How to Craft Your Mission Statement
A mission statement should exude the soul and essence of a your business. It is a simple way of letting people know what your business stands for. In my previous article, I discussed five reasons why you need a mission statement. In this article, I will show you how to craft a mission statement that is well suited to your business.
Entrepreneur.com explains that a true mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology as well as your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community. Rhonda Abrams says that "a mission statement helps clarify what business you are in, your goals and your objectives."
In Michael E. Gerber's book The E-Myth Revisited, he says that one ought to see the product of their business, not as the tangible material sold, but as the intangible. For example, if you own a small inn or motel, your business isn't the hotel business, rather it is the business of caring, availability, or relaxation. Get it? That means your business is defined by what you offer your customers as a final product. Another example: if you own a pharmacy store located in a residential area, your business isn't the drug business, it is the availability of the healing effect, the peace of mind and the time-saving convenience of the business.
With that said, Entrepreneur.com suggests some elements your mission statement must contain. These are some questions you must ask and find answers to before you pen your mission statement:
1. What business are you in?
2. Why are you in business?
3. Who are your customers?
4. What do you want people to say and think of your business?
5. What do your customers think about the level of your service?
6. What kinds/level of relationships do you want to maintain? i.e. with your suppliers, employees, prospective customers and patronizing customers.
7. What makes you different from your competitors?
As you can see, answering these questions won't be easy. Hence, crafting a mission statement isn't a rushed work. It requires careful process and planning. Once those questions are answered, you're ready to proceed to the next stage. All the answers to those questions will not be expressly stated in your mission statement but they constitute a vital part of your thought process. Whenever you read your mission statement, those answers pop up in your mind because they are the very foundation of your business.
Mission statements are usually short, about a sentence or two. However, some mission statements are as long as a page. Your mission statement must be inspirational to you and whoever else reads it and have a lot to do something to do with your business.
So, sit down and brainstorm. By now you must have studied the mission statements of some successful corporations. Ask yourself what you have observed about these mission statements, and then proceed to pen yours. The key to this is to take as much time as you want. Don't rush it because this will be what you will use in creating future paths and culture for your business. If you can, ask people who are familiar with your business to suggest ideas for you. Pen down as many ideas as possible. It's important to use bright words and make sure your language is simple. Don't bar yourself from any nice word that you come up with.
Good luck with crafting your mission statement. If you have any questions kindly leave them in the comment section below, I will look forward to answering them.