Establishing Your Startup's Values & Identity With A Great Mission Statement
Every business needs to have a clear mission statement that establishes who they are, what they do and who can benefit from their services.
If you're starting a company and don't know what a mission statement is or how you can establish your business values and identity, we've got your back.
Know Your Audience
Before thinking about your startup's values and identity, you should begin by asking yourself: who is your business targeting?
Simple questions like 'Who can benefit from my products?', 'What is my ideal customer like?' or 'Who are my competitors?' can give you great insight. You should also ask previous customers or run surveys to get to know as much as possible about your audience.
As you understand who you're talking to, you should adapt your vocabulary, your language and your tone to your target audience. Remember your business is not about what you think, it's about what your clients want.
Discover Your Essence
Discovering your startup's essence can be the hardest part of the process. You and your associates need to come up with a single adjective to describe your business.
Here are three simple examples:
- Disney is magical
- Nike is inspirational
- GoPro is adventurous
These are descriptions that the companies established for themselves, but they are very close to what the general public thinks of them.
Your startup also needs a word to describe its essence. And it should be an adjective that captures perfectly what your clients will think of you.
It may be difficult at first, but if you know your audience correctly you should be able to sum up what makes your company unique in a single word.
Create Your Mission Statement
Once you sum up your company's essence in a single word, you can expand that idea into a full paragraph.
This is one of the best examples out there: Microsoft's mission statement: Our mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. We consider our mission statement a commitment to our customers. We deliver on that commitment by striving to create technology that is accessible to everyone – of all ages and abilities.
As you can see, they focus on their customers, not on themselves. That's what a great mission statement looks like. How your business (with its established essence) can help your audience.
This is another example of a mission statement that may inspire you: Walmart helps people around the world save money and live better, anytime and anywhere, in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices.
Once again, the focus is on the customer, not on the company.
It may seem hard at first, but as you get to know your audience and you discover your startup's essence, you will be able to create a great mission statement that will establish your business identity.