A mission statement is a declaration of the purpose of a company or organization. It’s a way to focus and guide your actions and keep you on track as you grow.
Many people think that mission statements are only for huge corporations, but they can make a significant difference for a business of any size because they help with your focus, intent, and activity.
If you don’t have a mission statement, or it’s been wasting away unused in a file cabinet for years, now is the time to grab hold of the basics, sharpen your pencil, and create a mission statement to guide you and unite your team through the next phase of your company’s growth.
Mission Statement Examples
Here are some examples of mission statements to give you an idea of how different companies have approached this task.
- Zappos: To live and deliver WOW.
- Southwest Airlines: The mission of Southwest Airlines is the dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.
- Apple: To empower people through great products.
- Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Amazon: To serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.
- Walmart: To save people money so they can live better.
Qualities of a Great Mission Statement
A great mission statement should be:
- Specific: It should define the company’s specific purpose or goals. For example, “To sell the best possible products” is too vague. A better statement would be “To create innovative products that improve people’s lives.”
- Meaningful: It should be something that the company genuinely cares about and believes in. For example, Google’s mission is “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This mission is important to Google because they believe that access to information should be a fundamental human right.
- Inspiring: It should motivate and inspire employees. For example, Southwest Airlines declares: “The mission of Southwest Airlines is the dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.” This mission inspires employees to provide excellent customer service.
- Unique: It should set the company apart from its competitors. For example, Apple’s mission is “To empower people through great products.” This mission is unique because it focuses on the company’s customers rather than its products.
- Actionable: It should be something that the company can actually achieve. For example, a company might have the goal of becoming “The most popular website in the world.” This is an achievable goal, but it’s not something that can be done overnight.
- Concise: It should be short and to the point. A mission statement should be no more than a few sentences.
How to Write a Mission Statement
Now that you know what makes a great mission statement, you can start writing your own. Here are some tips:
- Keep it short and simple: A mission statement should be no more than a few sentences.
- Define your purpose: What is the specific purpose of your company or organization?
- Focus on your customers: Why do you exist? What value do you provide to your customers?
- Be unique: What makes your company different?
- Be true to yourself: Write a mission statement that is meaningful to you and reflects your values.
- Stay focused: Keep your mission statement concise and focused on what you want to achieve.
- Keep it updated: As your company or organization grows and changes, make sure to update your mission statement.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
It’s critical to understand the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement.
A mission statement focuses on what your company does now, while a vision statement focuses on what you want your company to be in the future.
Your mission statement should be brief, clear, and easy to remember. It should describe what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for.
Your vision statement should be ambitious and inspiring. It should describe your long-term goals and the impact you want to make in the world.
Here are some examples of vision statements from well-known companies:
1. Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.
2. Google: To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
3. Walmart: Be the destination for customers to save money, no matter how they want to shop.
4. Apple: We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.
As you can see, these vision statements generally paint a broader, bigger picture. They talk about the company’s place on earth or in the world, for example. They are less immediately achievable than the company’s corresponding mission statement.
Having More Than One Mission Statement
A mission statement can help you stay focused on your goals and objectives. It can also help you stay true to your values and it can make it easier to communicate your company’s purpose to customers and employees.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one mission statement.
You can have multiple mission statements that focus on different aspects of your business.
For example, you might have a mission statement for your overall company, and you might also have separate mission statements for each of your products or services.
You might also have a mission statement for your marketing efforts or for your research and development.
The important thing is to make sure that all of your mission statements are aligned with each other and with your overall company strategy.
Mission Statement Templates
If you’re having trouble getting started, you can use a mission statement template. Here are a few examples:
1. Our mission is to ______________.
2. We exist to ______________.
3. Our purpose is to ______________.
4. We are dedicated to ______________.
5. Our goal is to ______________.
Once you have a draft of your mission statement, you can refine it until it’s perfect. Just remember to keep it simple, focused, and true to your values.
In closing, a mission statement is a great way to define your company’s purpose and stay focused on your goals. It can also help you communicate your company’s values to customers and employees. And make sure to keep it brief, clear, and easy to remember!
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