEP Loop is presented as the conceptual framework for planning and implementation. While the terminology used in the FEP Loop and the OTP Process may differ, the ideas and order of operations included in these plans mirror one another closely.

Where are we now? = Characterize Tipping Points
In both the “Where are we now?” as well as the Characterize Tipping Points steps, the first stage is to understand your system and where it is relative to key targets or limits.

Where are we going? = Define Management Objectives
In this step, one identifies management goals and defines measureable management objectives. A tipping point perspective can be integrated by stipulating that the system needs to stay within a certain range of conditions associated with desired ecosystem states, known as a “safe operating space”.

How will we get there? = Set Targets and Design Monitoring, and Evaluate Alternatives
In this step, one establishes performance measures, sets target or limit reference points, and identifies potential management actions and their consequences. Note, this step includes activities from two Ocean Tipping Points strategies.

Implement the plan = Take Action
Once all of the potential alternative management options have been evaluated managers must select the management strategy that will be most beneficial for the entire system and implement it.

Did we make it? = Monitor and Adjust
Both frameworks emphasize the importance of monitoring the system, evaluating its response to management action, and adjusting accordingly.

From characterizing tipping points, to defining management objectivessetting targets, and designing monitoring programs, we hope this guide has helped you identify ways you can incorporate tipping points science into your own ecosystem evaluation and management. The methods, themes, and concepts presented in this guide are not meant to be prescriptive, but instead offer new ways of addressing long-standing, commonly-encountered ecosystem management problems. While tipping points in marine social-ecological systems change the rules of the game, the tools and concepts presented here can help you to anticipate, avoid, or recover from these dramatic changes.

Above all else, we hope that this guide can provide an accessible and interesting foundation in tipping points science and concepts upon which to build more successful and adaptable management solutions. 

Original document, Evaluate management scenarios and select a course of action
Source: Ocean Tipping Points
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

7 Simple Time Management Tips For Business Owners

7 Simple Time Management Tips For Business Owners

As a business owner, I know it sometimes feels like there is so little time and too much to do. In fact, I’m sure you’re more familiar with that feeling than you’d like. But what if I told you there’s a way to make those 24 hours each day seem like plenty? And no, sadly, I don’t have a time machine. I’m talking about the wonderful art of time management.

What Is Time Management?

As a business owner, I know it sometimes feels like there is so little time and too much to do. In fact, I’m sure you’re more familiar with that feeling than you’d like. But what if I told you there’s a way to make those 24 hours each day seem like plenty? And no, sadly, I don’t have a time machine. I’m talking about the wonderful art of time management.

In a nutshell, time management is the process of organizing, planning and strategically controlling the time you spend on specific tasks. When done effectively, time management enables you to get more done in less time, even when you have tight deadlines and an endless to-do list.

Here are just some of the benefits of managing your time well as a business owner:

  • Boost your performance and confidence.
  • Enjoy work and get better results.
  • Meet deadlines and deliver on time.
  • Less stress and anxiety.

Top Time Management Tips For Business Owners

1. Find your golden time.

Do you know when you’re most productive in the day? Are you an early bird, a night owl or somewhere in between? Time management is all about understanding how you function best and setting up your day in harmony.

Save your most productive windows of time for your most important and urgent tasks. Your least productive hours can be spent doing jobs like admin that don’t require as much energy.

2. Use the Covey Time Management Matrix.

The Covey Time Management Matrix was created by Steven Covey — author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People — and this is the time management model I use and recommend to all my clients.

It’s built on four simple quadrants:

1. Urgent and important tasks.

2. Not urgent but important tasks.

3. Urgent but not important tasks.

4. Not urgent and not important tasks.

Sort all your tasks each week into these four quadrants. Tackle anything in quadrant one first, followed by quadrant two, and so on. This is the best way to prioritize tasks and can be incredibly helpful if you’re always spinning multiple plates (i.e., any business owner who has ever walked the planet).

3. Have a plan.

If you don’t yet own a diary or use a calendar app, now is the time to start. You could even go as simple as using a blank sheet of paper — but whatever you choose, make sure it’s easily accessible to you at all times.

Planning out your days for the week ahead is a brilliant way to organize your time efficiently and ensure you’re prioritizing your most important tasks.

