woman looking at whiteboard with notes
Having a clearly defined mission statement can serve as a guide for you and your employees by defining your target market's pain points and outlining goals to reach. — Getty Images/andresr

In your industry, there may be countless other businesses like yours, offering similar products or services. However, your mission — your business’s ultimate purpose — is what sets you apart from your competition.

To better understand and articulate your business, you’ll want to create a detailed, targeted mission statement to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey and remind you of why you started your business in the first place. Here’s what to include and how to write it.

What to include in a mission statement

Your mission statement should include three main points:

  1. Why your business does what it does
  2. How your business does what it does
  3. What, exactly, your business does

When detailing these points, you’ll want to be as specific and intentional as possible, because they will help you establish a unique presence in your industry and allow you to connect with your audience. Your employees will also feel a stronger connection with your brand, which will help drive better performance and engagement.

Writing your mission statement is one of the most important tasks as an entrepreneur, and you want to approach it with as much insight as possible.

Steps to writing a mission statement

Writing your mission statement is one of the most important tasks as an entrepreneur, and you want to approach it with as much insight as possible. Here are four steps to help get you started.

1. Define your “why”

Identify the purpose for your business in a few detailed sentences. Perhaps you’re a local vegetarian eatery that aims to serve delicious, plant-based meals at an affordable price; or maybe you’re a career coach with a passion for helping professionals find their true calling. Whatever your business might be, you’ll want to get specific when defining your “why,” and let it serve as your guide as you work towards your goals.

From there, you can determine what it is you’re offering (products and/or services) and how you are offering them.

[For more on how to define your business's purpose, see 3 Things You Need to Know About Writing a Business Plan in 2019.]

2. Explain how your business serves its customers

Identify a clear issue your target customers have and how best to solve it.

Using the career coach example above, the clear issue might be your clients’ lack of fulfillment in their current careers. Your solution may be to provide one-on-one coaching and motivation to help clients uncover their ideal career path.

This goal serves as the basis of your mission statement and can help keep you focused on your purpose. If your business decisions and activities aren’t in service of this purpose, you’re missing your mark.

3. Explain how your business serves its employees and owners

Starting a business isn’t just about your potential customers. Without a personal passion for and connection to your business, you won’t have the authentic drive to follow your mission and commit to it each day.

Think about what your business offers you and your staff. Perhaps you started this company to fill a void. You set out to solve an issue that you experienced firsthand, and you’ve purposely tried to hire employees who relate on the same level. Your business will be much more meaningful when its mission is valued by everyone involved.

4. Revisit and revise

Your mission statement isn’t a one-and-done project. You’ll want to regularly review it to ensure it keeps up with your business as it evolves. With the constantly changing times and consumer demands, your mission might also change and develop as you grow as a brand.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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