Having a mission statement is essential for every business. It helps us to stay on track and focus on the most important. However I know that many of my clients and others I have talked to have trouble defining their mission statement. It sounds so simple as it usually is just one sentence but once they start to think about it, it becomes more complicated. How can we put everything we do into just one sentence?
Well, you don't have to put EVERYTHING into one sentence. However you really have to sit down and define your values and goals and objectives and what the main purpose of your company actually is. Once you have done that it will seem more obvious what your actual mission is. And then you can easily put it into one (or two) sentence(s).
So what is a mission statement?
When you look up mission statement on wikipedia, it tells you this:
A mission statement is a short statement of an organization's purpose, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".
I think that sums it up quite good. And to put it in even simpler words you can fill in the blanks of this sentence:
My business does …(what you do)…….. To help ……(your defined audience)…. To ……(result)….. in …. (area/city/or leave blank if globally).
That means in order to define your mission statement you really need to define your ideal customer or audience. You need to really define what it is your are doing and how you are doing it. How are you helping your ideal customer.
Essentials for a mission statement
Answering the following questions will help you define the essentials of your business and then include that in your mission statement.
Why have you started your business?
What does your company do?
What are the core values of your business?
Who is your customer?
What problem are you solving? How are you helping your customers?
How do you differ from your competitors? Why are you unique?
Where are you operating?
Allow for growth and a vision
To write your mission statement, it helps to write your vision statement first. Of course you can amend or redefine your mission statement later once you have been in business a few years and your objective might have changed. However when you initially write it, dream big and give yourself some room to grow. Think big and allow yourself to dream big. Write down your vision. Where do you want to be in 1 year, in 5 years and may be also in 10 years time?
I love doing this exercise not only by writing down bullet points but by really imagining where I want to be and writing it down as a story in two to three paragraphs.
My Mission statement
To help you to understand everything a bit better I am sharing my mission statement with you:
"I empower female entrepreneurs to help them start or grow their dream business by designing beautiful, impactful branding and websites as well as giving practical, hands-on advice through a variety of mediums."
I wrote this mission statement when I was really ‘only’ doing branding and website design for female entrepreneurs. So my target audience is female entrepreneurs. I have defined my ideal customer , the one who I am talking to with everything I do, as a mum who is starting her own business but I have not included that in my mission statement as I did not want to limit myself to mums.I am helping my target audience to save time and a lot of headache by coming alongside them for a period of time to create an impactful brand as well as a website for their business.
This is where I started. However I knew I wanted to write a blog and give advice on branding, design, website design and general business tips in the future. I also knew I wanted to do other things like talks, a Facebook group, videos and other educational things like workshops etc with lots of tips for female entrepreneurs and mums in particular. So I already included this in the mission statement even though I had not started doing it.
A few quick tips for your mission statement:
stick to the essentials
don't overthink it
plan for the future, include your vision
include the who, what and how
Good mission statements
"Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store.
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
"To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world."
"To be the Ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire, now and forever."
Overall when you do your business plan you should usually include your mission statement. I think a mission statement is actually a fantastic starting point for a business plan. It might even be more important in the beginning and the business plan can follow.
I hope this was helpful and do send me an email with your mission statement and if you need any help!
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