Different than a vision statement, a mission statement declares the purpose of an organization and defines the reason for the company's existence. It should be short, simple and straightforward so it has meaning for both your clients and your employees.

What to think about when developing your mission statement:

A well-crafted mission statement can help define your business. Think about the reasons you became an entrepreneur and let them guide the wording.

  • Who are you?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What is unique to your business?
  • What sets you apart?

Be sure you include the principals and beliefs of your organization, as well as its agenda. Make it meaningful and reflective of your business without being cliché. Your mission should reflect the core values of the business and should evolve as your business does.

If you need guidance on how to capture the essence of your business, research the mission statements of companies that you value (either from a business or personal perspective).

What a mission statement isn't:

  • It isn't the same as your slogan, or tag line
  • Not necessarily the same as your vision, which is more likely to define the direction in which your business is headed
  • While not a required part of your business plan, ensure your mission is part of your business from the start and develop it while writing your business and strategic plans
  • Not the “what” of the business, but rather the “why”

Investing the time to create a strong mission statement can benefit your business in other ways. For example, it may also influence the type of people that apply for jobs with your company. Those with personal views that closely align with your business' mission may turn out to be a better match and result in more invested employees. In tougher times you may find that going back and reviewing your statement may help to reignite motivation and help you focus on where your business is headed.

A well-crafted mission statement is important for all members of a business or organization. It can help employees identify with the business and will help them understand key decisions undertaken by the company.

Since your business is ever-changing, your mission statement should be too. As your company grows, consider involving employees in developing a renewed mission statement. In business as in life, it is easier to feel a part of something that you helped create.