Begin by plotting any upcoming deadlines and your most important tasks, and let your less urgent tasks come second. And don’t forget to plan in breaks and buffers — you’re a human being, not a machine.

4. Quit multitasking and focus on one thing.

Newsflash: Multitasking is a myth. I repeat, multitasking is a myth.

Yes, you read that right. Your brain can only handle doing one thing at a time. So, if you try to do more, you’ll only end up constantly switching your focus and taking even more time to complete both tasks.

The solution? Focus your attention on one task at a time. When it’s complete, then you can move on to the next thing. Give it a try and see how efficient and enjoyable it is.

5. Eliminate distractions.

We’ve all had a day (or many) when we find ourselves wildly distracted from whatever it is we’re trying to focus on at work.

Even if a deadline is looming and you really want to get this darn thing done, it’s just not happening. The first step in reducing distractions is to figure out what tends to distract you.

Your phone buzzing on your desk? Employees chattering around you? Kids screaming in the background? YouTube videos of panda bears flying down a slide?

Once you know your triggers, you can then take action to reduce them. For example:

  • Turn your internet off and work offline.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode or out of sight.
  • Use headphones to drown out background noise.

Chances are you already know what to do to help yourself, so in the words of Nike, “just do it.”

6. Get some rest.

You may ask yourself how you can get rest when there are countless things to do? I hear you, and I know how easy it is to let your business take over your entire life. Yes, you need to work hard, but you also need to take care of yourself.

If you let your physical and mental health slide, you won’t be able to show up as your best self in your business or any other area of your life. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you and your business will benefit from you getting enough rest and taking time to recharge.

So be sure to break up your day with five to 10 minute windows of off-time every hour. Get enough sleep each night. Give yourself permission to take a day off now and then. Trust me; your business will be okay.

7. Stick to what works for you

When it comes to time management, the most important thing is to do what works for you because we’re all different. Take and leave whatever you like from this list.

Start by implementing one of these strategies, and see how you get on. If something just isn’t gelling for you, let it go. When you’ve found the right tools and strategies, be sure to commit to them and consistently implement them in your day.

Start Small For Big Impact

Start today by applying one of these tips. Be OK with starting small. Stay focused, and add a tip a day. Before you know it, you’ll never say “I don’t have enough time” again.

Original document, 7 Simple Time Management Tips For Business Owners
Source:Forbes
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

Pitch Johnny Criteria Definitions

Pitch Johnny Criteria Definitions

Idea/Business Concept:

  • It is important to define your idea/product so that the judges can understand how, in an
    innovative way, it addresses the market problem being solved.
  • The extent to which the participant provided a clear and convincing description of a
    problem or opportunity. Consider how innovative the idea is as well as the
    importance and scope of the problem/opportunity.
  • Key Question: Has the team presented a relevant problem (market need)? Does their idea solve that problem

Market Need: Has the team shown that their idea/concept is needed in the market?

  • Judges want to see what level of knowledge you have of the market in which you are
    competing. What is your capacity to recognize and describe the problem you are
    solving? You must know and communicate well who your competition is and how you
    compare with them3 (also value proposition).
  • “Marketplace needs” is a marketing concept that relates to the functional or emotional
    needs or desires of a target market. Generally, a successful company identifies when a
    segment of customers is not effectively served by existing providers and develops
    and promotes products or services to match.4
  • Key Question: Does the pitch answer the need in the market place? Does the pitch show
    that the idea/innovation is necessary?

Value Proposition: Why is my idea or innovation valuable?

  • Product/service info and how it will solve the problem or take advantage of the
    opportunity (value proposition).5
  • A value proposition is a promise by a company to a customer or consumer segment. It is an easy-to-understand reason why a customer should purchase a product or service from that specific business. A value proposition should be a clear statement that explains how a product solves a pain point, communicates the specifics of its added benefit, and states the reason why it’s better than similar products on the market. The ideal value proposition is concise, and it appeals to a customer’s strongest decision-making drivers… A company’s value proposition communicates the number one reason why a product or service is best suited for a customer segment. 6
  • Key Question: Has the team shown why their idea has value, that their innovation is the
    best suited for solving the market need?

Feasibility: Has the team shown that this idea can be done?

