A mission statement is a few sentences that sums up the aim of your company. It’s an essential part of the business plan, and shouldn’t be fired out in a couple of minutes with no second thought.
Mission statements are an important step in explaining your business to customers. Without it, people wouldn’t know what your business goal is, and how you’re going to help customers better their lives. Also, if you don’t have a mission statement it could look like your business wants to hide the company’s goal.
Avoid any confusion by taking time to write a direct and interesting mission statement that’s going to make people remember your company.
Simply does it
When starting a business, a mission should be one of the easiest things to create. You have a business idea that you think will be popular. So summing up what you’re doing should be a walk in the park, right? If only. Unfortunately, putting everything about your business into words isn’t always an easy task. There are lots of things to consider, yet you only have a few sentences to do it in.
When we’re not sure what to write, we tend to fill the gaps with words that don’t need to be there. Go back to basics and remember that there’s no harm in simplicity. If you’re not sure whether a word you’re using really describes your business’ mission, just don’t use it. Simple.
You might own a paper printing business, but that doesn’t mean your mission statement has to be boring.
Small businesses can look beyond their means to set their mission statement, rather than limiting themselves. Set your sights at where you see the business heading in the future. Explain how you’re going to make people’s lives better and how you’re going to meet your own needs at the same time.
Note: Don’t talk about numbers and money. People aren’t inspired by companies that are profit-obsessed, and will be less likely to connect with your mission.
But not too inspiring…
Yes, take your idea and run with it. Bring power to the people. Make lives better because of your business. But don’t promise the impossible.
There’s an inspiring mission statement, and there’s mission statements that are promising too much to their customers. It can be easy to get carried away in how you’re going to enrich the likes of public when you’re writing your mission, but remember that you’re only one business at the end of the day.
Tricky customers will find anything that could pin you to a promise, so don’t write anything that will get you in hot water further down the line. You can ensure you don’t promise the world to customers by revising your statement once it’s written, and editing it thoroughly.
Buzzwords are everywhere. And people are tired of them. All it takes is plain English to get your mission statement to stand out from thousands of others.
Any words that could be considering industry jargon should be thrown away immediately and instead, you should think about what you need to say.
Avoid buzzwords by saying your statement out loud. If it sounds like how you would explain your business, then you’ve got the green light. However, if your business’ mission is to ‘think outside the box’ by being a ‘game changer’ then it’s time to give yourself a slap on the wrists and start speaking to your audience in English.
If you go to the trouble of forming a business and writing a mission statement for it, it makes sense to give it the once over before posting it on your company website.
Bad grammar equals bad practice, so don’t let your fantastic statement get lost in a series of misplaced commas and rushed spelling. If you don’t take the time to edit and proofread your website copy, your audience won’t take your business seriously.
Short and sweet vs long and rambling
Opt for a compact statement rather than a lengthy one. Your customers want to know the aim of your business, not the colour of your second cousin’s son’s cat’s hat. Limit yourself to a paragraph, or two at most.
It’s good to have a mission statement with lots to say. It isn’t good to have one four pages long. If you’ve got big ideas for your mission statement keep it as simple as possible. If you waffle too much you’ll lose half your readers along the way. Keep is short and sweet for an engaged audience who’ll make it to the end.
Got more tips for writing a great mission statement? Leave your comments below!