What Is a Mission Statement? Definition, Overview & Examples
Every business should know what it wants, and how it wants to achieve it’s goals.
That’s where the mission statement comes in.
But what exactly is a mission statement? And how can you write your own?
Read on as we take a closer look at everything to do with mission statements.
Table of Contents
- A corporation uses a mission statement to succinctly and simply articulate its reason for existing.
- It typically consists of one statement or a brief paragraph that describes the culture, values, and ethics of an organization.
- A mission statement can inspire workers and reassure investors in the company’s future, among other things.
- To create a mission statement, think about how your business affects clients, contributors, investors, or the community and why you work to support these groups.
- A vision statement, value statement, brand, or slogan are not the same as a mission statement, which may slightly overlap other marketing content.
What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a simple and concise statement that is used by a company to explain its purpose for being. It is generally relatively short, being only a single sentence or a short paragraph.
How Mission Statements Work
Mission statements serve a wide range of purposes. They can help employees to remain focused on the task at hand, encourage them to find more innovative ways of working, or increase their productivity so as to achieve company goals.
A well-crafted mission statement will tend to outline things such as its:
- Company core values
- Company culture
- Company Personality
- Fundamental goals
It will then define how each of these different aspects will apply to the company’s stakeholders, it’s employees, suppliers, shareholders, distributors, and the general community. These different entities can use the company’s mission statement to align their goals with that of the company.
Why Is a Mission Statement Important?
The mission statement is an eye into what the company does, why it does it, and how it does it. Potential investors may refer to the mission statement to see if the overall values and ethics of the company line up with theirs before they put money down. For example, an investor that is against the meat industry would probably not want to invest in a new steakhouse.
It isn’t uncommon for larger companies to spend a huge sum of money and a fair amount of time developing and refining their mission statement. In some cases, a mission statement will eventually become a well-known household phrase.
But mission statements aren’t purely for businesses. Many successful professionals, individuals, and investors have also taken the time to put together a personal mission statement. These statements will often bring together the professional, spiritual, financial, and relational aspects of life. This will then help the individual maintain a strong and healthy work/life balance and increase their personal achievement in all of these different ways.
Drafting a Mission Statement
It can be a difficult, even a daunting task to narrow down the focus of your company to a single statement. Here’s some helpful information that could help you along the way:
- The first thing to do is outline what it is your company does. This may be something that you produce or provide to your customers.
- Next, describe the way in which your business does whatever it does. That’s not to say you should be technical, more than you should think of the values that go into what you’re doing. Whether it’s being sustainable, high quality, or great service.
- The final part should include why you’re doing what you’re doing. This is what helps you to stand out from others.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mission Statements
- Helps to clarify the purpose of a company.
- Customers and investors can use the statement to be assured that the company is committed to maintaining its values and achieving its goals.
- It is a helpful guide to motivate employees and keep them in line with the values of the company.
- Adds validity to an organization.
- Demonstrates reputability, leadership, and inspiration.
- They can often be unrealistic, which can distract employees from the goals of the company.
- Management can become too distracted with the overarching company goals and let short-term goals become neglected.
- They can be expensive and time-consuming to curate.
- The goals of a company can not resonate with particular audiences, therefore driving them away from the business.
Example of a Mission Statement
Let’s use the Swedish furniture store IKEA’s mission statement as an example:
“To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
This is a great example, it is short, concise, and easy to understand. Anybody who has shopped with IKEA will instantly be able to resonate with what they’re putting forward in their precise statement.
Mission statements are an important part of the brand and identity of your business. It can outline your goals and ambitions, such as being at the forefront of sustainable energy, equal pay, etc.
They can aid workers in maintaining their attention on the task at hand, inspire them to come up with more creative ways to work, or boost their output to assist the organization and help it to reach its objectives.
The important thing to keep in mind is you shouldn’t spend so much time on your statement that your business starts to suffer. It’s fine to let your statement develop as your business develops.
FAQs About Mission Statement
There are plenty of amazing mission statements from many different companies around the world. It is of course up to personal taste which is the best statement. Another example of a compelling mission statement is airline JetBlue: “To inspire humanity-both in the air and on the ground.”
Any statement that is too long, unclear, and badly worded will never resonate with audiences.
People often use the terms mission statement and vision statement interchangeably. However, these are slightly different types of statements. A mission statement defines the organization’s objectives and how it achieves them. A vision statement details where the organization wishes to be.
The first statement is the company’s vision of where it would like to be. Their mission statement will then outline how they expect to get there.
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