A mission statement is defined as a roadmap that describes the vision statement of an organization. In other words, it is an action-oriented statement that offers details of the purpose which a company serves.
It includes a description of a company, its objectives, its functions, the nature and range of products, growth potential, position in the market along the relationship with customers, owners, employees, competitors, and suppliers.
In this guide, we will discuss how to write a mission statement and what does it include with some real examples.
What is Mission Statement?
The first thing an organization does is create a mission statement as it helps to create boundaries related to what it considers success and the road to achieving that success. It develops a set of ethics so that everyone associated with the organization knows what it considers right and what is essential to it.
The mission statement defines the reason why an organization is in existence and its outlook for its shareholders, consumers, board members, partners, and of course, employees. It is referred to as a viable plan that acts as a compass and helps the organization and the people working for it to find the right direction if they go off-course.
Why do you need a Mission Statement?
The mission statement reflects what a business entity does and who benefits from its existence. This simple statement is a verification of the goals of a company and what it does for its owners, employees, and customers. Some statements also include what the business does for its community as well as the world.
What do you consider a good mission statement? Well, one that is precise, concise, and of course, memorable. It must have the ability to stick with the mindset of the people when they read about it or hear it. It is sometimes referred to as an advertisement or a tagline in an advertisement that helps to identify with a company.
The mission statement is very relevant as it assists an organization in differentiating from its competitors in the consumer market. It informs its customers about the identity of the company and its reason and purpose for existence.
It is a motivational tool for the employees and encourages them to maintain specific standards in their work and dealings.
As an organization keeps on growing and reaching its set target, its goals and objectives might change. It is essential to keep on revising the mission statement so that it can show the new culture of that company as previous goals are already met.
Features of a Good Mission Statement
The features of a good mission statement include the following-
- The mission statement should be well-defined
- The mission statement should be a motivational tool
- The mission statement should be based on the competitive advantage of the organization
- The mission statement should be realistic by nature
- The mission statement must be concise, short, and specific by nature
What Does a Mission Statement Include?
The mission statement includes the following
A good mission statement will define all the elements that are important for an organization, for instance, inspiration, value, specificity, and plausibility. These are displayed in one or two sentences only so that it can reflect the value of the company to anyone who reads about it or hears it.
The elements must be specific so that it can inspire everyone who comes in contact with it
2. Long-term goals of the organization
A mission statement is created for employees, partners, retailers, and customers to let them know about the long-term goals of the organization.
It is a map that defines what the company stands for and what the company culture is all about.
3. Important questions
A mission statement must include all the important questions that are relevant to the organization. What are its founding principles, how is it unique, how it defines success, does it believe in ethical standards, what are its values as well as morals are important questions that are addressed in a mission statement.
It also must answer queries about the customers, for instance, who are the target customers and how the organization can help them.
4. Present tense
The mission statement always depicts the present tense; for instance, what the company is all about and what is essential to it today.
5. It is concise and precise
A mission statement should be concise and precise, just like a tagline so that people can associate it with the company. It is a summary with a maximum of two sentences that define the organization’s unique position in the consumer market.
All the necessary elements are incorporated into the mission statement to make it useful as well as memorable.
6. Is a reflection of the company
A mission statement is a true reflection of the company and must show how every one of its stakeholders is invested in it
7. Various versions
A mission statement is a reflection of the place and time it was created. With changing time, the company might achieve its set goals and try to evolve and walk towards another one.
At such times an organization needs to include those changes in the mission statement so that it can be true to itself and continue to serve its purpose faithfully.
How to Write a Mission Statement?
Developing a mission statement helps customers, investors, and employees to understand the culture, ethics, and goals of a company. Some organizations have been in existence for a long time, and sometimes they start losing their path.
The mission statement helps them to take a step back, refresh their memory, and remember the purpose of the organization. This is why it is essential to write a good mission statement that will be worthy and credible so that it can help the company in times of need.
