Equally important as a sound business plan, a mission statement is a short, clear summary of what your business is, what goals you strive to achieve and the guiding philosophy behind what drives the choices you make a the business owner. A mission statement clarifies exactly what space your business is competing in and what your business will accomplish by being in that space.
Mission statements encompass all aspects of your business, everything from products and pricing to community and employee relations, and should be a direct reflection of what your business is all about. If your business is fun and quirky, your mission statement should be as well. If your business is more serious and to the point, chances are your mission statement will be, too.
A simple approach to writing a mission statement is to answer a few questions that will paint a picture of what you hope to achieve through this business.
- WHY DID YOU START THIS BUSINESS? What do you want out of this endeavor, not only for yourself, but for your employees and customers as well?
- WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? What is it that your business will offer to solve a problem or make life better for these customers?
- WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM THE COMPETITORS? Do you offer something faster, at a better price, or higher quality? What makes your business unique? Find what others are doing wrong, and do it right!
- WHAT VALUES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS IN IT’S GROTH AND DECISION MAKING? What are the underlying philosophies behind what drives you? Make it personal and answer the ‘why’ behind what you do.
Like anything worth doing, your mission statement needs to be done right. Although it is typically only between a few sentences and few paragraphs in length, spend the time to plan, revise and polish your business mission statement. Ask others involved for input, research other businesses to see examples of what you like or don’t like, and when you have the finished product MAKE IT VISIBLE. Your mission statement should change rarely, if ever, so take the time to get it right.