Many business owners consider mission statements hokey or unnecessary, but crafting a mission statement can be a valuable exercise on many levels.
Here are four reasons why you need a mission statement for your small business.
Reason #1: Thinking About the ‘Why’
The first reason is simple: it forces you to consider the why of the business.
Why do you do what you do? This question leaves many stammering and heading for the exit. It seems like a simple question, right? But do you really know your “Why?” If not, I challenge you to set aside some uninterrupted time to sit down and consider why you are in business.
Ascertaining why you are in business will help you to determine your values and the values that you want to bring to the business. These values should then be used to guide the company when making decisions.
Reason #2: Keeping Everyone on the Same Page
If written in an understandable way and communicated properly, a mission statement ensures that managers, employees and customers are all on the same page with regard to what the company does and where it is going in the future. This can motivate employees to suggest improvements related to the mission.
Reason #3: Focus, Focus, Focus
It can be easy for a business to get away from its core competencies – what it does best.
The mission statement defines what is important to the company and this, in turn, helps focus the company’s business activities. This way, you stay focused on what you do best and what you need to do in order to operate effectively and efficiently – instead of getting sidetracked or bogged down in non-essential processes.
Reason #4: Better Branding and Marketing
Finally, your mission statement can impact how you market your business.
This can lead to better branding and marketing of your business because you are aware of why the business was created, its values and its unique offering to clients.
Tips for Drafting Mission Statements
To create a better mission statement for your small business, consider these tips:
- Be concise.
- Be specific to your company and industry.
- Make it inspiring.
- Revisit it every 3-5 years.
Seek to explain as much as possible in as few words as possible what you do and why you do it. It doesn’t have to be paragraphs; it can be succinctly summed up in two to three sentences.
The important thing about a mission statement is to keep you and your business focused on your mission – why you exist – and how you serve your customers.