The steps needed to write an effective and meaningful mission statement are as follows-
1. Define what the purpose of the business is
As the mission statement is about the purpose of the business, it becomes essential to know about it upfront if you are looking for ways to write a good one.
Just the bare basics about the service or product your business is going to deal with will be enough. For instance, if your company is dealing in footwear, you can just say its purpose is to sell shoes, or if it deals in women’s apparel, then it is to sell women’s clothing.
2. Define how the business operates
if you are looking for ways to write a good mission statement, then you should mention how your business operates. It does not mean that you will have to offer details about its physical operations; instead, it means integrating core values into the statement.
3. Define why the organization is involved in this business
If you are looking for ways to write a good mission statement, then you should define why the organization is involved in this business. Mention the passion and the spark that motivates you so that everyone who reads it can identify with it.
4. Define the buyer persona
Before writing a mission statement, it is essential to think from the viewpoint of the customer. Why does he buy from your company, and what does this buying do for him. It will help to understand the want or need to buy.
If you are looking for ways to write a good mission statement, then you should define the target customer. It will help to understand why the organization is considered different and unique from others.
Think of it as an excellent market-defining story as it will set a background for your thought process so that at the time of writing an actual mission statement, all the threads will merge and help to write a worthy one.
5. Define what the business does for the customers
Why is the customer coming back to buy goods from your company? The organization must be doing something special that encourages customer loyalty. The market-defining story, as well as the buyer persona, will be a help in determining the reason for repeat customers.
Write the points that come in your head related to it, for instance, is it offering fresh food if it is a cafe or has an individual policy that is well-liked in society.
This will be an essential part of the mission statement, so incorporate all the defining and essential words that come to your mind. Make sure to add distinguishable words that will help to create a distinct mark on the mindset of the masses if you are looking for ways to write a good mission statement.
6. Define what the business does for the employees
It is the hard work of the employees that helps the business to move forward. It is they who define whether a business is good or bad in the mindset of a customer.
This is why a business should make it a priority to keep its employees happy, satisfied, and engaged. If you are looking for ways to write a good mission statement, then you should mention what it does for its employees. Does it reward and motivate its employees and is the company culture helpful for the working of the workforce is an important question that needs to be answered beforehand.
Think of the ways the business is good for the employees and write it down. Some qualities that matter very much are diversity, fairness, empowerment, training, etc. Does the business prioritize these qualities, and does it have any extraordinary intrinsic worth that can define it well, should also be addressed on time.
It is essential to mention whether the company provides safe and creative work for the employees to work freely and flourish in the free environment and does it believe in fair compensation. Some organizations put their onus on the consumers, and their mission statement is about satisfying their needs and wants.
It is imperative to acknowledge the contribution of the employees in an organization, and this is why the mission statement should have a say about how the company will keep its employees happy and satisfied.
7. Define what the business does for its owners
Very few mission statements mention what it does for its owners. The fact is that an organization that is looking at a fulfilling future will do so because when a business works for its owners, it is also increasing the value of its shares.
This facet works beautifully for all the stakeholders who have a vested interest in the business. Write down a few words about the mission of ownership, as it will signify that the organization is working towards return on investment.
8. Gather all the words together
By now, you must have written all the important points and keywords related to what the business does for its customers, employees, and owners. Read the words carefully if you are interested in writing an effective mission statement.
Remember its primary objective, and now start editing the ones that you cannot relate to. Cut the words that do not apply to your business. By the end of the paper, you will have the words that you feel necessary.
Keep an eye on the buzzword and unique words. Read other mission statements to get a fair idea and now write one that is distinct and unique and not a copy of someone else. Read once again and make corrections so that you can create a remarkable statement that is a reflection of what your company believes in and is working for.
Once you write down a mission statement, give it to a few people who you trust to provide correct feedback. Ask for their opinion and listen to them acutely. Write down their suggestions on a piece of paper. Do not argue with anyone and try to prove yourself right.
