What is a mission statement?

Company mission statements—short or long—encapsulate what a company is about

This is a short notice of why your business exists and what your goal is.

In your business mission statement, you should make it clear what your overall objectives are and what service you provide—or the products you offer.

So, in this guide we’ll take you through everything you need to know about this topic—along with whether or not your business should create one.

Your mission vision, values, and components

There are several important points to cover in your mission statement. The three essential ones are:

  1. Your key market and the customers your business is targeting.
  2. The product or service you’re offering—the contribution you’re making to a specific industry.
  3. What makes your business unique—why your customers will look to your services over your competitors.

The important point to remember is a mission statement should be meaningful. Some businesses can make one for the sake of making one.

And some businesses consider them irrelevant.  

So to define a mission statement, you should aim to make it clear what your goals and agenda are.

The importance of mission statements

So the advantage of having one is to ensure your business is on the right path—you’ll have a direction to head in.

A clear purpose is beneficial for any stakeholders interested in the progression of your business. With your mission statement in place, they’ll see what you’re aiming for and if you’re achieving your goals.

It’s also an effective motivational tool, offering managers and other employees with a common goal. This can then help productivity levels, which in turn can help bolster employee satisfaction rates.

If your business has happy members of staff, that can help to reduce turnover rates and to encourage long-term loyalty.

There are some disadvantages to keep in mind.

Make sure you define mission statement goals realistically. If you don’t, you may find you fall short of expectations.

That can have negative results if your stakeholders aren’t happy with your progress.

You must also make sure you plan your business agenda properly. If you don’t, you can waste time and resources.

Difference between vision and mission statement

Before we go any further here, we’ll just point out the distinction between these two.

You can tell the difference between the two by breaking them down as follows:

  • Mission statement: A declaration of what your business’ goals are on a daily business—either for your services or products across a B2B or B2C industry.
  • Vision statement: Is a clear and definitive explanation of what you’re setting out to accomplish. You can view it as your business’ map—indicating what you intend to become in the future (such as an industry leader).

So the latter is more about making a clear strategic goal. While your mission statement makes it clear what your business is aiming for in the long-term.

That makes a major difference is the timeline—your mission statement maps out what you’re aiming for, but your vision is about your long-term objectives.

You can have both, of course, and many businesses do.

But you may want to explain to new employees, for example, what they’re about during the induction process.

How to write a mission statement

There isn’t a standard template to follow for this, but there are certain guidelines to keep in mind.

There are a few steps you can follow to ensure you finalise goals in satisfactory fashion:

  • Keep your statement short—there’s no need for it to be pages and thousands of words long.
  • Think about your long-term goals and what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Avoid limiting yourself—consider the possibility of expansion in the future and what this may mean for your goals.
  • Ultimately, you should outline what your plans are for the business—sum this up in a single paragraph. A few sentences is fine!

You can also ask your employees for feedback on your mission statement. You can then alter it as you see fit.

There’s no problem with changing what your original goal was.  

If you feel your old one is out of date, then you can go ahead and update it to suit your new agenda.

Mission statement examples for businesses

Again, there are many ways you can establish yours. But it’s popular these days to have them as short as possible.

This makes your message more impactful and memorable—customers and stakeholders are less likely to remember large quantities of wordy statements.

So, good mission statements look to make a snappy little statement that covers your goals.

Below are a few business mission statement examples from some major brands around the world:

  • Facebook: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
  • LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
  • Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavours to offer its customers the lower possible prices.”
  • PayPal: “To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”
  • BBC: “To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”
  • Sony: “To be a company that inspired and fulfils your curiosity.”

So, as you can see, they’re all summed up quickly in a short and sharp sentence.

They’re memorable and easy to understand. There’s nothing complex about them, they lay out a statement in easy to understand English.

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