A mission statement is one of the most important steps in creating and running your business. While it should be one of the first steps, if you have been in business a while you can always start fresh today by writing one. Why is a mission statement so important? Two reasons: first, it forces you to focus on the who (target market), what (value you are offering) and how (how do you deliver said value) of your business; secondly, it allows you to easily explain what it is you do and who you do it for in sales situations.
Before you begin, get into a creative space. For me this includes a clean working space, quiet music and tea or coffee (okay, caffeine!) and no interruptions. For everyone it is different, but do whatever it is you need to do to get into that creative thought process.
““I am so excited! I am going do this right away!””
— Erica Bunce, Entrepreneur & Grant Writer
Here is how to write a Mission Statement:
1) Get a large piece of paper or a white board (I highly recommend a white board for any business owner!) and breathe deep and be ready to get creative! If you are starting a business, or running a business, then you are already passionate about what it is you are doing, so this should be easy.
2) Write down the who, what and how of your business in a bulleted list. Don’t get hung up on details here. Just throw something down, there is time to refine in a moment. For me this looked like: marketing plans, social media, business owners, professionals, branding integrity, timely, perfect.
3) Throw together some sentences, run on or incomplete, that highlight all of the things just mentioned in step 4. It may be grammatically incorrect and repetitive but that’s totally okay. Remember, we are refining it later.
4) NOW is when you look up examples. I’m having you do this in step four because reading too many examples earlier would severely limit your personal identity in whatever was written. I simply Google “mission statement examples” for the type of business I am writing for.
While looking at the samples take note: Did you forget something? Do you prefer the verbiage in one samples versus your own? You may choose to pull from those samples as inspiration for refining your mission statement. Refine your statement no more than two times, then move on to the next step.
5) Send your mission statement to a friend or business associate to look it over. If you need it to send it to two people, one for business advice and the other for grammar, go ahead. Use their feedback to make any necessary changes.
Voila! You have your Mission Statement!
Now print it out and display it in your office, because you will be inspired by what you’ve written! This is your business, your baby and it’s coming to life! You can go back and change it once a year as your focus may change, but for now you have solid proof of what drives you.