A well-crafted mission statement provides a small business direction. It tells current employees where to place their focus while, at the same time, enticing other top talent to want to come on board.
Although this may seem like it should be a simple task—coming up with a sentence or two that explains your small business’s purpose—it can be rather difficult, especially if you want a mission statement that is powerful and results-driven. These seven tips can help.
Hone In On Your #1 Goal
After reading your mission statement, someone should be able to clearly say what is most important to your small business. Is it being the best in customer service or is your top goal to offer the highest quality of products or services possible? Maybe it’s something else.
Take some time to consider the one thing that you want your business to be best known for providing. Include this in your mission statement so that everyone reading it is clear about your top priority. This makes it easier for staff to respond to situations and make decisions in a manner that gets the company closer to this goal.
Think About Where Your Small Business Excels
Another strategy for creating a powerful mission statement is to think about what your small business does incredibly well. Where do you typically go above and beyond? Is it your super-fast delivery time or your no-questions-asked return policy?
Sharing this in your mission statement highlights the areas where you excel. If you’re not sure exactly where that is, ask your customers. Send out a questionnaire or read online reviews. Look for similar themes and incorporate them into your statement.
Identify What Makes You Different (Better)
Some of the best mission statements are the ones that set a particular business apart from its competitors. They tell the person reading them why the company is superior or how it is steps ahead of others in its field.
What problems do you solve that other businesses don’t? What service gaps do you fill that were previously unsatisfied? Talk about this in your mission statement.
Keep Your Mission Statement as Short as Possible
One of the biggest challenges in creating a powerful mission statement is that you want to include so much information, the statement reads more like an essay. The problem with including too much information is that it dilutes your message, reducing the strength of each part.
Some experts recommend keeping your mission statement to 20 words or less. Others say that up to 100 words is okay. Where most seem to agree is that the statement should be as short and concise as possible. When creating yours, ask whether you could say the same thing in fewer words. If you can, you may want to.
Be Specific but Not Too Specific
Your small business mission statement should be specific enough to be clear, yet not so specific that it doesn’t leave you room for growth. It’s not uncommon for companies to change and morph over time. Your mission statement should allow for this.
For example, if you provide tree trimming services, a natural expansion would be the removal of dead bushes and shrubs. Or you might decide to also offer landscape services. Write a mission statement that shares your top goals but doesn’t stop you from expanding into these areas.
Seek Feedback Before Adopting Your Mission Statement
Once you have your mission statement drafted, reach out to all levels of employees and ask what they think. Does your statement resonate with them? Is it a clear representation of your purpose and what you do well?
Getting feedback helps you better gauge whether your mission statement creates the effect you want. If it doesn’t, ask how you could make it better. Your staff may have an idea that you hadn’t previously considered.
Revisit Your Small Business Mission Statement Regularly
Mission statements are not meant to be written and never revisited. As your business changes and grows, your mission may morph into something else too. That’s why it should be reviewed regularly to make sure the two are aligned.
Make it a point to go over your small business mission statement once a year. Think about what it says and consider whether it should be changed to better support your direction. If not, great. If it does, taking care of it sooner rather than later can keep you moving forward in the way that you intend.