Fun and games aside, every company should have a mission statement. If it’s not for the clients you service, the colleagues you’d like to hire, or the investors you want to attract, let it be for yourself. It’s a good exercise and a significant contribution to your business plan, your branding, and a part of your value proposition.
So, what should a mission statement accomplish?
A mission statement should tell your audience what you aim to accomplish and how you are different. There is a balance though. I hope the puzzle was the first clue, but many companies have the tendency to oversell. Just a bit.
It’s ok to be optimistic but please, try to be a little realistic too. We don’t live in a time where only the biggest companies matter and where all we need to do is use as many buzzwords as possible to fit into a couple lines. There is nothing wrong with being in a niche instead of being the global leader of everything. Being in a niche means you can spend all your time on explaining why you are the best at this particular thing and why it’s an excellent plan to work with you.
Writing your mission statement? Focus on these 4 aspects.
Clearly define your added value. What is the value of the business to both customers, investors, and employees?
Try to inspire. Attract people who think alike and you would like to join your mission?
Be realistic. Don’t oversell. Be positive but keep it within the confines of people’s ability to believe you.
Be specific. Don’t turn it into an elaborate piece of prose. It’s about your business only, so no need to create a rouse around your message.
Some general writing tips:
Short and concise is almost always good. So, you statement shouldn’t require more than a few sentences.
Again, no prose. People will not remember long pieces of text. And you want to be remembered.
See it as the long-term outcome of your business plan. Meaning that it can be ambitious and thus something that might require some years to reach.
Don’t forget that when you have reached your mission, you can always change it to something even more challenging. People change, companies changes, and so do their missions.
Remember that you are probably not the only one in your company, so ask around what your colleagues (subordinates) think. A mission statement is also about the people you work with, so don’t forget to include them in it.