Writing a strong and effective mission statement for a business is not a 5 minute job. You need to think carefully about what you want to include in your mission statement as it needs to be congruent with all of the parties in your business including your customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders (owners etc).
We recommend that a strong mission statement needs to include these three important elements as a minimum:
- What does your business do for your customers?
- What does your business do for your employees?
- What does your business do for your stakeholders / owners?
So good mission statements include a fourth element which is what the company will do for the community. These are certainly the most important factors of a mission statement so make sure that you include them in yours.
What does a Strong Mission Statement do for a Business?
It is very similar to a personal WHY statement in that it provides clarity of purpose. There is more to a mission statement than a personal WHY statement as a business is more complex. A strong mission statement should be used to:
- Set the main business goal(s)
- Determine the company culture
- Define the ethics of the business
- Provide guidance for decision making
Unfortunately most mission statements are poorly written and you wonder why the business owners bothered to write theirs at all. Some of the largest businesses are guilty of this – it is not just the smaller companies.
If you create a vague mission statement this doesn’t help your customers or your employees at all. You are not going to garner commitment if people do not understand what your mission statement really means. So in this article we will show you how to create a clear mission statement that all parties can commit to.
What is the Purpose of your Business?
The first important step to writing a strong mission statement is to define clearly what your business is about. Consider the customer here and map out the process of how they find out about you right through to making a decision to purchase your products and services.
You need to think about these 3 main aspects:
- Why do your customers want what you have to offer?
- How will customers find your business?
- What’s in it for your customers?
In your mission statement you need to inform your customers why they need to buy from you. Write a list of what your business does as well as the things that it doesn’t do to help create a clear picture.
What does your Company do for your Employees?
If a business does not take care of their employees there will be high turnover which is expensive. So use your mission statement to retain your employees for longer. Think about how you motivate and train your employees. Here are some ideas for this:
- You provide the best training
- You are fair with your employees
- You respect the ideas that your employees have
- You empower your employees
All of these things really matter to your employees. You need to tell them that you see them as your most precious asset and you want to take care of them. To avoid your mission statement being too long, you can create an external one for your customers and an internal one for your employees and stakeholders.
Mission Statements and Owners
You need to include what is in it for your owners in your mission statement as well. If you are not the owner of the business then talk to the owners to find out what is important to them. The value of shares and return on investment are almost certainly going to be of interest.