Learning how to write a mission statement might feel like one of the more boring aspects of entrepreneurship.
After all, why do you need one?
You can sell your products or services just fine without it, right?
That may be true, but a good statement goes a long way to establish your company’s reputation and inspire your employees.
All the world’s biggest and most successful companies have compelling missions. Your business should too.
The following guide will teach you everything you need to know, including how to write these pieces of content. We’ve also included mission statement examples.
What Is A Mission Statement?
Businesses use mission statements to concisely explain their business goals.
Normally, they are short, only one or a few sentences long, and they’re designed to excite readers about a business.
Good missions define your business’s corporate strategy and help your business’s branding.
A company's mission statement also raises company morale by providing inspiration to employees. A good statement encourages employees to increase their productivity to achieve company goals.
Why Do Businesses Need A Mission Statement?
Businesses use mission statements to unite their employees with the company’s long-term goals.
Every business has diverse roles and departments, so an effective statement needs to appeal to all of them. A good mission statement is broad enough to be relatable to all of an organization’s members.
Some members or departments of your organization will need specific missions that reflect their unique experiences. But, your general mission must be wide enough for the entire company to inspire them.
But they also communicate your company’s values to your clients and potential customers.
What Is The Purpose Of A Mission Statement?
Company missions state why your business exists and define your organization’s contribution to the world and why.
The statement should contain both information about your business’s objectives and its stakeholders. A mission statement serves the purpose to inspire and motivate your employees.
A good company's mission inspires and improves employees to work better to achieve company goals.
Another important benefit is that they clarify your organization’s goals and priorities to the world. And effectively conveying this information helps solidify your company’s place in the industry.
Mission Statement Vs. Vision Statement
Vision statements focus on your organization’s future goals while your mission statement is all about what your organization currently does.
Sometimes companies use mission and vision statements interchangeably, but both terms are different.
Ideally, your business should have both a mission and vision statements. You don’t need to choose between them. There’s no reason for your business plan to not include both.
- Your mission statement describes the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your business. It describes your business’s goals and inspires your company’s employees.
- In contrast, your vision statement describes the “why’ of your business. It expresses your company’s long-term goals and acts as a strategic plan for the company.
The time frame is the biggest difference between the two statements.
- Mission statements are entirely about the present, while vision statements are about the future.
- Vision statements are also about the future in a general sense; they don’t include a specific time in the future.
Vision and mission statement audiences vary.
- Mission statements are usually public and intended for consumers and employees.
- In contrast, vision statements are normally focused on the company’s employees and other stakeholders.
The audience for either statement can vary significantly from company to company.
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Benefits Of Having A Business Mission Statement
There are many benefits of creating a mission for a business, ranging from improving your company’s identity to improving employee morale.
Writing a mission statement helps solidify your company’s core identity
and establish a basis for decision-making.
Mission statements clarify your organization’s place in the world and help employees feel a sense of unity with the organization.
An iconic statement is also effective in differentiating your company from its competitors.
It’s common for potential employees to judge companies by their mission statements.
Creating a mission statement for a business is effective in convincing potentially useful employees to join your company.
They convince individuals with similar goals to choose your company over others.
They provide guidance on company culture and indicate your organization's workplace environment.
Your mission statement reflects your company’s norms, beliefs, and values along with being an official way to express them.
An effective one clearly reflects your company’s values and helps build a culture around them.
Having A Purpose
Mission statements provide employees with a strong sense of purpose and encourage them to engage with work.
They achieve this by clarifying goals to employees and giving their work a greater sense of purpose and importance.
They also help employees contextualize their daily activities in terms of their workplace and its culture.
Since mission statements clarify goals, they also help employees improve job performance.
They also motivate employees to work towards tangible long-term goals
by providing a greater perspective of their contributions for the company.
They also help develop positive and progressive work environments where employees feel they have a standard to achieve.
They improve community building by associating your company with its positive values.
Both clients and employees feel a greater sense of belonging with your company once they have a suitable mission for motivating them.
They also help new employees become a part of your company because they provide values they share with existing employees.
These statements help set a long-term company vision and direct its growth.
In addition, they encourage employees to think about their place in your company’s future.
They also direct your employees’ actions since the statement helps motivate them to adopt productive values.
A good statement goes a long way to providing your employees with the positive work culture they need to flourish.
Effective mission statements provide values for team members to orient themselves around.
For example, your own mission statement could contain references to your company’s commitment to diversity of opinion.
As a result, all your team members will automatically incline toward sharing diverse opinions during meetings.
