Mission Statements: Their Purpose and How to Write One
Updated June 24, 2022
A mission statement has the power to influence a company in a wide range of ways, both in the short and long-term. That's why it's imperative that you develop a mission statement that accurately reflects the goals and purpose of the company. By crafting an effective mission statement, you can create a clear image of the organization that is valuable for employees and clients alike.
In this article, we explain what mission statements are, explore their purpose, list the steps you should take to create an effective mission statement and provide some examples that can guide you as you develop your own.
What is a mission statement?
A company mission statement is a short description of the organization's purpose and reason for existing. Though every mission statement is unique, they should all detail the abilities, services, products and focus of a company.
What is the purpose of a mission statement?
Mission statements are imperative for a number of reasons, including they:
Communicate the passion and vision of the organization. Mission statements are vital in any organization because they clearly communicate the organization's purpose to both employees and customers. More than the products and services the company aims to provide, the mission statement explores how these things will impact consumers and make their lives better.
Guide the company's actions. When you provide staff members with a company's mission statement, they have a clear understanding of the company's goals and motivations for existing. This knowledge serves as a sort of navigational tool that can help your organization create effective goals and strategies for achieving them.
Focus decision-making. An effectively written mission statement helps guide all areas of business and decision-making well into the future because it eliminates any confusion about the direction the business should go. Using the mission statement, team members can work through issues and solutions in a way that benefits the company's long-term objectives and maintains a level of consistency throughout the organization.
Produce powerful messaging. Aside from being a tool that clarifies the foundation of a company, mission statements also serve an important purpose for the public. Companies often use their mission statements as the basis for marketing messages and advertising efforts so that they can clarify the organization's purpose for potential consumers and clients. The public can then use this information to determine if the organization's values align with their own.
Influence company culture. Mission statements certainly outline how an organization should act, but they also dictate how employees view the company and their roles. That's because mission statements explain an organization's values and purpose, giving team members some clarity about their expectations. Additionally, they often attract candidates that align with the company's values, which can encourage high retention rates.
How to create an effective mission statement
You can follow these simple steps to create a great mission statement for your organization:
1. Detail what the organization does
Start your mission statement by simply stating what the company produces or provides, regardless of whether it's a service or a product. For example, a creative agency might say that they develop marketing and advertising products for clients.
It can sometimes be helpful to differentiate your company's products or services from the top competitors by detailing an area of expertise or specialty. That same creative agency, for instance, might say that they utilize copywriting, photography and graphic design to create stunning marketing and advertising products for small businesses. By noting the company's distinction, you can make your company stand out to customers and guide their decision-making process.
2. Explain company operations
Briefly describe how the organization completes the tasks described in the first step. Because mission statements are ideally concise, you can detail the operations using general terms. Many organizations choose to include one or two of their core values in this section of the mission statement. Some examples of the core values you often see include:
Using sustainable practices
Improving the accessibility of natural resources
Guarding the environment
Delivering excellent customer service
Developing high-quality products
3. Describe the company's motivation
A well-written mission statement should also outline the company's purpose for existing. By incorporating this, you can create a statement that is impactful and that accurately communicates the company's passion. If you're struggling to determine the company's purpose, you can reflect on why the company was originally started.
4. Proofread the mission statement
Review the finished mission statement, looking for any grammatical or spelling errors that need to be addressed. It can be helpful to read the statement aloud and listen for any awkward phrasing or areas that need clarification. Because your mission statement is meant to motivate employees and attract customers, it's imperative that you choose actionable words that inspire confidence and communicate passion. After you've developed an impactful statement, try applying it to an actual situation so that you can evaluate its effectiveness.
Remember that a mission statement is meant to be periodically revisited and reworked. Even though the basic values should remain true, you may find that the company's goals or culture have shifted over time.
Examples of mission statements
Here are some examples of effectively written mission statements that you can use as a guide:
"To provide customers with stylish and affordable clothing made by local female designers who are committed to using sustainable and ethically sourced materials."
"To provide a wide range of customers with a delicious and healthy cold-pressed juice beverage crafted from organic and locally sourced fruits and vegetables."
"To create a memorable experience for our customers by delivering exceptional customer service and prioritizing the satisfaction of every passenger."
"To develop actionable financial solutions for individuals and corporations that allow them to achieve their investment goals and accomplish financial independence."
"To provide new homeowners with quality housing solutions that meet their needs, desires and budgets."
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