How to write a mission statement for your small business

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You may know what your business does and why you do it that way, but do your customers know? This article provides tips on how to write a mission statement.

Why does the company you run or work for exist? What does he want to achieve? It can be easy to overlook this important information as you focus on day-to-day tasks and achieving business goals.

You may know the company’s mission by heart, but do your customers know what it is? How often do you think about it when it comes to how your business operates and how you connect with customers?

If you want to stand out in the market, you need to make sure everyone knows your mission and can access it every time they visit your website. This is why you need to write a corporate mission statement.

Presentation: What is a mission statement?

A mission statement describes what a company does now, how it does it, who does it, and why. It’s the who, what, why and how (and sometimes where) of the business world, and it informs your ideal customer profile.

Information you might include in your mission statement includes your company’s values, history, and current goals. This information helps explain what you’re about to do to prospects and build relationships with customers because they can understand if you’re the right fit for them.

Mission Statement vs Vision Statement: What’s the Difference?

The terms “mission statement” and “vision statement” are often used interchangeably and for good reason. They are intrinsically linked and very similar. Some companies combine the two statements to summarize their current goals and overall vision.

In general, a mission statement describes what a company does now and how it does it. A vision statement is ambitious and focuses on the future.

Both statements include details about the goals of the business, but a vision statement will often tend to have loftier and vaguer goals, while a mission statement includes information about what the business is trying to achieve. currently accomplish.

How to write a mission statement for your small business

Here are our top three tips on how to write a mission statement for your small business and what information you should include.

1. Explain what your business does

In your head, what your business does is probably crystal clear. But you have to go back to basics when you want to explain it to potential customers, suppliers or partners.

If you’ve been with a company for a while, you’ve probably learned industry jargon and used words and terms specific to your organization. Remember that not everyone talks like you. You should avoid these phrases and stick to plain English, no matter what industry you work in.

Don’t assume your customers already understand what you do or know your industry well. Have you ever read explanations of highly technical products written by the people who built or designed them? They are often incomprehensible and assume that you have the same level of knowledge as them.

If people have to Google or search for words or concepts in your explanation of what you do, then you’re on the wrong track.

Take PayPal’s mission statement: “To create the most convenient, secure and cost-effective payment solution on the web.”

It’s simple yet precise and easy to understand. It also perfectly defines what the company does.

Contrast that with his vision statement, which is an ambitious statement that reflects his work and values: “PayPal’s vision is that every person has the right to participate fully in the global economy, and we have an obligation to empower people to exercise that right and improve their financial health.”

2. Describe how your business works

This step does not require you to go into the details of your business model. Instead, this is where your core business values ​​come in. If you haven’t defined those values ​​yet, now is the time to do so. Get your leadership team together and send out a survey to your employees to find out what those values ​​are.

Core values ​​can include:

  • Customer-centric (see Amazon example below)
  • Socially conscious (see Warby Parker example below)
  • Efficient
  • Safe
  • Affordable
  • Honest
  • Soft
  • Data Driven
  • Transparent
  • Consistent

Note that these values ​​reflect the way you operate and are publicly available to all potential customers and partners. They reflect how you run your business and how you deal and interact with customers. You may also have a set of values ​​describing how your employees are expected to operate.

3. Give the why of your business

Think back to why you started your business and what problem you wanted to solve. It’s the why of the business – the reason your business was started.

If you didn’t start the business, sit down with the founders and ask them to explain the unique problem the business can solve. Tell your business story in a way that resonates with potential customers.

Take the example of Starbucks. We all know what they do, but do we know why they do it? This is where the company’s mission statement comes in: “To inspire and nourish the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Feeding the human spirit and connecting neighborhoods shows that Starbucks is more than just a coffeehouse chain; they have a mission and one that attracts customers.

3 Examples of Inspirational Mission Statements

What makes an inspirational mission statement can be subjective, depending on what you’re looking for in a company and what kind of values ​​you identify with. But mission statements should be written in plain English and describe precisely what your business does.

Here are some good mission statement examples.

1.Warby Parker

“Offering designer eyewear at a breakthrough price, while paving the way for socially responsible business.”

Eyewear retailer Warby Parker knocks it out of the park when it comes to mission statements. Not only does it state very clearly what it does (offer eyewear), but it also clarifies that it is designer eyewear at a more affordable price.

The company does not stop there. It articulates its value proposition of being a socially responsible company so consumers know how it operates and what approach it takes to run the business.

The front of a Warby Parker eyewear store.

Eyewear retailer Warby Parker has a well-defined mission statement. Image source: author

2. From cradles to pencils

“Provides children from birth to 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essentials they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play.”

The Cradles to Crayons mission statement is a bit longer and longer than some others, but it may be a necessary step, depending on your business.

The mission statement spells out exactly what the organization does and makes it easy to understand. It is also ambitious, with the aim of providing children with what they need to thrive.

A screenshot of Cradles to Crayons mission statement from their website.

Cradles to Crayons has a specific, easy to understand mission statement. Image source: author

3. Amazon

“To be the most customer-centric company in the world, where customers can find and experience anything they want to buy online, and to strive to provide customers with the lowest possible prices.”

Although Amazon’s statement is a bit of a stretch, it’s easy to see what the company does, how it can help its customers, and what sets it apart. And Amazon’s bold statement certainly helped it win customers.

The exterior of an Amazon Go store.

Amazon’s mission statement is bold but effective. Image source: author

Update your mission statement regularly

As your business evolves and you launch new products and services, your mission may change. That’s why your mission statement should be a living document that you update regularly.

Make sure your mission statement is at the center of your website and everything you do reflects its goals and vision.


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