Mission Statement

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business Plan

Kurt GraverBusiness Plan

A well-crafted mission statement captures the essence of a company’s purpose and values. It explains the fundamental reasons your business exists beyond making a profit.

Your mission statement is a key component of your business plan and broader company strategy. In this guide, we’ll cover what makes an effective mission statement and provide mission statement examples from top brands.

What is a Mission Statement?

A company’s mission statement defines its core purpose, focus, and aims. Typically 1-2 sentences long, a mission statement concisely explains:

  • Purpose – The problem your company aims to solve
  • Values – Guiding principles and beliefs
  • Goals – What you aim to ultimately achieve
  • Distinctions – How you differ from competitors

While a vision statement focuses on a company’s future state, a mission statement grounds you in the present. It communicates your fundamental objectives and approach.

Benefits of a Strong Mission Statement

An impactful mission statement provides many advantages, such as:

  • Provides focus – Keeps teams aligned on shared goals
  • Attracts talent – Helps recruit candidates who share your values
  • Builds trust – Shows customers what you stand for
  • Drives decisions – Guides strategy and problem-solving
  • Inspires action – Motivates employees to achieve your purpose

Given these benefits, crafting an exceptional mission statement is one of the wisest investments any company can make.

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement

Follow these best practices when writing or refining your mission statement:

Identify Your Purpose

Start by considering the core problem your company aims to solve. What customer needs do you address? Your mission should capture the heart of what you do in simple terms.

Express Your Values

Determine the principles, beliefs, and ethics that shape your decisions and culture. Convey what makes your company unique.

Keep It Focused

Avoid overly broad or generic statements that could apply to any company. Make your mission specific to your organization and objectives.

Make It Concise

The most memorable mission statements are brief, typically 15-30 words. Being succinct gives your statement more impact.

Use Action-Oriented Language

Write your mission statement with active, lively verbs that inspire people to take action.

Be Timeless

While strategies evolve, a mission statement should stand the test of time. Write something evergreen.

With focus and brevity, you can craft an exceptional mission statement that drives real business results.

Mission Statement Examples

Here are examples of effective mission statements from leading companies:

Google

To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Tesla

To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Patagonia

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Disney

To make people happy by providing the finest in entertainment.

American Red Cross

To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing volunteers’ power and donors’ generosity.

Starbucks

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.

American Express

We work daily to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.

These real-world examples demonstrate how effective mission statements express purpose, values, and focus in clear, succinct language. Use them for inspiration when writing your statement.

Tips for Using Your Mission Statement

To maximize its impact, make sure you:

  • Post it prominently – Feature your mission statement on your website, materials, office walls, etc.
  • Share it often – Regularly reinforce the mission in meetings, presentations, and communications.
  • Align strategy and decisions – Evaluate opportunities and challenges through the context of your mission.
  • Review it annually – Revisit the statement yearly in case your focus evolves.
  • Incorporate it into culture – Reflect your mission in everything from hiring to operations.

Communicating and integrating your company’s mission statement drives alignment, focus, and success.

Bring Your Mission to Life

An exceptional mission statement conveys why your company exists and what it represents in clear, inspiring language. It provides a strategic foundation and touchstone for decision-making.

You can realise your purpose and full potential by writing, reinforcing, and integrating a compelling mission statement into all aspects of your business.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on mission statements. Please share your questions or experiences in the comments below!