Finding your business’ direction plays a critical role in your growth and ability to help others. And one key way you can create a clear path for your business is by developing a mission statement.
Your mission statement can determine and advertise what your business does, how you do it, who you serve, and your core values. By crafting the perfect mission statement, you can enhance your business’ chances of success while helping your community and creating a thriving company culture at the same time. Here’s how to do it!
What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short description in which a business describes its function, purpose, and goals. Mission statements are often only a sentence long, and they focus on conveying to the public what the company wants to achieve as well as its business plan and values.
What is your business trying to achieve? What are your values?
Here at Greatness Media, our mission is to “inspire humanity to live greater, love deeper, and leave a legacy,” and to “be the number one place to seek inspiration and make a positive impact on 100 million lives weekly.” Within that mission statement, you can see how our values are to inspire and improve humanity. We also describe the specifics surrounding our goal by including the exact number of people we plan to reach.
Why Are Mission Statements Important to a Business?
Your company needs direction and purpose to succeed, and creating a solid mission statement drives your business and employees forward to success. When your employees have a clear path and believe in your company’s vision, they’re far more likely to stay with your company while enhancing their work performances as well.
According to LinkedIn, employees who focus on a mission within a company are 54% more likely to stay with the business for at least five years when compared to employees who are only interested in their careers and money. Additionally, mission-focused employees are 30% more likely to become high achievers within a business.
Businesses with a great mission statement can motivate their employees and help them recognize the value and meaning within their work. People can motivate themselves through their careers and finances, BUT believing that you’re part of something greater and more meaningful to humanity is far more powerful than any paycheck.
A great mission statement can also enhance your business by creating more trust within your company. According to Forbes, companies with a solid mission are more likely to gain the trust of their stakeholders. 81% of employees working for a mission-driven business stated that stakeholders trust leaders within the company. Those without a strong mission statement only had 54% of employees saying that stakeholders trusted the organization’s leadership.
Enhancing Your Brand with a Mission Statement
Your mission statement also heavily impacts your brand and the public perception of it. Building your business’ brand serves two critical functions: creating more awareness for your business and further increasing your company’s trustworthiness among consumers.
Helping Others with Your Business
Although there’s nothing wrong with wanting to increase your business’ revenue, successful business owners recognize that running a company is about more than just increasing the bottom line — you can also use your business’ success to help others.
For example, the biotechnology company Gilead Sciences crafted its mission statement around its vision to build a better, healthier world. According to its mission statement, the company is “committed to creating a healthier world for everyone — no matter the challenges ahead of us.”
The mission statement expresses the company’s desire to advance public health. Gilead Sciences fulfills this mission by researching and creating antiviral drugs, and they also donate hundreds of millions of dollars to charity.
In 2017 alone, Gilead Sciences donated $388 million — 2.9% of its profits that year — to charities through its Gilead Foundation nonprofit organization, and it donates millions to charities to advance public health.
The nonprofit company aims to assist communities that don’t have access to sufficient education. The Gilead Foundation’s fund “Creating Possible: Advancing Health Prosperity through Education Equity” has donated $30 million to advance equality in education and focuses on improving the health of adolescents.
Gilead Sciences’ charity work illustrates how businesses can use their profits and services to help others.
Take a second to think about how your business can reflect a similar mission. What does your business value? How can you use your business to serve other people?
When creating your mission statement, you can use these questions to uncover how your business can leave a positive impact.
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How Do You Write a Mission Statement for a Business?
Every excellent mission statement contains four key elements that you can use to describe your business and its values. You can ask four questions about your business to craft your perfect mission statement.
What does your business do?
How does your business do it?
For whom do you do it?
What value do you bring with your services?
Forbes author Patrick Hull cited Advance Auto Parts as a great example of having a concise and specific mission statement that informs the general public about their mission and values. Advance Auto Parts’ mission is to:
“Provide personal vehicle owners and enthusiasts with the vehicle-related products and knowledge that fulfill their wants and needs at the right price. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff will help inspire, educate and problem-solve for our customers.”
In just a couple sentences, their mission statement explains what they do, how they do it, their customers, and the value the company brings to customers.
Tips for Writing a Mission Statement
Now that you know the basic components you need to create a mission statement, it’s critical to be aware of specific tips that will help you create a focused mission for yourself and your team.
Tip #1: Understand Your Preferred Customer or Client
Think about who you’re trying to reach with your mission statement. Often, companies will design mission statements that primarily aim to connect with employees. Although connecting with your employees through your mission is critical, you also need to remember that your statement should appeal to your customers or clients. Think about who your target audience is and create your mission statement to appeal to them specifically. In short, your mission statement needs to address your target customer’s needs and how you can fulfill those needs.
Tip #2: Consult With Your Customers, Clients, or Stakeholders
You can craft your mission statement by connecting and communicating with your customers or clients. If you run a small to midsize business operation, you can speak to your clients directly to better understand their wants and needs. If you run a larger business where you don’t interact with your client or customers directly, you can send out surveys to better understand who utilizes your products or services. You can also consult and collaborate with stakeholders within your company to bring more direction to your business’ values. This also creates more trust within your company.
Tip #3: Avoid Vague Statements and Jargon
When crafting a mission statement, you should try to be specific and avoid vague cliches that could apply to any business. People should know exactly what your business does and the value you bring to others. Additionally, you should avoid including technical jargon so that people outside your industry can easily understand what you do, how you do it, and the value you bring to others. You should also steer away from making your mission statement too wordy. People don’t want to read your business’ entire story in a mission statement — get to the point of what makes your business unique and how you leave a positive impact.
Not Sure Where to Start with Creating Your Mission Statement?
Writing a mission statement from scratch can seem daunting, but you can use the information in this article to get started, and you can also check out the many resources on our website to learn more about running a successful business.
Additionally, there are several great websites and publications that can offer further information on writing a mission statement, including Forbes and Entrepreneur. We also recommend checking out some of our powerhouse podcast episodes about developing your business and personal brand, including our interviews with Dan Lok, David Rubenstein, and more.
You deserve to have a thriving business that brings value to others. Create your perfect mission statement today to grow your business and continue on your journey to greatness!