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Business 101: The Mission Statement


Holly Donath

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A mission statement concisely explains why your business exists..  In a sentence or two, your mission statement describes your business purpose and function.  Your mission statement is the definition of your business and you, as its owner.

What makes a good mission statement?  Here are some examples:

Chewy.com  - To be the most trusted and convenient online destination for pet parents (and partners) everywhere.

TED - Spread ideas.

Brentwood Home - Do better.  Use more natural, recycled, and innovative materials from the best domestic and international sources.  Consume less energy, create less waste, and fight climate change.  If we all opt for quality over quantity, shop consciously, pursue social justice, and rethink our relationship with our planet, peace and sustainability is possible..  (where I purchase my yoga cushions; expensive but worth every penny)

PayPal - To build the web's most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.

McArther's Tae Kwon Do & Fitness - To enhance the lives of our clients through world-class martial arts instruction, to develop outstanding citizens through character development; and to provide a safe, positive environment where our clients can develop and achieve success.  (my Tae Kwon Do school - this statement is why I've been a student there for over 12 years)

Writing concisely can be tricky.  Spend time reflecting on why you are pursuing your business.  Consider the following questions to help you define your mission statement's core message..

  • Why do you want to go into business?  
  • What service or product does your business provide? 
  • What gives your business meaning?  What about it makes you happy?
  • How do you define business success?
  • What core beliefs does your business express?
  • What sets your business apart from similar businesses?  What gives it passion and purpose?
  • Who are your customers?  What is your target business area?
  • How will your business help your customers?  What sets your business apart from the rest?
  • If your business purpose was a mantra, what would it be?

If you are getting stuck on these questions, take some time to reflect.  Do some soul searching.  Take a walk.  Consult your spirit guides,  Meditate on the intention of your business.  

When I don't know what to cook for dinner, I look through my cookbooks.  If the words of your mission statement are not flowing, use the following recipe to create a first draft.

Business Name + "mission is to" + What + "by" + How

Using this recipe, the mission statement for my eBay store would be

TheRealMrsDonath's (business name) mission is to raise funds for a deck (what) by selling my vintage and antique collectibles (how).

While my eBay store's resulting mission statement is not five-star restaurant quality yet, it is a starting point. 

After you create a draft, play with the wording,  Edit and remove excess words.  Remember, conciseness is your goal.  Consider your core values (quality, integrity, compassion, etc.); weave them into your mission statement.  Evaluate the result.  Does the statement explain why your business does what it does?  Ask a trusted colleague for a critique.  Sleep on it.

Your hard work will pay off.  Your mission statement will clearly communicate who you are and why you are in business.  It will serve as a foundation for business decisions, a touch stone to keep your business focused, and set you apart from your competition.

 

 

Edited by Holly Donath

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Melissa Nimmo

Posted

This is amazing, thank you. I’m slowly, slowly being guided by spirit to venture in to running my own business. I have absolutely no idea about business or how to do it. I’m simply following the signs and advice that comes my way. This was very timely. 

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