A mission statement for any company is crucial.
Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a small startup bakery, your mission statement should embody your purpose and keep you accountable. It is, in many ways, what will set the pace for your business.
A mission statement should not be confused with your vision. A vision statement is your long-term goal. A mission statement is why you exist.
This year’s top three of the Fortune 500 list, the world’s largest companies, are great examples of a well-crafted mission statement:
- Walmart — “To save people money so they can live better.”
- Amazon.com — “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.”
- ExxonMobil — “ExxonMobil is committed to being the world’s premier petroleum and petrochemical company.”
These companies aren’t only known for regularly topping the Fortune 500 but for successfully executing exactly what they intend to do. Your mission statement is a call to action for the entire organization. Exactly how you craft it is vital.
So what are the elements that are essential to any mission statement?
A mission statement should:
- Offer a specific service. A mission statement must include a particular service. At the core of your business, why does it exist?
- Consider your target audience. Summarize what your service is for, and identify whom it exists to serve. What is the target audience and demographic? How can you craft your mission statement to grab the attention of everyone within that audience?
- Set your company apart. What makes your company different from its competitors? Your mission statement is the starting point to differentiate yourself from every other service or organization similar to you. Use this time crafting your statement to consider how you can set your business apart from the crowd.
- Establish a high standard. A well-crafted mission statement will call out the best from you and your team. Your mission should be just that — a call to action and a higher purpose. It should be compelling, inspiring and motivating.
- Be concise. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. In fact, it shouldn’t be. A mission statement should always be short, simple and to the point. A sentence or two is all you need. Make it easy to memorize and deliver.
- Be clear. Your statement should be to the point. It should leave nothing to question as to why your business exists. It doesn’t need to answer every question, but it should allow your purpose to ring as clear as day.
Creating a well-balanced, yet dynamic mission statement will take time.
To craft this well, you will need to invest significant thought and dialogue into your ideas. Take a solid afternoon with your team or trusted leaders to craft your mission statement.
Once you have this statement solidified, it will be a vital tool to gauge how your company is fulfilling its mission.