The mission acts as an anchor around which employees commit actions.
Enforcing Critical Thinking
Every business has its own identity, philosophy, and strategy. Your mission statement condenses all this information into a small and recognizable packet for employees to digest.
Naturally, this information not only helps them stay motivated, but also helps them view your company in a wider context.
By understanding the core of your message and goals, your employees will better grasp what you’re trying to build.
What To Include In A Mission Statement
A well-written mission statement clearly outlines your company’s most meaningful aspects, such as goals, norms, and culture.
Include the following 5 ideas in your company’s statement.
A Market-Defining Story
Every business has its ‘why’: Why it exists and why anyone should buy from it.
For example, Camino financial exists to empower ambitious business owners like yourself to achieve financial freedom.
Similarly, your business has its own ‘why’, and you already know it.
It’s not necessary to include your ‘why’ word by word in your mission statement, but it should shine through the final product.
Your ‘why’ influences the content you should include in your statement, and it helps frame it in context. So figure out your ‘why’ before you do anything else.
The Value You Provide To Customers
Ideally, it should start by focusing on the value it provides to consumers.
Your business doesn’t need to cure cancer or combat global warming to be valuable. Anything that provides value to consumers
, like providing reliable electronic repair or delivering organic food counts.
Start your mission statement by clearly mentioning what value your company provides.
It’s important to not be too shy about your business’s contributions, nor to make too many claims. You need to explain your company’s value without over or underestimating your contributions.
The Value It Gives To Your Employees
The next step is to talk about your company’s culture and core values.
Some of the best companies have productive office cultures and progressive values that bind their workplace communities together.
So, your statement needs to talk about what your company offers to employees.
Think of this section as an opportunity to market to potential talent about why they should work for you.
Offer a short and sweet reason why your company is the best place to work for.
You should really look in-depth at your company’s core values and think about everything you want to achieve with this business.
As you can see, it takes into consideration internal and external audiences.
What The Business Means For Its Owners
Nowadays, people like to see authenticity from small business owners. People want to know what thought process or set of values went behind building a small business.
This information may not seem crucial at first glance, but it’s vital for solidifying your company’s positive reputation.
So, you need to give readers a sense of who’s behind the company and why.
For instance, you could mention that you founded your real estate business because the owner believes that everyone deserves a home. Including this type of authenticity is important for writing a company mission statement.
How To Write A Mission Statement
Now, let’s focus on how to create one.
Writing a perfect company mission statement may feel a little stressful. After all, it’s not easy fitting so much meaning in such a small number of words.
Don’t worry though, our step-by-step writing guide will make things easier for you.
Form A Team And Gather All Relevant Information
The best mission statements are rarely written by a single person.
Instead, you’ll need to gather an entire planning team, including members of your senior management, key stakeholders, and board members.
Make a list of relevant names and form a meeting group.
Then, collect all the relevant information, like your company’s existing mission statement, if you have one, and details on your company’s core values and ideals.
Highlight And Define Whom Organization Focuses On
Most modern organizations, even small ones, will have diverse consumer bases with differing reasons for purchasing from you.
Yet, your statement can’t reference all of them.
Use these questions to help decide your focus:
- Why does the organization exist?
- Who does our company offer its products and services to?
- What are the main qualities of our target market?
- Where is this target market located?
Formulate What The Value Your Organization Provides
Identify the most important products or services that your company provides.
Then identify the value those products and services provide to the consumer base we identified in the previous step.
Use these questions to help:
- What are our main products and services?
- What do our clients and customers want the most from us?
- Do our clients and customers generally feel that our products meet their needs?
Answering these questions will help contextualize the value your company provides.
Formulate Why The Organization Does What It Does
Now that we know what your business does, and for whom it does it for, we come back to the ‘why’ of your company. As explained above, the ‘why’ of your company is its reason for being in the market at all.
Your mission statement needs to concisely express your business’s ‘why’.
Your goal is to give a simple and powerful reason why your company does what it does.
Going back to our real estate example, we said that perhaps your company believes that everyone deserves a home. Again, that’s a compelling and powerful reason that motivates and inspires people who hear it.
You need to develop a similarly compelling idea and insert it into your mission statement.
Figure Out How Your Organization Operates And Delivers Its Services
The odds are that your company isn’t the first at providing the service that it does. There are probably dozens and even hundreds of similar businesses, so you may want to differentiate yours.
This step is the best place to do that.
Think about how your business operates differently from your competition. What does your company do that no other does?
Focus on your competitive advantage and include it in your mission statement.
