What's your mission?
3 tips for writing a mission statement that sets you apart
In the midst all that goes into opening a business, it’s likely you’ve skipped one of the most important steps that could make all your hard work more impactful now, and for years to come—writing a mission statement.
What is a mission statement? A mission statement is a short paragraph that describes why your business exists and what it does. It may not sound important, but it is. The reality is, many mission statements are ineffective, hastily written in minutes so that it can be checked off the to-do list.
Writing a mission statement that adds value to your business requires some real effort, and thought. In about three sentences, an effective mission statement can communicate your business’s core values. Those values set your and the services and goods you offer apart from everyone else. Remember, you likely started your business to offer something unique - make sure you hold onto that purpose and share it with the world!
A good mission statement sets you apart from competitors so you’re not left to compete on price or discounts alone. Your mission statement will eventually help you shape a brand identity that carves out your space in the marketplace—even as you evolve, change, and grow.
Here are a few simple tips to help kick-start the writing an effective mission statement that will shape your brand, and ultimately your business.
Reflect on your story. Every person has a story. Your business has one, too. Think about the events that led up to your decision to start your business. Was there a lack of something in the market? Did you feel like you could offer a more superior experience than your competitors? How, and why? All of these factors are unique brand values that deserve a mention in your mission statement.
With this inspiration, you can thoughtfully breathe life into these values to shape a brand experience that customers can recognize—from the look of your logo and invoices to the music you play in your yoga classes, to the way your staff answers the phone. Perhaps you started a meditation series for teens because you felt there was a lack of classes in your town. Those values belong in your mission statement. They’re expressed through your brand offering, which might include the providing meditation to those who otherwise don't have access to it.
Identify what’s in it for them. Though a mission statement is technically about your company, it should include the all-important customer appeal: What’s in it for them. What does your company offer them and why do they need it.
Be clear about what you stand for. Are you passionate about a certain cause or specific ethics or values? These beliefs contribute to a powerful mission statement that shapes your brand and it's a powerful way to connect with your client base.
Whether you're starting a new business or refining your existing one, your mission statement serves an important purpose. By taking the time to write your business mission statement from the start, you’ll have a guide tying together the elements of your business that make up your brand!