KISS Principal Mission Statements
By Donna Rosa
One thing developing-country entrepreneurs struggle with, usually in the process of writing a business plan, is their business’s mission statement. It can be mind-numbing because of a tendency to overthink it, but there’s a way to keep it simple and straightforward.
It’s an interesting exercise to read company mission statements. They can be brief or wordy, basic or esoteric, simple or complex. See https://fitsmallbusiness.com/mission-statement-examples/ for some good ones. Encapsulating your business in a few phrases isn’t easy, but your business needs a mission that helps you focus on your success.
What exactly is a mission statement?
A mission statement encompasses everything about your business distilled into a short but meaningful statement of your reason for being.
Put simply, a mission statement is a brief description of the purpose of your business.
What it does
A good mission statement captures the essence of your business goals and the philosophies underlying them. It signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. It should be easy for everyone to understand what the business does and why.
Why you need one
A well-formed mission statement helps an entrepreneur clarify exactly what business is and elucidate its goals. It also serves as a reference point for the owner and managers as they make decisions about the evolution of the business. For example, when new products or services are introduced, they should fit with the mission. And finally, it should guide day-to-day activities --those should support the mission too.
A good mission statement will clearly state what the business does and why, as well as reflect the business’s special niche. Over time the business may evolve and the mission may need to change, but it should not change often, if at all.
How to develop a really simple mission statement
Writing a meaningful mission statement doesn’t have to be a struggle if you stick to the basics. Yes, there are some clever and creative mission statements that companies spend a lot of time and money on. We love those. But if you don’t want to wrack your brain, here’s an easy way to go about it.
1) Briefly describe what your business does
Example: The Perpetual Solstice Company sells sun-dried fruit snacks
2) Add how your enterprise does what it does
Example: The Perpetual Solstice Company sells sun-dried fruit snacks using locally grown produce
3) Add why your group or organization does what it does
Think about why the organization or business was started. Characterize the spark, values, and the passion behind your business.
Finished mission statement:
"The Perpetual Solstice Company sells sun-dried snacks using locally grown produce to support local farmers, enhance food security, and offer high quality nutritious food.”
You can use a few sentences or just one, but keep the statement brief and clear.
Now go about your mission.