In browsing the internet, you’ve likely come across some version of “Our Mission” on the websites of various companies. This is the company’s mission statement, and in its simplest and best form it declares a company’s purpose. Ideally, a good mission statement includes a description of what a company is, what it does, and what its objectives are.
Some good examples of mission statements include Warby Parker’s “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses,” and Tesla’s “To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.” These are useful examples because they are companies most people are familiar with, and so it’s easy to look at the mission statements and associate them with what we know of the company. They are simple, straightforward, and don’t leave a lot of room for interpretation.
These are large businesses, though, with global reach. As a small business, you may wonder if you need a mission statement – you’re not Tesla, after all. But one of the great things about mission statements is that they don’t just tell customers or clients what you’re about – they tell employees what you’re about.
Small businesses, in particular, may lack direction, especially in the beginning. It’s tough to get off the ground and it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of starting a business and forget why you’re in business.
A good mission statement helps define a small business’s culture, bringing the team together in a united goal. It offers direction to the staff and engages them in the company’s purpose. It also helps when making decisions. When a key business decision is in the balance, it becomes much easier to analyze the choices and make a call when you can ask, “does this align with our mission statement?”
But of course, a mission statement is not only for internal use – it is important to let your customers know what it is as well. Marketing is critical to a small business, and a mission statement is key to marketing – it helps shape your marketing messages and creates focus when deciding how best to promote your business.
When a potential customer is browsing the internet and comes across your website and considers you for whatever product or service they need, a good mission statement front and center can help their decision process. Customers want to work with companies with which they share values and are aligned with their needs. A good mission statement can be the differentiator when it comes to a customer choosing between your small business and your competition.
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If you’re wondering if your business is too small to need a mission statement, the answer is most definitely “no.” Mission statements are just as important to small businesses as they are to larger businesses. They bring employees together, create a cohesive, team-based small business culture, and let your customers know exactly what it is your business brings to the table.
Need help crafting a solid mission statement that will serve as a compass for your entire business?