Smart Business Mission Statement Writing

Your Business Mission Statement is the most important line you ever write. Why did you start a small business? Who do you serve? Why does anyone care? Did you do it for the money or for some larger purpose? You wanted a legacy for your family. You wanted to do things differently. You wanted better. You wanted smarter. You wanted to be in control of your future. You wanted to help others.

Business Mission Statement Motivation

The statement addresses the important driver behind the risk you took. The extra hours you worked, the sacrifice, hope, fear, and triumph you put into hours worked as an entrepreneur. The Business Mission Statement is a deeply personal philosophy of why you do what you do written into one or two lines. It is the embodiment in the values you hold and the process you know is right. As the leader of your small business operation, the burden of creating a mission statement falls to you and to you alone.
In the older day of Business Mission Statement creation, the rule was that a good mission statement would fit on the back of a t-shirt. Today, in the age of social media, a smart measure is for your mission statement to fit into a Twitter message of about 140 characters or less. Every person on your team, from the CEO to the part-time custodial team, must not only know the mission but believe in it. They must share the values within. They must support those values across the range of work obligations. It also helps if each team member shares the shares values of the mission statement outside of the workplace.

It’s Personal

Effective Business Mission Statements are those which embody a combination of the company’s strengths, opportunities, culture, and responsibilities. This “special sauce” of ingredients for success never change because they are driven by your values and not changed by external market forces. Common wisdom of experts says you can change processes but never chance your values. Peter Drucker said it better: “Leadership has no choice but to anticipate the future and attempt to mold it, bearing in mind that whoever is content to rise with the tide will also fall with it.”.

Never Compromise

Never compromise on your mission statement for anything, especially not cash. The final measure of your success will not be the bottom line on an accounting sheet for a given year or even a decade. The final measure of your entrepreneurial endeavor will be decided by you. Whether your measure of success is a gift to society, research, innovation, or service to customers, let your mission statement reflect that goal. Let the goal be consistent with your values. Let your values reflect your moral compass. Let your values reflect your faith. Remember that the final goal is not reached next week. Avoid developing a mission statement on short term objectives. As new entrepreneurs, we face many challenges and temptations. The most dangerous of which is to obsess about tomorrow’s demands like rent and payroll. We get bogged on the daily tactical.  We lose sight of the strategic long term objectives. Leave the daily work to your team. As the leader of your business, you must focus on the long term vision.

The Breviary

Your mission statement is the core of your business. Done correctly, it will help you guide your dream to the proper destination. Take the creation of this document seriously. Ask for help.  Make it your own. More on creating a mission statement and an executive summary can be found on this blog post and this excellent post from Entrepreneur.com.
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