by Bev Sninchak
You’ve just started a new business and you have every base covered – or do you? How about your mission statement? What if someone asks you about your company’s mission statement and you don’t have one yet?
Maybe you think it’s not an important facet of your business. If so, think again. As trivial as you think a mission statement sounds, it’s anything but. If your company does not yet have a mission statement, or if you’re looking to improve your existing statement, read further for valuable information and suggestions.
Purposes of a Business Mission Statement
A mission statement quantifies and qualifies information about your company is a concise, succinct way. A well-written mission statement tells potential and existing clients what your company is about, specifies your business philosophy in a cogent way, and clarifies your goals and purpose.
It also tells those who read it what your overall goals are as a company, who your key demographic client is, defines what your primary product or service is to the client, and lets readers know what’s special or distinct from other businesses so they can better understand why selecting your product or service is superior or unique from other companies.
How to Develop Your Business Mission Statement
Mission statements should be brief, but powerful, in their construction. To develop an effective mission statement, here are essential questions to ask: What is the purpose of my business? Who are my target clients? What impression do I want to give potential customers? What words or ideas encapsulate my company’s primary philosophies? How do my company’s products and services meet the client’s needs in ways other companies do not? What are your short-term versus long-term goals?
Once you have listed these questions and considered them, write out brief answers to each of them, focusing on words that leave a distinct impression by their usage. As an example, is it better to walk or to saunter? You can use either word, but “saunter” gives a better mental picture of how you’re actually walking.
Likewise, choose dynamic, action-based words in your mission statement to add punch and verve to it that will capture your reader’s attention. Select no more than four key elements to your mission statement, making sure the completed statement is no longer than three or four sentences, maximum. This is why selecting words that make an impact is so important.
Where and How to Use Your Business Mission Statement
Your mission statement should be visible to not only your clients, but to your employees as well. That means it should be posted on your website, on your business cards, in your office, in written materials your company distributes, and even in your email signature lines. In short, your company’s mission statement should remain visible and accessible to every single person who makes contact with your company. It does no good to develop and write a mission statement if it’s hidden or a nebulous collection of sentences that nobody ever sees or reads.
One final reminder: Just as companies evolve and change to meet customer needs, so will a mission statement. Although you will try to cover the essence of short- and long-term goals in your statement, those may likely change in the future. Therefore, it’s important to revisit your mission statement on a regular basis, ideally at the end of each year.
A mission statement should remain an active, accurate description of your business. Don’t let it get stale or become obsolete. Don’t hesitate to revise your statement or take suggestions for improvement under consideration whenever necessary.
Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for both print and online publications. She writes about many subjects, from the importance of cultivating positive Reputation.com reviews to social media strategies.