When starting a business, there’s certainly no shortage of things to consider. From writing a business plan and securing capital to signing a lease and hiring staff, there are a lot of boxes to check off at each step in the process. Among those tasks that every business should complete before launch is having a written mission statement.
Simply put, a mission statement is a short proclamation of what your company is all about. This statement is one that you and your team should consult on a regular basis and may even choose to share publically in the form of an ad campaign or as a pledge on your website. Clearly mission statements have an important role in many businesses, but that doesn’t necessarily make them easy to write.
If you’re looking to create a mission statement for your company, there are a few different aspects you should consider. Keep in mind that these each of these elements may only make up a few words of your finished statement or may be left out entirely. Still, it’s important to consider them nonetheless.
Your market and customers
One of the first elements to consider when crafting your company mission statement is who you’re trying to reach. Who are your customers? How will you best serve them? Answering these types of questions is not only important from a marketing standpoint but including them in your mission statement will act as a reminder of what your core business is all about.
Your company culture
While no company can survive without customers, employees are an equally important part of any business. That’s why you may want to include the tenets of your corporate culture in your mission statement. This could be reasons why people should want to work for you, what your employees do, or who they are. For example maybe you value collaboration among your team or perhaps your business wants to emphasize diversity in its workforce — both of these characteristics may deserve to be highlighted in your final statement. Backblaze founder Gleb Budman recently wrote about the many struggles of surviving your first year in business, including the need to have all of the key players on the same page in order to develop a successful company culture.
If you’re looking for greater inspiration when writing your mission statement, it’s always a good idea to think back to what made you want to start a business in the first place. Often times reflecting on that initial spark will help you determine what it is you want to say about the company that grew out of it. Additionally inserting that passion into your mission statement will help it to stand out and make it memorable.
What makes you so special? It’s not very often you hear that phrase used sincerely but, in this case, it applies. Your company mission statement should affirm what makes your business different from the competition and what defines your company’s identity. In fact, this element might include pieces of the other three, making it a must for any company mission statement.
Even if they may sound hokey to some, the truth is that company mission statements can be a powerful tool. Not only will they help align your team around a clear common goal but may also serve to motivate you and help you overcome some of the hurdles that come with being an entrepreneur. So while it may not be at the top of your business planning to-do list, make sure you take the time to craft a thoughtful mission statement that will hopefully lead you and your company toward success.
Also published on Medium.