The early days of building a business are both exciting and stressful, and it can be quite difficult to prioritise your time, budget, and effort. The preparation of a mission statement often appears towards the middle to end of an entrepreneur’s to-do list. However, after reading this helpful article, you might want to move this important task to the top of that list.
What is a mission statement?
Mission statements are a crucial aspect of your business model because they create a company culture and philosophy. They are often portrayed as dry phrasing that rarely reveals much about business, but they shouldn’t be like this. Instead, they should represent a quick glimpse into your vision of your small business. The best part is that your mission statement should pass the t-shirt test, meaning if it doesn’t fit legibly on a t-shirt, then it’s too long.
Here are a few examples of mission statements we can all enjoy:
“Squarespace empowers people with creative ideas to succeed.” -Squarespace
“We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.” -Uber
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.” -PayPal
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” -Google
Do you need a mission statement?
The short answer to this is yes. A mission statement accomplishes a few things. The first is that it helps legitimise your business as a professional organisation that you can trust with your hard-earned cash. Second, it helps boost your search engine optimisation. Carefully written content shows search engines that you mean business. Third, it helps your team (even a team of one) stay focused on what’s really important for your business. A mission statement helps direct your actions towards a primary purpose. If customer service is your unique selling point, then your mission statement and your daily actions should show it.
Tips for writing a great mission statement:
Now that you know a mission statement is important, it’s time to get your small business mission statement sorted. Below you will find tips and hacks to help you find the perfect assembly of verbs and nouns to be sure that your business shines.
Keep it simple.
Remember the t-shirt test. You cannot (and should not) express every aspect of your small business, just the most important aspect. You may need to prioritise your purposes and refine your focus. However, it is this action that makes a mission statement so great.
Word choice is important.
Choose words that truly represent your business environment. If you are a professional and respectable accounting firm, be sure that your verbiage shows it. If you are a small surfboard company, then, in turn, your language should show it. Speak to your audience, not your investors.
As you write, cut out over-used phrases like industry-leading or innovation. Sales speak tends to run rampant through marketing efforts. Instead, try to use the same language you use when explaining your company to someone you meet at a party or in the queue at the supermarket.
After all, businesses are simply groups of people working towards the same goal. Be sure that your mission statement represents the people behind the brand as well as the customers engaging with your brand.
Focus on your USP.
Why is your company unique? What do you offer that no one else can? Find out what it is, how you do it, and why your customers should care. That simple formula is enough to craft the perfect mission statement.