An important part of setting up your own business is getting your mission statement down. Some dispute the value of writing a mission statement claiming that it is a waste of time and once written, it is never referred to again so why do it?
I am of the opinion that a brief statement is a necessary part of getting your business off the ground. Your mission statement should define or summarize your business and address what your company wishes to achieve. Your mission statement should be written in the broadest sense so that you are not limited in any way as your business changes and (hopefully) grows. You should avoid unrealistic statements like “the best Administrative Consultant since sliced bread” because before potential customers can see what you are really about, they are already doubting your credibility.
Points you can include in your own mission statement:
- What your company hopes to achieve
- Public image
- Target market
- Services/ products
- Future endeavours
- How your company differs from the competition
- How your company benefits your customers
As your statement should be brief and to the point, it is not necessary to include every concept detailed above but they should give you a rough idea of what you need to think about. Again, write in the widest sense possible because you can fine tune the other aspects in your business plan which is technically for your own eyes only.
You may still be wondering what you can gain from taking the time out to write your own mission statement. Basically, it is a way in which to maintain focused on your business and where it is going. It also serves as a reminder of your initial goals and aspirations at the beginning of your journey which in turn may act as your moral compass in a way if you lose sight of why you began the business in the first place. Your mission statement can also help you as you make decisions on a daily basis; decisions that may affect your company in a big way so despite what some may think, it is definitely a valuable part of your business and something you can refer to time and time again. One of the most important factors is that your mission statement not only helps you plan your goals but helps you achieve them.
Once you’ve written your statement, you can create a catchy slogan to go with it. Slogans also play an important role where your company’s image is concerned because people will associate the two. We spoke about this in my previous post Developing Your Brand and how a certain phrase can immediately makes us think of a brand such as Nike or Apple for example.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how well known international companies have written their own mission statements:
IKEA’S MISSION STATEMENT: “Ikea’s mission is to offer a wide range of home furnishing items of good design and function, excellent quality and durability at prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them”. SLOGAN: “Affordable solutions for better living”
SONY’S MISSION STATEMENT: “To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public”. SLOGAN: make.believe
MICROSOFT’S MISSION STATEMENT: “Our Mission: At Microsoft, we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible. Our Values: As a company and as individuals, we value integrity and honesty; passion for customers, for our partners and for technology; openness and respectfulness; taking on big challenges and seeing them through; constructive self-criticism, self-improvement and personal excellence; accountability to customers, shareholders, partners and employees for commitments, results and quality”. SLOGAN: Be what’s next
Hopefully these examples will inspire you with your own task but remember that your mission statement should be personal to YOU. It is YOUR business so your statement should reflect just that.