A mission statement defines your philosophies and objectives. Writing these concepts down will keep you accountable and focused. Taking the time to understand what you want to achieve, and how you are going to do it, are important steps in any business. The reality is, every professional should have a mission statement, whether or not he or she owns a business.
Make sure the tone of your mission statement reflects who you are. Are you a Type A individual who adheres to a strict set of goals for predictable outcomes? Or are you more of a creative and reflective Type B person? Your mission statement should actually sound like you wrote it. If you use words that are not normally in your vernacular, the message is going to come across as stilted or insincere.
Avoid a passive tone when writing a mission statement. Construct phrasing that commands attention. Using words like “may,” “should be,” “and might” will not convey a sense of confidence. What you say in your mission statement represents your foundation; boldly stand on it.
It is safe to say, your potential clients already know what a dentist is. But what sets you apart from other dentists? What unique services, expertise, or experience do you offer? Your mission statement should highlight these points. Maybe you cater to children, perhaps you offer state-of-the-art technology, or holistic care for your patients. Concisely state these attributes in your mission statement.
Tim Berry of Bplans encourages business owners to develop a “market-defining story.” Put yourself in a patient’s shoes. Imagine you are the patient making the decision to enter your practice. This story will help you to recognize why your potential patient would choose your services. Highlight these points when composing your mission statement.
Staying true to your philosophy, as well as true to yourself, is imperative. Generic, boiler-plate wording in your mission statement will make it applicable to anyone. Say exactly what your goals and objectives are. Use descriptive words that clearly define your relationship with your patients, staff, and community.
As you compose your mission statement, consider your long-term goals and objectives. Where do you see your business in five years? Ten? Twenty? Creating a mission statement that is in line with your future will help you stay the course. You can also make changes to your mission statement later, so don’t stress if things don’t go according to plan. Perhaps you already have a mission statement that needs revision to reflect your current philosophy, attitude, and attributes.
Have others read your mission statement and ask if it truly describes you. Make sure your writing reflects what you stand for, why you are unique, and where you’re going in your business. You have worked hard to make a name for yourself as a professional in your community and the dental world; don’t derail your efforts by settling for a less than stellar mission statement.
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