Have you ever landed on a business’s website or social media profile and thought to yourself, “what do they do this?” Well, that’s the question a mission statement answers.
But your business’s mission statement does more than tell a customer what you do and why you do it. Your mission statement also helps you create a foundation to build on. Sounds important, right? And it is.
In this post, you’re going to learn how to come up with a mission statement and why it’s important for your business. Let’s get started.
I answered this a bit in the introduction, but let’s dive in a little deeper. A mission statement tells prospective customers why your business exists and what makes it different from your competitors.
For example, let’s say you have a wellness center.
The ‘why’: It exists could be because you want to improve a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
The ‘what’: Your business is different because you offer wellness retreats for free to customers with an annual subscription.
Does your business actually need a mission statement? Before you skip past making a mission statement, put that gear in reverse because you need it. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the reasons why:
Like I said before, a mission statement isn’t just for your customer; it’s for you, the business owner. A well-written mission statement helps establish a framework for the business, giving it a foundation to build from.
For example, if you, the business owner, don’t know what you do and why you do it, how will your customers know? Your mission statement is a constant reminder of the foundation of your business.
A mission statement acts as a “North Star,” keeping everyone focused on the direction of the future of the business. Where will your business be in 1 year? In 5 years? A mission statement tells you what you’re doing today and what you want your business to look like in the future.
Every business, regardless of the industry, needs a strategy. A good business plan will help outline what your business offers, what your competitors are doing, and how you can stand out among your competitors.
By knowing your mission statement, you can create a business plan that has structure and a solid foundation. Businesses with a strong foundation can grow securely because they have a brand strategy—without a solid base, there lacks direction and businesses will struggle to grow.
Now it’s time to learn how to write a mission statement. If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid mission statement.
Before doing anything, I recommend grabbing a pen and paper to write down your thoughts for each step.
You can do “free writing,” which means just writing down what comes to your mind without any structure (it’s the best way to do this). It’s important to get all your thoughts out on paper first, and then you can narrow things down from there.
Now, it’s time to write down why your business exists. You should answer questions like:
Write down everything that comes to your mind—don’t worry, you’ll be editing it later.
For example, let’s say you have a dog walking business. Your write-up would look something like this:
I want to enrich the lives of pets and their families by providing pet care because I believe all dogs should have an active and happy life. I was inspired to start my dog walking business because I’m a big animal dog lover and love being physically active.
My dog walking business stands out from my competitors because I specialize in nature walks – I have a van that can transport pets outside of the city where we go on forest hikes. For now, I don’t plan on having any employees.
After writing down why your business exists, now it’s time to explain what your business does. Here, you’ll explain exactly what your product or service offers your target audience—now, we’re focusing on the details.
So, for example, your dog walking business does the following:
While your mission statement will be the guide for your business, it needs to be written to connect with your ideal customer as well. Your mission statement should convey why someone would choose your business and what you can do for your customers.
On your piece of paper, start to write out your ideal customer, in other words, an audience persona. You’ll want to answer questions like:
With this information, you’ll know who your audience is and how to write your mission statement that will connect with them.
For a more comprehensive step-by-step guide, read this post on how to create your audience persona.
Your mission statement should illustrate your business’s core values. Your business’s values are what you stand for and represent the way you do business.
Using our dog walking example, your core values could be:
Both you and your customers should understand these values as they shape your business and create a guide to follow. Your values also help attract the right customers and (potentially) future employees.
Now that you have everything written down, it’s time to take all that information and condense it. I know what you’re thinking, how can I condense all this information into one or two sentences? Don’t worry, it can be done (and it will!).
First, try to condense your mission statement into a few paragraphs. Once you have that done, then condense it again to one or two sentences. You want your mission statement to be short, sweet, and to the point.
To get an idea of what your final result should look like, here are some examples of mission statements of other businesses:
“We save people money so they can live better.”
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
“To help people around the world plan have the perfect trip.”
“Providing customers outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices.”
Now that you know how to write a mission statement, where do you use it? Good question! You can use your mission statement in a couple of different ways.
Now that you know how to write a mission statement, it’s time to get started and write your own!
Remember, your mission statement will be the base of your business, so you don’t need to rush with it. Take your time and revise it if needed.
Natasha Ivanovic is a Vancouver-born creative writer that started her writing career as a freelancer while studying for her Master’s in Investigative Psychology. On the weekends, she writes short stories for her blog, TheLonelySerb, and cuddles with her bulldog, Bob.