Mission Statement Examples and Getting One Written for Your Business
One of the best things you can do to connect with your customers, clients, investors, or even your employees is write a mission statement for your business. If you’re only just starting out in a new venture you might not be familiar with the term, but we’re here to provide the assistance you need. We’ve created this guide to provide mission statement examples, information on everything you need to know, and what you need to do to write the best one out for your business.
Read on to learn more about mission statements and take the next step on the road to success with your new business today. You may even find something to take your team to even greater heights than you had previously imagined!
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short but powerful blurb that tells customers and employees exactly what they should expect from a company. It describes the very essence and purpose of the business in clear and concise terms that any member of the public can follow, without any confusion or need for further questions.
When starting the process of writing out a good mission statement for your business, you should make sure that the one you decide on:
- Says who your customers are (and, sometimes, where you operate)
- Explains what products and services you provide
- Gives the ultimate value or positive outcome of these products or services
- Tells the world how you make it all possible
What Should a Mission Statement Not Be?
Mission statements are often mistaken for other parts of a brand’s identity, such as company goals and objectives, so it’s important to be aware of what they are not. We have explained a few of the aspects that they’re likely to be confused with below:
- A mission statement is what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and what value you bring by doing it.
- A vision statement is what you hope to achieve by carrying out your company’s mission.
- Your company goals are the tangible outcomes that need to be achieved to succeed in your mission.
- Your core values are what unites your team to work towards everything written above.
More on Vision and Mission Statements
Mission and vision statements are commonly put together, and therefore can be difficult to separate out. Remembering that a vision statement is a company looking to the future and telling its audience what it hopes to achieve through the mission statement is key to being able to keep them distinct from each other.
There are also a couple of other factors that you may wish to keep in mind when telling vision and mission statements apart:
- A mission statement describes your company’s current purpose, what it does for its target audience, and states key offerings that you bring, all in the present tense.
- A vision statement looks beyond the company’s current purpose, to its overarching vision. It’s possible to refer to elements of your mission statement in a vision statement, but they should be described in the future tense.
How Long is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement will not need to be very long at all, and having it be too long could actually hinder what you’re trying to achieve by setting one out. Instead, it should be direct, purposeful, and act like a small headline or summary for your company. It should be a few sentences at most, and the shorter it is the “snappier” it will appear to target audiences.
How Does a Mission Statement Work?
Mission statements work to serve a dual purpose: they help employees to remain focused on the tasks they have at hand and they encourage them to find innovative methods of increasing their productivity. The latter is done with the ultimate aim of achieving company goals.
As well as defining a company’s culture, values, ethics, goals, and agenda, a mission statement should also define how each of these applies to its stakeholders. This refers to its employees, distributors, suppliers, and shareholders, as well as the wider community. Knowing and understanding your mission statement can assist any of these people in aligning their goals with the goals of your company.
It’s also possible that prospective investors will refer to the mission statement you’ve written up for your business to see if your values align with theirs. As an example, you may expect an ethical investor who is against tobacco products to not invest in a company with a mission in mind to become the UK’s largest supplier of cigarettes.
What are the Benefits of Having a Mission Statement?
Companies can benefit from having a mission statement in a range of different ways. We’ve explained some of these in greater detail for you to consider before you get started on writing your own for your business:
Mission Statements Attract Talent
Many prospective employees will take your mission statement into consideration when deciding whether or not they want to apply. Having a great mission statement in place is more likely to encourage the like-minded talent you want, with similar goals to your own, to apply to join your team.
Mission Statements Create Company Identities
A mission statement helps to establish the core identity of a business and sets up a basis for the whole team to make decisions. They contribute to your company brand and encourage unity among everyone who works with or supports your firm. Your company’s identity is what makes it different from its competitors, and the mission statement is one of the most direct ways to express your company identity.
Mission Statements Guide Company Culture
Your mission statement provides a guide for the company culture and workplace environment you want to cultivate and develop over time. Altogether, the values and beliefs of a business will create a unique cultural environment and the mission statement will provide an official method of expressing that created culture.
It should also clearly reflect the values you want represented, guiding your employees’ actions and organisational initiatives.
Mission Statements Help to Develop Purpose
A good mission statement will give your employees purpose and help them to engage with what they’re doing. It helps them see the clear meaning behind their work and gives them clear reasons as to why what they do helps to benefit your business and achieve a larger goal. This also lets them see the positive aspects of their work, boosts morale, and creates long-term investment in the culture you’ve established.
Mission Statements Improve Performance
With a mission statement in mind that everyone understands, you’re likely to see an improvement in performance. This is because they provide a clear goal and motivate employees to work towards your company’s long-term plans, turning your small business into a larger one. They also help to create an environment that encourages people to work well, and to hold themselves to high standards.
Mission Statements Align Behaviours
A mission statement focuses everyone on your team, aligning their behaviours at work towards the same goal or goals. Your employees can use it to evaluate your business structure, or to help make decisions about policies or procedures that need to be implemented. It will even make sure that different departments are still working together, and that every part of your workplace grows and progresses as you want.
Mission statements also make sure workplace behaviours are kept consistent with ideal outcomes, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.
Mission Statements Build Community
If you want your company and its employees to connect with members of your local (or wider) community, and to establish a good reputation with your customers, clients, business partners, or investors, then a mission statement will help. They help you to find like-minded people who share similar beliefs, values, and have similar goals to your own, and can help to form positive associations with your brand by being written so they’re appealing to the public.