  • The extent to which implementation of the idea/solution is feasible, considering the time, capital, and other resources that will be required. Additionally, the likelihood of being able to successfully market the solution.
  • A demonstration that the venture can be successfully implemented. Does the initiative aspire towards clear, realistic and achievable goals, while thinking big? Can it be implemented effectively?
  • The state or degree of being easily or conveniently done
  • Key Question: Has the team shown that their idea/innovation can be simply implemented/used by their target consumer

Passion & Presentation: Was the team passionate about their concept? Did they professionally present their idea?

  • Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation. Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention? Did the presenter(s) appear to speak with confidence authority? Was the pitch exciting and compelling? How efficiently did the team allot their time?9
  • Key Question: Did the team confidently deliver a clear, concise message, presented in a professional manner

Refrences

Original document, PDF
Source: The Way Women Work
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

Planning Assumptions: Are They Really Necessary and Valid?

Planning Assumptions: Are They Really Necessary and Valid?

We have seen mission-analysis briefings for years that include a slide titled “Facts and Assumptions.” The facts (bearing on the problem) are generally easy to identify and make sense of, primarily because they are just that, facts – evidence that stands on its own merit and needs no other confirmation because it is provable. Assumptions, on the other hand, are not currently provable but are based on sound logic, high probability of occurrence and applicability to the problem set.

However, it is common to dismiss many of the initial facts or assumptions because they are neither necessary nor valid once we look critically at them. This article expounds on the criteria of necessary and valid and proposes that the best venue for addressing assumptions is actually at the beginning of course-of-action (CoA) development rather than during the mission-analysis briefing.

Defining ‘necessary’ and ‘valid’

In a typical practice scenario where U.S. forces are moving into a contested area during an irregular-warfare environment, typical assumptions often include comments such as “The guerrilla forces will attempt to interdict and disrupt coalition forces with complex ambushes and improvised explosive devices,” or “The host nation will be able to provide potable water to meet our unit’s needs.”

While both of the assumptions may be true and even valid, they do not meet the requirement of “necessary,” thereby making them of no real value to our decision-making process at this point. Usually the facts and assumptions listed during the mission-analysis briefing rarely pass the “so what” test. The purpose of listing them is to allow the commander and staff to continue with the planning process in selecting a CoA.

The U.S. Army’s Commander and Staff Officer Guide (Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (ATTP) publication 5-0.1) defines facts and assumptions: “A fact is a statement of truth or a statement thought to be true at the time. Facts concerning the operational and mission variables serve as the basis for developing situational understanding, for continued planning and when assessing progress during preparation and execution. In the absence of facts, the commander and staff consider assumptions from their higher headquarters and develop their own assumptions necessary for continued planning. An assumption is a supposition on the current situation or a presupposition on the future course of events, either or both assumed to be true in the absence of positive proof, necessary to enable the commander in the process of planning to complete an estimate of the situation and make a decision on the [CoA].”

This begs the question: “Why then are assumptions listed during the mission-analysis process when we have not yet begun any planning of CoAs?” Perhaps they should be one of the first items briefed during CoA development instead. The reason for this is CoAs are often based on certain conditions being present for the CoA to be feasible, suitable or acceptable. Since CoAs should be distinctly different from one another, they will usually be predicated on distinctly different assumptions.

Example: In a CoA where a light-infantry battalion is considering an air-assault operation, a key assumption might be made about the amount of aircraft available for the mission. This assumption will normally not be encountered during mission analysis but will rather be determined when the unit begins planning possible CoAs, therefore making a validity check on the feasibility of this assumption necessary to proceed with CoA development. Since this is necessary to continue planning the mission, the staff must now ensure the planning figure is valid. So what constitutes the validity check?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines valid as “Containing premises from which the conclusion may logically be derived. Correctly inferred or deduced from a premise.” Using this as our standard for valid, the way to check for a valid planning figure of the number of available aircraft would be to seek expert advice (correctly inferred) such as from the brigade aviation officer (the logical person to ask).

‘Bell curve’ planning

The trick here, as with any assumption, after proving that it is necessary to continue planning, is to make a judgment call on the “degree of validity.” Just how many aircraft (and crews) will be available for the air assault three days from now? Figure 2 represents a way to look at determining the validity of an assumption; view it as a “bell curve”-style graph.

