So you’re in the market for a mission statement, are you? Good idea. Actually, putting together a mission statement could be the single smartest move that your business will ever make – because a mission statement is far more than an uplifting message or ambitious vision. It’s a functional and strategic tool that helps your business calibrate its journey, and avoid running off the rails. As noted by TIME:
“Mission statements may seem overused and unimportant in the scheme of things, but a well-crafted one can help you focus your business. It can give you a framework for evaluating opportunities and deciding whether they fit your core business model and strategy. It can help you define your business and establish your brand, and it can help your employees focus their efforts and suggest ideas that fit with what you’re trying to do.”
With the above in mind, here are 5 key elements of a mission statement that will point you in the right direction, and ideally help ensure that no matter how much success you’ve enjoyed in the past, that your best and most profitable days are always ahead:
What is the primary purpose and reason that your business exists? Note that while aspects of your vision may come into play here, a mission statement isn’t the same thing as a vision statement. The latter captures where you want your business to go in the future. It’s essentially aspirational. A mission statement is about what your business is doing right now that sets itself apart, and goes beyond providing products and services (which will almost certainly change over time as demand/marketplaces shift).
In what way (or ways) does your business excel? What key competences, strengths and advantages set you apart? Granted, you may be in the process of improving and fortifying these – which is normal. The world’s most successful companies are never satisfied with the status quo, even as they dominate their marketplace. However, the idea here is to capture your core abilities and encapsulate them in an overall mission statement that both reflects what you’re amazing at – and points the way forward.
No, you don’t have to get sentimental or maudlin. But your mission statement should be inspiring and motivating, since part of its function is to recalibrate and re-energize; which is particularly important when things go wrong, when obstacles emerge, and so on. Often, the inspirational nature of a mission statement is emphasized in the words that are used to describe the elements we’ve already noted (purpose and competencies).
It’s very important – and also very difficult – to strike a balance between a functional and therefore useful mission statement, and one that is succinct and portable. If the mission statement is too short, it’ll be cryptic and exclude mandatory components. But if it’s too long, it’ll be cumbersome and probably forgettable, too. Striking this balance takes a while, but the effort is well worth it.
While a mission statement is fundamentally about the present future, it’s also important to capture the spirit and essence your business’s legacy. What are you known for in the marketplace and community, and perhaps more importantly, what do you want to be known for in the years ahead?
Mission Statements Aren’t Static
Also keep in mind that while mission statements shouldn’t change on a regular basis, they aren’t carved in stone, either. As noted by Business News Daily: “A mission statement is not evergreen. As a company evolves over time, its mission and intent may also change. A mission statement will keep your company on track, but it shouldn’t become stale or irrelevant, so revisit it every few years to fine-tune it if necessary.”
To learn more about how inbound marketing accelerates your mission statement – by helping you achieve your potential and fulfill your purpose – contact the Leap Clixx team today. Your consultation with us is free!
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