For example, if you have an eCommerce business, your competitive advantage could be providing items at the lowest costs
. In that case, your organization's motivation is to maximize people’s economy.
This step is optional, but we highly recommend it.
Write Your Mission Statement
Now that you’ve gathered all the information you needed, it’s time to start writing.
Keep in mind that writing mission statements takes time and patience.
The best way to write a mission statement would be to form a smaller team consisting of the best writers from your original team.
Discuss, Digest, Cut, Polish, Review, Revise
Don’t worry if your mission statement’s first draft doesn’t look very exciting. It’s normal to not get a great mission statement on the first go.
So, edit and revise it multiple times before finally using it.
It’d be a great idea to show it to some friends or business partners and get their opinion too. You could even start writing by first making a list of points and planning your statement.
You might even need multiple planning and editing phases before you’ve finally finished your statement.
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Mission Statement Writing Tips
Here are some useful mission statement writing tips to help with your writing journey.
It should be short and concise. So, use only a few short sentences and one paragraph maximum.
They are an investment for your business, so make sure your statement reflects your company’s long-term objectives.
Don’t Be Too Specific
While it’s good to explain exactly what your business is doing, you shouldn’t be too specific. For example, you don’t want to say your business only intends to provide real estate services to your local town.
Ask For Feedback
Ask as many people, like employees, partners, and friends, for their opinion. Their feedback will help you improve your mission statement.
Don’t Be Afraid To Change Your Statement
These statements are a long-term investment for your company, but they’re also flexible.
Your company’s first mission statement doesn’t need to be its last, so don’t feel trapped if you already have one.
Common Mission Statement Mistakes
Writing good statements is a skill, one that takes time to learn. But you can improve your mission statement writing by avoiding the following mistakes.
Long Mission Statement
Long mission statements are objectively bad. They are tedious to read, difficult to remember, and don’t inspire people.
It needs to be short and punchy, so they're impactful. It should not be longer than a small paragraph at most.
Making It Boring
Good missions need to be simple but impactful. It’s not easy to balance concision and content, so don’t try too hard to write something impactful.
Instead, write a few key points and build your statement around them.
Use action verbs and forward-looking language to give your statement more momentum.
Over Exaggerated Mission Statement
While it’s good to be ambitious, too much of it takes you into delusion.
For example, if you’re running a small real estate company in a mid-western town, you shouldn’t claim your goal is to be the world’s largest real estate company.
You might achieve that goal someday, but it looks like fantasy when you’re just starting. So instead, only focus on your realistic goals for the next 3 to 5 years.
Mission Statement Seeming Disingenuous
No one will believe your mission statement if you don’t believe in it either.
Your statement needs to be genuine to be effective.
So avoid the temptation of stitching together a few cliches and motivational phrases. Instead, it needs to reflect your thinking and your company’s goals.
Mission Statement Examples
Do you need some inspiration to write your business’ mission statement? Here’s a list of real mission statement examples from real companies.
Amazon Mission Statement
"Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work."
Apple Mission Statement
"Bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services."
Walmart Mission Statement
"Saving people money so they can live better."
Microsoft Mission Statement
"Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."
Target Mission Statement
"To help all families discover the joy of everyday life."
Starbucks Mission Statement
"To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."
Nike Mission Statement
"To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world."
Google Mission Statement
"To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
- Facebook: To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
- Honest Tea: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- Ikea: To create a better everyday life for the many people
- JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
- LinkedIn: To create economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce.
- Southwest Airlines: To become the world's most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
- Sweetgreen: To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
- TED: To spread ideas.
- Tesla: To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
- Warby Parker: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
With Your Mission Statement In Hand, It’s Time To Grow Your Business
Mission statements are short but powerful sentences or small paragraphs that outline your business’s goals, core values, and motivations. They motivate your employees and help you create a brand identity.
A good statement is short, concise, and genuine.
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What are the 3 parts of a mission statement?
The purpose, values, and goals of the company.
What is an example of a mission statement?
Mission statement examples could include our fictional real estate company’s “ Because everyone deserves a home.”
What are the five steps to writing a mission statement?
- Form a group including your company’s leadership
- Recognize your consumer base
- Define your company’s value to its consumer base
- Define your company’s motivations
- Writer and edit your mission statement
What is a good mission statement?
A good mission statement explains, in a simple and impactful language, a business' purpose to powerfully communicate it to employees and consumers.
What is a personal mission statement?
A personal mission statement helps you define your individual purpose, goals, values, and identity.