The horizontal axis (x) represents the number of resources available (aircraft and crews). The vertical axis (y) represents the likelihood of occurrence (degree of probability). The curve represents the degree of probability of any likelihood of occurrence. At the left end of the chart, there is a low occurrence the unit would have less than 10 aircraft available (<25 percent). At the far-right end, there is a still-low-but-somewhat-higher chance of having all 30 available. Each end of the curve represents figures that would likely make the assumption invalid because of the low likelihood of occurrence. Somewhere in the middle is the greatest likelihood of occurrence.

In this case, the brigade aviation officer believes that based on current operating tempo, maintenance schedule and crew management, there is a 75-percent-and-higher likelihood they should be able to put up between 23-28 aircraft for the mission three days from now. In the meantime, he recommends the brigade use a planning estimate of 25 aircraft (peak of validity) for CoA development. Thereby the assumption is listed as “The aviation battalion will have 25 aircraft available for the air-assault mission.” This assumption is now considered valid.

The same “bell curve” principle can be applied when making other assumptions. Example: In a situation where an advancing armored force is facing whether or not enemy forces will blow the bridge-crossing sites before its arrival, one of its CoAs is based on capturing the bridges intact, but a second CoA has as an assumption: “The enemy will blow the two Class 100 bridges leading into the objective area.” (In this case, the statement might well be determined during the mission-analysis process since the intelligence officer developed it during intelligence preparation of the battlefield, but it requires further exploration to determine its full impact on the unit. This will occur in CoA development.)

In this case, planning a river-crossing contingency is now necessary, and the check for validity is “Do we have the available means and resources to conduct a river-crossing operation without using the two Class 100 bridges? If so, what are those means and resources?” The advancing armored force must now determine what gap-crossing assets are available to its force. (Everything from helicopters to secure the far side to rubber boats and assault float bridging.) The type and amount of resources available will then determine the unit’s possible CoAs.

Using the bell-curve principle, the x axis would be the amount of each resource (helicopters, boats or bridging), and the y axis would be the likelihood of getting those assets, and how many of them. After coordination with the appropriate liaison officers, a planner can then determine the valid planning figures for CoA development. In this example, planners consulted with the appropriate liaisons and developed their list of valid assumptions that read:

  • No helicopters will be available to secure the far side.
  • We will have 12 eight-man rubber boats.
  • We will receive operational control of a multi-role bridge company from X Corps.

Key points

Based on this information, the staff begins developing CoAs based on current facts and assumptions because they are necessary to continue planning. Unless the resources change, the CoA must be planned within the limitations of available resources. Any CoA using planning factors outside the current assumptions invalidates the CoA. What makes the assumption valid is the research that planners did with outside units to see what the likelihood of occurrence would be for the force to get those assets.

Key points:

  • An assumption is necessary to allow the unit to move forward with planning.
  • An assumption is valid when some reasonable amount of research has been done to determine the likelihood of its occurrence.

It is unlikely these assumptions would have been fully developed during the mission-analysis process, therefore since each CoA is different and is based on different assumptions, we should consider saving the “Facts and Assumptions” slide for the beginning of CoA development, where we would have uncovered more detailed and meaningful information.

Original document, Planning Assumptions: Are They Really Necessary and Valid?
Source: E Armor
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

Establishing reasonable planning assumptions

Establishing reasonable planning assumptions

When you draft a business plan, you have to make many different types of assumptions. These include the general business environment, business-specific factors, and issues outside your control.

Some of these are so basic that they remain unstated. Realistically, there is no point in worrying about cataclysmic or other events that can render all your planning moot. You have to start with the assumption that everything will work as planned. For example, retailers assume that consumers will continue to make most of their purchases during the holiday season.

Beyond that, there are several broad types of assumptions that you’re going to have to make. These assumptions are what support and quantify the projections that you’ll make in the plan.

  • First, you’re going to have to make some assumptions about the general business environment. By and large, these assumptions tend to focus on issues such as interest rates, demographics, and other factors that all businesses face.
  • Second, you’re going to have to make some assumptions that are specific to your business. These assumptions focus on specific capabilities that your business must develop or maintain.
  • Third, you can model alternate assumptions to explain how you will shift gears, if necessary, in response to events outside your control.

