What Is A Mission Statement? And How It Will Help Your Business
If you are wondering what is a mission statement? And if you need one for your business, then you have come to the right place.
In this quick guide, we explore its main purpose along with how it can influence your business and set you up for success.
A mission statement is your declaration of why you are in business. Your statement tells people why you do what you do.
Starting a business? Check out our step by step: How to set up a business.
What Is A Mission Statement?
When asking “what is a mission statement” it’s important to understand what a business “mission” is. A successful business or company will always have a mission, a reason for existing and operating.
Sometimes outlining this reason can be difficult, this is where a mission statement comes into play. A mission statement is a short condensed overview of the primary reason the business exists.
This reason is not about the function of turning a profit or expanding the businesses value, but instead about why they do what they do.
An example of this would be Tesla, whose mission statement is ” To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
As a sole trader or small business owner, your mission statement may be the answer to the question: What motivates you to do what you’re doing?
Note: Your statement is about the “why” not the “what”. Think about your why, and write it down.
What Is A Good Mission Statement?
A good mission statement will tell people your purpose and help showcase the value your business may bring to its customers or its market.
A great statement should be structured in the following.
- Concise. A short yet focused statement that gets straight to the point. Avoid fluff and keep in mind, the reader should be able to understand it no matter their background.
- Compelling. Does it make the reader want to know more? Will it encourage people to look into your business and ask more questions?
- All About The Why. Is your statement about Why you are in business, and not about what you do.
- It Addresses Your Audience. Your target audience should be immediately apparent after reading the statement.
How Does A Mission Statement Help My Business?
A key benefit to understanding what is a mission statement is to help keep your business on track. By creating your statement you will have a published reminder of why you continue to do what you do.
There are a few ways a well thought out statement can help your business:
Awareness. Having a statement published for people to see can bring awareness to the purpose of your business.
Engagement. If you have a defined mission, it will be easier for your employees to understand and get behind it if they also feel passionate about it.
A Decision Maker. You can use this to decide on situations that may be 50/50.
Ask your self, will this bring me closer to my mission? Or further?
Marketing. Due to the nature of the statement being concise, it can easily be used as a tagline in your marketing materials.
Keeps You Focused. Your statement can be used as a guide to help remind you of your greater purpose.
How To Write An Effective Statement
Writing your mission statement can be a difficult task, especially if you have never written one before. Below we outline the three main parts to an effective statement.
Your mission statement should address your target market or audience. As an example, we have included LinkedIn’s mission statement below.
You will see that their audience is the professional worker.
“Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.“
Everyone who reads LinkedIn’s statement will be able to identify their market, and their purpose. The statement itself is concise, clear and easy to read.
Your statement should also be clear about the contribution your business makes to the above audience. If we use LinkedIn as our example again:
Their contribution is to make their audience (professionals) more productive and successful.
Mistakes To Avoid In Your Statement
Common mistakes to steer clear of when planning a meeting:
- Not being clear– Not being concise enough about why you are in business is a common mistake, and should be avoided if possible.
- Including what you do. – Including what you do, or products should be avoided as it does not address your “why”.
- Having more than one mission – Having multiple goals for your business is completely fine, however, you only want to focus on your primary goal or vision when it comes to your statement.
- Being too broad– Having a mission that is too broad should be avoided. An example of this may be “to make the world better”.
Mission Statement Examples
Below are some examples of mission statements from some of the worlds leading companies.
Amazon: “We aim to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success.“
Disney: “The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.“
Facebook: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.“
Google: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Other Important Questions
Can a mission statement change? Answer: Yes, a statement can change as a business changes its direction.