No matter the industry, company size, or business model, there is one thing you absolutely need as part of your brand foundation: a mission statement. A mission statement serves as your guide, focusing your team on the tasks that matter most in order to deliver a consistent experience to your customers. In this article, you’ll learn three critical reasons why your brand needs a mission statement – and some key strategies to developing one.
Entrepreneurs are often eager to jump into selling and working directly with their target audience before they have a clear idea about what the brand is they are building, why it exists in the marketplace, and who it serves.
Well executed brands stand apart from their founders, no matter how eccentric their founders are. In order for a brand to stand on its own, it needs a mission statement to help it navigate the business environment. It’s part of the groundwork or brand foundation.
Here are three reasons your brand absolutely needs a mission statement.
Keeps You Focused
As an entrepreneur, you are pulled in several different directions all the time. It’s easy to lose track of what we are trying to accomplish. With a mission statement in place, you know exactly what you are working to achieve for all stakeholders involved. It highlights the problem the brand has been created to solve.
Additionally, it provides a framework for evaluating opportunities and determining whether they fit your core business model and strategy. Working hand in hand with the mission statement, your brand’s core philosophy is built on a set of guiding principles – unwavering no matter how significant the change to the organization, the principles are meant to provide consistency and clear direction to the organization.
The mission can be thought of “the how” to the vision’s overarching dream.
Determines the Business/Brand Direction
When you take the time to define your brand’s purpose, its vision, and mission statement, it provides clear direction towards where the brand is headed. As your brand grows, keep referring back to your mission statement and reflect on where the brand was and where it is now in order to gauge if it has veered off track.
The mission statement is also critical to company culture and empowering team members to want to see the brand achieve its goals. This, then leads into the third reason your brand needs a mission statement.
Simplifies the Decision Making Process
The mission statement sets important boundaries which enable you to delegate both responsibility and authority when necessary. The boundaries define who the brand serves (its customers, employees, owners, community, and the world) and how it will deliver its products and/or services.
When your team is clear on the mission it makes otherwise difficult decisions easier. It provides a framework for making tough decisions and guidelines to stay on the trajectory towards your ultimate vision.
That’s Great – Now How Do I Begin to Develop My Own Mission Statement?
Your mission statement is the solid expression of your vision and values. The best mission statements describe and define a brand’s goals in at least three dimensions: what the brand does for its employees, what it does for its customers, and what it does for its owners.
Expanding on this theme, fourth and fifth dimensions to include are what the brand does for its community, and what the brand does for the world. A visual way to think about this is to create a table with the dimensions across the top. Then, iterate several words and phrases to describe what your brand does for each dimension.
As you go through this exercise, you start to get a better sense of what your brand is working so hard to accomplish each and every day for all of its stakeholders (employees, customers, owners, community, the world).
With those phrases written out, you can now start to string them together to form a short, yet powerfully descriptive mission statement.
To develop a clear mission statement, Aim for no more than 20 words, including keywords that can be tied back to performance objectives such as products or services. Use active voice to describe the present and make it exciting. Check the statement against the five dimensions and revise accordingly.
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