Remember the dreaded “Where do you want to be 10 years from now?” question they ask during interviews?
Knowing a GOOD answer to this question is important, but not just when you want to crack a job interview. You’ve to know the answer if you’re running a business too – because a business without a mission is doomed to fail.
You probably know where you want your organization to be after 5 or 10 years. But is knowing your mission enough to survive in the market? Unfortunately, no.
You’ve to announce your mission to the world. You have to tell people who you are and what you want to achieve. You’ve to let them know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Loud and clear.
Why? Because when people know what your organization wants to achieve and what your goals are, they’ll be more inclined towards buying from you. That’s what the end goal always is, right?
So, what’s the best way to share your mission with the world? A mission statement! In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about creating a mission statement. Let’s go!
What’s a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short, concise statement that is centered around the #1 thing your company wants to achieve. It gets straight to the heart of your organization’s purpose of existence.
These are the four important questions a mission statement answers:
- Why does your organization exist?
- Who does your organization serve?
- What does your organization aim to achieve?
- How will your product or service make people’s lives better?
Simply put, a mission statement is the bedrock of any organization. It tells the world the “what, how, and why” of your organization and gives meaning to all the things that happen within your organization.
A mission statement helps you navigate through your goals and develop strategies to achieve them. Everything you do within your organization has to be aligned with what you have said in your mission statement.
We have often seen the lines between mission and vision statements getting blurred but you can’t afford to mix them up. The present and future of your organization depend on them!
So, let’s break down the difference between a vision and a mission statement!
Mission Statement & Vision Statement: What’s The Difference?
Look, a vision statement focuses on what you want to ultimately become. It’s aspirational. But a vision statement can’t stand alone. You also need to describe how you’re going to turn your vision into reality.
That’s where a mission statement comes into play. This statement paints a picture of what you’re currently doing to achieve your vision. It shows what you do, aka the core of the organization.
For instance, Amazon’s vision statement is: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
And, Amazon’s mission statement is: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
See the difference? Amazon’s vision statement focuses on what they aspire to become in the FUTURE. Whereas, their mission statement is focusing on TODAY and what they’re doing to achieve their vision.
Now, let’s take another example.
Linkedin’s vision statement is: “To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” Its mission statement is: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
Basically, Linkedin’s vision statement describes its aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create while their mission statement answers the question “how?” as in how they are going to make that vision a reality.
In a nutshell, a mission statement is the “what” and the “how,” and a vision statement is the “why.” The difference between the two matters more than you think!
Now, picture this:
Your employees are unmotivated and uninspired. No one knows exactly what they need to do. No one knows who’s accountable for what. Your customers don’t know who you are. There is no proper system in place.
Imagine what that can do to a company. Terrifying, right? Well, that’s what happens when you don’t have a solid mission statement. 🙂
A mission statement outlines what you do and what comprises the core of the business. It helps you decide your business objectives, followed by what it will take to reach those objectives.
This short statement acts as a guiding beacon for people within the organization, as well as for the ones outside. This is exactly why you need to make sure that it’s perfect, and we’re going to help you with that.
5 Tips For Creating An Unforgettable Mission Statement
1. Keep it Short & Sweet
A mission statement is just that – a statement. It’s not an essay or a blog. It’s a simple, concise, short, and sweet summary of why your organization exists, so keep it that way.
All we’re trying to say, don’t go on and on about the reasons why your organization exists. You need to compile all those reasons into a short statement, or it won’t be as powerful as you want it to be.
2. Think Long Term
You need to put in SO much effort to create that perfect mission statement. You don’t want it to get obsolete the next day you publish it, right? Of course, you don’t!
That’s why, while writing your mission statement, don’t just think about what your organization is doing today, think about what it’ll be doing in the next three to five years too, and then include it.
3. Focus On The “Why”
While writing your mission statement, try to answer these questions: Why does your firm exist? Why it’s doing what it’s doing? Why should people choose you and not someone else?
Compile all these answers into a sentence or two, and your solid mission statement is ready! Always remember, a mission statement is all about the “why”. 🙂
4. Brainstorm With Your Employees
Your employees and the people you work with, know more about your organization than anyone else on earth. They know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They know the USPs and weaknesses of your organization.
If you want your mission statement to be A-OKAY, the best thing to do is get your employees involved in the mission statement brainstorming sessions. Because the more, the merrier!
No, it won’t be a hassle at all because Bit.ai lets you and your team effortlessly collaborate on a Bit document in real-time. Everyone can put forth their ideas in the Bit document, review other ideas, and give feedback on them – all at the same time. That’s how robust Bit.ai is! 😎
5. Clearly Demonstrate Your Best Qualities
Your mission statement needs to speak volumes. It might be a teeny tiny sentence, but it casts a long shadow. So make sure that this short statement is packed with every great thing about your organization.
Your mission statement gives you the chance to show what’s so great about you and why people should choose you over others. Do NOT forget to include any aspect of your awesomeness in it.
Yay! You’ve now learned how to create an amazing mission statement. Now, put all these tips and strategies into practice and your mission statement is bound to rock.
Need some inspiration and something to guide you on your way? Let’s go and get it from organizations that are totally rocking their mission statement game.
10 Really Inspiring Mission Statement Examples
1. Uber: We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.
2. Microsoft: Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
3. The Coca-Cola Company: To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.
4. Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
5. Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
6. Sony: To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.
7. Ford: To make our cars better, our employees happier and our planet a better place to be.
8. Zappos: To provide the best customer service possible. Deliver WOW through service.
9. Harley Davidson: We fulfill dreams of personal freedom.
10. McDonald’s: To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.
Your mission statement speaks volumes about your organization. It can literally make the difference between a successful organization and one that no one knows about.
So, follow the tips we’ve given you in this informative guide to mission statements, and we’re sure you’ll end up with the coolest mission statement ever.
Remember, words have a lot of power, especially the words that you use in your mission statement. So make sure that you come up with the best words and the best mission statement. We’re totally rooting for you!
By the way, if you have got any queries or suggestions, hit us up on Twitter @bit_docs and let us know.