In order to successfully run a business, an entrepreneur needs a clear vision as to where the business is going. In other words, a business needs to know what its purpose is and where it is going. A mission statement is the perfect tool to develop in order to define a new business's purpose, activities, and values.
A mission statement should act as a lighthouse. If a company loses track of itself, it will be able to look back on their mission statement and be reminded of their overall purpose. In general, a mission statement should inform your workers and customers what the business is all about and where it is headed. A mission statement should act as a foundation to help a business create a culture that is integrated with its overall purpose.
Is it worth it?
Some business owners wonder if writing a mission statement is ever worth it. Research shows, however, that the writing of a mission statement is directly linked to greater returns on investment in companies. Additionally, businesses with mission statements have double the return on equity than those who have not written one. Our advice for entrepreneurs is to write a statement; one that is short, sweet, and to the point.
How to develop a mission statement
There are three steps in developing an effective mission statement: craft it, communicate it, and incorporate it into the business's environment.
Craft It. A mission statement should be a few sentences long that even people outside of the industry would be able to understand. The first thing an entrepreneur should do to write a mission statement is to gather a team. Creating a mission statement on your own is dangerous; instead, recruit employees, managers, and even customers to help develop the statement. Next, you and your team must establish the needs and opportunities that your business has. From this, you will be able to develop a theme for your business, which then becomes its primary purpose. The next step is to determine how your company will meet these needs. In this case, describe the activities that your business participates in on a daily basis. Next, your team must discuss the company's values, in other words, what is most important to you and to your employees. Finally, combine all of these key elements together to create the perfect mission statement. After assembling all of these necessary elements, your mission statement will be complete, whether that be in a day or a few weeks, is up to you and your team.
Communicate It. In order to have an effective mission statement, it must be communicated daily throughout the business. Therefore, every employee should thoroughly understand the mission statement and the individual role that they posses in making it a reality. To communicate it to the business, be sure to give healthy reminders of the mission statement throughout the day. This may mean printing it on employee materials, incorporating it into employee orientation and training, or printing it on employee newsletters.
Incorporate it. Incorporating your mission statement into the business environment goes hand-in-hand with communicating it to employees. The mission statement needs to be proactively integrated into systems and processes that constitute the company's culture (this includes goal-setting, marketing plans, even hiring). Encourage the consistency of the mission statement throughout the day until it becomes a habit for all employees to abide by it.
Believe in the statement
French writer Anatole France once stated, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." This is exactly what a mission statement is all about. It is a statement of actions and plans, and also a statement that the business owner and all employees must believe in and turn to.