Making assumptions regarding your business for planning purposes

As you work your way through the planning process, you will be called on to take your best guess regarding the key operational issues facing your business. You’ll have to make estimates regarding productivity, capacity, cash flow, costs, and many other interrelated factors. For example, if you are considering a manufacturing business, how many units of product can you expect a particular piece of equipment to produce? What assumptions can you make about its reliability and potential down time?

From a practical standpoint, there are two potential sources for the information you need to make reasonable assumptions. If you have an existing business, you have your personal experiences on which to rely. You know how much to expect from an employee and if your production equipment is reliable. Even if you’re taking on a new product or trying to enter a new market, your experience in the industry in general will serve you well.

The same holds true if you have experience in your industry, but not as a business owner. Many new businesses are started by people who have experience as an employee in the same or a related field. If that applies to you, what you learned will serve you well as you strike out on your own.

But what about the business owner who has relatively little experience in a particular field? The best bet is to tap into existing sources of information. One excellent source is industry groups or associations. These organizations exist to help business owners within a specific industry or field of endeavor. They can provide information regarding a wide variety of topics. Another good source of information are local chambers of commerce and other civic organizations. These groups can provide valuable demographic information regarding the specific geographic market in which you will compete.

Banks are an obvious source of information regarding financial matters. You’re going to have to make numerous assumptions that relate to money, cash flow, interest rates, expenses, etc. Much of what you need to know to make reasonable assumptions can be obtained from lenders. This also provides you with an opportunity to screen potential lenders by experiencing the quality of customer service they provide. Potential vendors and suppliers can also be consulted to get information regarding costs, product availability, timing requirements, etc.

While there is no substitute for personal experience, you can derive a large benefit by drawing on the experiences of those around you. Unless you’re starting a completely new type of business, there will be someone around with experience at what you’re planning to do. You’d be surprised how willing even potential competitors are to share information, if asked in the right way. This is particularly true if your business will serve a limited geographic market and won’t directly compete with a similar business located some distance away.

Finally, don’t forget about the management aspects of running your own business. In addition to whatever product or service you’ll provide, you will also have to perform a broad range of managerial activities. The most important assumption you can make about these back office duties is that they’ll take more time than you’d like. But the same sources who can provide the data you need to make reasonable financial and operational assumptions can also advise you regarding tasks that fall on you as a business owner.

Dealing with unexpected changes in external factors

Economic and weather conditions immediately come to mind when you think of factors outside your control. If a particular geographic area experiences an economic decline, there isn’t much you can do about it. If your business is dependent on fair weather, and unusual conditions prevent you from working, even short-term business plans will quickly go out the window. A house painter faced with nearly constant rain just won’t be able to do the planned work. If the profitability of a business that relies heavily on borrowed funds is affected by interest rates, changes in lending rates can be a huge factor.

In short, every business must deal with an environment in which key assumptions can change without much warning. A plan based on those assumptions is at risk. A good business plan can include contingency plans that help you establish how to react when the real world doesn’t conform to your plan. One way to do this is to look at how a change in one or more variables might affect your plan. Here’s how you might want to do that.

First, identify “environmental” conditions that would have the most direct impact on your business. There may be several. Make an effort to examine each of the environmental factors in turn so that you can develop a range of planning scenarios. Try to realistically estimate the number of days you won’t be able to work. Recent weather notwithstanding, it isn’t likely that it will never rain on days you would otherwise work, nor is it likely that it will always rain.

Second, try to quantify how changing conditions would impact your business and what the likelihood is that those changes will occur. Quantifying the result of a change in conditions is the easier of the two.

For example, if your business is heavily reliant on utilizing a line of credit to finance operations, a change in interest rate would directly affect the profitability of your business. If you assumed that you were going to pay $10,000 a year in interest, and an increasing interest rate pushes that to $15,000, your profit potential just went down by $5,000. If nothing else but the interest rate changes, at what level will you start losing money? In contrast, fluctuating interest rates wouldn’t present the same challenge to a business that rarely used its line of credit.

A little more difficult is the question of how likely is it that conditions will change? By definition, the factors are outside your control, but you can look at historical trends (e.g., the interest rate over the last two years) for some indication of the likelihood of changing conditions. If interest rates are a factor, consider a broad range of rates to determine what is the highest rate your business could tolerate.

