I’m talking about mission statements today. I personally believe you can find value in writing a mission statement not only for your business but for yourself as well. So feel free to adapt the information here and put it to use in both areas of your life.
What is a mission statement?
By definition, it is a formal, written summary of the aims and values of a company, organization or individual. It’s a place to showcase your goals, ethics and company culture. It should define the purpose of your business. It can help set parameters. It highlights what differentiates you from others. It doesn’t change unless your business dramatically changes courses.
What should you include?
You mission should address who is your customer. It should define your product. It helps identify your market. These are all business basics. What you might not think of is the emotional element of your mission. You need to make sure your mission reflects your beliefs, values or philosophies. It can address concerns you have about image. It can also highlight your social or philanthropic responsibilities.
Your mission is a great place to reflect how you want others to perceive your company or organization. It can be the first step in developing customer loyalty. We stay loyal not only because someone has a great product, but also because we buy into their set of values. They create an exceptional experience.
Let’s take a look at how some leading companies have created their mission statements.
Warby Parker: Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.
Look at the word choices. You know what they do and the spirit they do it with.
IKEA: Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.
They achieve this by providing home furnishings at a price point many people can afford.
Nordstrom: In store or online, wherever new opportunities arise, Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.
This mission emphasizes the desire to create that exceptional experience people crave.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company: To discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
They emphasize the why – to help patients conquer disease.
CVS Corporation: We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.
Makes you want to refill your prescription there, doesn’t it?
Dollar General: Serving Others. For customers, a better life. For shareholders, a superior return. For employees, respect and opportunity.
This one hits on all the key players: customers, shareholders and employees.
Duke Energy: Our purpose is to create superior value for our customers, employees, communities and investors through the production, conversion, delivery and sales of energy and energy services.
No doubt Duke is in the energy business but they haven’t lost focus on who and what keeps them in business.
So you’ve had a chance to read a few mission statements. Are you ready to try writing yours?
Here’s a list of questions to get you started.
- What business are you in? Is there a special product or service you offer?
- Why do you exist? Can everyone do what you do? Do you do it in a different way? Do you have a passion for your business?
- What makes your business different from someone else’s?
- What are your concerns? Are there threats or challenges lurking soon?
- Do you need to address investors or stockholders?
- What concerns do you have about image, innovation, quality or other intangible traits?
- Do you have customers with special concerns?
- Are you looking to attract a certain type of employee?
Once you’ve identified the areas you want to address, you can make a mission statement that truly reflects the unique qualities of your business.
Want some feedback? Put your mission in the comment section below and I’ll give you my thoughts.