How to write a Mission Statement
Some people say that a good mission statement is more important than a business plan. I say a mission statement is equally as important as a business plan. They complement one another. In fact, I have found that most start-up entrepreneurs discover that the process of crafting the mission statement is as beneficial as the final statement itself.
Every word must be hardworking. Your mission statement must be something that’s more than just meaningless hype that could be used to describe any business in the category. Don’t use useless buzzwords and phrases like “being the best possible,” “world-class,” “best of breed” or “great customer service” as they mean little and everybody uses them.
Below are a series of questions you should ask yourself when writing your mission statement:
- What is your core purpose? Why does your company exist? Be very specific and make it plausible and attainable.
- How are you going to do it? How do you excel? What are your strengths? What are your core competencies?
- Who are you doing it for? Who are your customers?
- What value are you bringing? What separates you from the crowd and your competitors? Why should they buy from you? How do you want the world to think of you?
Here are some examples of well-written, meaningful, concise mission statements from companies you might recognize:
Frito Lay – To be the world’s favorite snack and always within arm’s reach.
Starbucks – To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Nike – To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
Patagonia – Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
It’s not enough just to write your mission statement though – you have to live it. Post it in your office where you, your employees and your visitors can see it every day. Base decisions you’re making off of it, and stand behind it in everything you do.