A third step completes the analysis. First, you identified environmental factors that could impact your plan. Second, you assessed the likelihood that conditions would change, and you quantified the effect that each of these changes would have on your plan. Now, consider what would happen if, for example, interest rates go up and mid-way through your season, it’s already rained 11 days. Will you be able to meet your net income targets under these new conditions? Look at the factors with the potential for substantial impact on your plan and combine them in various ways.

Try to build reasonable “what if” scenarios that reflect your best estimates of what could happen. For example, if a salesman quits, you lose the ability to reach part of your customer base. But if the loss of the salesman results in reduced sales, and production and wage costs also go down, the temporary loss of a salesman might hurt growth potential more than current net income. Knowing that you can survive for awhile without him gives you a better chance to hire a high-quality replacement. Try to limit your modeling to situations that might realistically occur. Remember that some potential factors are just too remote to concern you.

Original document, Establishing reasonable planning assumptions
Source: Wolters Kluwer
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising

52 Mission Statement Examples that Rock + Free Mission Guide

52 Mission Statement Examples that Rock + Free Mission Guide

In this article, we will define ‘what is a mission statement’, briefly highlight the essentials of creating a strong mission statement and show you some of the best mission statement examples from top organizations around the world.

What is a mission statement and its purpose?

Remember that a mission statement explains why your organization exists. It is a foundational element of your plan that establishes your core purpose and who you serve! A great mission statement stands the test of time, guiding more temporary and time-specific goals and plans. This, paired with a bold vision statement will serve as a strong foundation to your strategic plan.

For a mission statement to provide clarity, we recommend writing it with concrete language. We recommend avoiding abstract fluff that might sound good on the surface but does not help your team understand the “why” behind their work. We also recommend writing it in the present tense. This differentiates it from a vision statement, which is focused on the future. A mission statement should be timeless (or as close to it as possible). Writing it in the present tense helps capture that.

What are the benefits of a mission statement?

When it comes to strategic planning for your organization, you can’t underestimate the importance of having a clear and concise mission statement. Not only does it help provide direction and focus for your team and tells your customer base and community who you are and what you stand for. A well-crafted mission statement is the foundation for your overall strategy and decision-making.

By outlining your mission statement, you’re laying the groundwork for everything that follows. You’re setting the tone for your vision for your organization and the values you want to uphold. That can be a powerful tool for making decisions and setting priorities for the company’s future.

So, if you haven’t already drafted a mission statement, now is the time to start! It may take some time and thought, but the benefits will be well worth it in the long run.

What makes a great mission statement?

OnStrategy strongly believes in creating a mission statement that speaks to who you are and why you exist as an organization. We believe great mission statements should be audacious, motivating, and memorable.

This is because, as we’ve stated before, your mission statement reflects the best of you and serves as the foundation of your business or organization. Mission statements boldly state why you exist and do what you do – not only for your team and those doing the work but for your community and customers whose support you’re striving to capture.

We’ve crafted a mission statement cheat sheet that outlines the four criteria that every mission statement should meet:

Your mission statement should be foundational
Your mission statement should be original
All mission statements should be memorable
And bonus points if your mission statement is something you’d want represented on a t-shirt!

Pulling Together Your Mission Statement with the Help of OnStrategy’s Cheat Sheet [With Examples]

Check out our mission statement cheat sheet below for a downloadable guide to build your mission statement.

If you want to learn more on determining what is a mission statement that’s effective and how to write a mission statement that inspires, check out our guide!

Anatomy of an Effective Mission Statement

A mission statement is a powerful way to tell your board members, team and your customers who you are and why you exist – ideally in two sentences or less! Your company’s mission statement describes, essentially, your company’s core values and company’s purpose for existing today.

Maybe your organization believes that your business exists to provide outstanding customer service to all who walk through your door. Your employees will now know that your company’s identity revolves around providing the best customer service possible.

This process of creating a compelling mission statement may feel daunting, but don’t worry! By following our simple anatomy of a mission statement, you can easily put one together that truly defines your mission and purpose.

Every mission statement must have these five basic elements:

  1. label such as, “Our mission…”
  2. verb in the present tense.
  3. For whom you’re doing this for.
  4. result or benefit of the work you do.
  5. What you do and how you do it.

For example, yours may end up looking like this: “Our mission is to make our clients successful by merging remarkable digital design and goal-focused usability.

