How to Craft a Great Mission Statement for Your Business in 5 Simple Ways

Why does your business exist? What are you trying to accomplish, and why? These are some of the most important questions your business will ever answer. Your mission statement will explain why you are in business. It should be your north star, guiding and inspiring your business and everyone in it.

The most effective, memorable mission statements are concise and clearly defined. When your business is nothing more than an idea in your head, your mission statement inspires you while giving you a sense of purpose and direction.

According to research, at companies with strong mission statements, 65% of employees say they are passionate about their work. In contrast, only 32% of employees at other companies feel the same way.

Once you have established your business, your mission statement keeps you focused on reaching your goals. Consider using some of the adjectives and action verbs that others have found useful when they crafted their great mission statements. Let your imagination run free, and your business can be a powerful force for good in the world.

Importance of a Mission Statement

One of the simplest yet most important steps we can take for the long-term success of our businesses is to develop a mission statement. Business experts often tell us to write down and remind ourselves of the “why” of our businesses.

The mission statement, a written declaration of our business’s reason for being, and usually our vision for the future and our corporate values, provides us with this “why”. It is intended to be read by employees, customers, suppliers, partners, competitors, and anyone else who is interested in knowing what we do and why we do this particular work. 

Crafting this statement is important. Keeping it short, direct, and understandable to the average person in our audience is worth the effort. Once we have worked with our mission statement, we will have a product that guides the future direction of our business.

At any point in time, for any situation that arises in the direction of our business, we find ourselves with time-saving clarity if we can point to our mission statement.

Key Elements of a Great Mission Statement

When you are ready to sit down and craft a great mission statement for your business, it is important that you understand exactly what components are necessary to be effective. An empty mission statement will only serve to insult employees.

An outdated mission statement can help create confusion, as it no longer serves as an accurate representation of what the company stands for. On the other hand, a mission statement that is too broad can create an ideal culture, challenging everyone to become disillusioned.

Great mission statements are brief, clear, broad, innovative, unique, and challenging to everybody involved.

1. Your purpose

The purpose of a business is also to develop an organizational structure that will improve its capability to adapt to change.

ALSO READ  15 Best Cafes and Workspaces to Work Remotely in Chicago

Joint ventures and other means of collaboration led by the cutting-edge financial markets, the necessity of improving business processes that create customer value, technological change, response to customer demands for more integrated products and services, quick incorporation of new knowledge, etc., have made the businesses’ environment more complex, suggesting they have to become more flexible and be able to create more value for their customers because they will be more demanding of the benefits that the product or service offers them.

Once businesses articulate that purpose and link it with its strategic objectives, as some of those have referred to, and that the operational purposes of the system areas will support the strategic objectives, new purposes emerge.

The strategic objectives start to guide the organizational structure and determine how to put objectives to guide the business’ actors.

2. Your values

Your values should represent the heart of your organization, embodying truths that people can stand for and believe in. If your team, stakeholders, and customers together determine that your organization has lived and delivered on them, they’d all be perfectly comfortable hiring you, buying from you, or entrusting you with sensitive information.

Some values are so deeply ingrained in an organization’s DNA that you might not even think to mention them to someone on your team.

The identification of values is an active part of organizational culture and systems thinking. When you’ve got a team working remotely, individual contributors who are geographically distributed, and customers who are scattered nationwide, the importance of shared company values can’t be overstated.

Values become the basis for trust (both internally and externally, with clients) and can erase any lingering elements of doubt. 

Whether you’re an early-stage start-up fighting against the odds or an industry incumbent that’s seen it all before, these scenarios are powerful factors to consider.

3. Your vision

A vision is larger than a mission statement. It describes loftier and more long-range aspirations. The sense of winning together underlies a vision’s success. Except in the sense of shared pursuit, a vision is not like a mission. A company’s mission is the platform that supports its vision.

This conception of vision contradicts the conventional view that managers need to define a desired outcome and then provide a mission statement to express their associations about why the outcome is important. We believe that such rational ways of describing a desired outcome are wrong.

A discovery-driven process requires that people think about outcomes in fresh ways. A vision may define the outcome as love for something. Typically, a company that can communicate its passion for a lofty vision will inspire people at the heart and gut levels.

Companies with visions generate excitement, loyalty, and a sense of shared purpose among employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, and even investors. If you can’t articulate such feelings, chances are you can’t deliver them either.

The passion of a vision can become contagious (spread within the company), which will, in return, create pockets of emotional energy in the company. This energy is real and can have immediate effects on morale and spirit.

Five Simple Ways to Craft a Great Mission Statement for Your Business

Crafting a mission statement is more than just a project for companies; to be successful, both small businesses and large organizations must tailor their mission statement to the values that make them unique.

ALSO READ  7 Ways to Raise Funds for Your Business Startup in America

Conveying the fundamental values that set you apart from others is ultimately a matter appropriate for every company. Here are five simple ways to craft a great mission statement that does more than add to the dust on your office wall.

