A mission statement is a brief declaration written by a company or business to explain what it does and why it exists.
The aim is to show the purpose of the business and what drives it. The mission statement can be a single sentence or paragraph. It is usually indicated in the company’s business plan and website. It is also a reference point for the company’s customers, employees, and partners.
A for-profit organization such as a company or business needs a mission statement. It is also necessary for non-profit organizations. It guides decision-making by employees, managers, and patterners who are forced to evaluate and compare the decisions they make to the mission of the business.
It also plays a vital role in enabling the company owner to prioritize what is important. Therefore, projects that align are selected, and necessary efforts are placed to ensure success. The statement also helps maximize the impact the company has on the customer. Leaving an impact is especially crucial for non-profit organizations which need to constantly attract donors.
It saves the company or business the frustration associated with constantly explaining what the company does and why it does it. Before a mission statement can be written, companies must understand its benefits and how it is written. This article aims to elaborate on these crucial details.
Why You Should Write a Mission Statement?
Companies or businesses should clearly understand how a mission statement can benefit them. Such information will help ensure that companies take serious consideration when formulating their statements. It also helps ensure that companies understand how it impacts their relationship with their employees and their customers.
The following are the benefits of writing a mission statement:
Provides a strong sense of direction
A mission statement offers a sense of direction when it comes to making decisions about the actions to be taken by stakeholders. Company owners will also refer to it when forming their business plans and strategies. It helps ensure that every activity undertaken by the company aims to reach its main goal.
Helps in measuring success
A mission statement acts as a reference point when measuring the business’s success. It ensures that each aspect of the company’s operations, like its products, services, branding, and decisions, align with the purpose outlined in the statement. This helps ensure that the company successfully meets what it has outlined for itself.
It unifies team
A clear mission statement helps unify the efforts of the team by ensuring that they all work towards one collective goal. It is also a motivational tool that helps drive the team towards what the company wants to achieve. Team members that are motivated are more likely to engage among themselves and with the company’s owners creating a unified atmosphere within the business.
Aids in recruitment and employee retention
A well-laid put mission statement helps a company attract employees that align with its goals. Such alignment is beneficial for the company as these employees are likely to be more productive because they are interested in the mission and purpose of the company. It also aids in employee retention as they are more likely to be satisfied with the work.
Keeps you accountable to your goal
The mission statement also keeps a company accountable to its goals as the customers and employees already know what to expect from the company. Due to such public knowledge of the company’s purpose, company owners are forced to work hard to ensure that expectations are met. They are also forced to maintain the integrity of the brand by ensuring that the company conducts itself with the intent.
It inspires customers
The statement enables the company to attract customers that believe in the company’s goal. It also helps attract customers in need of the products or services offered by the company. The mission statement makes the business more relatable to the customer as there is a better understanding of what it does, why it does it, and how it does it.
Helps you to control the message
Writing a mission statement helps ensure that a company is in control of the words or phrases used to define the business. It gives the business more control over the brand. It also ensures that employees or customers that are not familiar with the business do not misinterpret its mission.
A clear statement helps attract employees that believe in the company’s mission. This is beneficial to the company as it can hire highly talented individuals that will help the company reach its goals. Employees who believe in what the company does help boost its reputation as they are more likely to share what they do with their social network, which helps to popularize the company.
The mission statement also acts as a marketing tool for the company. The statement is usually at the center of the company’s advertisement on social media platforms, its brand, and its community initiatives. It helps the company stand out by familiarizing potential customers with the business.
How to Write
Companies and businesses must have a clear understanding of how to create their own mission statements. A well-written mission statement will help a company ensure that it sets itself apart from its competitors. It will also ensure that the company conveys its message appropriately.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to create a mission statement:
Step 1: Ask questions
First, the company owner must start by asking what the company does and why its work is valuable. The company owner can do this alone or with the help of a group like trusted top managers or business partners. Answering questions about what the company does, what it creates, why it matters, who it matters to, and how it makes a difference can help set the company on the right path to formulating an impactful statement.
The company owner must keep in mind that the customer’s needs form the basis of the questions asked. Competitors should also be consulted to find out how it can set itself apart from them, how it can improve on the mission statements of other competitors, and which one the competitors feel resonates with the business.
