This week, Kristen and I starting flushing out our ideas for a new company we are creating. We started discussing revenue streams, competitors, strategic alliances (all of these are key elements in a business plan). However, what allowed us to move so quickly to arrive at all of these fundamental elements is that we had defined our mission statement.  

A mission statement is imperative for aligning all internal and external stakeholders in a company. A mission statement should NOT be a summary of the products or services a company provides. A mission statement explains what your business is trying to achieve and drives the direction of the Company. A great mission statement will inspire the business owners, employees, customers, and  potential investors. Your brand voice and how you interact internally and externally should be aligned to your mission.

Many business plans include a mission statement, but don’t go deep enough into explaining the purpose of the company’s existence. Here are 4 tips to create a successful mission statement for your organization:  

Define your Company Priorities

Your mission statement should reflect the long-term vision of your company and state what your company stands for internally (employees and direct stakeholders) and externally (customers, retailers, and the community). Your mission statement should summarize your company’s priorities and its message should be an important part of your company culture. Is your company looking to give back to the community? Give back or empower its employees? Make the lives of its customers better?

Value and Values

A mission statement needs to show the value-add of the Company AND the values of the Company.  What makes your company unique? Why does it exist? A mission statement should concisely state the purpose of your company — the reason for starting it in the first place. 

You’ll also want to think of the values of the company.  What are the morals or values of the company? Imagine you are five years into your cultivation business, and your mission is “To deliver pesticide free medicine to all patients in need.” Your values could be wellness, sustainability, and safety. Now, imagine your crop is going to fail and your operations manager suggests you use pesticides to recover the cost. Your mission statement will guide you to not utilize pesticides.  Values also could include your morals, ethic standards, or your aspirations.

Don’t do it alone

The entire founding team should be involved in developing the Company’s mission statement. In my opinion all views should be considered while developing the mission. Successful companies have successful teams, therefore involving all everyone will help employees be more invested.

See the forest through the trees

Writing mission statements are hard. Follow the above four steps and write out your BEST mission statement. This should take you some time. Come back to it in one week and make it better and more concise. You might need to revise the mission statement until you can make the points as quickly and clearly as possible – and your mission statement should be limited to one or two sentences.

How exciting that you as a business owner can change a community through your product or service, but you can also inspire not just your team, customers, investors, but a community at large through your mission. Google’s mission statement is  “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Soul Cycle’s mission is to “Bring Soul to the people. Our one of a kind, rockstar instructors guide riders through an inspirational, meditative fitness experience that’s designed to benefit the body, mind and soul.”  

What’s your mission statement?