Creating a Mission Statement for Your Business
When starting a business, a mission statement is a crucial element to consider. Creating a mission statement should be a thorough process to come up with an effective one.
This article discusses creating a mission statement by looking at the key elements and characteristics to consider. It also highlights a few examples of mission statements as well as outlines a mission statement business template.
Let’s start with how to create a mission statement. Then, you can read further along for a lot more information, examples, and templates.
Steps to Create a Business Mission Statement
Using the key elements and characteristics can guide you in developing the perfect mission statement for your business.
- Identify a Company’s What, Who, Why, and How
The key questions to answer are why the business exists, your services and products, and who you serve. Another question you should answer is how you plan to achieve your objective.
- Refine the Mission Statement
Go over the mission statement by checking whether it is short, clear, attainable, and compelling. Then, adjust any areas if you need to refine the mission statement.
- Put it into Practice
Using the mission statement can help you assess if it entirely describes what your company stands for or whether it may need any changes. Fortunately, a business can change its mission statement if the need arises, as it is not necessarily permanent.
More About Mission Statements
Now that you have a quick overview of the steps for creating your mission statement, let’s dig deeper to gain a broader understanding of the concept.
What Is a Business Mission Statement?
A company’s business mission statement explains why a company exists and what it does at a glance. In other words, it sheds light on the purpose of the company. In addition, it is what makes a business attractive to potential clients, employees, and partners. Therefore, it should be short while highlighting all the essential elements.
Some of the elements that should go into a mission statement include:
- Products or services offered,
- Target customers,
- And the reason why the company does what it does.
Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement: The Difference
The vision and mission statements are fundamental to a business as they both give an organization a collective goal and sense of direction. However, despite having a common purpose, they are slightly different.
The mission statement, as earlier defined, explains why a company exists, what it does, and for whom. In a nutshell, it tells us the reason and purpose for the company’s existence.
Conversely, the vision statement tells us what the company seeks to achieve in the future. Thus, it is more forward-looking than the mission statement, which focuses on what the company is already doing.
The vision statement is also aspirational and inspirational. As for aspirations, it shows what the company hopes to achieve. At the same time, it inspires people to consider working hand in hand with the company.
A successful vision statement encourages current partners to continue investing with them. Microsoft’s vision and mission statement is an excellent example to show the difference between the two:
- Microsoft’s Mission Statement
“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
- Microsoft’s Vision Statement
“To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.”
Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement: The Link
Though different, the vision and mission statement are linked elements of an organization. Some people use them interchangeably. The mission statement mentions what an organization is doing to achieve its vision statement, so it’s crucial to keep this connection in mind.
Why Does a Business Need a Mission Statement?
Although it is not mandatory to have one, a mission statement is an essential tool for your business. Below are some of the numerous benefits:
- Serves as the Company’s Guide
One of the main advantages of having a mission statement is that it gives a company a sense of direction. It acts as the organization’s North Star that employees can always refer to for guidance. In short, the mission statement reminds the employees why the company exists in the first place.
- Acts as a Guideline When Making Decisions
The mission statement can be considered a guiding tool that employees can refer to when making decisions. Doing this ensures the decisions made are in line with what the business stands for.
- Gives a Business Its Unique Identity
A mission statement differentiates a business from similar companies. It can determine whether a prospective client or employee chooses to work with them. A business mission statement is useful in a competitive environment as it can help your business stand out.
- Reinforces Teamwork
If all departments work towards a similar goal, they end up collaborating and growing a successful business. However, if a company has different or non-complementing goals, it will collapse eventually. Instead of working together, the other departments will want to become independent of each other. The unnecessary back and forth will result in delays, frustrations, and losses.
- Gives a Sense of Purpose
Being a part of something with significant meaning pushes one to carry out their duties diligently towards the ultimate fulfillment of that goal. A successful mission statement gives employees a sense of purpose, thus motivating them to achieve their respective duties.
- Useful in Assessing Performance
The mission statement explains why a company exists. Thus, the company can use it when assessing their overall performance, i.e., is the result a reflection of their purpose.
- Key to Developing Strategy
The mission statement is used when developing a company strategy. However, before creating the techniques to use, it is essential to identify the goal to be achieved. The primary goal is usually highlighted in the mission statement, thus why it’s crucial when shaping an organization’s strategy.
The Key Elements of a Mission Statement
There are a few main components used to build a mission statement. Each respective business determines what they will include.
The elements below are some of the standard components in a business. Ideally, a mission statement should answer the questions, why, what, how, and for whom.
- Purpose – The Why
A mission statement should clearly state the reason why a business exists. Think of it as the end goal or primary purpose of the existence of a company.
- Target Market – For Whom
The mission statement should briefly highlight who the target market is. This information is especially useful in guiding employees to understand their main objective and attract prospective clients.
- Main Products and Services – The What
Another critical element of a business mission statement is the main products or services the company offers. It should briefly state the leading products and services the organization provides to attract potential clients. Additionally, this will also draw in other stakeholders such as suppliers and potential employees.
