Every business needs a mission statement. You probably know that already. But what’s the point? What does a mission statement do for your business?
To put it simply, no one would want to start a project without a plan, only to get stuck in the middle and then start trying to define what they are doing at that point. Instead, you’ll want to have a plan at the beginning, like a compass that helps set you right whenever you think you might have gone off-course. That plan is a mission statement.
What is a Mission Statement?
By definition, a mission statement is a simple statement that articulates a company’s purpose and announces to the world why it exists. It tells the world what your company does and why it does it, in a way that captures the values that are relevant to your company.
The purpose of the mission statement is to communicate your business’s purpose and direction to its employees, vendors, customers, and other stakeholders. It also creates a sense of identity for your employees and motivates them to work at a certain standard.
A mission statement is different from a vision statement. While a mission statement tells people why your business exists and what it does, a vision statement sets a future or long-term target and states where you want your company to be in five, ten, or more years.
So many things go into creating a business mission statement that truly inspires since it can be challenging to clearly and concisely bring all the ideas that need to be in your mission statement together. Here is a simple guide.
- Describe what you do
At this point, you simply need to say it as it is without being fancy. What product or service are you producing or offering? State the bare basics and without any filler. For instance, your company’s purpose could be to sell ‘vanity organizers.’ You will build more on it in the next steps.
- Describe how you do what you do
By describing how your business does what it does, we don’t mean a detailed description of your company’s physical operations. Instead, what is required is a description of how your business operates generally. You can incorporate one or more of your core values into the description. For instance, ‘provide high product quality.’ At this point, your mission statement would be ‘to sell vanity organizers at the highest quality.’ And it’s not finished yet.
- Add why you do what you do
This is the point where you describe the spark behind your business. Determine why your business does what it does. This might mean thinking of why you started your business in the first place. When you add the ‘why’ to our example, you’ll have ‘sell vanity organizers of the highest quality so every customer can turn their make up counter into an efficient storage space.’
After creating your mission statement, review it to see if it captures everything you want to say, or if you can rephrase it in a better way. Ensure that you replace the ‘my company’s purpose’ phrase with the name of your company.
When you are done, put it to work right away.
Examples of good business mission statements include:
- Google: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Microsoft: our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
- Tesla: to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Squarespace: Squarespace empowers people with creative ideas to succeed.
- Uber: we ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.
Your business’ mission statement is not just a slogan but the foundation of your business operation manual. It helps to keep you and every member of your organization focused on your business purpose. However, things can change in the business world, and if at any point, your mission statement no longer represents your company, do not be afraid to change it.