Mission statements are a part of the corporate landscape, but they're also valuable for small businesses, even solo practitioners.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short statement of an organization's purpose that:
- Identifies the scope of its operation
- Identifies what kind of products or services it provides
- Identifies it's intended audience
- Identifies what values it adheres it.
It may also include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's philosophies; it's main competitive advantages, and the desired future state, or "vision." More than a description of the organization, the mission statement is an expression. It is made by its leaders, of their desires and intentions for the organization.
Advantages of Having a Mission Statement
Mission statements are a way to direct a business in the right direction, and they play a part in helping a business make sound decisions which can be beneficial to the revenue stream. Without a mission statement, businesses may struggle when it comes to planning for the future. Especially as a small business owner, if your talent pool is small, then putting our intentions on paper is useful when it comes to running your business. Simply by putting your thoughts on paper will create clarity.
Disadvantages to Having a Mission Statement
While it sounds counter-intuitive, and most often, mission statements are beneficial, they can present a problem if you spend too much time fretting over what to say and how to say it. It is when it's helpful to get a second opinion, especially by an outsider who is not close to the situation. Another disadvantage is if you end up being unrealistic in what you promise and then don't deliver on those results.
Sample Mission Statement
Below is a sample of a mission statement written for the Adonias Beauty company.
"Here at Adonias Beauty, our team's mission is to raise awareness regarding the importance of safe handling and storage of your makeup, skincare, and perfume products.
We believe that proper tools are essential to keeping your cosmetic products fresh and are key to maintaining a clean and healthy beauty routine, for men and women.
We are committed to continuous improvement in providing you with ways to maximize your products' full benefits."
Getting Started on Your Mission Statement
The best way to go about what seems like a daunting task is to do your homework. Go online and read mission statements of companies you admire and respect as well as those in the same industry. You don't want to copy what your competition is saying, but you'll get a good sense of what works, and what doesn't work.
Who Should a Mission Statement Target?
There are three primary audiences that your mission statement should target.
- First, your customers, because it may help answer why they should buy from you.
- Second, your employees, because it should help you convey to them what you care about.
- Third, your potential business investors, because it helps you define what is unique about what you do, how you strive to do it, and why they should invest in you.
Don't Commit Right Away
Remember, you can write your mission statement in pencil. You don't have to commit right away. It's an important document so you should spend a fair amount of time tweaking it before signing off on the final version.