What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a statement that describes the essence or purpose of your business so that it is crystal clear who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
Here’s a classic definition of a mission statement by OnStrategyHQ
“A mission statement is a short summary of a business’s purpose that identifies the goal it is trying to achieve, what kind of product or service it offers, its target market, and it’s unique selling point.
This definition sums up everything that should be included in a mission statement.
In essence, a mission statement should incorporate the following key things.
- The purpose of your business and why it exists.
- Your target market.
- Your products or services.
- The core values that influence how your company operates.
- The value you’re providing.
- How you differ from your competitors
Now, here are a few examples of powerful mission statements of some of the biggest companies in the world:
: “To be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
This means that Amazon have described themselves as customer centric to emphasize their focus on their target market. Their entire mission statement revolves around the customer.
: “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.”
Now, this is a pretty long but accurate mission statement from Apple, and they have summed up everything about what they do especially with the keyword: innovative, because that’s what Apple products are. Identifying keywords that sum up your business perfectly would be a great way to start writing a powerful mission statement.
: “Walmart helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices.”
Walmart uses the keywords help people save money
, and live better
. This is exactly what they do through their cheap prices. Their mission also talks about how people can shop in their stores or online.
All of these are some strong and compelling mission statements, and all of these companies really live up to the essence of their mission statements.
Now that we’ve established what a mission statement is and what they can look like, let’s look at how we can craft a mission statement, step by step.
Now, your mission statement needs set the tone for your business. It needs to be short, sharp, precise and focused on the impact you’re looking to have on the lives of your customers. Is there a specific keyword that really sums up what you do in a way that would really appeal to your target audience? That would really help your potential customers identify with your business.
In essence, your mission statement needs to pack a punch. It needs to be clear, it needs to be concise and it needs to be ultra-specific. It also needs to be memorable. If it is weak or vague, your mission statement won’t be remembered by anyone. It just won’t be memorable.
Here are the steps to craft a compelling mission statement:
Step one. What is fundamental purpose of your business?
What is the main reason why you’re in business? This has nothing to do with financial motivations. It is the main reason why your business exists. In other words, what are the specific goals that you’re trying to achieve with your business? These are the main reasons that motivated you to start your business. At this point, you’ll want to identify the specific products or services that you offer to your customers.
Now, there’s no need to overthink this. Make this very simple. Whatever you provide is the purpose of your business. For example, you could say that:
My company’s purpose is to
- Sell t-shirts online.
- Provide organic link building services.
- Provide online flower delivery services.
- Offer app development services.
Stating the exact purpose of your business makes the reason for your business’s existence very clear.
Step Two: Identify your primary customers and what you do for them.
Your business is primarily about your customers, and you need to precisely identify the very people that you typically help. Who are your ideal target customers? Are they business owners, solopreneurs, career women, consumers, etc.? What value are you providing to them? How will your products, services or solution improve their lives?
Describe the specific impact that your business will have on the lives of your customers, and how it will make their lives better. Explain exactly what your business is trying to accomplish on behalf of your customers. Identify how you satisfy your customers’ needs rather than being focused on your product or service.
Step Three: Describe what your company stands for and how it does what it does.
This is not about how your business physically operates. This is about your core competencies and how they contribute to or influence the level of service that you provide to your customers. These are the uncompromising principles and fundamental beliefs that are define the promise you make to your customers. Don’t be vague here. Define what makes the service you provide so extraordinary.
Here are some examples of core values:
- Top of the line customer service
- Exceptional link building services
- To protect and improve the environment
- Provide superior product quality
Once you have determined which core values are most important to you, include the description of what your company does.
Step Four: Describe how your company differs from your competitors.
You’ll want to be really specific here. What is it about your products or services that makes you a better option than your competitors? What do you do better, cheaper or faster than them? Your mission statement needs to be a compelling and inspirational summary.
Let’s bring everything together by looking at an example:
If you’re an internet marketing company, this is what your mission statement can look like:
My company, Social Geek Ltd., exists to provide exceptional search engine optimization and PPC advertising services that allow local, small businesses to lower their costs, increase their revenue and establish a strong brand presence online.
As you can see here:
- I’ve identified exactly what I do, which is providing SEO and PPC advertising services. These are keywords that sum up my services. I could have used online marketing services, but I wanted to be more specific by identifying the exact services that I offer to potential clients.
- I have identified my core values by boldly stating that I provide exceptional internet marketing services. This is my underlying commitment to prospective customers, and it is the quality of service they can expect to receive from me. This is how I differ from my competitors.
- I have identified my ideal clients, which are local small businesses.
- I have identified the impact I plan to make on the lives of my target audience: increase their revenue and establish a strong brand presence.
Once you’ve crafted your mission statement, people need to be familiar with it. You want it to be highly visible in your business because you want everyone to know exactly what you’re about and what you’re looking to achieve as a freelancer. That is why you need to post it everywhere you can think of, including your website.
Doing that can actually have an inspirational effect on you and everyone who works for you, especially if it is something that they see every single day.
You want everybody to have a clear sense of who you are, what your freelancing business is about and what you’re trying to accomplish. When your mission statement is highly visible, everyone who comes into contact with you will know exactly what to expect from you. Your customers and prospective clients will know exactly what your brand promise is, and what they can expect when they buy your services.
How to establish a powerful and compelling USP for your freelancing business step by step.