Writing a mission statement is similar to inputting a destination on Google Maps; the more specific you are, the more likely you’ll arrive at your destination. The cool thing is that as you type in more data (city, street, then address), the more the map zooms in until you have a little red teardrop pointing to your location goal… and the more likely you are to get where you want to end up. To take this analogy one step further, when you know where you want to end up, you can decide which route will get you there the fastest and with the fewest amount of roadblocks.
But alas, life is not a Google Map and it is a lot harder to create a mission statement than to type in a simple address. And that’s exactly why we’re posting this. We want your business to succeed and it all starts with your mission statement.
Let’s first brainstorm a few questions to get the basics covered:
- Why are you in business? What do you hope to accomplish for both you, your employees and for your customers?
- Who are your customers and how will selling your products or services make their lives better?
- What image do you want to convey and how will your customers and community perceive you?
- What characterizes your products or services (makes them stand apart) and influences pricing and quality?
Now that you have the foundation set, it’s time to polish up the verbiage and condense it to a paragraph or two. Keep it broad enough to grow with your business, but specific enough so you don’t lose focus.
Rhonda Abrams, author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies, developed these great samples of a mission statements:
“AAA Inc. is a spunky, imaginative food products and service company aimed at offering high-quality, moderately priced, occasionally unusual foods using only natural ingredients. We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our employees, our community and our environment. We aim to become a regionally recognized brand name, capitalizing on the sustained interest in Southwestern and Mexican food. Our goal is moderate growth, annual profitability and maintaining our sense of humor.”
“ABC Enterprises is a company devoted to developing human potential. Our mission is to help people create innovative solutions and make informed choices to improve their lives. We motivate and encourage others to achieve their own personal and professional fulfillment. Our motto is: Together, we believe that the best in each of us enriches all of us.”
Usually a mission statement turns out best if you enlist the help of a partner, investor, fellow business person, or someone who will be honest and supportive of your goals. This is perfect if you’re stuck and need someone to bounce ideas off of or for when you have a rough draft in place and need an educated, honest opinion. After all, this mission statement will hopefully be your beacon for a long time as you make future decisions for the advancement of your company.
When you have your mission statement polished, primed, and printed, frame it in your office to remind you and your employees of your company’s goals. It can also help to attract investors, future quality employees, and potential customers, so share your vision and what makes you special on your website, brochures, and employee handbooks. When you stand out with a stellar mission statement, others will want to join in!