Your mission statement is about you, your company, and your ideals. Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing; your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie. I suggest addressing three key components:
- What are you doing for your customers? Let’s hope this is something that sets you apart, that makes you different, and that your customers will recognize.
- What are you doing for your employees? Fair compensation, good tools, professional development, encouragement, or whatever. If you’re serious about it, put it in the mission statement. If it’s in the mission statement, get serious about it.
- What does the company do for its owners? Don’t apologize for needing profits to stay in business, or for generating return on investment for those who invested. Say it as part of your mission statement.
A few more tips:
- Don’t “box” yourself in. Your mission statement should be able to withstand the changes that come up over time in your product or service offerings, or customer base. A cardboard box company isn’t in the business of making cardboard boxes; it’s in the business of providing protection for items that need to be stored or shipped. The broader understanding helps them see the big picture.
- Keep it short. The best mission statements tend to be three to four sentences long.
- Ask for input. Run your mission statement draft by your employees. Is it clear and easily understood, or does it sound like something from the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator?
- Aim for substance, not superlatives. Avoid saying how great you are, what great quality and what great service you provide.