What is a mission statement?
A mission statement states the purpose of your business. When thinking about your mission, ask yourself why you started this venture in the first place.
How do I create my mission statement?
There are no quick and easy tips to writing a great mission statement - what matters most is that it is an accurate reflection and useful summary of your business. It should be able to answer questions like, “Why are we here?”, “Why do we exist?”, “Why do we get up each day and do what we do?”, “What is it that we get paid for?”, and “What function does this business perform? For whom? How?” The mission is a broad statement of personal or business scope, purpose and operation that distinguishes you and your business from others. Below, we’ve created a list that you can use as a general guideline to help you as you create your mission statement.
Make it short and snappy: A good rule of thumb is to make it short enough to be printed on the back of a business card.
Make it memorable: Try to make it something that people will be able to remember the key elements of, even if not the exact wording.
Make it unique to you: Focus on what it is that you strive to do differently: how you achieve excellence, why you value your staff or what it is about the quality of your business that sets you apart from the rest.
Make it realistic: Your mission statement is supposed to be a summary of why you exist and what you do and not a vision for the future.
Make sure it's current: Though it is not something which should be changed regularly, neither should it be set in stone.
Mission Statement Examples
Skysthelimit.org: “To build a global community where all entrepreneurs and their allies can build meaningful relationships and grow together.”
Coca Cola: “To refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and to create value and make a difference”
Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
Walmart: “To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people”
University of Cambridge: “To contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence”
Why are mission statements important?
Developing your mission statement is important because it helps explain your business aspirations in a concise manner and helps you focus on what is really important. Mission statements can also serve to inform employees, friends, neighbors, and other entrepreneurs about what’s important to you and your business. Your mission statement provides a basis for developing other aspects of your strategic plan and can help guide strategic, operational, and tactical decision making.
Developing missions that are truly shared takes time, effort, energy and commitment. You can’t expect that just because you develop a mission statement, read it at a staff meeting and even hand it out in printed form, that everyone will immediately accept and work toward achieving it. You need to walk the talk and totally commit to it yourself before anyone else will believe you’re really serious.