Guide to Writing a Mission Statement For Your Business
A mission statement is a declaration of what makes the business important. By design, it guides the actions of the employees and draws in customers by creating direction by explaining what the company intends to accomplish.
Have you ever found a business and go to their website and still have no idea what do they do? This is because you can’t find their mission statement. Usually, a good website page will have the first section state what does the business does. This is a short version of their mission.
Refresh the world. Make a difference.
This is the first thing you see when you enter The Coca-Cola Company’s website. It is their mission statement and their purpose. It tells everyone, both internal and external, what the organization hopes to accomplish clearly and concisely. Not all mission statements are as passionate as that one. But it provides a broader vision of the company.
The purpose of a mission statement is to tell both employees and potential customers where their values are at. This makes it an important part of any building plan.
Why do businesses need a mission statement?
A well-written mission statement focuses the business on both employees and the target audience. It serves as a compass to guide the employees’ decisions and help the target audience understand what your business does and why you do it.
It sets you apart from your competence by stating your advantages but it doesn’t limit your growth as a business. Notice how Coca-Cola’s mission statement doesn’t limit their business just to their famous cola drink they are on a mission to bring refreshing drinks (of all kinds) to the world, while also making a difference by their vision to improve people’s lives. It states what their company does, without limiting their growth.
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What purpose does you mission statement serves?
A mission statement should tell others why does your business exists and what makes it different.
Why does your business exists? When you first started your business you found a need in the world that your business solves. This is the reason you started your business.
What makes your business different? other businesses solve the same need as yours, but still, people decide to consume from you rather than your competitors. This reason is called competitive advantage, and it’s something that your business does better than your competitors. Maybe you have better customer service, offer customized solutions, or have better quality. This is important to differentiate your mission statement from others in your industry.
Find a balance between realism and optimism
A good mission statement should focus on realism, stating the truth about your services or products. But a mission like “We offer high-quality products” doesn’t make your company stand out. So you need your mission statement to also be optimistic and focused on growth, but staying grounded on realism. “We aim to be the best business in the world” is optimistic but not realistic. Try to find a balance between these two to make your mission statement really stand out.
Key elements of a mission statement
To have a well written mission statement you should focus on these four elements:
What do you offer to your customers and to your employees
Your business should aim to inspire, to want to work for you or consume from you.
Make it sound reasonable. Remember, you should strike a balance between realism and optimism.
It has to tie back to business.
Tips for creating an effective mission statement
There are many ways you can go about writing your mission, looking at examples it’s a great start, but some bigger companies have very broad mission statements, and some smaller companies have paragraphs. Here are some starting tips on how to start writing your mission statement.
- Keep it short and concise
If you can write your mission in one comprehensible sentence, that’s good. But don’t go above 2. You want your mission statement to be memorable, and having three or more sentences can be hard to remember.
- Think long term
It is best to keep the mission unchanged for as long as you can, so think about the long-term when writing your mission. You can always change it, but keep in mind that it will be hard to remember and keep track of if you are constantly changing your mission.
- Don’t make it too limiting
Make sure that your mission isn’t limiting your business growth. It is always good to diversify and try new things, so keep that in mind while writing your mission. Your business could be a little different 5 years from now, so make sure that your business doesn’t stop you from trying new things.
- Find out what your employees think of the mission of your business
This is a tool designed for everyone in your business so make sure everyone feels involved by getting their opinion. ask everyone what they think your business does, the competitive advantages, and how they would improve your business. If you get a lot of different answers, this is a signal that you need to establish or change your current mission.
- Don’t be afraid to change it
Things change. If your mission statement no longer represents your company or is limiting your growth, it’s time to change it.
A mission statement is a declaration of what does your business does and why should consumers prefer your business over your competitors. It also guides the actions of everyone in your business. If everyone is on the same page, a business can grow more efficiently and decisions can be made faster.
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