Your mission statement is an opportunity to define your business at the most basic level. It should tell your company story and ideals in less than 30 seconds: who your company is, what you do, what you stand for, and why you do it.
Do you want to make a profit, or is it enough to just make a living? What markets are you serving, and what benefits do you offer them? Do you solve a problem for your customers? What kind of internal work environment do you want for your employees? All of these issues may be addressed in a mission statement.
Basic guidelines in writing a mission statement
Your mission statement is about you, your company, and your ideals. Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing; your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.
Don’t “box” yourself in. Your mission statement should be able to withstand the changes that come up over time in your product or service offerings, or customer base. A cardboard box company isn’t in the business of making cardboard boxes; it’s in the business of providing protection for items that need to be stored or shipped. The broader understanding helps them see the big picture.
Keep it short. The best mission statements tend to be three to four sentences long.
Ask for input. Run your mission statement draft by your employees. Is it clear and easily understood, or does it sound like something from the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator?
Aim for substance, not superlatives. Avoid saying how great you are, what great quality and what great service you provide.
For more information on mission statements, see our sample mission statements below or use LivePlan, which will help you write a mission statement as well as containing over 500 example mission statements.
Business Plan Software
If you’re looking for help with your mission statement or other parts of your business plan, LivePlan can save you lots of time and headaches. It contains over 500 sample business plans which can be used to help create your own plan.
LivePlan includes expert guidance and built in help to ensure your mission statement, and entire plan, is error-free. Being that it’s online, LivePlan allows you to collaborate with others and access your plan from anywhere.
Sample Mission Statements
The links below take you to the mission statements of some of our sample business plans that were created with LivePlan.
Studio 67 Mission Statement
Studio67 is a medium-sized restaurant focusing on organic foods and an intriguing atmosphere, in a prime neighborhood of Portland.
AMT Computers Mission Statement
AMT is an ongoing business computer reseller which also provides service and support.
JavaNet Internet Cafe Mission Statement
JavaNet is a start-up business that will provide a unique forum for communication and entertainment through the medium of the Internet.