What is a Mission statement?

What is a Mission statement?

“What is a mission statement?” This is a question that many people ask because a mission statement is usually confused with a vision statement. A mission statement refers to the statement of the main purpose of something- en.wikipedia.org. This can be a person, an organization, or a company. It is a reason for which something exists or a written declaration that states the focus and core purpose of something and it usually lasts for a long time without being changed-businessdictionary.com.

On the other hand, a vision statement is inspirational. It lays out the vital primary goals that a company wishes to achieve. A vision statement does not outline the plan that the company has in place for achieving the goals. However, it enables a company to unite employees by outlining the major objectives of a firm or business which makes them more productive- businessnewsdaily.com.

Mission statement explained

A mission statement states or gives the focus. It gives direction and scope of the operations of a company or organization.

When written properly, a mission statement serves the following purposes:

  • It separates what is relevant from what is irrelevant in terms of the operations of a company
  • It states the markets that the company or organization will serve in a clear manner
  • It communicates the intended direction of the entire organization that should be followed by all employees

Perhaps, these purposes indicate clearly how a mission statement differs from a vision statement since a mission statement serves as the cause while a vision statement serves as the effect. A mission statement states something that the organization or company aims at accomplishing while a vision statement states what the company or organization will pursue for that particular accomplishment. A mission statement is also called a corporate purpose, corporate mission or company mission- businessdictionary.com.

Modern businesses mission statements

In the corporate world, a mission statement is seen as a statement that distills the soul and heart of a business or company in memorable, engaging paragraphs. In this case, a mission statement is seen as an opportunity for creating a more compelling picture for a business or company that the world will always see. As such, a mission statement is usually a concise, clear statement that tells the world about a business. It includes information like the name, the kind of an entity that a business is and what it engages in, where and for whom? Most successful companies in the world have mission statements that are easy to memorize and they usually guide all stakeholders.

The best mission statements usually include socially measurable and meaningful criteria for addressing certain concepts. Such concepts include the ethical or moral position of a company, public image, products and services, the market that such services and products target as well as the domain that the company serves, profitability and growth expectations- businessplans.org.

Still wondering what is a mission statement? The following Examples of business mission statements will give you more insight

Here are examples of mission statements:

  • The mission statement of Advanced Auto Parts, Inc

“Advanced Auto Parts, Inc mission is to provide vehicle enthusiasts and owners with vehicle related knowledge and products that meet their needs and wants at competitive prices. Our knowledgeable, professional and friendly staff is ready to assist in inspiring, educating and solving customers’ problems”- corp.advanceautoparts.com.

  • The mission statement of Albertsons

“Guided by Albertsons relentless focus on the five imperatives, the company constantly strives to implement critical initiatives that are necessary for the achievement of the company’s vision. By doing this, the company will deliver an exceptional excellence in all areas of the firm while exceeding its commitments to the constituencies that it serves. All short term actions and long term strategies will be focused on the established core values that all associates share- albertsons.com.

  • Ameren Mission statement

The mission of Ameren is to generate more electricity, deliver and distribute it as well as natural gas in an efficient, reliable, environmentally sound and safe manner. It is also simplified as “to power life’s quality”- ameren.com.

Guidelines to writing a mission statement

After knowing what is a mission statement for a business it’s important to know how to write one. There are five key factors that should be considered when writing a mission statement.

These are:

  • Why a business or company exists

The answer to this question determines the content and tone of a mission statement. You need to know the reason for starting a business and the goals that the business aims at achieving. In answering this question, it is important to know the target customers or individuals that may get assistance from the business. It is also vital to know the role that a business plays in a field or industry.

  • Characteristics of a company or business

A mission statement’s tone ought to reflect the culture and style of a company. It should be a reflection of a company’s personality. Therefore, consider how you want the company or business to be perceived by the other companies or customers. Write the traits that represent the company better. Determine if the company is solid and conservative or aiming at embracing a cutting edge and groundbreaking style. Also determine whether the company should be seen as a firm that has a playful and humorous side or maybe this would be unprofessional. Also consider the cultural aspects of the company such as the dress code or formality.

  • Determining why a company is unique

The mission statement should not be shocking. It simply needs to express the style and goals of the company clearly. However, it should tell the world something special about the company. A mission statement should basically include the concrete and quantifiable goals and elements of the company. For instance, instead of saying, “our aim is to make the entire world better”, state the specific customers that the company aims at helping.

  • Adding personality

Choose the wording of the mission statement carefully so that the final statement can be a true reflection of the style and personality of the company or business. Take time to break down the mission statement into a concise, clear statement by eliminating fluff. The final mission statement should not be too long.

  • Involving other members of the company

Other employees should be allowed to say something about the mission statement. This ensures that the final statement is a reflection of the vision that all people of the company have for it. Therefore, allow other people to critique it by asking intelligent questions. Also make sure that other people proofread the mission statement to eliminate grammatical and spelling errors. This way, the company will have a better mission statement.

What to include in a mission statement

A good mission statement should include three major concepts.

These are:

  • Purpose statement

A purpose statement states what the company aims at accomplishing. It explains why a company exists. It comprises of two phrases. These are the infinitive and condition or problem identification. For instance, in the case of the Advanced Auto Parts, Inc, the purpose statement is “to provide vehicle enthusiasts and owners with vehicle related knowledge and products that meet their needs and wants at competitive price.”

  • Business statement

This is the outline of the businesses, programs or activities that a company has chosen to pursue in order to accomplish its mission. In the same case of Advanced Auto Parts, Inc, the business statement is “assisting in inspiring, educating and solving customers’ problems.”

  • Values

A mission statement reflects the values of the staff of a company. These can be skills or beliefs that they share and how they intend to practice them. These guide members of a company or organization in executing their duties. In the case of Advanced Auto Parts, Inc. they include knowledge, professionalism and friendliness. The staffs of this company uphold these values while serving customers.

Apart from these elements, a mission statement should address certain questions.

These are:

The answers to these questions should be used in elaborating the three concepts highlighted above in a mission statement. Although there are no specific words that should be used in writing a mission statement, professional language should be used. The intention of the company should be expressed in a collective manner.

With the above guidelines on how to write a mission statement, we hope you will be able to write a good mission statement whenever the occasion arises.

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