Why Your Business Needs a Strong Mission Statement
How often do you look at your mission statement? Do you have it memorized? Many believe that a mission statement is just a necessary scrap of paper or blurb on a website to have so that the business really seems like a legitimate business, but your mission statement should be much more than that. A strong mission statement will govern every aspect of a business from the day to day tasks to the major future-altering decisions.
Your Mission Statement Matters: Think Branding
Just for a second, let’s think of your business as a human. Don’t think of the actual building, because that is just creepy. Think about the work your business does as a human. That’s better. Ok, your mission statement is your business’s personal ideology. This ideology should govern what your company does just like a human. Ok, back to the business. Now, every employee should know and act upon that mission statement. While at work, the business’s ideology should be one and the same as each employee’s personal ideology. If a company claims to treat every customer with the utmost respect, every employee should be walking around with that mantra in his or her head. That creates a unified brand.
That mission statement is the anchor that keeps your boat (the business) from drifting all over the place. Let’s face it, the world of marketing and business is constantly shifting. In the whirlwind of life, it can be tempting to make quick-fix decisions to change a business’s situation. Sometimes this is just fine and dandy, but sometimes these decisions can be dangerous for the company. Without going back to a mission statement, a company can mistakenly dilute the branding that it has worked so hard to create. Company goals can be lost when a brand gets diluted, and that just creates a whole mess of problems…
Why Branding Matters: Think Relationships
Let’s go back to human relationships for a bit. If you have friend who has certain values in one situation and then later turns against those to make a different decision, you would probably be pretty confused about what your friend’s values really are. It may cause you to question what your friend truly values, and this may cause you to doubt your friend’s motives at times. It may seem strange to look at branding this way, but people connect with brands very similarly to how they connect with people. That emotional connection that a brand creates is a very real thing, so you want your brand to connect with people emotionally. Naturally, you want people to have a positive experience with you and a positive memory of what your brand is all about. Mixed experiences and scattered memories can make it difficult for a customer or client to make a decision about doing business with you again. If you seem to say one thing and do another, it can be difficult to develop that trusting work relationship — something that is crucial in small businesses especially.
5 Questions to Consider When Developing a Mission Statement
- Who are we? (What kind of company are we?)
- What is it that our company does? (in simple terms)
- For whom are we working? (Who are we trying to help?)
- How do we go about doing the work that we do?
- How does what we do help the people we are trying to help?
You can also think “who, what, where, when, why, how” to get you on your feet. If you are stumped, take a look at your About Us page to get you started. Remember that clients and potential clients will/should be seeing your mission statement. They should be able to tell from reading this statement what your business is about right away.
Do you see how all those questions are interrelated? Each piece connects to the next, making a clear, concise mission statement. This statement can then guide every decision your business makes.
Example of a strong mission statement:
Food is a family-owned business that distributes nonperishable food items to people in developing countries around the world.
One could add core values into this mission statement, too, to make it even stronger.
Food is a family-owned business that distributes nonperishable food items to people in developing countries around the world while sharing kindness, respect and a passion for life.
If you have any questions about marketing, branding or mission statements, reach out to us here.