by Nick Gromicko, CMI® and Kate Tarasenko
Every company should have a mission statement. Mission statements are not just for big corporations or charitable organizations or political parties. Even your one-man inspection company should have one. A mission statement helps define what a company is and what it offers, and it clarifies the company's goals to keep it on the path of service and success.
A good commercial mission statement spells out not just the purpose, but also the priorities of the company, which, obviously, go beyond "I've put years into my training and education, and I need to support my family"--that part is understood. It also explains what you esteem, and how you intend to achieve your business goals of serving your clients, based on your values and priorities.
Here's an example:
XYZ Inspection Company's mission is to provide the highest-quality inspections in CITY. We succeed at this because of the integrity of our inspectors and support staff, our commitment to being respectful and considerate of our clients and of each other, and our passion for Continuing Education for learning the newest innovations of our industry.
Basically, a mission statement should state:
- what you do;
- how you do it;
- why you do it;
- who you do it for; and
- how you succeed at it each day.
Don't let a blank screen or piece of paper intimidate you; it doesn't have to be Shakespeare, but writing down these points is a great exercise for crystalizing why you're doing what you're doing and how you're doing it. It also may help you decide whether you need to change any of it. Your mission statement should guide your company's actions and move you forward every day.
A good mission statement isn't just an excellent marketing component; it helps clarify for you (and your employees, if you have any) exactly what your goals are each and every day. It's easy to lose sight of why you became a home inspector when you're booked solid and rushing from one appointment to the next. Sometimes, providing excellent customer service may be done more from memory than passion.
Reading your mission statement each day before your first inspection is sort of like a coach giving his team a pep talk; you may have heard it a hundred times, but it helps to reinforce just why you're doing what you're doing, and that's great for personal morale, as well as for expanding your vision for achieving your business goals.
Ask yourself exactly what you do to help improve your business on a regular basis, and write those things down. Do you take new Continuing Education courses, attend chapter meetings and special events, and keep in touch with fellow inspectors (via the Message Board, etc.)? Do you get customer feedback that tells you whether you're on the right track--the one that you've set for yourself? Your mission statement is what you tell the world you are, but it's also important to find out whether the world agrees with you!
Once you've got these points written down on paper, consider hanging it on your wall so that you can see it every day. If you're not happy with it, hang it up anyway and tweak it as you go. Once you're satisfied with it, have InterNACHI's Marketing Team put it in your brochure. A client will value someone who knows who he is and what his goals are, and how he achieves it. Putting that into words can make a confident and powerful statement that guides your company on a trajectory of success.