Once you’ve established the basic outline of your brand, it’s time to build on that foundation with a proper mission statement. It will always be a bit of a challenge to tell people exactly what you do in a way that can spark true meaning for them. But, hey! You wouldn’t have started your own business if you weren’t up for that type of challenge. Your mission statement should be able to clearly communicate what you can achieve for your dream client. Consider what products or services you’re offering, and think about how you make them tangible to the people who seek your business out. In short, your mission statement should entail not only your goals but also true actions you take to achieve them. So, how do you turn goals and actions into a concise mission statement?
GO BACK TO THE BASICS
In a perfect world, your mission statement will portray your years of experience, illustrate a bit about your personality, and target your ideal audience. You might be wondering, “How the HECK do I do that?” or “How can I possibly fit that all into one simple sentence?” Don’t worry—you’re not alone! The first step you can take is to make note of the basic elements of your brand. Contemplate your values and how those values transform your dream client’s needs into a reality.
LEAD WITH YOUR BRAND GOALS
The secret to creating a perfect mission statement is in the meaning of the word itself. By definition, a mission is “a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.” So, take all the tasks you want to accomplish, all the ambition you have to offer, and focus your energy into one specific goal. Then write that goal down, and let it guide you. We all have daily goals, even if they don’t look the exact same. On a personal level, we may have goals of working out, preparing an amazing meal, and finishing all our work before we finally crash. On a business level, maybe our goals look like increasing our social media presence, boosting online sales, or initiating a partnership with a similar brand. No matter the goal, each one adds up to the bigger picture: Your mission. Assessing your brand goals will not only make your mission statement stronger, but it will also allow the company to become more focused and more streamlined.
FIND JOY IN THE MISSION
Here’s the amazing thing about a mission statement: It reflects the values of your business above all else. Because your mission statement is developed by you, it should have an authentic feel to it, and you will hopefully find a sense of joy in knowing that. While you need to believe in the mission, remember that it isn’t exactly for you; it’s more so for your client, so they know what you’re all about.
With your statement, think about who you’re striving to serve, and why you want to help them in the first place. Reflecting on this should feel rewarding and full of purpose. Write a list of your dream clients, potential subjects, and meaningful work. The more you write down, the more specific your mission statement will become, and thus, the more invigorating it will be as it propels you forward.
Try to lean into the work of creating the mission statement and using your dream clients as inspiration. There should be happiness in your work, even on the trickiest tasks and hardest days.
NARROW THE FOCUS
The key to developing your mission statement is to make it as narrow as possible. If your brand focuses on food and nutrition, you don’t want a mission statement that says, “For food lovers to find satisfaction in the natural.” Most people are food lovers, so that’s kind of a throwaway statement aimed at a broad group—and what exactly do you mean by “satisfaction in the natural”? It falls flat and doesn’t clearly show off what your business and brand does. The more specific you are, the better chance you have to find (and maintain!) your ideal clientele. Focus on your dream client. Think, “Who’s truly going to be drawn to this brand because it will better their life in one way or another?” When your mission statement clearly emphasizes the “what” and “why” behind your brand, you’ll not only attract the clients you’re looking for, but you’ll also steadily grow your business. Sure, rapid growth won’t happen overnight, but narrowing the focus of your mission statement absolutely guides you in the right direction.
DEFINE YOUR INDIVIDUALITY
The next element that should be reflected in your mission statement is you. Why should someone come to you when there are a million other experts in the field? What sets you apart from all the competitors? How is your business and brand going to stand out in what it provides to your dream clients? One avenue many business owners take is to share their specific degrees or years of accumulated experience in a certain field. Perhaps you’ve worked closely with a wide variety of people that have enhanced your own business, and you draw on this network to help define where you stand. Whatever it is that sets you apart, try to link these ideas clearly to what you can achieve for your clients. For example, if your brand focuses on ethical clothing choices, your mission statement should loosely follow the lines of a sentence like this, “Our brand merges quality and design, all while respecting the resources of the Earth.” In that simple sentence you see two clear goals: 1) To emphasize both quality and design, and 2) To respectfully use the resources that are needed. With your own mission statement, you should aim for a similar degree of simplicity and individuality.
In the end, your mission statement should encompass all the amazing talents you have, the people you serve, and the products or services you provide. Take small bits of each of these ideas and find the ones that best define your business.
While you might have some trouble picking out the perfect sentence, don’t be too hard on yourself. Jot down what you want your mission to be, and your company will follow suit. Besides, your first attempt at a mission statement doesn’t have to be flawless. Try out a few drafts, share them with your team, and go from there.