“Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”
Starbucks’ mission statement clearly defines what they do and how they plan to do it. It’s a reflection of their values, purpose and ethics. Since its establishment in 1971, Starbucks has become a household name doing exactly what it set out to do, that is “becoming the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world”.
Today, Starbucks has evolved and with initiatives like reusable cups, it plans to do its part for the environment. An organization’s mission statement is based on what it aspires to achieve and how. It’s something employees, customers and clients understand and recognize.
If you own a business—or are thinking of starting one—you must find the answer to “what is a mission statement?” Let’s discuss the meaning of a mission statement and why you need one.
What Is A Mission Statement?
The meaning of a mission statement is a sentence or a short paragraph that explains what a business aspires to achieve, their values and purpose. It can be to change the world or improve the well-being of your local community, employees or customers. Big or small, your mission defines your business and its goals.
For some organizations, their mission statement puts down their commitment to their people—employees, clients, investors and customers. Many organizations have their mission statement on display in their offices to continuously motivate and inspire their employees.
The power of an effective company mission statement is that it can pull you up when you’re feeling down. In a crisis situation, your mission will help center you. It can be your guiding light.
Consider the following examples of mission statements from successful organizations:
“To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
“To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference.”
“To move the web forward and give web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world.”
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Each of these statements is powerful. They are clearly defined, explaining the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. How you write your mission statement depends on what you hope to achieve with your business. Now that you know the meaning of a mission statement, ask yourself what you’re offering your customers—that thing that sets you apart from your competitors. Answering these questions will help you get a step closer to the perfect mission statement.
How To Write A Mission Statement
The mission statement definition can vary from organization to organization. But there are key elements that are common. Some of these are the essence of a mission statement, your purpose and knowing why you started in the first place.
Here are some key points to note when designing your mission statement:
Think Big Picture
Thinking big-picture means to have a good grasp of what you’re doing. You have to clarify what it is your organization can do for your customers—and other stakeholders. Whether you’re offering them a product that can improve their standard of living or service to help them simplify their everyday life. For instance, Dyson’s mission statement is “solve problems others seem to ignore”. Their iconic and game-changing hair styling products, vacuums and air purifiers are unique, innovative and simple to use.
Find Your Purpose
Your purpose explains why you’re doing what you’re doing. A company mission statement should reflect your reason to start. This can be something like ‘creating a space for innovation to thrive’ or ‘supporting sustainability for future generations’. It could be something grand or it can even be something simple, yet powerful, such as ‘offering support to senior citizens’. Your purpose is your reason behind why you started. Being mindful of your purpose will help you write a mission statement that’s impressive, inspiring and unique.
Focus On The ‘How’
Once you’ve defined what you’re doing, you have to explain how you plan to do it. Maybe you want to implement eco-friendly practices in your everyday business. You may want to encourage a culture that respects unique work styles. However you plan to do business, it’s important to clarify it to make sure everyone involved knows the vision. It helps to center everyone—motivate and inspire them to put their best foot forward.
Understand Your Competition
Your mission statement is a chance to define why you’re different from the rest—how your business sets you apart from your competitors. Whether you do a market study or a competitor analysis is up to you. But this is an essential part of your mission because it’s something investors will surely be interested in. They want to know why they should invest in you as opposed to someone else in your industry.
Don’t Forget To Proofread
If you’re writing anything at all, the final step is always to do a quality check, edit and proofread. You can do it yourself or have someone else look at it for you. The more you edit and proofread the better. Even if you write the best mission statement according to you, you don’t want to end up with grammatical errors or incoherent sentences. Give the final touches to your excellent statement with impeccable language to make it stand out.
A mission statement is necessary for businesses to help people understand what they’re all about. You should think of it as your introduction to the world. If you don’t explain what you do, why you do it and how you plan on doing it, how will anyone ever know?
Make sure you’re completely in tune with your mission statement when you approach different stakeholders, especially clients and investors. When it comes to your customers, you have to build trust and make them believe in your offerings. Use your mission statement wisely and stand to gain lifelong trust, investment opportunities and meaningful connections.
Difference Between A Mission, Purpose And Vision Statement
Each organization has a mission and a vision statement. Some also have a purpose statement. Even if they seem similar, there are subtle differences among these three. They are essential aspects of what defines you and your business. Understanding what sets them apart will help you build a business with the right values, motivations and organizational culture.
Let’s explore these differences:
A mission statement explains what you do and how you plan to do it. It sets out your goals and objectives, your long-term mission and how you can contribute to society. Your mission helps you get everyone—including your employees—on the same page. It motivates, inspires and encourages people to keep doing what they’re doing. Believing in your mission is what keeps businesses stable in the long-run. It doesn’t go through many changes, but it evolves along with the organization.
A vision statement explains where you’re headed and where you plan to go with your mission. It defines your future aspirations and what you hope to achieve. For instance, Oxfam’s vision statement is: “A just world without poverty”. It’s clear, concise and clarifies what the future holds for Oxfam. A vision statement helps organizations stick to their goals and guides them toward their destination. It defines their journey toward fulfillment.
A purpose statement defines the reason your organization exists. It sets out to answer the ‘why’ behind your business. Why did you start your business? Who are you catering to? What’s your overarching objective? A purpose statement helps answer these questions. Your purpose can push you to continue and motivate others like your employees to stay on board.
Now that you know the difference between these three types of statements, you can start thinking about your mission, vision and purpose. At the intersection of these three lies a successful business. If you know why you started, you can overcome any challenges and setbacks. Use these statements as the motivation you need to get through the rough days.
Discovering Your Purpose
What do you believe in? Answering this question is harder than you think. Discovering what you’re passionate about and what excites you is critical if you want to do something you love. Harappa’s Discovering Purpose course will teach you how to understand your purpose—the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’. Not only will your course teach you how to find fulfillment and meaning in your professional and personal life, but also improve your productivity. Learn more about the state of flow—that zone where you’re so into your work, the outside world simply vanishes. Always put your best foot forward to realize your full potential.
Understand who you are and what you stand for to achieve your goals and stay on track. Enroll today to take advantage of our expert faculty and core concepts to help you thrive!
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