Mission Statements Encourage Critical Thinking
If you want your employees to grow in their roles and to think critically about the impact their actions will have on short and long-term company goals, a mission statement can encourage this. It can help them to consider how your company could potentially grow and expand in different contexts, while still upholding the same values. In this way, it becomes a precise strategy that can then be applied to any situation your company may come across.
Mission Statements Envision the Future
Your mission statement should provide an ideal vision for your company’s future, directing its growth towards the ultimate goal you can see and have set out. As well as helping them to think critically, this means a mission statement should also encourage your employees to think about how their actions within the workplace will have an impact on the business’ success in the future and on company culture.
As a mission statement should direct an employee’s actions, they may also have a significant impact on peoples’ futures, as well as how your business will grow over time.
Are There Disadvantages to Having a Mission Statement?
In comparison to the benefits, there aren’t many disadvantages to having a mission statement. However, you should be careful to make sure that the one you write up for your company is kept realistic. Otherwise, there is a danger that it will become too grandiose, which might distract employees from your company goals.
There is also a chance that you will end up using a lot of time and money on developing your mission statement. If the first draft, or even drafts, of your mission statement don’t meet your requirements and end up having to be discarded and rewritten, this will have been wasted. Thinking of ideas for your mission statement in your spare time might help to relieve some of the time you have available in your working hours, alongside giving a break to your budget.
Mission Statement Examples from Prestigious Brands
Here, we have provided mission statement examples from a range of brands and businesses known across the UK and all over the world, so that you can see what makes a great mission statement before you start writing one for your (currently) small business:
- The BBC: “To enrich peoples’ lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”
- LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
- Kickstarter: “To help bring creative projects to life.”
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.* If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
- Forbes: “To deliver information on the people, ideas and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision makers.”
- Facebook: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
- PayPal: “To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”
- The Walt Disney Company: “To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
- Microsoft: “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realise their full potential.”
How to Write a Mission Statement in Six Simple Steps
It may be difficult to describe your business in only a short paragraph or even just a couple of sentences, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Below, we have provided a six-step guide on writing out a mission statement that will help others to understand what it is you intend to bring to the world with your company:
Step One: Take Inventory of What You Have
Start broadly speaking; sit down by yourself or with your team and take inventory, using the following questions:
- What is your core business type, or what is the business activity that’s the main source of your company’s profits and success?
- What are your tangible deliverables, or the goods or services produced as a result of a project that will be delivered to customers?
- What makes your deliverables different from competitors?
- What problems do your deliverables solve for your customers?
- What benefits do your deliverables provide?
- What is your unique value proposition?
- What is your brand personality?
- What is your “secret sauce”, or a special quality or feature that makes you stand out?
- What other advantages do you have over your competitors?
- What are your team members’ strengths? Do they have any “secret weapons”?
- Who are your target customers?
- What are your general audience segments or personas?
- Does your audience exist in a particular location or region?
Step Two: Gather Your Information
Bring together all the answers you’ve come up with for the questions we’ve listed above and turn them into a reasonable, actionable statement that describes how you want to operate and to what purpose. The information can be organised into four separate sections:
- What you do
- How you do it
- Who you do it for
- Your ultimate benefit or the value achieved
It’s also possible to blend some of these parts together, or to leave them out if you feel they’re not necessary. Not all mission statements include every item on this list.
Step Three: Narrow it Down
After you’ve got an answer for each section, narrow them down into a phrase or two. We’ve set out a couple of example formulas that you can use to do this below:
- We [what you do] by [how you do it] for [target customers] to [ultimate benefit or value you provide].
- We [provide this value] to [target customers] by [what you do] through [how you do it].
Step Four: Embellish it for Emotional Appeal
You should avoid making your statement overly flowery and keep it to something readable, but you might want to see if adding or substituting certain words lends more emotional appeal. Could the word “empower” be better than the word “help”, for instance, while still putting your point across effectively?
Step Five: Put it to the Public
After this, it will be time to make your mission statement available to the public. There is more than one way that you can do this, so we have provided some examples here:
- Create a page for your website that’s dedicated to your vision and mission statements, your goals and objectives, and your values.
- Use it as your homepage headline (if it’s short enough).
- Use it in your social media (pages like your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn).
- Link to it in job postings, so that prospective employees can see.
Step Six: Make Adjustments Where Needed
Once you’ve got your mission statement, it will need to be revisited and revised as your small business grows and gets bigger. If you’ve got new management in, rebranded, merged with another company, or had a change in strategies, goals and objectives, it’s likely that your mission statement will need to evolve to reflect these changes. This should happen once a year or so.
If your company is large enough to have separate departments, each one may eventually have its own mission statement.
Will Your New Company Need a New Address?
If you’re just starting out with a new, small business that you want to see grow and develop just as you’ve set out in your mission statement, you may also be looking for the ideal address to trade from. By partnering with Halkin and renting out one of our comfortable yet cost-effective serviced offices in the heart of London, UK, you’ll be guaranteed exactly that.
Each of our fully supported luxury workspaces is offered on flexible permanent and semi-permanent tenancy agreements, so you’ll always have the option of choosing a new, equally prestigious address as your team expands. Our offices can even be made over to reflect the values you’ve instilled within your firm, so you and your team will always be able to work in an environment that suits your company (and its mission statement) completely.
Contact us today to learn more and let’s set up your business in an office space that you’ll truly be able to call your own.