October, 2010
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Setting the Stage for a Successful Chapter


Tim Buell has written a series of articles on behalf of the Chapter Relations Committee. The first, a checklist of chapter basics, was published last month. This is part II of the series.

With the basics covered, the next step for a chapter is to develop a vision and mission statement along with strategic and business plans.

Vision statement

A vision statement is sometimes called a picture of your chapter in the future, but it's so much more than that. Your vision statement is your inspiration, the framework for all your strategic planning. When you create a vision statement, you are articulating the chapter's dreams and hopes. It reminds you of what they are trying to build. Unlike the mission statement, a vision statement is for your chapter, not for your members.

Mission statement

A mission statement is a brief description of your chapter's fundamental purpose. A mission statement answers the question "Why do we exist?" The mission statement articulates the chapter's purpose both for those in the organization and for the public.

The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on the chapter's present state while a vision statement focuses on your chapter's future.

ASHI's vision statement is ... "ASHI's goals have always been to build customer awareness of the importance of a quality home inspection and enhance the professionalism of home inspectors."

In the June issue of the Reporter, David Tamny discussed our mission statement: "To set and promote standards for property inspections and to provide the educational programs needed to achieve excellence in the profession." Once you have developed these two statements, you can begin working on your strategic and business plans.

Strategic plan

The strategic plan determines where your chapter is going over the next year, how it is going to get there and how it will know if it got there. The focus of a strategic plan is usually on the entire organization, whereas a business plan will focus on a particular product, service or program.

For example, your chapter's strategic plan will provide X number of educational seminars, you will participate in X RealtorĀ® activities, get involved with a local charity, etc. The business plan will focus on each of these activities.

Completing these tasks takes a lot of thinking and the involvement of all the officers and board members. Persistence and determination will pay off. Once this is completed, your chapter will have a foundation on which to build its organization.

This and future articles are designed to help your chapter be the best it can be. Therefore, we encourage you to submit articles sharing ideas and activities that make your chapter successful. Send them to tim.buell@sbcglobal.net. After all, strong chapters make for a strong ASHI.