How to Establish a Mission Statement for Your Business
From brainstorming ideas to tips for differentiating your business from the competition, experts share their advice.
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Make no mistake about: A mission statement can serve as a guiding light for a business. "It helps you make the right business decisions, provides a roadmap for your employees, and tells the world who you are," explains small business expert Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, founder of YOLO Insights. "It is your public image, kind of like a written or verbal headshot."
According to entrepreneur and business scaling expert Carolin Soldo, a mission statement, or a short description about what a business is designed to do for its customers, can also communicate what your business might look like in the future. "A successful business can always turn to its mission statement to help make the right decisions in a variety of areas including products, marketing, hiring, finances, and more," she explains. "Without a mission statement, your staff can easily make the wrong decisions and lead the business in the wrong direction." Interested in learning about how to craft a superior mission statement for your business? From brainstorming ideas to tips for differentiating your business from the competition, Barnes-Hogg and Soldo share their advice ahead.
Before you can compose an impactful mission statement for your business, Barnes-Hogg says it important to ask yourself a few questions to spark your thinking. "Decide what motivates you and your business the most, and what values drive your work," she advises. "You'll also need to research who needs your product or service, so you can determine your target market as well as ways your business can give back to the community."
Keep it brief.
According to Soldo, the best mission statements are short and concise. "The ideal length is one sentence, so that it can be easily understood by all stakeholders," she explains. To ensure that your mission statement is clear and straight-to-the-point, Barnes-Hogg says to avoid using jargon, slang, and buzzwords because their meanings can change over time. "The goal is to make it short and memorable, so people can easily understand what you do and what you stand for," she says.
Appeal to prospective customers.
Along with clearly communicating what drives your business, Soldo says an effective mission statement should also address your target market. "You should be crystal clear about who the ideal customer is and be able to make a referral to your business based on your mission statement," she advises. "This is important to ensure your business communication and marketing strategy is always aligned with its ideal customers."
Barnes-Hogg says one surefire way to appeal to potential customers in your mission statement is to evoke an emotional connection. "You want to energize and inspire them," she explains.
Be clear about what your business has to offer.
A thoughtful mission statement should also serve as a reminder to you and your staff what exactly your business can bring to the table. "Be as specific as possible on the types of services your business provides," Soldo advises. "This is important to help your staff keep top of mind what your business does and what it doesn't do when evaluating new product or service offerings."
Differentiate yourself from the competition.
Soldo says the most successful mission statements are ones that reveal what sets a business apart from its competitors. "Infuse your mission statement with differentiators in your niche," she says. "When you are able to show how your business is different from the competition and what makes you who you are as a business, you give your staff confidence, and you give your customers the confidence to buy from you for the right reasons."