Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Talented people today seek organizations that share their beliefs. Qualtrics found, for instance, that 56% of US workers wouldn't even apply for a job at a company whose beliefs they strongly disagreed with. Half or more people would accept a pay cut to work for a company with a solid goal and principles.
The general public has the same sentiments. Consumers are four to six times more likely to trust, support, and purchase from organizations they regard as having a strong purpose, according to research by the Zeno Group.
Therefore, in today's competitive market, you need a mission — and a powerful mission statement to articulate that mission — in order to attract both customers and top personnel.
But what, precisely, is the purpose of a business's mission statement? Just how crucial is it, anyway? And how can you craft a mission statement that conveys your company's goals and beliefs while also luring the best and brightest employees?
What is a mission statement?
Let's get the most important stuff out of the way first. First, let's define what a company mission statement is before diving into the specifics of writing one for your own business.
Company's mission statement should be informative and succinct. It describes the company's mission, values, and vision as well as the people they serve (and the market they aim to attract).
A strong mission statement concisely explains the who, what, and why of the organization. A mission statement for a corporation should be no longer than three sentences (or a short paragraph).
A company's values can be summed up in a mission statement. Those are the values upon which the company was founded. This document also details the company's approach to communicating with its many constituencies.
Stakeholders can be found both inside and outside of the organization, such as members of the team (like customers).
Business success can be mapped out with the help of a well-crafted mission statement. Everything the organization does, from defining the company culture to establishing the company's goals, is guided by this road map.
Is there a distinction between a vision statement and a mission statement?
It's common practice to use the terms "vision statement" and "mission statement" interchangeably. However, the two are not interchangeable. Not knowing the distinctions might lead to missteps while developing a company's mission statement.
A company's mission statement, as previously indicated, articulates the organization's raison d'etre. Your organization's goals are laid out in detail.
Conversely, a mission statement describes the desired results of the company's mission. This influence may be felt by their clientele, employees, neighbors, or the global society at large (or all of the above).
What this means is that a mission statement describes the current activities of an organization and the reasoning behind them. A mission statement describes the future of the firm and how it plans to fulfill its vision.
Say, for argument's sake, that you're employed by a power company. The following could be the mission statement for your company:
Mission: "To mitigate the effects of the current environmental crisis by making renewable energy sources available to commercial and residential users."
One's vision statement in such a case would explain the change one hopes to bring about in the world through the mission at hand. You might have it say something like:
To mitigate climate change by increasing awareness of sustainable practices and supplying all of our customers' energy demands while decreasing the country's carbon footprint.
Crafting a mission statement
You're familiar with the concept of a mission statement and how it differs from a vision statement. You understand the significance of a company's mission statement. All right, let's get started on crafting a powerful mission statement for your company.
Establish your company's value proposition.
Your mission statement should tell readers exactly what they can expect from your business. Because of this, you should outline your products and services before you dive too further into crafting your mission statement.
You are obviously familiar with the services and products that your business provides. However, in order to convey this in your mission statement, it is important to simplify the concept as much as feasible.
What are some questions you should ask yourself before drafting a mission statement?
Just what does our business provide to its clients?
Who do you want to buy your goods and services? Who are the people we want to see this?
When compared to the competition, how do our products and services stand out? What's in it for our intended consumers to try out our offerings?
By being specific about what you offer, you can guarantee that everybody who reads your mission statement will have a clear understanding of what it is you do. And that specificity will aid in their comprehension of your goal.
Establish your fundamental values.
Focusing on what you can provide for customers is essential when crafting your mission statement. However, it is equally (if not more) crucial to identify your driving motivations. And the first step in doing that is articulating the values that guide your business.
The ideals that your firm was founded on should be reflected in its overall purpose. Companies have core beliefs that drive their actions. They also control the methods employed in that work.
A company's values may be different from another's. It's possible that fairness, inclusion, and compassion are at the heart of what you do as a company. Alternatively, these qualities might be longevity, flexibility, and openness.
