When’s the last time someone asked you “what’s your mission statement?”
However, when asked “what do you do?” you’re ready with a minute or less elevator pitch, or a snappy logo and business name that says it all. And, for all others there’s your LinkedIn bio and your website.
Why would you need a mission statement?
You’ve already spent an inordinate about of time finding your passion, finding your specialty niche and profiling your target audience and ideal client.
After all, you’re not a corporation like Starbucks needing to promote your brand worldwide. At least, not at the moment.
You can love Starbucks coffee, without knowing their mission statement and still benefit.
Just in case you’re curious here’s their updated mission statement –
“Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Most mission statements are feel good expressions of self promotion
Mission statement critics point out their qualities of ambiguity, exaggeration, generalization and buzz words. Often, they’re one huge paragraph, include every imaginable attribute and appear to be socially responsible yet vague.
How many of your cups of your coffee do I need to have my human spirit inspired and nurtured?
Great mission statements tell the essence of a story
Within this story there should be these elements:
- The name of your business
- The purpose of your business
- Who benefits and possibly how they benefit
- What distinguishes your business from competitors
- Wording that relays values and/or emotional or memorable connections
Rewrite: Starbucks is dedicated to sending only our own highly trained traders around the world to source the very best coffee beans in order to insure your coffee is always brewed to be the most delicious and satisfying cup of coffee ever.
This is my version, and you can play around with it and come up with something that appeals to you. The idea is to start thinking of ways a mission statement can be fresh and exciting.
Why have a great mission statement?
While a mission statement defines our business, we often fall into the trap of thinking it’s only for those who want a quick overview of what our business is all about.
Yes, it does serve that purpose, but it’s even more meaningful to us the business entrepreneur.
Our mission statement is what we measure ourselves and our business against.
It’s the means to:
- guiding us in goal planning
- staying focused and tracking our progress
- maintaining the clarity of our purpose
- reminding us of our commitments
- motivating us forward
- verifying that decisions are in alignment
- alerting us when we’re straying from our core values
It doesn’t mean a mission statement is carved in stone. You’re allowed to change it at any point as your business evolves to better serve clients or customers.
If on the other hand, you decide to take your business in a new direction, take the time to modify or craft a new mission statement.
After all, it’s your business mission should you choose to accept it.
What does your mission statement say about you and your business?
Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Image: Pixabay, 472657
http://www.idealist.org/info/Nonprofits/Gov1You Can Find Me At -