Every company needs a mission statement to determine why they are in the business and what purpose they hope to achieve.

A mission statement is a description or a short paragraph that concisely explains the purpose of a company, business, organization, or entity. A mission statement explains why the business exists, and answers the questions "Who are we?" and "What is our purpose?"

However, a mission statement is not a short business plan, and neither is it a sales pitch.

Why a business should have a mission statement

There are four key reasons why a business should have a mission statement.

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Helps guide the team forward: Having a clear and impactful mission statement provides a template for any decisions and moves made in the business. A mission statement clearly outlines the purpose for the existence of the company.

Helps to focus growth strategies: A business without purpose can have anything, sell everything and try to cater to everyone's needs. A mission statement helps the team focus all growth strategies toward fulfilling and exploring the mission.

Shapes company culture: A clearly defined mission drives action. Employees will work a certain way, management will react a certain way, products will be created and services provided in a specific fashion. All this will be in response to the mission. This will shape the culture of the company and how everyone involved relates and feels about the business.

Invites creativity: A business' mission is usually broad. The description of what a company is and its purpose leaves a lot of room for growth as it strives to live up to it. Each product/service should be a reflection of the mission statement. If they are not, there is room for improvement. A mission statement invites creativity to bloom in the company to create products/services that reflect their mission.

What should you include in a mission statement?

There are several things a mission statement should have:

Written in a present tense: Write the mission statement in the present tense. This is unlike a vision statement, which is written in the future tense. The mission statement explains what the business is now.

Values and plausibility: The values the business stands for should come across clearly in the mission statement. Clear values give plausibility to the business and encourage the customers to trust the company.

Holistically inspirational: Specificity should not cage the business to a narrow mission. Ensure the mission statement is all-encompassing of everyone in the business, every business area and every hope of the business and its founders.

Flexible: Do not set a mission statement in stone. Businesses change their mission statements all the time to reflect their new clientele, information, cultures, or different standards. Avoid etching the mission statement in stone and allow room for change and growth.

How to write a mission statement for your business

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A mission statement should identify four things:

The scope of the business: Answers the question "What do we do?"

The products or services provided: Answers the question "How do we do what we do?"

The intended market: Answers the question "Who are we doing it for?"

The business' value to its intended market: Answers the question "What is the value of what we do?"

To hit all four key areas, a business should use these five steps to craft its mission statement:

1. Clearly define what the business does

Describe what the business is and what it does, without being wordy or delving into too much detail. This should be the bite-sized version of a business definition taken from the business plan or proposal. It should be clear and geared toward the client/customer. Add in how the business does what it does by mentioning the key product/service.

Example: "Our revolutionary AI technology makes it safer for women living alone."

2. Give the "why" factor

Stick to the very core of why the business exists. This will show the client the value of the product or service and what it brings to their life. Ensure that this point makes the business stand out from the others in the same niche.

Example: "To help prevent the victimization and harassment of women."

3. Keep it concise, precise and succinct

Avoid any unnecessary backstory or wordiness. A mission statement does not need to be long to get the point across.

Example: "We only source food you can trust." This gets the point across without having to talk about sourcing the food from local organic farmers.

4. Ensure it is inspirational

A mission statement needs to inspire and start a fire in the heart of every client, employee, partner, or investor in the business. It should work as a motivation toward achieving the vision of the company. Show what the business aspires to do, but write it in the present tense.

5. Retain specificity

Specific products, a specific group of people, a specific market, or even specific goals go a long way in making a mission statement more plausible. It will resonate with the target group and increase company loyalty.

Conclusion

Keep your mission statement short, inspiring and plausible. Remember to write it in the present tense. Do not forget to include the reason why you have started your business. This will ensure the company gets a place in the hearts of people, ensuring longevity and success.