Get very clear on your ideals before you begin writing your mission statement. To ensure that your company's core values are reflected in the final statement and that your target audience fully grasps the "why" behind your organization's goal, it is helpful to first identify those values.
Connect with top-level management and other influential parties for feedback
The leaders of a firm are usually the ones that have the best grasp on the organization's ultimate goals. Thus, if you are responsible for writing the organization's mission statement, you should consult with upper management.
Make an appointment to talk with the higher-ups at your organization to hear their perspectives on the direction the business is heading. From their vantage point, ask them:
What kind of business are we?
In what ways can we benefit our team members, clients, and local neighborhood?
Which of our guiding principles guides our daily operations?
What motivates us?
Along with establishing rapport with top management, what more can you do? It's also a good idea to network with other company insiders who have a say in the direction the business is headed.
Align your products or services with your core beliefs.
You've described the products and services your business provides. You have identified the fundamental principles that will guide your company. The two must be linked now.
Your mission statement's effectiveness hinges on its ability to convey how your company's values inform the products and services it provides.
Let's use the value of sustainability as an example of a central principle for your firm. In that instance, it's important to highlight how your goods and services contribute to sustainability or are themselves made in a sustainable manner.
That bridges the gap between your company's central value (sustainability) and its products and services.
Linking your company's principles, business philosophy, and offerings is essential. You need to know how everything fits together because it's a vital aspect of your mission statement.
Put everything together to form a mission statement.
What comes next, after you've established your company's identity, products, and core values? Incorporating all of these aspects into a single mission statement.
Your company's goal statement should restate this earlier point. It does this by laying out the who, what, and why:
Who you are as a business?
The deal you're putting forth?
Exactly what motivates you to act the way you do?
Compose a few mission statements that explain your organization's who, what, and why. Inform the decision-makers and the affected parties about the statements. Determine which of the possible mission statements does the greatest job of conveying your goals.
Revise and condense your mission statement.
The final step, after deciding on a mission statement, is to... Reformulating the text to make it more concise.
A mission statement, as previously noted, should be no more than a paragraph long. However, the most effective mission statements tend to be succinct.
Make some changes to your statement of purpose. Get rid of the fluff. Aim to condense your mission statement without diluting its meaning.
After the mission statement has been edited and proofread, it should be presented to the company's upper management and any other interested parties for final approval. And once you've gotten their approval? A final draft of your mission statement has been completed.
Writing an Effective Mission Statement
Although there is much latitude in the style and content of mission statements, they always share a common goal: to explain to the public why the firm exists and what sets it apart from competitors in the same field. An excellent mission statement can be crafted by following these steps.
Describe the company's services.
A single sentence might serve as the introduction of a company's mission statement. There's no use in going into great depth right now; there will be plenty of time to elaborate on the statement in the subsequent paragraphs.
In this section, you can describe the products and services your organization offers. A good first sentence for a mission statement for a financial corporation may include something like, "Our firm provides a wide range of financial solutions."
How does the business function, in your words?
It's important to give this section some attention, as you're not trying to give a dry rundown of the company's functions here.
You're instead making a broad attempt to explain the business. This is where many mission statements include at least one of the company's top priorities.
Making a list of the most important principles that the organization aspires to uphold could prove to be of great help.
Providing excellent customer service, making superior goods, guarding the environment, fostering creativity, and fostering long-term viability are all values worth highlighting.
One or two essential values should be highlighted when crafting this section of a company's mission statement for maximum clarity. An example of a mission statement that incorporates core values is "Our firm offers a complete menu of cost-effective financial services."
Justify the company's existence.
An explanation of the company's motivations could add intrigue and convey the enthusiasm that fuels the company's work.
If the company's objective is to "empower impoverished communities and individuals," then a statement like "Our firm provides a wide range of cheap financial solutions" would be appropriate.
This is the statement that describes the "why" of the company and why it is superior than similar businesses.
Such an element in a mission statement might demonstrate a firm's true care for its clientele. It could be instructive to talk to the company's management and find out what inspired them to establish the business.
