For every business new or old having a solid mission statement is like making a great first impression on every occasion with your brand name — offline or online. It sets the tone for the relationship between you and your customers and serves as the backbone to your entire brand.
WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?
A mission statement expresses a company’s purpose and reason for existence. It articulates to the world at large why your company exists. Every business should have a mission statement. It is a sure way of unifying the organization.
For better understanding, it is also a combination of what your business does, how and why it does it. It is always expressed in a way that makes employees and the community know the values that are important to you. It can be a challenge to clearly and concisely bring these ideas together, though.
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.
The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community.
A good mission statement is short, to the point and memorable. It’s like a tagline in advertising. It is always something that sticks with a person when they hear or read it. In a true sense, the mission statement is an ad in that it identifies your company as one that a customer would want to work with or support.
However, it’s important to note that a mission statement can differ depending on the type of business. If your company is already branded and its reason is obvious, then the mission statement is less important. People know already. That doesn’t make the statement irrelevant, though, especially if there’s competition from which you want to differentiate yourself.
Questions To Ask Before Writing Your Mission Statement
Since you have already have a purpose in mind and have critically gone through the steps of creating your business niche, you need to ask yourself some salient questions like;
- What: What do we do? What industry do we serve? What is the nature of our products and services?
- Who: Who do we do it for? Who are our customers? What can we do for them that will enrich their lives and contribute to their success? What roles do we and our employees play?
- How: How do we do it? What level of service do we provide? How do we serve our clients in the way that we do? How do we differ from our competitors? Many entrepreneurs forget they are pursuing the same dollars as their competitors. What can we do better, cheaper or faster than other competitors? How can we use competitors’ weaknesses to our advantage?
- Why: Why are we in business? Why do we serve our customers in the way that we do? What value are we bringing? What image of our business do we want to convey?
How to Start Writing Your Mission Statement
Make It Short and Simple
Your mission statement should be a sentence not a paragraph or essay. Your customers should be able to read your statement and understand how you provide value to them. In other words, sum up the company’s mission in just a few sentences.
Write in Present Tense:
Unlike vision statements which are about the future, mission statements stay firmly in the present. It tells who you are and what’s important to you, now. Be timely, explain who you are today and do so clearly.
Your mission statement is an investment in your company’s future, so keep it open enough to reflect your long-term goals. In other words be futuristic in drafting your statement.
Define What Your Business Does for Its Customer:
Your mission statement should be full of what you’re good at. Use your market-defining story to suss out whatever it is that makes your business special for your target customer.
Be True to Yourself:
Your mission statement should reflect your greatest passion and what you believe your long-term purpose is. Know that it’s okay to make changes to your statement as you grow and continue learning.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Or Update it:
Things changes in the business world. For example, if the mission statement no longer represents the company, or you have a rethink of your goal, then you have got to rewrite or change it.
Let it Grow With Your Company:
As your company evolves, so should your mission statement. Too often, this statements are born with the creation of the company and then never looked at again. Instead, taking the time to update and revise your mission statement gives you the opportunity to be intentional about your company culture and brand as you grow.
Consider Your Legacy:
Determine all of your core values and roles and write down a short statement of how you would like to be described in each of those. Hence, the need to be futuristic in your approach towards your business services than your current needs. As you consider this, all of your actions and steps would be deliberately monitored so you won’t run off course.
In conclusion, it is very key to have an idea of other business’ or company’s mission statement. So, read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing — else, your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.
As you continually work on your mission statement, ensure you show drafts to others and ask their opinions. Most importantly, really listen! Don’t argue, don’t convince them, just listen. And then weigh their suggestions and act accordingly.
Once you complete it, it’s important to put it where you can review it daily so it motivates you to honor it in all of your actions and decisions. Don’t hide it — in short, make it open to your employees and employers for trust and transparency.