How to Write the Perfect Mission Statement
Think about all the time you spent on your business today. All the little tasks you did. All the emails you read and responded to. All the time you spent in meetings, on conference calls, and creating your social media content. What was the point? Was there even a point? If you’re not attacking each task and opportunity the day brings with intention, purpose, and passion, you’re wasting a boatload of your precious time.
Do you have a clear mission statement for your business? Not something that’s just in your head, but a purpose physically written down on a piece of paper? When your customers look at your website or social media channels, are they able to clearly identify your purpose?
Defining your mission is essential to your brand. It’s what will keep you on track to push through all of the hard days when you feel like just throwing the towel in and getting some boring 9-5 desk job. This is also a key component of attracting your dream clients and customers. But before you can nail down your very own mission statement, you have to have a clear understanding of what a mission statement is.
What is a mission statement?
According to Entrepreneur, a mission statement is, “A sentence describing a company’s function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.” Now, at first glance, that may sound way too simple, but that’s really it. Don’t make your mission statement harder than it needs to be. Let’s look at an example of a great mission statement:
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
I’m pretty confident that you already know whose mission statement this is. If you said Starbucks, you are right. It’s so simple, yet powerful and you know exactly who it is – and it doesn’t even say “coffee” anywhere in it!
Bottom Line: Your mission statement is the soul of your brand.
Having a mission means you always have a North Star. It guides you through every obstacle and every messy decision. Whenever you feel lost, you can turn to your mission statement. Also, it’s important to point out that your mission statement is not just for your customers; it’s arguable that your mission statement is even more important to have for your employees and other people involved in your business. I cannot tell you how many times someone has hired me for PR, someone else for graphic design, another person for social media, someone else for event planning, etc. It’s great to have a lot of minds on your team, however, that can backfire horribly when you don’t have a clear message to put everyone on the same page.
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Creating your mission statement
Even if you’re absolutely positive that your mission statement is dead on, I encourage you to take a few moments to think about these questions to help you define or refresh the point of all this:
- Why are you in business?
- What do you bring to the table for your customers?
- Why should people care about your business?
- What do your clients take away from doing business with you?
- What is your competitive advantage?
This is where you need to consider what makes you completely different. If you own a beauty brand, your mission statement shouldn’t include wordage like, “enhancing the natural beauty of women.” Half the beauty brands out there could make that claim.
If you aren’t sure where to start, take 5 different people around you – they might be involved in your business, a significant other than is familiar with your business from the outside, your mom, friends you vent to about your business, etc. Just make sure they are 5 people that see your business from different angles. Without any explanation or discussion beforehand, ask them to write down a potential mission statement for you business. Once you collect all the answers, analyze the statements for similarities and differences.
Here’s another fun activity – imagine your mission statement on a coat of arms. The statement should be real, elegant, and unforgettable. It’s not about sounding catchy or finding a marketing tagline; accuracy and clarity are your top priorities.
Finally, utilize the rules of Twitter – take the 140 character limit and make sure your mission statement fits within it! Be short, sweet, and to the point.
Thinking above and beyond
Once you have your mission statement, ask yourself if everything you put your time and energy into today lines up with the mission? How about your to-do list? Your monthly goals?
When you take the time to consciously consider if you’re projecting your energy in the direction of your ultimate goal and purpose, you’ll become aware of how much time you actually spend doing things that aren’t brining you closer to your mission.
Want some completely free mission statement feedback? Leave yours below in the comments and I’ll respond with my thoughts!