Read our free canvas and guide for a deeper dive into the topic!

Mission Statement Versus Vision Statement Versus Values Statement: What’s the difference?

Vision Statement

A vision statement describes your clear vision of the future; your ambitions. Vision statements clearly state what your organization looks like in the future. Vision statement focuses on the big picture outcome, usually 5+ years in the future. [Check out our vision statement examples here.]

Mission Statements

A good mission statement clearly explains why you exist and what your organization’s purpose for existing is. A company mission statement also expressly states who you serve and how potential customers benefit from your work.

Values Statements

Values statements are an expression about how you expect your team to behave. They explain the values, beliefs, and experiences you expect to create within your organization.

Using Your Mission Statements, Vision Statements, and Values Statements Together

These three important plan elements aren’t meant to live as standalone items. They are designed to be used together! Mission and vision statements help your organization clearly articulate why you exist, who you serve, and where you’re going in the future. Your values statements help support your own mission and vision statment by expressing how you expect your organization to behave along the journey!
When in doubt, remember these three tips:

  • Mission statement = why you exist.
  • Vision statement = where you’re going in the future.
  • Values statements = set of behaviors you expect from your team. you expect your team to behave.

When to know it’s time to update your mission statement?

As you move forward on your strategic planning process, maybe you’ve decided to revisit your mission statement. If you read it and thought, “Wait, that doesn’t really align with what we’re doing anymore, ” it may be time for an update. And that’s okay! It happens more often than you might think.

Your company constantly evolves and grows, so your mission statement must reflect those changes. Some signs that it’s time to hit refresh on your mission statement include:

    • Huge shifts in your customer or target audience
    • Major changes in your organization’s goals and approach
    • A total rebrand

Remember, your mission statement should guide and inspire your business, so it’s essential to keep it relevant and meaningful! They have a shelf life of about 10-15 years.

A clear and concise mission statement can give your employees and customers a sense of direction and purpose. So, if you feel like your current mission statement is a little outdated or doesn’t reflect who you are as an organization, it might be time for a refresh.

Check out our 52 mission statement examples from some of the world’s best companies and organizations for inspiration!

52 Mission Statement Examples

Learning general principles for how to write a mission statement is helpful. However, these principles can become clearer by looking at some examples of mission statements. As you check out some of these mission statement examples from various types of organizations, notice how there are various ways to make your mission statement unique while sharing the tried-and-true principles of good mission statements:

Example Mission Statements for For-Profit Companies

Tesla: “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy.”

Starbucks“To inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Coca-Cola: “The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone who is touched by our business.”

The Home Depot: “The Home Depot is in the home improvement business, and our goal is to provide the highest level of service, the broadest selection of products, and the most competitive prices.”

The Boeing Company, Africa Division: “Our mission is to establish a powerful presence and positive image of The Boeing Company with governments, businesses, and community leaders.”

Nike: “Our mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

John Deere: “Double and Double Again the John Deere Experience of Genuine Value for Employees, Customers and Shareholders.”

Publix: “Our Mission at Publix is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.”

Aveda: “Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty but around the world.”

General Motors: “General Motors’ corporate mission is to earn customers for life by building brands that inspire passion and loyalty through not only breakthrough technologies but also by serving and improving the communities in which we live and work around the world.”

New Leaf Paper: “The mission of New Leaf Paper is to be the leading national source for environmentally responsible, economically sound paper.”

Nordstrom: “Our mission is to continue our dedication to providing a unique range of products, exceptional customer service, and great experiences.”

Seventh Generation: “Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of non-toxic and environmentally safe household products.”

Example Mission Statements for Non-Profits

UNICEF: “UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do.”

ACLU of San Diego: “To protect and expand fairness, equity, and freedom through community engagement, building power, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.”

Red Cross: “To provide compassionate care to victims of disasters.”

TED Talk: “Spread ideas. Make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.”

Girl Scouts of America: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

Operation Underground Railroad: “We exist to rescue children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.”

Goodwill: “To enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Through our many initiatives and worldwide reach, the Alzheimer’s Association leads the charge in Alzheimer’s care, support, research and advocacy.”

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts: “To cultivate exceptional performing arts experiences in our historic venue and throughout the region.”

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts: “To cultivate exceptional performing arts experiences in our historic venue and throughout the region.”

