Mission Statements: Neither Secret nor Impossible
- Should your business have a mission statement? Many small business owners are too busy running their businesses to update their entire business plan (or even create one to start with), but drafting a mission statement could be a great way to gain clarity around your offering, motivate employees (and yourself) and even communicate to your customers. Here are some tips to help you make your mission statement possible!
1) The mission of a mission statement:
- A mission statement should summarize the purpose of your business, and can include a description of the business, your competitive advantages (major assets, or strengths), the stakeholders (employees, customers, investors and others related to your business). It should be motivational and long-term in nature.
2) If you choose to accept this mission:
- Look up corporate mission statements for a variety of companies- including ones you admire and ones you don’t. Note the formulas they use – which types of mission statements communicate more effectively? Some corporate mission statements are very descriptive and formal, while others use “market-facing,” or “brand story” language. It is a good idea to do both- start with a more traditional approach and then try to translate it into a consumer- oriented statement. Are you just selling high-quality popcorn to students? Or are you creating fun, snack-sharing experiences on campus?
3) Make a strong statement:
- Begin writing with the most basic description of your business in plain language and build from there. Get some input from someone you trust- a business advisor or mentor to read it and help you boost the language- are you really seeing the big picture of the impact your business has? Dig deep- how does your business help others? What is the passion that drives you? If you can express this in your mission statement it will re-inspire you every time you read it.
4) Mission complete?
- Once you’ve crafted a great mission statement you can use it to help you actually live up to it! You can use your mission statement internally to great effect. Have it printed up on a sign in your office, or use it as part of your training materials for employees. You can use it in you marketing by including a mission statement section the “about” section of your website, or even tacking it onto your email signature.
- Crafting a mission statement takes thought and effort, but it is worth it if it helps you feel more confident about the reason your business exists, and why you get up and do the impossible every day!
~ Erica Halvorsen
I love helping business owners with their marketing, branding and communications strategy. You can connect with me here.