Home > Write Your Perfect Mission Statement in 8 Steps
Published at 25 October 2023
Imagine you’re about to drive to the shop for milk.
Unless you are clear on which shop you are going to, how you’ll get there, and have the goal of buying milk once you’re there, you might find yourself aimlessly walking (instead of driving) in the wrong direction, without a shopping bag or a wallet, and even if you happen upon the shop, you might go in for the milk, but come out with a bag full of things and no milk…. (sound familiar?)
It’s time to chart your course.
Before we dive deeper into the "how" of crafting mission statements, let's take a look at the "what" and "why."
A mission statement is a concise declaration of an organisation's core purpose and focus. It encapsulates why the business exists, what it aims to achieve, and how it plans to impact the world. Typically, mission statements are brief, memorable, and enduring.
Now, why should you, as a business leader, devote time and effort to crafting this compact declaration? Simply put, a well-crafted mission statement can:
Before you can craft an effective mission statement, you must be crystal clear about your purpose. Ask yourself: Why does your business exist beyond making a profit? Your purpose is the driving force behind your mission.
Purpose goes beyond revenue generation. It's the difference you want to make in the world. Consider our mission at Rauva - 'Making entrepreneurship easily accessible to everyone.' It's not about profits; it's about a larger contribution to society.
How to Define Purpose
1. Soul-Searching: Reflect on why you started the business in the first place. What change did you want to bring to your industry or community?
2. Impact: Think about the positive impact you envision. How will your business make the world a better place?
3. Unique Contribution: Identify what sets your business apart. What makes your approach special?
When writing your mission statement, consider these several core elements that collectively communicate your purpose effectively. Let's break them down:
Vision - Your vision is the grand picture of what your business aims to achieve in the long run. It's your dream, your aspiration. While the mission focuses on the ‘how,’ the vision paints the ‘what.’
Values - Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your business's behaviour. They're the moral compass that steers decision-making. They're the standards that shape your company culture.
Goals - Goals are the specific, measurable targets you set to realize your mission and vision. They provide a roadmap for your journey. Each goal should be aligned with your mission and values.
Culture - Culture is the collective personality of your organization. It's the environment your employees work in, the way they interact, and the shared norms and values that unite them.
When it comes to writing your mission statement (and it should take a good few drafts to get right!), clarity is your ally.
Your mission statement should be a beacon of simplicity and brevity. It's not about showcasing your vocabulary but about ensuring that anyone, from your newest team member to your customer, can grasp it easily.
The Art of Simplicity
Avoid jargon, buzzwords, and complexity. Simplicity doesn't mean diluting your purpose; it means expressing it in the clearest way possible. Use as few words as possible.
Making it Memorable
A memorable mission statement sticks in people's minds. Think of Google's mission: "To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Concise, clear, and unforgettable.
We won’t use all of these elements in your mission statement, but it’s good practice to get all the following elements clearly defined before being summarising them into a concise statement.
The first step is crucial but something that many entrepreneurs struggle to do.
Sit and think.
Don’t be busy. There’s no checklist or productivity hacks. Just take some time to sit or walk, use a notepad and pen if necessary (not your phone!) and think and reflect about the dent you want to make on the world. What do you want to be remembered for?
This step can be incorporated into the first if you prefer, however there are some useful online tools and frameworks that you might find useful to guide you when defining your values and goals.
A UVP is not just about being different; it's about being different in a way that's valuable to your target audience.
Creating a mission statement is not a solitary task. Involve your team to gather diverse perspectives and insights through brainstorming sessions or feedback loops.
A mission statement should be concise yet impactful. Express your mission in straightforward language that everyone can understand and aim for a statement that sticks in people's minds, making it easier to remember.
Crafting the perfect mission statement may require several iterations. Create a few and test your statements with employees, customers, and partners to gauge its effectiveness.
Creating an effective mission statement starts with reflection and understanding your business, analyzing your market and unique value proposition, and involving your team.
Keep it concise and memorable, and don't hesitate to test and refine it.
Your mission statement should be a beacon of clarity, guiding your business to success in the competitive marketplace. So, take the time to craft it with care, and you'll find your business heading in the right direction!