ASPCA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:“To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

Mission Statement Examples for Software Companies

OnStrategy: “Our mission is to create strategy that matters and drive the culture to execute it.”

LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Equifax Business Services: “To serve our customers by utilizing information and technology that provide real-time answers to increasingly complex questions.”

Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Amazon: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”

Duolingo: “We’re here to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available. Our global team works together to make language learning fun, free, and effective for anyone who wants to learn, wherever they are.”

Hulu: “To help people find and enjoy the world’s premium video content when, where and how they want it.”

Microsoft: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

TikTok “ Our mission is to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and moments that matter in everyday life.”

Vivint: “Vivint helps families live intelligently in safer, smarter homes.”

Example Mission Statements for Healthcare Organizations

CVS: “Helping people on their path to better health.”

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center of Northern Nevada: “To deliver compassionate, quality care to patients and better healthcare to communities.”

Northern Nevada Hopes: “Our mission is to build a healthier community by providing affordable, high-quality medical, behavioral health, and support services for all.”

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals: “We will become the world’s most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the communities where we work and live.”

The WellPoint Companies: “The WellPoint Companies provide health security by offering a choice of quality branded health and related financial services designed to meet the changing expectations of individuals, families, and their sponsors throughout a lifelong relationship.”

New York-Presbyterian Hospital: “It is the mission of New York-Presbyterian Hospital to be a leader in the provision of world-class patient care, teaching, research, and service to local, state, national, and international communities.”

The Center for Disease Control: “CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety, and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”

Valley OB/GYN: “At Valley OBGYN, we strive to provide quality comprehensive patient-centered women’s care here in Spokane Valley.”

The American Psychological Association: “Our mission is to promote the advancement, communication, and application of psychological science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives.”

Dentistry for Children: “Dentistry for Children believes that good dental health starts in infancy. Our dedicated pediatric dentists and teen dental specialists promote cavity prevention and good dental habits to help create a positive experience at an early age and into their adolescent years.”

Mission Statement Examples for Governments and/or Government Entities

City of Windsor, Canada: “The City of Windsor, with the involvement of its citizens, will deliver effective and responsive municipal services, and will mobilize innovative community partnerships.”

Cliffside Park, New Jersey Police Department: “The Cliffside Park Police Department is committed to providing a safe and peaceful environment in the Borough of Cliffside Park through effective and impartial law enforcement.”

Fire Department New York: “As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters, and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The Department advances public safety through its fire prevention, investigation, and education programs. The timely delivery of these services enables the FDNY to make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts.”

Municipal Court of Lakeview, Texas: “Our mission is to provide an impartial, unbiased, fair, and respectful forum for the trials of all Class C misdemeanor Penal Code offenses, Health and Safety Code offenses, Alcoholic Beverage Code offenses, City Ordinance offenses, as well as to preside over administrative and civil proceedings, as authorized by state law.”

Albany, Georgia: “The City of Albany delivers fiscally responsible, highly dependable services to the citizens in the community and the region with integrity and professionalism.”

Chicago Public Library: “We welcome and support all people in their enjoyment of reading and pursuit of lifelong learning. Working together, we strive to provide equal access to information, ideas, and knowledge through books, programs, and other resources.”

Seattle, Washington City Clerk: “Provide consistent high-level services which promote and strengthen a world-class government prepared to meet the emerging needs of the 21st century. Ultimately, improving the quality of life for individuals (and the community at large) by being one of the top-tier local government agencies in our nation and by building on our interdisciplinary strengths.”

Michigan Civil Service Commission: “To provide innovative, effective, and timely HR consultation and services to attract, develop, and retain a workforce that is diverse, flexible, creative, and competent to meet the ever-changing needs of state government.”

City of Reno: “Creating a community that people are proud to call home.”

FAQ's

Every mission statement must have these five basic elements:

    1. A label such as, “Our mission…”
    2. A verb in the present tense.
    3. For whom you’re doing this for.
    4. A result or benefit of the work you do.
    5. What you do and how you do it.

Remember that a mission statement explains why your organization exists. It is a foundational element of your plan that establishes your core purpose and who you serve!

Original document, 52 Mission Statement Examples that Rock + Free Mission Guide
Source: Onstrategy
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising