Ready to show the world what you can do? Whether you’re pitching your business to a potential new partner or want to generate new leads, it’s a really good idea to be clear on your mission.
Your mission statement is your ethos, your reason for being in business. Of course, many business owners will naturally say that they do what they do for money – that’s obvious. To enjoy what we do as businesspeople, we need to have an inner purpose, a drive, a reason for pushing for the best results.
That’s what your mission statement’s for. Do you want to change people’s lives? What about being the best at what you do? What about innovations in technology, healthcare, finance or otherwise?
In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at the fundamentals you absolutely need to keep in mind when writing your mission statement for the first time. Here are six steps you’ll want to keep in mind during your draft.
Step 1: What, How, and Why?
Simple enough questions on paper, but you’ll need to dig deep into the intrinsic elements of your firm. What is it you actually produce or provide? How do you do it – and why?
The ‘why’ is likely to be the hardest part of this equation. As mentioned, the last thing you’re going to want to focus is on profits. For the purpose of a mission statement, you’re going to need to keep your consumers at the heart of what you offer.
What is it you aim to do to change their lives for the better? What sets you apart from the pack in a positive way? It doesn’t matter if this goal is tangible or not. What you really need to do is make it clear that you have a vision beyond pure profit, and that it’s easy to understand.
Step 2: Who Are You Pitching To?
Different mission statements do different things. Some are pitching to consumers, others are pitched to employees. In some cases, you might even be drafting a mission statement to appeal to your shareholders.
One of the best things you can do to cover all bases is to – well – do just that. Try not to shorten your scope. Instead of simply mentioning the wellbeing of your customers, make sure you mention your shareholders or even the world at large.
Go big or go home, as they say – but don’t go over the top if it’s irrelevant to your wider goals as a business owner.
Step 3: Think Long-Term
Again, go big, or go home. You’re not writing a mission statement to appeal to people who might be interested for only a few months.
You’re here to make a difference to the world, or at least as many people as possible, and you’re going to do that over a long period of time.
Make sure to focus on your wider impact. Consider that your mission statement is going to be evergreen – it’ll need to last beyond the end of the week, the end of the month, and so on – will it still be relevant in a year’s time?
Step 4: What’s Your Solution?
One of the biggest things you should keep in sight regarding your mission statement is what you actually do when it comes to helping people – specifically, what solutions do you bring to the table?
It’s worth considering what you actively do to help common problems. What’s your unique selling point (USP)? Is it to make shopping more convenient for customers? Is it to help speed up booking tickets online?
It’s also worth thinking big here, too. You should consider what bigger problems in the world, or in the industry, you want to attack for the better.
Again, you need to think beyond the here and now. You need to speak with power, panache and confidence. There are no maybes here – be precise about what you intend to do long-term.
Step 5: Consider Your Values
Which values are integral to the way you run your business? Do you pride yourself on honesty and clarity in all that you do? Do you believe in making things affordable for people in an expensive industry?
It’s worth brainstorming values out as much as you can, though you may feel it looks like a list of corporate buzzwords, this is actually going to be very helpful for planning out the meat of your mission statement.
Your values add humanity to your mission statement and, thus, your company. You’re not just telling the world what you want to do – you’re telling people what you can and will bring to their lives along the way. What is it that really drives you in what you have to offer?
Step 6: Keep it Simple
Last and by no means least, you must keep your mission statement simple and straightforward. It’s reasonable to assume that you have to go overboard and write a huge passage with all of the above tips. However, keeping things simple and succinct is the key to really appealing to people.
Consider how other mission statements appeal to you. If a company approached you with a long, rambling block of text, would you feel compelled to invest in them? Probably not.
Confidence comes from a mission statement that is brief but powerful. It is all about making sure that your readers know what you do with very little impetus.
Above all, don’t feel that you have to keep your missions statement the same for the years to come. We talk about making it evergreen above, but always make sure that you can tweak and edit your statement if things change in the years to come. Your audience may alter, your mission will too.
Don’t ever feel intimidated by making a mission statement. All businesses need to lay down their plans – and when it comes to setting up your own message, you need to be clear, concise, and considerate. Think beyond revenue!