Sometimes, short and simple really is sweeter. Authors only have a few sentences to tell readers about themselves in their bio. Marketers start off with 30 second “elevator” pitches to get their main ideas across, and businesses establish mission statements.

Why are mission statements so important? They’re the first impression that you’re showing to the world. Your mission statement explains your business and, well, your mission. Every business needs a mission statement, not just large corporations. And, just because you’re a small business, doesn’t mean your mission statement can’t have a big effect.

Mission vs. Vision

Mission statements go hand-in-hand with vision statements, but they’re not the same. A vision statement is an overview of where you hope to be in the future. How do you envision your company a few years down the line? In contrast, a mission statement is all about where you’re at currently. What is your purpose and why does your organization exist? It should also be something that can guide you through various stages of growth as a business.

Buckling down

If you haven’t written your company’s mission statement yet, set aside a day to really focus on writing. Gather some team members to help you discuss and think about what you want to say. This could include associates, employees, etc. Make sure everyone understands the requirements of a mission statement, and have plenty of refreshments (not necessary, though highly encouraged!)

Crafting the perfect mission statement

One of the first things to keep in mind is that your mission statement should be unique to your business. Ask yourself, “Could my competitors use the same statement?” If the answer is yes, then your mission statement is too vague and isn’t doing its job of distinguishing your business from others.

Bad example: We help make the world a better place through our innovations.

Good example: We improve the comfort of families everywhere through our innovative and affordable furniture.

Remember, you’re writing a mission statement, not a book. Every word counts. Avoid using buzzwords just for the sake of sounding smart. Instead, pick words that are descriptive and specific to what you’re trying to convey.

Take a minute to review

Whether you’re reviewing a mission statement you’ve just written or you’re looking back at one you wrote years ago, take a second to make sure it’s 1) specific to your company; 2) well-written; 3) accurate.

Keep it top of mind

When you’re perfectly, 100 percent satisfied with what you’ve written, share it! Get it out there! Have a decal stuck on the wall. Put it on your brochures. Ice it on your cookies. Whatever you do, make sure it’s not “out of sight, out of mind,” because that’s not doing your customers or your business any favors.

Do you already have a mission statement? We’d love to hear it. Share it down below!

Crafting a Mission Statement

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