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Tips for Creating a Mission Statement

written by: Heidi Wiesenfelder•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/19/2010

Your mission statement describes what you do, for whom or in what setting you do it, and how you do it. Think of it is the map for achieving your vision, and a means of clarifying to others what your business is all about.

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    How to Write a Mission Statement

    Creating a MIssion Statement Your goal in writing a mission statement should be to describe your business and offerings in a broad enough way that the statement will not need frequent updating as you take on new projects and expand your product or service offerings. Yet, your statement should be specific enough that current and potential colleagues, customers and employees will get a good sense of what your business is about.

    To write a mission statement, start by brainstorming phrases that describe the core products or services you offer. Add details about the types of clients or customers you serve, the types of techniques or methods you employ, and the settings in which you operate. Include specifics about what differentiates you from your competition or from similar types of business, but leave the door open for accommodating changes in specific techniques and for growing your business. For instance a green dry cleaning company might state, "We provide affordable high-quality care for clothing and other fabrics using environmentally safe techniques." This is better than stating, "We use technique XYZ to provide the best possible dry cleaning while minimizing the impact on the environment," which does not take into account that an even better method may be an option in the near future.

    While you should not include wording about what you will not do, do think about related products and services you will not offer or market segments you will not aim to serve. By keeping in mind what is out of scope for your business, you can more effectively describe the methods you will use and the products or services you will provide.

    This is also a good time to reflect on your mission and the decisions you have made thus far. Is the mission you have followed so far aligned with your vision and values? Is it based on what you truly want to do or is it more a result of what you believe is expected of you? If it is appropriate, use this opportunity to revise your mission and clarify it in your new mission statement.

    Once you have created a preliminary version of your statement, ask friends and colleagues whose opinions you value to provide feedback. See if their understanding of your mission matches your intentions, and find out what aspects of your mission statement are unclear or require further elaboration. Then modify the wording and confirm that the new version is interpreted as you intend.

    When your mission statement is complete, incorporate it into your promotional messaging and provide it to all your suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Create Vision, Mission and Values Statements

Learn how a vision statement, mission statement, and guiding values can help you achieve success as an entrepreneur or small business owner, and how to create your own.
  1. Create Your Mission, Vision And Values Statements
  2. Creating an Effective Vision Statement
  3. Tips for Creating a Mission Statement
  4. Advice for Creating an Effective Values Statement