Do not convince anyone about how perfect your mission statement is, just listen and write down the suggestions. Absorb every comment and start reading whatever suggestions you have written.
Now take out your mission statement and read once again. Write another one side-by-side with the help of the suggestions you have received. Go through both of them and then decide which one you like better.
Always go with your gut feeling and if you feel that yours look better, adopt it, otherwise go with the one that you crafted after incorporating the suggestions of other people.
Keep on reviewing and revising after a few years so that it can relate to the changing times and incorporate the changing culture and changes that have taken place over the years.
10. Release the mission statement
A good statement is a foundation on which the operation manual is based. It is a guiding force for everyone associated with the entity, and this is why it should be upfront and visible so that people become familiar with the niche words.
Once your mission statement is ready, it is time to release it so that people can read and identify with it. It should be on the mind of everyone who comes into contact with your business, so frame it in the best possible manner.
Remember, it also explains why someone should do business with you. Some organizations go a step further and make the mission statement a part of their advertising campaigns to gain better visibility in the consumer market.
Some Real Examples of a Mission Statement
Some real examples of the mission statement are as follows-
- NASA: “We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.”
- Warby Parker: “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. “
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy “
- Kickstarter: “To help bring creative projects to life. “
- Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- InvisionApp: “ Question assumptions, think deeply. Iterate as a lifestyle, Details, Details. Design is everywhere. Integrity “
- Squarespace: “Squarespace empowers people with creative ideas to succeed. “
- Patagonia: “ Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis “
- American Express: “We work hard every day to make America Express the World’s most respected service brand “
- Sweetgreen: “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food. “
- Coca-Cola: “To refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and to create value and make a difference “
- Forbes: “To deliver information on the people, ideas, and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision-makers. “
- Uber: “ We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion “
The advantages of a mission statement are as follows-
- The mission statement provides a much-needed direction to the business. It shows the right path so that the business can make the correct decisions at the right time.
- The mission statement helps to face fierce competition adequately as it offers a well-timed direction to the company
- The mission statement depicts a clear purpose of the organization as a whole and removes the uncertainty that is a part of every business entity.
- The mission statement helps the stakeholders in realizing that the business is moving forward to achieve its set goals and objectives.
- The mission statement acts as a motivational tool inside the company. As all the employees are aware of the responsibility of the business towards its employees, they feel an essential part of the business. It boosts employee satisfaction, productivity, efficiency as well as engagement
- The mission statement gives the employees a sense of purpose, and this is why it increases employee retention and minimizes employee turnover
- The mission statement helps the company to realize its goals and focus on the tasks in hand
- The mission statement helps to resolve conflicts as the management can easily refer to it in times of dispute
- The mission statement acts as a viable framework that helps in the decision-making process
- A mission statement is a useful tool in setting as well as changing organizational culture
- The mission statement provides all its stakeholders with a sense of purpose
- The mission statement ensures accountability and integrity in the company
- The mission statement helps to relate with the customer and ultimately inspires them to reach out and become loyal customers
The disadvantages of a mission statement are as follows-
- If not crafted efficiently, the mission statement turns out to be unrealistic and meaningless. It can adversely affect the morale, efficiency, and productivity of the employees.
- The mission statement can sometimes result in inconsistencies and conflicts
- Unrealistic mission statements are a waste of resources, time, and effort.
- The mission statement can easily create confusion as it is too broad by nature
- It is far too optimistic by nature which can prove harmful in the real world
- The mission statement is more focused on short-term issues and does not pay much attention to future dealings or to changing times
- Unrealistic goals in a mission statement diminish the credibility of an organization
- The mission statement can be too vague
- Information in the mission statement is not quantifiable
- The management often uses the mission statement as a PR stunt
- If not reviewed periodically the mission statement starts losing it relevancy
The mission statement is a document that explains the organization’s reason and purpose. It states what the company does and why it exists in the market and is often described in one or two sentences.
The mission statement is like a strategy defining the business at its best.