Let’s imagine you’re going for a long hike in the forest. You’re packing your bag. What essentials do you bring?
Water? Check. Snacks? Check. Good hiking shoes? Sunscreen? Hat? Check. Check. Check.
All of these are important items, but entering into a wooded forest without a compass can be risky. Sure, many trails have maps on the trailhead, but what if you get turned around? Distracted by something off the trail, and then lose your way?
In short, you’re in trouble.
Hiking without a compass is a lot like running a business without a mission statement.
A compass is there to guide your way in the forest.
And a mission statement guides your way in business.
Both of these things are essential in survival, whether in the forest or in the business world, but let’s talk about business.
Let’s first discuss what exactly is a mission statement.
A mission statement is the core purpose of your business. It represents your future aspirations and will serve as the compass that will guide you there.
Now…before you object with something along the lines of “I’m just a soloprenuer” or “I have a teeny tiny team,” you need to know this: Every business needs to have a mission statement because it will determine how you run your company, even if that company is made up of only yourself.
Knowing your mission will accelerate your brand like nothing else can. A well-crafted mission statement can provide the focus and motivation you need to take your business to the next level. No longer will you question what is ‘right’ or what is ‘wrong’ for your business, because you’ll know. Distractions will disappear; you’re honed in on the true goal. These will be the values that drive your business personality, customer service, and marketing messages.
Sounds good right? But how do you craft an effective mission statement?
There are three key elements to an effective mission statement:
A successful mission statement will explain:
What you do
How you do it
Why you do it
Let’s take a look at my mission statement as an example.
“I provide no-fluff programs for creative event professionals who are ready to transform their businesses, uncover a consistent additional 5 figures per month.”
What do I do?
I provide programs for creative event professionals.
How do I do it?
I provide no-fluff mentoring. I uncover the hard truths about business and identify areas in which yours is struggling. I’ll also tell you if you have spinach in your teeth.
Why do I do it?
I do this to help other creative event professionals transform their businesses and uncover a consistent additional 5 figures per month.
The answers to all three questions are clearly represented in my mission statement. You’ll also notice I use powerful, actionable words in mine to really drive my point home, such as ‘transform’ and ‘uncover.’
Now consider your mission statement. How does your stack up? Or are you somebody who is struggling to come up with one at all? If you’re the latter, consider these four additional elements to help distill your thoughts:
Value – What is the value of the business to both customers and employees? Work to uncover the value that you provide customers, as well as understand what brings satisfaction and determination to your employees.
Inspiration – Why should people want to work for the company? What do you stand for that others will want to get behind?
Plausibility – Make it sound reasonable. If you have an old wonky mission statement that sounds like a corporate Hallmark Card (you know what I’m talking about), then take it and rip it to shreds. Reflect on your true passions and values and tailor your mission statement to those.
Specificity – Tie it back to the business. Possessing excellent organizational skills and always being punctual are great attributes for anyone, but how do these qualities show up in your business?
After you’ve answered these questions and are ready to put pen to paper, remember to use vibrant language in yours as well. Take the time to create dynamic, visual images and inspire action. Give it some zest. A little zest never hurt anybody.
If you’re struggling to create a compelling mission statement that accurately reflects your business’s heart and soul, there’s no need to struggle alone. I can help. Schedule a one-on-one consultation call with me, and we can unpack your business and find your guiding compass.