How To Write a Mission Statement

You are here because you want to know how to create a Mission Statement.   

Sounds like a military exercise, right? Or something Tom Cruise from the Mission Impossible movies might do. 

A Mission Statement is quite essential to your business.

Let’s get into how to write an effective mission statement. 

A Mission Statement is “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organisation, or individual”.  It states the core of your activity and outlines you or your business’s goals, ethics, culture, and practices. 

To break it down even further, a Mission Statement articulates: 

  • What you do
  • How do you do it
  • Who you do it for, and
  • Why you do it.

It’s the next step after establishing your Vision Statement.

What’s the difference between a Vision and Mission statement?

Often a mission and vision statement get confused or considered to be the same thing.

A Vision Statement focuses on the future. It’s supposed to be inspirational and motivational. You can see my post on how to write a good vision statement

A good Mission Statement is about what you’re doing now. It defines your customers, processes and performance in the present.  Your Mission is what helps achieve your Vision.

Examples of the difference between a Vision and Mission Statement are:

IKEA

Mission: Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them

Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people

LINKEDIN

Mission: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful

Vision: To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce

AMAZON

Mission: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience

Vision: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online

GOOGLE

Mission:  To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Vision: To provide access to the world’s information in one click.

A high-quality Vision and a Mission as they complement each other. There’s no point having a future Vision if your current activity isn’t working towards achieving it and vice versa.

Do I need a Mission Statement?

Yes. A Mission Statement is a basis for all your current and near-future activity. It’s what you use to establish goals, planning and forecasting. We’ll talk more about goal setting and planning in future blogs, but your Mission is the starting point to motivate you, engage your team and service your clients.

Here is a straightforward example of the process for developing an effective Mission Statement. 

Question: WHAT do you do?        Answer: e.g. I design great websites

Question: HOW do you do it?        Answer: Using effective yet simple technology and ideas

Question: WHO is your target customer?    Answer: Everyone can potentially use my service

WHY do you do it?    Answer: So every client can have a quality digital platform

to promote themselves or their business

The final Mission Statement would then be: 

To design useful yet simple websites for everyone to have a quality digital platform to promote themselves or their business.

What do I do with my Mission Statement?

You keep referring to it. Use it as your motivator and share it everywhere. 

Communicate your Mission Statement in your branding by adding it to your website, business cards and LinkedIn profile. This statement is who you claim to be, right now, at this moment.

It’s also your compass as you and your business grows and changes, so will your day to day focus and activity. Your Mission Statement will help you stay grounded and connected to your core offering, i.e., “a quality digital platform” and “designing great websites.”

It’s also what you will use to establish all your short-term goals and actions.

How will you know when you have the right Mission Statement for you? It will resonate with you and will feel proud to say it aloud. 

About the Author

Rajiv is the author of the upcoming book, How To Grow Tall Poppies - A Practical Guide to Developing High-Performance Teams. Subscribe to stay on top of the latest trends and find out more about my book. 

Rajiv is passionate about improving the business world—one leader at a time. With experience leading teams in senior roles across the banking, energy and technology sectors, and interviewing over 500 high-performance teams and leaders, Rajiv knows what it takes to create a high-performance team environment.

Rajiv combines real-world experience with evidenced-based coaching approaches as an International Coaching Federation certified coach to support leaders to maximise the potential of their teams through his company, Bare Coaching. He has worked with, guided and developed leaders in universities, technology firms, wine companies, start-ups and small businesses.