Whether you’re in the early stages of starting your business or have already launched, it’s imperative that you think about crafting a mission statement for your organization.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What a mission statement is and why it’s important
- When and how to write your mission statement
- Some examples of inspiring mission statements
Pull up a Google Doc while you read this guide so you can jot down any ideas and get off to a good start with drafting the details of your company’s mission.
What Is A Mission Statement?
A mission statement is where you explain the purpose of your company. Many people aren’t sure how a mission statement is different from a vision statement, so let’s clarify:
- A mission statement describes the what, why, who, and how of your company will achieve its vision.
- A vision statement describes the ultimate goal you hope to achieve with your company.
It doesn’t have to be longer than necessary, and can very well be summed up in a single sentence. That sentence should serve to motivate you, your employees, and your investors.
Why A Mission Statement Is Important
You might be asking yourself why a mission statement is important in strategic management.
A mission statement is important because it helps determine your company’s direction and how they’ll meet their long-term goals. It’ll help guide your decision-making as a leader and form the philosophical foundation for your team.
Here’s how a mission statement helps strategic management:
- It helps you attract the right talent for your organization.
- It creates a shared identity for your team and aligns behavior.
- It improves the performance of individual team members.
… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But let’s get right into when and how you can craft your own mission statement so you can start reaping the benefits.
When to Write Mission Statement
The short answer? As soon as possible. You may not think it’s important if you’re a one-man-band or working with a partner. But that’s an erroneous assumption for two reasons.
First, a clearly defined mission can serve as a valuable reminder for yourself as you build your business. Second, a mission statement isn’t static and will evolve over time as your business grows.
How to Write a Proper Mission Statement
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what a mission statement should include and how a mission statement is formulated. We can boil it down to four simple elements.
1. Explain What You Do
Describe in simple terms what product you offer or which service you provide. You don’t need to use flowery language to describe it. Simple and straightforward language will do the trick.
For example: “My company offers business coaching services.”
That’s it. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. But now let’s add the next layer to your mission statement.
2. Describe How You Do It
The next part is where you set yourself apart from your competition. Chances are that you’re not alone in the market, so this is where your company’s core values come into play.
For example: “My company offers high-quality business coaching services at affordable rates.”
This adds two USPs (unique selling propositions) to your mission statement: quality and affordability. So let’s look at who would get the most out of choosing you as their service provider.
3. Include Your Target Customers
The customer always comes first, so the old adage goes, which is why your mission statement should mention who you target.
For example: “My company offers solopreneurs and SMEs high-quality business coaching services at affordable rates.”
Your mission statement is now beginning to take shape. But we’re still missing one key ingredient to really nail it.
3. Mention Why You Do It
The last, but perhaps most important part, is the reason you’re in this particular business. The “why” of your mission is so important that there’s an entire book on it by Simon Sinek.
For example: “My company offers solopreneurs and SMEs high-quality business coaching services at affordable rates because I want to help them make their dream a reality.”
Now any potential customers, team members, and investors know your motivation behind your business, which should entice them to hire you, work with you, and invest in you.
Three Mission Statement Examples
Although we’ve already put together an example of a mission statement above, it might be useful to look at some real-world examples from successful companies.
If you’re reading this, chances are you already have a presence on the world’s number one social media platform for professionals.
LinkedIn describes its mission as follows:
“The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
As you can see, they mention what they do (create connections), who they do it for (professionals), and their desired outcome (productivity and success).
Many, if not most, online businesses have used PayPal to send and receive payments, which is perhaps due to their unique value proposition.
Here’s how PayPal lays out the goals for its business:
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”
Although they don’t specifically mention their customers, they do highlight their three unique value propositions: convenience, security, and cost-efficiency.
Finally, we have one of the world’s most successful companies: Amazon. Although their web services are an important part of their business, they still focus on their core customers.
Here’s their mission statement:
“To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
The focus here is entirely on the customers, and the mission statement describes exactly how they’re helping them and what they do so better than everyone else.
Put Your New Mission Statement to Work
Hopefully, you’ve found this quick guide useful and now already have a good idea of how to describe your company’s mission. Feel free to have a look at ours for more inspiration.
But most importantly, make sure to share your own with the world. And remember that it’s not set in stone; your mission statement will evolve in tandem with your company’s evolution.
Finally, make sure to check out how StrategyX can help you take the next steps in developing your business.