What is a Mission Statement?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a mission statement is “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.”
Like a house needs a strong foundation, your business requires a strong mission statement to bind everything together and guide every action.
Creating a mission statement isn’t about conveying a grand business vision.
It’s about succinctly and clearly describing who your company serves and what it offers them.
Many make the mistake of emulating the mission statements of major brands.
While their statements are grand, they match their expansive scale.
For example, Microsoft’s mission to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” fits their global leadership.
Similarly, Facebook’s mission “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” aligns with their 2.5 billion monthly active users, almost a third of the world’s population.
Your mission statement, in contrast, should be realistic and reflective of your immediate capabilities and target clients.
Avoid filling your mission statement with buzzwords just for optics.
But also, don’t underestimate your potential.
Be realistic and create a mission statement you can defend with conviction, regardless of challenges.
When Should You Set Your Mission Statement?
Ideally, from the beginning.
Business is challenging, especially in the early stages.
A mission statement provides a reminder of your purpose during tough times.
Having it from the start defines clear goals and operational frameworks, sharpening focus and setting a direct course towards success.
Consider starting a local social media marketing agency for Youngstown businesses.
Your mission statement could be: “Helping local businesses of Youngstown reach wider audiences and expand their social media presence to achieve greater financial results.”
This mission statement eliminates ambiguity and informs your actions from the outset:
- Who am I serving? Local businesses of Youngstown.
- What expertise am I offering? Social media growth and management.
- What results do I deliver? Enhanced social media presence and financial gains for clients.
A clear mission statement like this ensures you know:
- Your clients – target each one.
- Needed skill-set – bridge any knowledge gaps.
- Actions for client promises – prioritize reliable strategies for fast, ethical results.
Are Mission Statements Necessary?
Mission statements are not compulsory, but their profound benefits come at no cost.
You might think, “I’ve never had a mission statement and I’m thriving.”
However, I’d suggest that if you’re thriving, you already have an implicit mission statement; you just haven’t formalized it.
So, why not put it in writing?
And if things aren’t going as well as you’d like, isn’t it worth trying every possible avenue to improve?
Particularly when it’s free!
A well-crafted mission statement isn’t just for global brands; even a solo entrepreneur can feel a surge of enthusiasm and pride from their own mission statement.
Why Are Mission Statements Important for Content Marketing?
A mission statement is crucial in content marketing for several reasons.
Media companies almost always start with a mission statement, guiding their content.
This is exactly why your content marketing needs a mission statement.
The synergy between mission statements and content marketing lies in their shared long-term focus, selflessness, and consumer-centric approach.
Consider a social media marketing agency in Youngstown; a mission statement fosters a customer-centric mindset, clarifying who you’re serving and why.
For content marketing, this directs you to create value-driven content tailored to your potential clients.
Conversely, it also indicates what content to avoid: overly sales-focused material.
While selling is essential in business, content marketing adopts a subtler approach for positive business outcomes.
To balance value-driven content with sales-oriented material, refer to my article on search intent.
Personal Mission Statement vs Company Mission Statement
Personal and company mission statements serve similar purposes.
The difference lies in the personal touch of personal mission statements, focusing on individual values and self-improvement.
Yet, the core reasons for creating personal mission statements align with those of companies.
Both aim to establish clarity and purpose, influencing all facets of life or business.
Without a clear mission statement, living life or conducting business is akin to aimlessly shooting in the dark.
Sure, you might hit the target occasionally.
But, a mission statement illuminates your path and provides precision, like adding a scope to a rifle.
It enables you to focus sharply on your goals, leading to more consistent and effective results.
How to Craft a Mission Statement in 4 Steps
I advocate for simple, consumer-centric, and results-driven mission statements.
To craft such a mission statement, consider these four questions:
- Who are you?
- Who do you serve?
- What results can your customers expect?
- How will you accomplish these results?
For instance, let’s create a mission statement for a hypothetical health food store, “Healthy Joe’s.”
Step 1) Who are you?
- We’re “Healthy Joe’s”, a health food store.
Step 2) Who do you serve?
- We cater to the residents of the greater Youngstown area.
Step 3) What results can your customers expect?
- Customers will receive only the freshest, healthiest, and 100% organic locally sourced food.
Step 4) How will you accomplish these results?
- By partnering with local organic farmers, ensuring our store exclusively stocks fresh, locally grown organic produce.
Mission Statement Example: “At Healthy Joe’s, we dedicate ourselves to the greater Youngstown community by offering fresh, healthy, and 100% organic food, exclusively sourced from local, small, organic-certified farms.”
This statement clearly defines the ethos of our fictional store, outlining both its focus and its boundaries.
It connects the store with a niche consumer base seeking healthy, organic, locally sourced products, serving them in the most relevant and meaningful way.
Importantly, the store must consistently uphold its mission statement, as it’s a commitment to their customers.
Failing to do so could undermine trust and negatively impact the business.
Mission Statement Crafting: Best Practices, Templates, and Resources
If the previous section’s formula didn’t resonate with you, here are tailored best practices for crafting your unique mission statement.
Mission Statement Crafting Best Practices:
- Clarity of Purpose – Define what you do, why, for whom, and what they can expect.
- Relevance – Target a specific consumer base.
- Inspiration – Your mission should inspire and enthuse readers.
- Conciseness – Keep it succinct.
It’s fine to delve deep while addressing key questions to gain clarity, jotting down everything. However, aim to distill your thoughts into 1-3 sentences.
Looking at other companies’ mission statements in your field can spark ideas. Or, explore online for ready-to-use mission statement templates.
Here are examples of personal mission statement templates:
- “To … [achieve, do, become] … so that … [importance]. I will do this by … [actions/behaviors].”
- “To live each day with …[values/principles]… so that …[outcomes]. I will do this by …[specific behaviors].”
- “To appreciate and enjoy …[aspects] by …[methods].”
And here are templates for various sectors:
Use these templates as a starting point, or create a unique statement by applying the best practices.
10 Examples of Mission Statements from Global Brands
“To bring the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.”
“To inspire and innovate every athlete in the world.” Mission: “Expand human potential.”
“To serve consumers through online and physical stores focusing on selection, price, and convenience.”
“To organize the world’s information, making it universally accessible and useful.”
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
“To save people money so they can live better.”
“To accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.”
“To entertain, inform, and inspire through powerful storytelling, reflecting iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies.”
“To refresh the world, inspire optimism and happiness, create value and make a difference.”
“To be customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
For further inspiration, visit this resource page with mission statements from all Fortune 500 companies.
5 Profound Benefits of Having a Mission Statement
Clarity and Purpose: A mission statement enables you to focus on what’s essential.
It acts as a unifying force, especially for larger businesses, fostering a team-oriented culture.
Informed Decision-Making: Understanding your business’s purpose, your clients, and your desired outcomes leads to more informed decisions.
A well-crafted mission statement guides you in defining what your business is and isn’t about.
It keeps you aligned with your path, ensuring you remain true to your goals.
Helps Others Understand Your Business: A mission statement communicates your business’s essence to customers and peers.
It also attracts potential employees by clearly stating your business’s goals and values.
Informs Your Content Marketing Efforts: Without understanding your purpose and target audience, content creation can be challenging.
A clear mission statement provides definite answers to these fundamental questions.
This clarity makes it easier to provide value through relevant content.
Encourages Action and Drives Results: Knowing your purpose, audience, and objectives leaves you with nothing but action to take.
This action-oriented approach is the key to achieving tangible results.