- Approach – The How
The mission statement should also briefly state how it intends to achieve its primary objective. Here, you can suggest the techniques or potential partnering opportunities.
Characteristics of an Effective Mission Statement
So how can you tell if your mission statement is effective? Getting accurate feedback to this question is better done before the business doors are open. Below are crucial points to consider.
A business mission statement should capture what a company stands for and its purpose of existence. An effective mission statement should highlight critical elements of the business without going deep into the details.
Ideally, the mission statement is a summary of what a business does. Therefore, it should be as short as possible without compromising the purpose of having one in the first place.
The average length of a mission statement can range anywhere between one and four sentences. The shorter the mission statement, the better! One should aim for a maximum of 100 words. However, the content should still be clear.
At the end of the day, the mission statement should cover the key points in the most summarized but concise way possible.
An effective mission statement should be achievable. The sole purpose of a mission statement, as earlier mentioned, is to state a company’s sense of existence.
Therefore, it would be counterproductive if a business has an unachievable mission statement. Furthermore, once the employees realize that the targets set are unattainable, they will become demotivated.
- Easy to Remember
A good mission statement should be memorable. It should be so simple that employees know it in their hearts without having to look it up. It also helps potential clients remember what a company stands for and the services or products they offer.
- Simple but Compelling
A mission statement should use simple language without going into the industry jargon. However, it should be compelling enough to the reader, making them want to know more about the business or even pushing them to want to be a part of it.
Where to Use Your Mission Statement
There are several ideal platforms where you can use your company’s mission statement. They include the following:
- Company’s Website
Your company website is the ideal place to use your mission statement. Having it there will make it readily available for anyone who wants to know more about what you offer. Usually, most companies put this information under the ‘About’ section on the company website.
- Annual Reports
Annual reports are released every year to a company’s stakeholders and the general public to show the company’s performance over the respective year. This process makes the annual report a critical document to include its mission statement as it goes hand in hand with its performance. Therefore, it’s usually highlighted in the first chapters of the annual report.
- Other Platforms
You can use the mission statement in other forums, such as office notice boards, fliers, and company-branded items. Doing this is especially useful in reminding employees of the collective goal that they are all working towards. It also raises awareness to prospective clients on what the company does.
Mission Statement Business Examples
The following are some mission statements from some renowned companies. As you can see, they all have the same brief and concise structure.
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
“To serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.”
“To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.”
Using a Mission Statement in a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that describes what a business does, its objectives, and how it plans to achieve those objectives (strategy). A business plan is a tool used to manage a company at each stage of its growth. It also enables one to get funds from investors as well as make strategic decisions.
The mission statement is one of the elements used in a business plan. When applied in a business plan, it usually appears in the introduction section. However, it is not mandatory to have the mission statement in the business plan, so it is up to you to decide whether or not to include it.
One of the benefits of using the mission statement is that it summarizes the goal of your operations. Another advantage of using it in your business plan is that it showcases your company’s success. In this section, you use adjectives such as ‘best,’ ‘leading,’ ‘successful,’ etc. However, it’s vital to back up this information with indisputable evidence within other business plan sections.
Mission Statement Template
By applying the steps above, a company’s mission statement could be:
“To (purpose/goal) in (target market) by (the how).”
Below are great examples:
- Mission Statement for an NGO
“To help eradicate poverty in underserved communities by providing relief services.”
- Mission Statement for a Financial Services Company
“To provide the most effective financial services locally and globally through the use of fintech.”
For more see the latest Google search results on mission statement templates.
Creating a business mission statement involves defining a company’s why (purpose), who (target market), what (products/services), and how (techniques).
Deciding whether or not to have a mission statement is up to the business owners and partners. If a company chooses to use a mission statement, it can be displayed on its website, annual reports, business plans, and other company-branded items.
Coming up with an effective mission statement is beneficial to a company. It is a vital tool that acts as a guideline for the company to achieve its main objective.
Resources Related To Creating Your Company’s Mission Statement
Mission Statement Generators
Mission statement generators are programs that can guide you through the process of creating your company’s mission statement. You fill in your answers and the program will generate a mission statement for you. I would suggest trying a few combinations and optimizing them. Use it for ideas and a draft. Once you have a few, choose the one that makes the most sense. Next, you’ll want to put it on the side for a few days. When coming back to it you may see it from a different perspective and update it as you see fit.
Keep in mind you want a mission statement that is original. When using a generator, you could end up with a duplicate. Once you have chosen your mission statement Google it with quotes to find out of someone else is using the same one. To try out some mission statement generators see the latest Google search results.
The Most Memorable Company Mission Statements
By reviewing the most memorable mission statements you’ll gain tips and insights you can use to create your mission statement for your company. Look at successful mission statements and select the ones that appeal the most to you. Once you have your list, define what you like about each. and see how you can incorporate them into your company mission statement.
See the latest Google results for top memorable company mission statements.
The Worst Company Mission Statements
When you study failed mission statements you’ll be able to learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid making your mistakes yourself. See The latest Google search results for the worst company mission statements.