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What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is basically a formal statement that highlights your organization’s purpose. Companies use them to explain or discuss their reason for existing briefly. Also, such statements help unify your business because every employee or member would then be reminded about their common goals, objectives, and tasks to fulfill. So if you are to introduce your company to a new client, then clients get the gist right away about what your company is serving. In short, focus on answering the question, “Why do we exist?”
According to Investopedia, a mission statement is so short that one sentence or a single but brief paragraph would already suffice.
Also, it was reported that corporate mission statements may not matter unless you wish to be an excellent leader.
On another note, Forbes reported that around 52% of UK employees couldn’t even state their company’s vision.
Why Are Mission Statements Important?
A mission statement is essential because it identifies your purpose and existence. And your identification is your brand. Remember that if you are running a business, customers would trust you more if you know your purpose and goals in the industry. So if you are unsure about your company’s brand or identity, it would be harder to market it. Like a goal statement, a mission statement also helps your employees stay focused. They would be reminded about the tasks to do and what is even better is you could encourage them in doing so. Push them forward to achieve common business goals.
Furthermore, mission statements are not one-dimensional. You can implement such a statement whether you are running a classroom, bakery, church, fashion retail, or even a starting small business. So for any organization you are a part of, you should have a mission statement. Although mission statements are helpful, the challenge lies in ensuring you can tie up things together clearly and concisely. And that is just what we are going to teach you later so stay tuned.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
People often confuse a mission statement with a vision statement. Albeit such terms go hand in hand, they are quite different. Mission statements focus on an organization’s purpose and what it is currently doing. Meanwhile, a vision statement concerns setting future objectives. Hence, vision statements are more of what to conquer for the future. And both statements are important to express your brand properly. In fact, Forbes reported about how 52% of workers in the UK couldn’t even state their enterprise’s vision. And that should not be how your organization becomes since your work is more complete with both a mission and a vision statement.
The Important Qualities of a Mission Statement
Indeed, the mission statement explains a lot about your organization from its goals, what product or service to give, its stakeholders and clients to market, etc. But how can you say that your mission statement is already good enough? In this section, we will introduce you to the essential qualities of a well-written mission statement.
How to Make a Great Mission Statement
Sometimes, narrowing down your company’s purpose and focus in one statement is easier said than done. But not to worry because we will help you ace the process. Creating a mission statement is not that difficult when you learn how it works. So without further ado, here are six basic steps on how to create a great mission statement:
Step 1: Understand Your Organization
Conduct a full evaluation of your company first. What does your company do? Knowing what keeps your organization running helps you understand easily your purpose. Otherwise, you would struggle in writing a mission statement without acknowledging the full nature and background of your business. Start with the basics. What service or product do you give? There is no need to be fancy because this is still the first part. You can elaborate further in the next few steps.
Step 2: Describe Your Company
You already know your organization’s nature, purpose, and background. Now describe those in words. However, do not make it a technical description. Think about what your company values the most. And most importantly, describe in a way how you would introduce your brand to your clients. To do that, you would need important points to get their attention but remain as truthful as possible. Whatever it is that your organization values, present it properly.
Step 3: Explain What You Do and Why You’re Doing It
The key is to really explain clearly and shortly. Explain what you do and why. You can write long sentences for the moment in a document. Or perhaps, write different sentences of the same thought. After that, edit your words and form them into better versions. As you have many words and sentences in a draft, you can eventually pinpoint which versions are better. Aim to improve the wording until you are satisfied with how the mission statement is stated.
Step 4: Highlight What Makes Your Company Different
Do you still remember those important qualities of a mission statement? From being organized to being inspiring, be sure you observed them. And one example is to ensure you note how your company is different from other businesses. This part helps you stand out. But, you still need to maintain a straightforward and short statement. Also, mind the design and format of your statement. It is expected that you will use a document to make a formal statement. And our collection of sample templates above can guide you there.
Step 5: Mark a Lasting Impression
How to leave a lasting impression varies because you could either go for being catchy, trendy, or connect with your audience personally. But you have to avoid jargon, redundancy, and cliches. A tip is to look for other people and check their reaction in reading the mission statement you made. This does not have to be a one-person job because you can also get extra help from other members of the organization anyway. Let the rest of the team edit as well until you can all create a wonderful result.
Step 6: Commit to the Mission Itself
Forbes reported that corporate mission statements may not matter unless you want to become an impressive leader. So even if you made a splendid mission statement, it still wouldn’t matter if you cannot even lead properly and stick to the mission. Focus on your mission and it is crucial to let other members of the organization feel the same way too. Otherwise, simply having a few people who know and follow the mission would not unify the company at all. Put those strategic plans into action by observing the statement.
How long is a mission statement?
Although organizations vary in terms of how long their mission statements are, it is known that mission statements are short in general. A single sentence or one brief paragraph is already enough to make it work.
What questions should a mission statement answer?
Expect a mission statement to answer three basic questions. And such questions are the following:
- What does your business do?
- How does your business do it?
- Why do you do it?
How are a mission statement and a business plan different?
A mission statement focuses primarily on addressing the why of a business. Meanwhile, a business plan is more concerned with answering the how part.
Although a mission statement is quite short, putting a big effort in deciding and finalizing it is part of the process. This action-oriented statement already hold’s your organization’s purpose, what it does, general descriptions, core functions, and goals. So if anyone asks or wants to be reminded about what you do and why, mention your mission statement. And our sample templates will even help you construct it shortly and easily. So the final question is, what is your organization’s mission statement?