How do I Write a Business Mission Statement?
When writing a business mission statement, start with a clear reason of why the particular organization exists. For example, something like “The XYZ Home Care Company expertly and compassionately serves the needs of elderly and disabled clients who wish to remain in their own home" clearly explains what the business does. A written mission statement should be meaningful and understandable by everyone who reads it.
Using excess or empty words in a string of "business speak" or specialized jargon should be avoided. Write your business mission statement as if you were answering a question about what the company does and stands for from a fifth-grader. This focus on simplistic clarity can keep you on the right track in creating a clear, concise, straightforward sentence or two.
Try to stay away from writing a mission statement that is so common it could apply to almost any company. Instead, incorporate product or service details into the concise, yet properly detailed business mission statement. For instance, "Brenda's Bakery is dedicated to providing fresh baked goods to the communities of East Rivers and Troppville" explains why the company exists and who it serves. On the other hand, "Brenda's Bakery provides fresh baked goods to the community" isn't distinctive enough; it's also lacking a strong word that communicates an important business value such as "dedicated" does in the other example.
Industry leadership may be an angle to use in a business mission statement, but only if that really is the company's goal. A statement such as "DeVonn's Motors strives to be the industry leader in complete, honest auto service" conveys the leadership goal while also puts forth the company's values and philosophy in terms of offering total service as well as integrity. If you stay on course with what the business stands for and what it does, you should be able to write a quality mission statement.
A test to put your written mission statement through is to be sure it can stand alone as a guiding message for employees as well as customers. If you feel that it doesn't, try adding another descriptive word or two into what you've already written for the business mission statement. Whether you're writing a mission statement for a salon, construction company or nonprofit organization, look at your finished work from the client's point of view. Ask yourself whether your statement is compelling enough to interest someone enough to contact the business.
Does anyone have some good business mission statements examples that I could look at before I try to write one of my own? I have done a lot of reading on the subject and I have seen a lot of bad examples but I have yet to have someone point out a mission statement and say "Here, this is how it's done."
I have always thought that crafting a mission statement for a business was primarily an exercise in bureaucracy rather than something that is useful to employees or customers. So many mission statements are thinly veiled marketing ploys that it is hard to think that anyone takes them seriously. Even the ones that are descriptive and specific and effective seem more like nice ideas than something of any real use.
I know that my company has a mission statement but the only time I have ever heard it or seen it referenced was in the new employees binder that they gave me when I was first hired. It is frankly not a meaningful feature of the company. It does not effect our decision making, it is just something that is there. How does it work at your companies? Does anyone have a mission statement that they have actually found useful?
The most important thing to keep in mind when you are trying to write any kind of mission statement is to figure out what makes your organization unique and focus on that difference. There are far too many mission statements that are just a laundry list of cliched sentiments like "quality products, customer service, lowest prices, guaranteed." Taken together these words mean nothing. How can you have high quality and low cost? Any consumer knows that this is meaningless.
Figure out what sets you apart from the competition and focus on that. If you really do make the best products in the industry play that up but don't try to water down the sentiment by piling on a bunch of other accolades. Good mission statements are all about focus.
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