A business mission statement is the backbone to your business and it’s success! Last time I shared why your business needs a mission statement, but now you may be wondering where to start. It can be an overwhelming task trying to condense your business goals and philosophy into one simplified statement. If the idea overwhelms you, let me help. Here are a few simple steps to write a mission statement for your brand or business.
A mission statement is a concise yet compelling reflection of the essence of your business, including its philosophy and vision. It is what defines who you are and how your business runs. It seems like such an easy task and yet, when I sat down to write about the heart and soul of my own business, it felt daunting,and with good reason. These five steps will help make this process much simpler for you!
Ask Yourself Key Questions to Start Brainstorming
If you aren’t sure where to begin, brainstorming is the perfect place. Brainstorming is where you can flush out all of your ideas, both the good and even the bad. n my experience, it can be overwhelming to brainstorm when there are so many facets to consider, including who you are as a company, about your clients, your products, your philosophy and so much more.
Forbes: starts this process by asking four simple questions that can jump start your brainstorming. This guided brainstorming can lay the roadmap for a future mission statement.
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Whom do we do it for?
- What value are we bringing?
Not only are these questions great for getting you on the right track for creating your business’ mission statement, but your mission statement should also answer all four of those questions. This is a great way to check back to see if your mission statement is complete, does it answer these four questions?
Look at Examples
Whether you’re a solopreneur or running a small business with a few employees, there are businesses that are bigger and more established than yours. These businesses–in and out of your industry–can be a tremendous help in getting ideas for your own mission statement.
Here are just a few examples:
Chick-fil-A: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Target: “We fulfill the needs and fuel the potential of our guests. That means making Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and exceptional experiences—consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.”
Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Noonday Jewelry: “Noonday Collection is a socially responsible business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world.”
While a mission statement does need to answer those four important questions, there is no standard form where you can plug in your responses. By looking at those examples, you can see how different companies proclaimed their mission. This will better help you to proclaim yours–in your own voice.
Something to remember, plagiarizing another company’s work, whether intentional or not, is never a good idea. So be sure to stay original. If you begin by answering those first four questions with your own words, it should be easy to maintain your own authentic voice.
Write the First Draft and then Put it Away
If you’ve ever had writer’s block, you know that sometimes the hardest part of writing is just starting. You have to put pen to paper sometime and now is the time do it. Don’t get overwhelmed. Remind yourself that this is just a draft. This isn’t your final mission statement. This is a collection of your answers to those four important questions with the knowledge you gained by looking at other business’ examples.
Don’t worry about being concise here. Don’t worry about the perfect wording or the ideal client. Just start writing and answering those questions.
The next step is often overlooked but so important. Put it in a drawer, under your bed, or any place you will not think about it for a minimum of 24 hours. Sometimes a little distance is the key to seeing your mission clearly.
Revise Your Mission Statement and Seek Advice
After the allotted time has passed, revise it with a fresh set of eyes. Now you can be nit picky with your mission statement. Cross out any extra words. Use a thesaurus to make sure the words you have chosen are the right fit for your brand. Your language should be precise while maintaining your voice. Your mission statement should be concise without extra wordiness. This is not your about page where you need to share your background, expertise or services.
Now, it’s time to show people that you trust.. Constructive criticism is key to getting your mission statement right. Consider asking someone who knows you well, a peer, and someone you admire in business (they don’t necessarily need to be in your niche). I always run these types of business decisions by my husband, my mom and my business mentor.
You may receive some conflicting advice from your core group. That’s okay. Go with your gut. Inevitably, you’ll gain a few ideas you had not yet considered that seem imperative once you hear them. You shouldn’t take what any of these people say to be law, after all this is your business. Think of this core group as your board of advisors. They can help you see things from different perspectives.
Create your Final Draft
Take the leap and write the final draft of your mission statement. At this point, you have brainstormed and looked at other examples. You’ve revised and looked for constructive feedback. This is actually the easiest step. You’re in the home stretch.