Are you at the point where you are asking yourself how to write a mission statement that is powerful?
A company’s mission statement describes what a business does and what its purpose is. This ranges from practical information to the ethics and values underpinning a company’s decision making.
Let’s take a close look at what makes an effective mission statement, why it’s important, and how to construct one.
What Makes an Effective Mission Statement?: Ten Great Examples
To fully understand how to write a mission statement, let’s look at a few examples. Keep in mind while reading these that they are designed to inform the audience about what each business does and is hoping to do in the future.
- Google: “To Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- SpaceX: “To revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”
- Apple: “Apple is dedicated to the empowerment of man – to making personal computing accessible to each and every individual so as to help change the way we think, work, learn, and communicate.”
- Mastercard: “Every day, everywhere, we use our technology and expertise to make payments safe, simple, and smart.”
- Simon & Schuster: “Our mission is to publish authors who have a purpose, a story to tell, and an unusual talent for making readers care about it.”
- Airbus: “Airbus is an international pioneer in the aerospace industry. We are a leader in designing, manufacturing, and delivering aerospace products, services, and solutions to customers on a global scale. We aim for a better-connected, safer, and more prosperous world.”
- Paypal: “We believe that now is the time to reimagine money, to democratize financial services so that managing and moving money is a right for all citizens, not just the affluent.”
- Uber: “Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone.”
- Linkedin: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Gilead: “To discover, develop, and commercialize therapeutics that advance patient care, while challenging employees to make a difference and building a thriving worldwide enterprise.”
Each of these mission statements describes the goals of the organization which states them. Some are more focused on the vision of their company, while others specifically state the aim of their products, but each statement explains what a company is trying to do in an articulate way.
A note here – a mission statement is separate from a value statement, though many companies blur the lines. Technically, a value statement explains the ideals and values behind a business, but many successful companies include an aspect of this in their mission statement.
Why Does My Business Need a Mission Statement?
Your mission statement is a powerful tool allowing you to accomplish several goals at once. These include:
- Increasing your own understanding of your business by definitively explaining its purpose.
- Keeping you and your team members on track and veering away from decisions that are counterproductive in achieving your mission objective.
- Conveying concisely to potential investors what you are looking to achieve.
- Helping customers and the general public understand the type of products/services you develop.
Without a good mission statement, investors and others will be confused about what your business does and what you are hoping to achieve through its activities. This can lead to misunderstandings and crossed wires that can permanently damage your business’s reputation.
The mission statement is something that you would clearly include in your pitch deck. In this regard, remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising and you will need capital to scale things up. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
Does a Mission Statement Change?
The mission statement of a business presents its core focus and ideal. Such a concept usually remains the same or is only subtly amended over time by the business’s owners. However, in some circumstances, the mission statement can radically alter.
This occurs usually when the business is taken over by a new owner or shifts focus to a completely new type of product or service.
Altering your mission statement should not be done on a whim. Your mission statement is a huge reflection of your business, and both investors and customers can be put off if the explanation and direction of a company continually change.
How to Write a Mission Statement
To write the perfect mission statement, sit down and brainstorm ideas either alone or with your co-founders/management team.
When doing this, think about the following:
- Why did you start your business?: We all have aspirations and dreams when we first start a business. What were yours? Which ones are still important to you? This will help you create both your vision statement and your mission statement.
- What is Your Main Product?: Look at the product or range of products you are developing. How do they work? What problems do they solve for customers? Is this product representative of what your business is truly designed to create?
- Who is Your Audience?: What is your target demographic? How will your mission statement speak to them? Is it something they will care about and identify with?
- What are Your Values?: What are the values you hope your business will represent? What are the ethics behind creating your products? Will this inspire people?
- What is Your Image?: There should be consistency between your mission statement and your brand. If there is a disconnect, this will confuse people. Think about what your brand is and how it will be displayed to the world. Does what you are trying to make serve this brand, and how can you concisely convey this in your mission statement?
These considerations will give you and your team a great foundation. The answers to these questions will help, not just in creating a mission statement, but in steering your business towards a shared goal.
The Three Components of a Great Mission Statement
Lastly, keep in mind the structure of your mission statement. As you can see from the ten examples I gave earlier, some mission statements are one sentence long, while others are an entire paragraph! Concise is better, if possible, though it’s not always essential.
One of my favorite mission statements is TED’s: “To spread knowledge.” Three words and so powerful.
Alongside conciseness, you should also make sure that your mission statement points to something. After all, a mission isn’t a mission if it doesn’t have a goal!
Try to keep your message accessible without jargon or too many complicated words. It should be accessible to everyone, even those unfamiliar with your niche.
To recap, the three components of a great mission statement are:
- Describing a goal
- Being accessible
I hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to learn more about creating a mission statement and raising funds for your business, check out the Inner Circle, where I’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs put together amazing mission statements and pitches for their businesses.
Also if you are interested in how to position your mission statement in your pitch deck you might enjoy watching the video below where I cover this in detail.