Did you get a chance to write your ‘elevator introduction’? I hope so, because it’s a good precursor to your Mission Statement, one of the most important keys to building your brand, if not the most important. Why? Because your mission statement drives your business and acts as an anchor for everything you do with regards to your business.
Whether you employ a staff or it’s only you, your mission statement helps to keep you focused. Whether you have one product line or service or many, staying focused is one of the great challenges of small business people. As you are bombarded with all of the daily tasks at hand, reading your mission statement will serve as a reminder of what you’re doing and, more importantly, why.
How To Write A Mission Statement
So let’s get right to it. Here are some questions to ponder and answer –
- What do I do, with regards to my business?
- Who are my clients/customers?
- What is my intention with regards to serving my clients?
- What do I offer my clients that makes my business unique?
- Why did I start this business?
- What image do I want my business/brand to convey?
These may or may not be easy questions for you to answer. They weren’t for me, I’ll admit. It took a lot of time and introspection. Once I wrote down the answers though, what was once a broad perspective narrowed down into a clear focus. But that’s not enough.
You want to choose words that are exciting, passionate. Keep your mission statement short – only a sentence of two – but still something that evokes and kindles excitement, for both you and your clientele. Don’t include the answers in your statement, rather, use them to discover the essence of what your mission is.
Do you want some examples?
- Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
- Chevron: To be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership, and performance.
- Amazon: To be the most customer-centric company in the world, where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.
- Intel: Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.
- Ebay: Provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.
Can’t you ‘feel’ the energy behind these statements? Simple, yet profound. And, yes, even exciting.
Again, it took me some time to write my own. I was “all over the map”. And so were my daily business efforts. My blog is full of painting tutorials. One website is basically my online portfolio. Another ‘shop’ houses my self-licensed artwork. Yet another is a new line of wall appliques which I haven’t fully launched. I couldn’t see how to pull everything together into one focus. But I finally did.
Encouraging and inspiring others to discover the joy of self-expression through art and crafts.
Writing my mission statement has been the single most transformative thing I’ve done for my business, and myself. I encourage you – no, I challenge you to devote some time to write your own. Then share it with someone, either here in the comments or a close friend or even publicly.
Mainly, share it with yourself over and over and over again. Then watch how your daily tasks start to flow like little creeks into one big stream. Now that you know who you are and why you’re doing what you do, we’re ready to translate that into your brand.
Colleen Jorgensen is a self-taught artist and blogs at Mural Maker & More. She has multiple websites, besides her blog, that need branding. She has given up trying to create 28 hours in a day and is now trying to work smarter, not harder.