Neil Patel

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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.

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What is a mission statement?

Your mission statement will outline your contribution to the world and display what you stand for. It can be a single sentence of approximately 30 words.

Let’s take a look at some mission statements by some of the most successful companies today:

  • “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.” – Amazon
  • “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” – Facebook
  • “Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.” – Spotify
  • “Spread ideas” – Ted

Each one of the above mission statements embodies who they are as a company.

For instance, TED expresses that perfectly, spreading ideas. Amazon describes what they want to do for the consumer – which is to provide them with the lowest prices, with a wide selection of products, and be as convenient as possible.

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  • Materials: our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models.
  • Investor and Buyer Access: connect with the right investors or buyers for your business and close them.

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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.

What is the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement?

The purpose of a mission statement is to inform investors about your business idea, and the vision statement is mostly to inspire. Vision statements act as a guide to your future aspirations and projections.

The vision statement is mainly targeted toward employees and the long-term objectives you wish to accomplish.

Therefore, it gives employees a goal to work towards and a vision for the future. Understand why you need a mission statement before you start formulating one.

A combined mission and vision statement must have the following elements:

  • Value: Make potential investors and employees want to be part of the team.
  • Inspiration: Inspire employees to give their best and work towards a common goal.
  • Credibility: Define the quality of your products and service.
  • Speciality: Explain what makes you different. What sets you apart from the competition?

Keep in mind that in fundraising, storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, 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.

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.

A mission statement will help you get your core values across in a single statement. Here’s why every new business startup needs a mission statement:

  • Transparency: Offering excellent customer service and a good product isn’t enough anymore. Society is changing, and if your company stands for the same fight for equality, you should be open about it.
  • Define your goals: Having a mission statement will define your long-term goals. In addition, it articulates the company’s future strategies and ambitions.
  • Company culture: A mission statement tells employees and the consumers what you stand for and communicates your values in one short statement.
  • Guides your future: Once you know what you stand for, it will guide your future decision-making process.
  • Engagement: A strong mission statement will increase employee engagement, and they are more motivated because they believe in your company and want to help the business achieve its goals.
  • Gain funding: A winning mission statement will inform and inspire your potential investors and get them passionate about what you stand for. They will have a clear-cut understanding of what you value and get them emotionally invested in your company.

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.

See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Or Acquisition Efforts

  • Fundraising or Acquisition Process: get guidance from A to Z.
  • Materials: our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models.
  • Investor and Buyer Access: connect with the right investors or buyers for your business and close them.

Book a Call

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.

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:

    1. Conciseness
    2. Describing a goal
    3. 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.

What can you write the mission statement about?

What is it that makes your business startup unique? Do you have an excellent high-quality product or offer the best customer service?

Perhaps it is your philanthropy work your company invests in. Showcase your business and its purpose with a killer mission statement.

You can write your mission statement based on the following business qualities:

Establish a story in one statement

Start by creating a target marketing story about the consumers’ needs and the problem, it must explain the reasons why to buy.

Next, define why your business is unique and explain how you can see their problem and provide a solution.

Your story must be concrete and effective in defining your brand. Remember, this story won’t be your mission statement, but you will write it based on this story.

This story will be in your mind when you officially come up with your mission statement.

If coming up with a story is difficult, start with a bullet point list of your company’s product and consumer market. Or get some outside help.

What do you do for the consumer?

For your consumers to value your new business, they want to know that you value your business just as much.

You don’t have to have the answer to all life’s difficulties, such as ending world hunger. You just need to narrow it down to a specialty.

For example, a cybersecurity software startup will show how it can protect small businesses and private consumer information from malware attacks.

What do you do for your employees?

Successful businesses will be good to their employees or they may expect to spend a fortune on turnover rates.

Being good to employees means rewarding work, ensuring to inspire them, and providing a company culture they want to be involved in every day.

This is another potent reason why you need a mission statement.

List why you are good to your employees:

  • Promote fairness
  • Respect all ideas
  • Foster creativity
  • Encourage diversity and acceptance
  • Provide training and equipment
  • Empowerment

What can you do for your investors?

Your goal as a new business startup is to prove why your idea is of value to investors. How do you plan to improve the financial position of your company?

What will be their return on investment (ROI) and how long will it take? If your purpose is to focus on growth before profit, then consider adding that to your mission statement.

Some of the best mission statements ever written include owners, consumers, and employees.

A good example is Cisco’s mission statement: “Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.”

Writing a mission statement for your new venture

Now that you have your list of the what, who, and how, start minimizing the content into a few short phrases. Let’s get into writing your mission statement:

Reduce the content to the most important points. Which parts do you care about the most?

This includes what you want to do for shareholders, the community, and the environment. Keep it to a few short sentences.

Have a brainstorming discussion with your team and have everyone participate in coming up with words or phrases the company represents based on your list.

Let the employees know that there are no dumb ideas and share everything that comes to mind. Someone might spark an idea with a word that perfectly fits into your mission statement.

Make a list of the top five phrases and determine if any adjustments need to be made. Solicit feedback from friends, family, and employees to gather their opinion.

What feelings do they feel when they read it? Is it confident and does it spark interest and emotion? How do they fit in with your brand?

Develop a couple of short statements based on the phrases and words that reflect your brand. Then, combine or adjust them to formulate your mission statement.

The mission statement should be written in the present tense because it is what you are doing today, not what you intend to do in the future.

Editing is an important aspect of completing your mission statement. Walk away from your first draft and come back with fresh eyes.

Ask yourself if the mission statement will still have the same value 10 or 20 or 30 years from now as your company’s strategies change.

Remove big, fancy words and keep things clear and simple.

Sometimes the most simple statements could be the best thing for your business. While it shouldn’t be generic, it must be engaging, memorable and leave a message that is clear and concise.

Define the objectives why you need a mission statement. If writing the mission statement is proving to be difficult, you can consider the following template:

[Startup name]’s mission is to [main purpose] by [how the company plans on achieving its purpose].

Make the mission statement work for you

Once you have developed a killer mission statement, you can start to make it work for you. It must be at the front of everything you do throughout your business planning process.

The consumers, employees, and investors should have the mission statement at the front of their minds.

Your mission statement will tell investors why they should give you their money. It can become a central part of your marketing campaigns and make it visible on your pitch decks, website, and all other marketing materials.

The mission statement is not a tagline. A tagline stories/what-is-a-tagline is a short statement of just a few words that reinforces your brand.

A mission statement is the foundation of the fundamental values you will uphold. It will communicate who you are to everyone that is in contact with your company.

Your mission statement might seem like a small part of the planning process when developing your brand or new enterprise.

But this short statement will define who you are and the values you and your business will maintain for years to come.

The entire company, from the bottom employees to upper management, will embody this statement each day.

When hiring new employees, make sure the mission statement is an essential part of the onboarding process, so they know your core values.

The Bottom Line

Why you need a mission statement? A mission statement will define your business, so you should ensure it isn’t stale or generic.

This is a common mistake for some startups and new entrepreneurs. It can appear meaningless if your mission statement can apply to every other company out there.

If you don’t have a clear-cut vision for the business, consider waiting a while before writing a mission statement.

Some new business startups are still in the early stages of funding and the development process. So waiting on creating your mission statement may not be a bad thing. At least until you are confident in what you are working on.

Planning and organizing are the first steps in writing the perfect mission statement. As you narrow it down, you will find words or phrases that stand out to you.

Next, test your mission statement with those around you and determine if you are getting the effect you were hoping for.

When you feel confident and have the perfect mission statement, get it out there, so all will know who you are and what you stand for.

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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.

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call

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