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How to Write a Mission Statement

IBF Entrepreneur Online –

Focus your company in 3 easy steps with examples

A mission statement articulates a company’s purpose. It announces to the world at large why your company exists. Every business should have a mission statement as a way of unifying the organization.

You can think of a mission statement as a combination of what your business or nonprofit does and how and why it does it, expressed in a way that encapsulates the values that are important to you. It can be a challenge to clearly and concisely bring these ideas together, though. Here is a simple guide—along with some examples—for writing your own company mission statement.

Describe What Your Company Does

Managers meeting to outline company goals
How to write a mission statement. Image (c) Robert Nicholas / Getty Images

There’s no need to be fancy here. Just say it simply for the moment. What product or service does your business produce or provide? Get down to the bare basics and don’t add any filler. You will elaborate on this purpose in the next steps.

My company’s purpose is to:

  • Sell shoes
  • Provide educational services
  • Grow market vegetables
  • Design phone apps
  • Provide financial advice
  • Sell women’s clothing
  • Provide pet sitting services

Describe How Your Company Does What It Does

List of customer service values
Mission statement examples. Image (c) Tuomas Kujansuu / Getty Images

This is the tricky part, because we’re not looking for a detailed description of your business’ physical operations here. Instead, we’re looking for a description of how your business generally operates. This usually means incorporating one or more of your core values into your description.

So take a moment to list the core values that are important to express in your business. Here are some sample values that you may want to use when you write a mission statement:

  • Provide high product quality
  • Provide superior customer service
  • Protect the quality of the environment
  • Ensure equal access to resources
  • Encourage innovation/creativity
  • Practice sustainable development

It might be helpful to focus on your business’ core competencies when you’re considering which values are worthy of including in your mission statement. Zero in on one (or two at the most) to add to your description of what your company does.

Mission Statement Examples

Here’s what the first three examples from step one might look like when you add values to them.

My company’s purpose is to:

  • Sell shoes of the highest quality.
  • Provide educational services that allow all children to experience learning success.
  • Grow market vegetables using organic, sustainable farming practices.

Remember, these are not finished yet. There’s one step to go before your mission statement is complete.

Add Why Your Company Does What It Does

Two women looking at shoes in a store
More mission statement examples. Image (c) Azul Images / Getty Images

This is the part of your mission statement that describes your spark—the passion behind your business.

Why does your business do what it does? For some people, it helps to think back on why they started their business in the first place.

Mission Statement Examples

This is what our three mission statement examples might look like when you add “why” to them:

My company’s purpose is to:

  • Sell shoes of the highest quality so every customer can find a pair of shoes they actually love to wear.
  • Provide educational services that allow all children to experience learning success and become life-long learners and contributing members of our community.
  • Grow market vegetables using organic, sustainable farming practices to give people safe and healthy food choices.

When you’re finished, have another look at your mission statement and see if it captures what you want to say or if there’s a better way of phrasing it. Be sure to change the phrase “my company’s purpose” to the name of your company.

“My company’s purpose is to grow market vegetables using organic, sustainable farming practices to give people safe and healthy food choices,”

might become:

“At Earth’s Bounty, we grow market vegetables in a way that’s good for the earth and good for the table.”

And, “Our company’s purpose is to provide educational services that allow all children to experience learning success and become life-long learners and contributing members of our community,”

could be better phrased as:

“Our company, Hopscotch Learning, exists to provide educational services that allow all children to experience success in learning and success in life.”

Put Your New Mission Statement to Work

3 intersecting street signs that read, "Plan," "Action," and "Success"
Put your new mission statement to work. Image (c) James Brey / Getty Images

Once you’ve crafted your business’s new mission statement, you’ll want to put it to work right away.

Besides directing your business planning, you want your mission statement to be front and center in the minds of everyone who works in or interacts with your business. As the statement of why your business exists, it also explains to them why they would want to do business with you.

Some businesses go so far as to make their mission statements the themes of their advertising campaigns. If you do nothing else, you should make sure your mission statement is highly visible on your business premises, website, and all your marketing materials.

A good mission statement isn’t just a slogan; it’s the foundation of your operations manual—and it can’t provide guidance if people aren’t familiar with it.

Besides having mission statements to communicate who they are and what they do, successful small businesses also have vision statements to describe their ultimate achievements. You can follow a similar process to create your own vision statement.

Examples of Famous Mission Statements

Virgin Airlines Jet
Virgin Airlines Jet. Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images

Virgin Airways: “Our mission statement is simple, yet the foundation of everything we do here at Virgin Atlantic Airways… to embrace the human spirit and let it fly.”

Tesla: “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Facebook: “Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Source: The balance small business

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