Your mission statement is your reference point for how and in what way your business will serve. It is a descriptor of your goals and vision and captures the entire brand in a few short sentences. It sounds like a lot of pressure, and it is. But this process of developing your perfect mission statement is like trying on a pair of shoes. You try on a pair of shoes, walk around a little if they don’t fit you or are not your style, and you move on to the next until you find a pair that’s just right. This simple 5-step process will help you get on your way to developing a strong mission statement for your brand.
Why Do I Need a Mission Statement?
A mission statement helps define your business and tell people what you are passionate about. It’s a critical component to a brand because people aren’t likely to care about your business if they have no idea what you do or what you care about. Your mission statement will help connect your business with people who have the same values in a market that can feel very overwhelming to clients and customers. It also helps to show your values as a business that can lead people to support you. This is especially true for a small business that has to work extra hard to compete against more prominent companies.
Some other benefits include:
- Provides Direction- You can use your mission statement to make decisions/plans and help you plan strategies for your company’s future. The statement will ensure that your plans align with your overall goals.
- Measures Success-As you make decisions, you can measure them up against your mission statement. If they align, then you are successful.
- Unifies Team-When everyone in your team knows what they are working towards, it creates a sense of team unity.
- Aids Recruitment-Someone looking for a job is much more likely to choose your business over someone else’s when you and your team implement and live by a clear mission they agree with.
- Ensures Accountability-Your mission statement tells the world what you are trying to do, so it forces you to make decisions that align with it.
- Inspires Customers-If customers relate to your mission and believe in what you are trying to do, they are significantly more likely to choose your brand over one they don’t connect with.
Mission Statement Examples
Here are some examples of mission statements for popular businesses. You’ll notice that devoted customers of these businesses are equally connected to the mission as they are the end product. Use these examples to help guide you toward your mission statement.
To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.
Empowers people with creative ideas to succeed.
Steps To Write a Mission Statement
If you are trying to write a mission statement for your business, Thomas Griffin suggests following these steps.
The first step in developing a strong mission statement is to define your belief system. You have some fundamental beliefs about the world, and they filter the way you view life and work. Therefore, they will shape your business. Write down some of your core beliefs of your business. Some examples include
- We believe the best of you is ahead of you.
- We believe you are capable of far more than you realize.
- We believe you get better when we do things together.
- We believe that sustainable materials are the future.
The next step is to determine what things you value most in your life. Some people value integrity, while others value duty and responsibility. It is up to you to determine what you value and how you will integrate that into your mission statement.
Then, you need to determine the purpose of your organization. You’re going to want to think deeply about this. Your gut instinct may be to say that purpose of your business is to sell clothes. While that may be the product you sell, there is a reason you went into the clothing industry. Consider what led you there and how that ties into your business ideas.
Your purpose combines your beliefs and your values, so take a look at what you wrote down from those steps. Take a little time and jot down some ideas on what you think it might be. Amongst everything you write down, your true purpose will show itself. Make sure to identify your primary motivator and not secondary benefits like making money. Some examples of primary motivators include providing sustainable materials to the market or providing more jobs in the local economy. Whatever your purpose is, it will be the differentiating factor in comparison to competitors.
The fourth step in creating a powerful mission statement is to decide what action word best describes your business. For example, Tesla’s action word is accelerate, and Chick-Fil-A’s is glorify. Other examples of action words are help, activate, generate, and restore. Think about what you hope to achieve with your business and pick an action word that reflects that.
Take a look at what you’ve put together from step 3 and see if you’ve included an action word or can add one in there in an organic way.
The final step is seeing how people react to your proposed mission statement. This is the part I mentioned in the beginning about trying on a pair of shoes. Gather a few people and read aloud your mission statement. Ask them to give you candid and objective feedback about it. Ask them to tell you what they think your business is about based on your mission statement. If they feel it is good and matches what you are trying to do, you have a winner. If not, do a little reworking and try again.
A mission statement helps identify who you are as a company and what you believe in. It will help draw customers to your business and will represent you in a sea of other businesses. Make your mission statement detailed but concise. You want people to be able to remember it off the top of their head. If it is too long, people will lose interest, and you will lose business. Remember to include your values, beliefs, the purpose of your organization, and an action word. Do all of this, and it will help develop your brand and make your business successful.