Answer 4 questions to get a great mission statement

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Personal mission statements are a great New Year’s resolution. Equally important and more enduring is your company’s mission statement.

First of all, let’s be clear. It’s not the same as your vision statement, which is an overview of how your business is going to impact customers and the community as a whole.

An effective mission statement should be a clear and concise statement about your business strategy.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a mission statement. Every entrepreneur should write a mission statement early on because it provides you and your employees with the framework and the goal.

If you don’t have one, you need to get one. Here are four essential questions your business mission statement should answer:

  • What are we doing?
  • How do we do this?
  • Who do we do it for?
  • What value do we bring?

If you have a mission statement, make sure it can answer these questions. That makes all the difference.

For example,

Advanced auto parts
The Mission Statement is: “The mission of Advance Auto Parts is to provide personal vehicle owners and enthusiasts with vehicle-related products and knowledge that meet their wants and needs at the right price. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, educate and solve our clients’ problems.

The company has clearly laid out the answers to these critical questions.

Most large companies do not (especially large public companies). Their mission statements are vague and say little. Avoid following this example.

Large companies are in a different position from entrepreneurs and have different audiences.

As an entrepreneur, your business mission statement should be concise and to the point so that your clients understand your purpose and how you provide them with value.

As a quick exercise, check out this list of Fortune 500 mission statements to see which ones answer the questions we’re talking about and which don’t.

Here is an example of a mission statement from one of my companies, Bizilla:

“Our mission is to help connect people who want to sell a business with those who want to buy a business. We provide flexible options for business owners and brokers to register their business online. For buyers, we have helpful tools like our saved listings feature and personalized email alerts to make it easier to find the right business.

It is clear and concise. The mission statement is focused on what the company does for its customers and keeps my employees focused on our goals.

Your mission statement doesn’t have to be like everyone’s. Figure out what’s important to you and your customers and go from there.


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