While it’s not a requirement for a business to have a mission statement, a company that takes the time to create one is able to communicate the organization’s purpose and values to all shareholders, including customers, employees and owners.
Ready to write your first mission statement? Here’s what you will need to include in your statement, plus we take a look at how a mission statement differs from a vision statement.
What’s a Mission Statement?
Before we offer advice for writing a mission statement, it’s important to know the definition of a mission statement.
A mission statement allows audiences to understand the offerings, purpose and values of an organization. Its narrative is inclusive, intentional and inspirational to all audiences. Mission statements are also action-oriented, explaining the steps the business will take to make good on its practices.
Tips for Writing a Mission Statement
Writing a mission statement that inspires everyone can often feel like a difficult task, but it’s actually less complicated than it seems. Here are a few tips to guide you as you draft a mission statement.
Explain Your Offerings
What does your company do and what kinds of offerings does it sell? Clearly describe products or services you sell, why customers would purchase these offerings and the problems they help solve for customers.
Outline Your Values
What is the North Star guiding your business and its actions? Identify your organization’s core values, which may be a mixture of physical and emotional values such as accountability, quality, honesty and creating a great customer experience.
While you do want to sound unique, remember that you also want to be grounded in your values. Do not try to sound too lofty or use non-inclusive language.
Connect Your Offerings to Your Values
How do your offerings align with your values? Consider why your business is in existence and how your core values allow you to connect with customers and reach its purpose.
Let’s use the example of Tesla, which has the mission statement “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” The company’s interest isn’t simply to sell cars but to promote sustainable energy.
In creating a mission statement, your business should be able to connect its products to its values and define how the offerings serve these values.
Keep the Statement Clear and Concise
Ideally, a mission statement should be no longer than one sentence. Your final mission statement should be clear and concise, stating the who, what and why of your organization.
Mission Statement and Vision Statement: What’s the Difference?
Some organizations may decide to create vision statements in addition to mission statements.
Vision statements differ from mission statements in that they look to the future. A mission statement states a company’s offerings, purpose and values in the present moment, whereas a vision statement looks toward what the organization will eventually become.
Some of the questions you may be able to answer in a vision statement include:
- How does your business view its existing future?
- How does your business view the future of its industry?
- What place does the business believe it has in the world?
- What does an ideal version of the business look like?
- How can your business reach its goals and meet shareholders’ needs in the future?
Does your business need a mission statement and a vision statement? The answer is entirely up to you and your organization’s needs. Once you create a mission statement, remember to share it with your shareholders and live out your mission and values.
More From GOBankingRates