This article covers 3 tips on building a mission statement for your company:
- Answer 3 key questions
- KISS – Keep It Short and Simple
- Don’t Be Afraid to Change It
Why does your business exist? This is an extremely broad question that is very important. As business owners we need to be able to answer this question, as it can help guide most of our decisions, and our employees should be able to confidently answer this question in order to promote our business externally. This also helps to motivate and align your company internally. The answer to this important question can be found in a company’s Mission Statement. For an overview, read our article Mission Statement: What is it and isn’t it? If you haven’t built one yet or are revising the one you have, here are 3 tips we have on building your mission statement:
1. Answer 3 Key Questions
When starting to think of your company’s mission statement, a great place to begin is by asking yourself these 3 essential questions:
What do we do?
Think about the products and/or services that your company offers. There is no need to get fancy with it for now, just simply list what it is your company does. As you start to list different products and/or services you offer, you should be able to pinpoint what your main offering is; this is what you will highlight in your mission statement. If you are struggling with getting started with this question, you can also start by thinking of the opposite: “What don’t we do?”.
Who do we do it for?
Reflect on who exactly you are offering your products and services to. Many mission statements will say “our clients” as the who, however we recommend being more specific. Who are your clients – truly? This is an opportunity for you to think about your target audience. If you want to direct your services to families, then say that. If you have products for only women specifically, then say that! But be careful that you are not limiting yourself if you are wanting to target numerous audiences. For example, if you have body products for men and women, don’t say they are only for women in your mission statement as that could deter potential male clients.
What problem are we offering a solution to?
Now that you have thought about what you do and who you do it for, think about what problem you are offering a solution to – the how. This is the part of the mission that adds a spark to your statement – the passion behind your business. As a good starting point, it may help to think about why you started your business in the first place. What did you set out to accomplish when you originally thought of your business and how were you going to do it?
2. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple
When creating your mission statement, it should be as short and concise as possible. Some of the biggest companies in the world devote an entire page to their mission statement, however for most organizations this is not the best way to catch their audience’s and employee’s attention. If a mission statement is lengthy, it is very easy for a reader to lose interest in what is being said. Many mission statements that are a full paragraph either repeat themselves or provide ‘filler’ words and information that aren’t pertinent to the company’s mission. Beyond the actual length of the full mission statement, it is also important to pay attention to the length of your sentence(s). Long sentences or run-on sentences make it easy for the reader to get lost in the meaning of the message you are trying to convey. Keeping a short and simple mission statement will make it easier to get your message across, and the words you choose need to be intentional in order to leave the reader inspired or wanting to know more about your company. The words in your mission statement are what will capture the interest of your audience, while the length of it may actually deter them if it is too long.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Change It!
While we don’t recommend taking this change lightly, and there are many tips that go along with making this change, it is still important to keep in mind that your mission statement may and can change in the future. Your mission is an attainable statement, meaning that one day your company may very well accomplish its mission. If your company were to attain this very BIG milestone, then it would be the right opportunity to change your mission statement. There are also companies that have a change to their customers, products/services, or even where they are operating – all of which could have an impact on their mission statement. For example, if a company originally only operated in Canada and therefore had a mission around serving Canadians, they would subsequently need to alter their mission statement if they expanded internationally and now offered products and/or services to other countries and citizens.
Is Your Mission Creating a Statement?
These 3 tips can get your company started on creating a mission that makes a statement. By keeping a short simple statement that answers what, who, and how, while keeping in mind there is room for growth in the future, you will be well on your way to building a meaningful mission statement for you company.
If you have yet to create a mission statement for you company, we hope that this article has provided you some valuable insight into what your mission statement should accomplish. If your company already has a mission created, then we challenge you to ask yourself the following question: “Is our company’s mission creating a statement?”