A mission statement is a clear, concise declaration of your business strategy. It tells people why your company exists. In the early stages of business development, it's important to craft a powerful mission statement because it will provide purpose and a framework for everyone involved in your organization.
The reason mission statements can be tricky to craft is because you want to address your company's goals, ethics, and culture without being too wordy. Those are some big-ticket items for a concise piece of writing. We will show you how to write a mission statement that succintly highlights what's most important about your company.
Before we get into how to write a mission statement, it's important not to confuse it with a vision statement. While a mission statement explains the who, what, where and why, vision statements provide a broad overview of the manner in which your company is going to leave an impact on the greater community.
While the two are related, mission statements focus on the here and now. Vision statements address the big picture and overall mark your company will leave. In essence, vision statements are hopes and dreams while mission statements deal with present operations.
A good mission statement will address four ideals. Although that seems like a lot for a concise statement, it can be done. Let's take a look at what a mission statement should do:
Believe it or not, all four of those points can be addressed in no more than two sentences. There's no hard and fast rule on the number of sentences, but just keep in mind that you're crafting a "statement" not an essay. So, let's see how we can lasso these important elements into a clear, concise statement.
Although a mission statement is semi-formulaic, yours doesn't have to look like everyone else's. In truth, this important task can be broken down into just two, simple steps. Since concision is key, we're well on our way.
1. Describe what your company does.
This is the easy part. What does your company do? Develop websites? Produce handmade leather goods?
2. Describe how your company does it.
You don't need to get technical here and you don't want to discuss business operations to explain "how your company does it." Rather, this is the time to address some of your core values.
What's the most important thing about your work? If you develop websites, do you do it while addressing modern trends? If you produce handmade leather goods, do you do it while engaging in environmental efforts?
Now that you have your outline - what you do and how you do it - let's take a look at a mission statement that encompasses both of these elements.
At Prime Goods, we design handmade leather goods through sustainable efforts that are good for the earth and great for Friday nights out on the town.
This company has outlined what they do (design leather goods) and how they do it (according to sustainable methods). They even go one step further to direct the mission statement toward the customer. It'll be great for their Friday nights out on the town. And, when customers make a purchase, they'll know it was hand-crafted through environmentally friendly methods.
In one sentence, this mission statement has addressed all four goals. We understand what the company does, how they do it, whom they do it for, and the value they bring. Now, they've opened up their fan base to accessory lovers all over the world and consumers who particularly seek out designers who follow sustainable practices.
In a digital age where people are scrolling, liking, and sharing in a matter of seconds, very few people are going to take the time to read a lengthy mission statement. Think about your Twitter bio. Everyone's able to describe themselves in 240 characters or less. In it, they incorporate a little bit of character and an element of "why you should care."
Save some of the heavier lifting for the "About Us" page on your website. Your mission statement should never take up an entire web page. Rather, it can tee up everything else to come. No matter which details you choose to get into, all of them should point back toward your mission statement. In a way, it's your thesis statement for existence. All you have to do is invite others to come on board.
Share your mission statement ideas in the comments below.