1. Reflect on your core values

Creating a great mission statement takes work. Just think: a single paragraph will convey the purpose, beliefs, and focus of your business. That is a lot to pack into about three sentences.

Think of it as the elevator pitch that leads to the investor pitch, the business presentation, and the media coverage. It is the reason for being, the motivator, and the purpose all rolled into one.

Positioned as the starting point for a business, a mission statement conveys why a business exists. This is where the business philosophy crystallizes. When a business owner decides how best to bring the dream to fruition, that decision forms the foundation of the business.

Everything else then gets built on top of that foundation to create the business. The mission statement defines that foundation. Given that centrality, no wonder much has been written about the topic.

Keep in mind that the mission statement represents your company and its culture. It then reflects on you, the business owner, so don’t take crafting the statement lightly.

2. Consider Your Purpose and Impact

Now is the time to get clear about why you exist. That is to say, what change will happen in the world because of your work? And this isn’t just about the scale of your work. It’s about the quality of it and the value it adds. What significant problems will you solve? What will be different?

This is about big change, rather than aggregate change. You can sell an extra million smartphone covers and change your business. But have you really changed the world?

Take the above questions to different people you respect and/or work with. Ask the company what it should be trying to achieve. What significant difference could it make in the world? Then go to investors, advisers, customers, partners, good friends and family, employees, potential employees, and other people in your industry. 

Get the thoughts and perspectives of everyone. Are they all pointing in the same general direction? Or are they completely off? If there are different winners’ ideas on what is most important and/or how you should do it, these are important pieces of data-led insight.

3. Keep it clear and concise

A 20-page, run-on sentence of an opening statement doesn’t really inspire action, does it? The best mission statements are short. They communicate the central ideas effectively, inspiring people to do challenging work, and they communicate the urgent priority of those ideas.

The best missions can usually communicate the vision and strategic priorities of the organization; don’t stop at describing just one or two of those. A good mission statement can replace a standard job description, where appropriate.

Many business writers openly sneer at mission statements, describing them as empty jargon, a “window dressing script,” and”a real waste.”

ALSO READ  Starting an Online Business in California

Employees shouldn’t read their mission or values declaration as something the company does in addition to its job they say, “values should be part of the underpinning fabric of who the organization is and what it does on a one-to-one basis.”

Values and mission statements describe “vision, strategy, and purpose.” They “become the guiding principles for the company, and they should be integrated from the boardroom to the warehouse,” they say. But they have to be short, too.

4. Make it inspiring and motivating

The mission statement is often shunned or overlooked as just words on a piece of paper. This approach is counterproductive and can effectively nullify your investment of valuable time and resources.

Your mission statement can progressively become as valuable as an executive summary for the team. The purpose of the document is to give the team direction, something to focus on, and to maintain that focus.

This is not boilerplate. Without a clear and focused direction, your team will struggle to come up with new campaigns on a regular basis. Your mission statement is the roadmap and guide for all decisions and efforts. A good mission statement should allow for quick decision-making.

To be effective, your statement should make obvious the distinctions and differences that make you worth significant resources. Your mission forces a statement of identity and distinctiveness that makes your team a marketing partner and stimulates useful debate.

The mission statement should be consistent with market realities and competitive conditions. It should be an outgrowth of the corporate philosophy, marketing objectives, and strategic plans. It is the “repayment” of all corporate planning and strategic analysis. What are the common threads running through your company’s economic goals?

A good mission statement should include a target customer, a contribution—the product or service; a distinction—what makes the product unique and different; a reason for existing; flexibility—allowing updating and providing vision over a long term, instead of being specific to vision plans. A mission statement should be one paragraph in length, not exceeding 100 words.

5. Seek feedback and refine

Building a mission statement is not as easy as you might think. You have to brainstorm and test different ideas and make sure everything is crystal clear. Feedback is essential in refining your mission statement, as well as your thinking.

You may think that your mission statement is excellent, clear, and communicable, but perhaps it is not. You have to seek feedback from advisors, bankers, customers, or anyone who can offer solid advice as long as it is informed and objective.

First, test your mission statement on a variety of people. You need to interview enough people so that you can distinguish between what is likely to be just plain personal preferences and what appears to be more generally significant.

The way to measure assumptions and see how clearly you are communicating your best mission statement is to gather a good sample audience and present them with your proposed mission statements. Then ask them for their feedback.

Start with people close to you who will be honest but helpful. Then go out to people you don’t know as well for additional feedback.

Conclusion: How to Craft a Great Mission Statement for Your Business

You can apply the five easy and simple steps shared in this article to craft a powerful mission statement for your business.

Armed with your driving force, everyone inside your organization—from security to the human resources manager to marketing—can have a clear view of what’s important as well as know your business’ direction.

A clear and easy-to-understand mission statement encourages employees to go the extra mile to help the organization reach its goals.

Leave a Comment