Step 2: Review your answers
Secondly, answers to the questions posed should be reviewed. Reviewing these answers will help the group develop ideas on words or short phrases that they believe define the business’s mission. The group should be encouraged not to edit themselves when providing ideas to ensure that the company does not miss out on a good mission statement.
Step 3: Make a list of words that best represent your company
Thirdly a list of the words or short phrases that best define the company should be made. If the company owner is doing this alone, then words that do not resonate with the company can easily be crossed out.
However, discussions will help ensure that words that best represent the company are identified if this exercise is conducted in a group. The group can also decide by voting on which words to keep and which to eliminate. Both of these methods will help cut the list down to the words or phrases that best represent the mission of the business.
Step 4: Write your first draft
Next, the company owner should write the first draft of the mission statement alone. The owner can also relegate this activity to a public relations, marketing, creative -writing, or human resource representative. The writer can create more than one first draft to use to develop a final statement. The aim at this stage is to formulate a statement that can later be edited to fit the company.
Step 5: Get feedback
The company owner should then follow up by getting feedback from stakeholders, employees, colleagues, and customers. These individuals will help ensure that the mission statement conveys the message the owner wants. If the formulation of the statement has been relegated to another representative, such as a public relations rep, then this individual should present the statement to the company owner to ensure it reflects what the owner wants.
Failure to do this may lead to miscommunication. The writer should use the feedback to improve on the statement. The writer can also ask a few questions to an individual who may seem reluctant to give an honest opinion. Each change made to the mission statement should go through the feedback process until the owner is satisfied with how the company’s mission is perceived by others.
Step 6: Finalize and share
The company owner should finalize the mission statement by writing it down and sharing it on the company’s website, and indicating it in the business plan. The owner should remember to select the words carefully as they will be used to communicate the company’s mission when engaging with employees, customers, and stakeholders. It may be changed in the event that the company decides to rebrand itself.
Mission Statement Templates
A customized template helps simplify the creation of your mission statement by providing you with a predesigned document. It also eases your workload by ensuring that you focus on the task at hand rather than stressing about formatting issues.
A mission statement template helps reduce the risk of errors by providing a framework of the elements that should be present in the statement. There are free and customized templates to help ease the formulation of your message.
Some Real-life Examples
There are a number of examples across various industries that you can review to take inspiration for writing your company’s own mission statement. Some of these are:
Meaningful transparency and thoughtful design. We’re on a mission to change the world, one product at a timeHonest Company
We’re in business to save our home planetPatagonia
Make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyoneMcDonald’s
Everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economySquare
Bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they lovePinterest
Passion for our product-respect Resources-Foster Relationships- Share SuccessGreat Lakes Brewing Company
To bring the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software and servicesApple
Connect people with what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable and low-cost air travelSouthwest Airlines
Make work-life simpler, more pleasant, and more productiveSlack
To build a strong emotional bond with the customer. To do this, we must build lifestyle environments that appeal emotionally and offer fashion correct products on a timely basisUrban Outfitters
To unlock the potential of human creativity-by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live offer their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by itSpotify
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and usefulGoogle
More than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soulHarley Davidson
Help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.Dove
Entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment companyWalt Disney
Frequently Asked Questions
There are various ways a company can communicate its mission statement. When communicating the statement to the employees, companies can opt to use documents like workplace posters, company handbooks, offer letters, employee check stubs, or the company career page.
Office coffee mugs and company attire like t-shirts can also be used to communicate the mission statement to employees. On the other hand, the company can use various methods to communicate it to its audience, including business brochures, company websites, business cards, advertising billboards, business proposals, mail, and the company vehicle.
If a company’s mission statement changes, then the company owner should identify all the places where it was posted and post the new statement in the same places. It should also consider updating it through a press release to help reach its customers. The company can use company meetings with its employees and customer letters to explain why it has decided to change it.
A personal mission statement focuses on what an individual does and why the person does it, while a business one focuses on the company. The group of advisors for a personal mission statement is also small area than that of a business as it may only include the individual alone, the individual and their partner or the individual and a business coach.
A non-profit organization’s mission statement focuses on non-profit products and services, whereas a for-profit’s focuses on profit products and services. Regardless, both a non-profit and a for-profit organization follow the same six steps when writing a mission statement.