You may be able to reawaken the message's focus and better convey the company's enthusiasm by remembering the motivation that led to its foundation.
Use the mission statement in a practical setting.
Implement the company's mission as soon as possible after it has been written. Check that the statement has practical application for the target audience. If you feel like it needs to be rewritten for logic and clarity, go ahead and do so.
Don't forget that your mission statement serves to inspire your staff and resound with your clientele in addition to serving as a useful tool for strategic planning.
Regardless of how you choose to put it together, a mission statement's primary purpose is to encourage clients to work with your company and motivate staff to give their all.
Some Inspiring Examples of Mission Statements
Have a peek at these illuminating and succinct mission statements to spark ideas for your own! Here are some examples of mission statements to help you see what works and what doesn't.
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
The mission statement for Tesla emphasizes the company's commitment to developing renewable energy sources for use all across the world. It is a clear and concise description of the company's primary goal.
"Ideas Worth Spreading."
On this list, this mission statement stands out because of its simplicity and clarity. The goal of TED is stated explicitly in its mission statement: to disseminate ideas widely and without charge via online speeches.
“To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
The Amazon expedition is very different from the others on this list. Although it's wordier and longer than most mission statements, it effectively conveys the company's goals and focuses, particularly its dedication to its customers.
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
The social media platform's goals are laid out clearly and concisely in LinkedIn's mission statement. It sums up their goals and their attention to detail on their social networking site.
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.*
Athletes can be found anywhere there is a physical form. The tone and voice of Nike's mission statement make it stand out. The declaration of purpose is written in an unconventional style and it looks forward to a more accepting future.
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia's aim has always been to help make the world a better place, and the company's products have always been designed to reflect that. The company's dedication to sustainability and industry-leading standards keeps many loyal customers coming back for more. The business invests time and resources toward helping environmental organizations.
“To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.”
Jetblue has a long history of dedication to community service, positive marketing, and forward-thinking initiatives. That's evident in their aspirational mission statement and corporate tone.
Want to learn more about creating a powerful mission statement for your business? And after it's written, how can you maximize its effectiveness? Some guidelines to follow are listed below.
Develop a corporate mission statement, no matter how little your operation may be. When asked about their company's purpose, many small business owners remark that they don't have one because their company is too tiny. But it simply isn't the case! Every company, no matter how big or small, can benefit from developing a mission statement. So if your business has one employee or ten thousand, you should take the time to develop a mission statement.
Communicate your company's goals and objectives internally... Daily, it is the efforts of your staff that give substance to your company's stated purpose. Therefore, it is crucial that you inform them of the organization's ultimate goal. (By including it in your employee handbook, for instance.) By doing so, customers will be able to better comprehend the goals of your firm and how they will contribute to the greater good.
...and from the outside in. You also want people to understand the importance of your organization's work. Because of this, you should widely disseminate your company's purpose statement. Make sure your website clearly states your goals. Publish it on your social media accounts. Integrate it into activities aimed at customers. The greater the number of people who can relate to and empathize with your business's purpose, the more likely it is that those people will buy from you.
Expect that your goal may change over time. It's possible that your current objective won't be the same in one, five, or ten years. Accept that your company's objective may need to change in order to keep progressing in the right direction. While simultaneously adapting your mission statement.
Avoiding common mistakes in mission statements
With that out of the way, let's quickly go over things you shouldn't use in your company's goal statement.
Avoid including in your mission statement:
It's all filler and not enough substance. A mission statement, as previously noted, ought to be succinct and clear. It is not the place for flowery language, so spare us the unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
Where do you want to take your company? Your company's mission statement should explain who you are, what you do, and why. Not the mission of your organization. That should be saved for your vision statement, so don't mix the two.
Business speaks. Make sure your mission statement reads like it was written with honesty and sincerity and can be understood by anyone. To avoid alienating readers who are unfamiliar with your industry, it is best to avoid using any terms exclusive to your company or any corporate jargon.