How to write a mission statement (with real-world examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 12 September 2022
Published 3 January 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Writing a mission statement is a crucial step in starting a business. Mission statements drive employee behaviour, guide company decisions and appeal to potential customers, partners and donors. Writing a strong yet concise mission statement is key to your organisation's success. In this article, we cover how to write a mission statement step-by-step, we look at why it is important to write a mission statement and where to publish your mission statement once written, we understand the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement and we provide templates, industry-specific examples and real-world famous mission statements.
How to write a mission statement
When thinking about how to write a mission statement, think about your company's purpose and goals. Every organisation exists to fill a want or need in the community. Your mission statement briefly states this need and what you do about it. Essentially, it summarises the what, how and why of your company. Follow these steps to write a mission statement that is direct, concise and effective for your organisation:
1. Describe what your company does
Collect substantive facts about your company when writing your mission statement. Describe what your company does, what they make or provide and how they make a difference in the community. Present a need and a way to fill it. For example, my company's purpose is to provide personal biographies.
2. Describe how your company does the items listed in step number one
Include specific information about how your company accomplishes the tasks set out in step one. This can include communicating with local community members, building a product, hiring a marketing team and outsourcing shipping. A company that provides biographies might include that they interview personnel, conduct additional research, write the content, edit, publish and send it to market through third-party publishers. The processes laid out in this step are unique to your business.
3. Include why your company exists
This is the part of the mission statement that displays the passion behind the work being done. Why did you start the organisation in the first place? What beneficial outcomes do your operations bring to the community? For example, an organic fruit vendor may supply fresh and healthy food to underserved communities.
4. Consider the language
Match language choice and tone to the organisation. A financial organisation has a more serious mission statement than an arts and crafts vendor. Every organisation has its own persona. Highlight this when writing your mission statement.
5. Write a draft
With the information gathered from steps one through four, write your first draft. This can be the most difficult part of the process, but the important thing is to put pen to paper and remember that making revisions is part of the process. Aim for clarity, fluidity and brevity in your writing.
6. Ask for feedback
Share your first draft with colleagues and internal stakeholders. Collect notes, suggestions and revisions. Use the feedback to make your mission statement as accurate, concise and clear as possible.
7. Revise and publish
Use feedback from step six to revise the first draft of your mission statement. Once you have your final draft, it's time to put your work to use. Publish your mission statement on your website, training materials, customer and partner deliverables and add it to your business plan.
8. Advertise your mission statement
Advertise your mission statement using internal and external channels. Integrate it into your workplace where it is visible to employees, customers and other partners. Donors and major clients make major decisions based on mission statements, so once you publish yours it is vital to get it out there as much as possible.
Related: 4 types of businesses to start
What is the purpose of a mission statement?
A mission statement is a short one or two sentence message conveying a company's purpose and passion. The purpose is to share information and provide concrete cause for operations. Companies use mission statements as a guide when making operational decisions. Others use mission statements to help understand the purpose of a company.
They are important because they identify how your company differs from the competition. Mission statements also serve as the foundation for the company culture by setting core values and outlining main organisational objectives. This guides employee behaviour and decisions, in addition to adding value and meaning to their work.
Related: Why is communication important?
Where to publish your mission statement
Publish your mission statement in your business plan, on your website, on marketing materials and on customer and partner deliverables. Many companies display their mission statement in their offices. You can do this with a painting or a simple plaque.
What is the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement?
Mission statements display the 'what and why' of your organisation. They are down to earth and they focus on the day-to-day operations. Vision statements display the long-term desired change or outcome of your business operations. They are inspirational and memorable. They speak to the future and focus on the big-picture. A mission statement helps a company stay on track to achieve the goals in its vision statement. Make your statements clear, concise and about one sentence in length.
Two examples of the difference between a mission and a vision statement are below:
Mission statement 1: Our animal rescue aims to improve the quality of life of abused animals by providing medical care, shelter and additional rehab services.
Vision statement 1: We plan to reduce the number of horses suffering in the world and eliminate the cause of abuse.
Mission statement 2: We add aesthetic value to properties by planning, planting and maintaining landscape designs.
Vision statement 2: We envision a more beautiful world where every property is adorned with a stunning landscape design.
Related: How to become a CEO In 5 steps
Mission statement template
There is no precise template for a mission statement as its needs differ from company to company. Use the sentence-long template below as a building block to start the writing process. Create your first sentence and then add and adjust for your organisation's unique needs:
[Company Name]'s mission is to [what you do] by [how you do it] because [explain need].
A fictitious example of this template in use would be:
Sunshine Farm's mission is to advance community health by selling organic produce at a reasonable price in order to combat the current trends of obesity and other chronic diseases.
Mission statement examples based on industry
Below are a few mission statement examples for businesses in varying industries:
Advertising plus aims to provide digital marketing services for startup organisations looking to promote their products in their local communities. Our focus is on social media engagement and video advertising to connect the startup organisation with the community in need.
At FauxChic, our purpose is to provide animal-friendly, ethical clothing options that are stylish and trendy. We use sustainably grown fibres and other natural materials to create long-lasting outfits that turn heads. We are vegan, locally-owned and only support fair-trade supply lines.
Lucky Airlines offers luxurious international flights for frequent long-distance fliers. We provide comfortable accommodation and fine-dining options so that our customers never need to dread a day spent in the sky again.
Famous mission statement examples
Below are some examples of real mission statements written by famous companies:
IKEA's mission statement focuses on the people involved in its work:
Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people – for customers, but also for our co-workers and the people who work at our suppliers [and to] offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
American Airlines' mission statement highlights its aim to be an every-destination airline:
Committed to providing every citizen of the world with the best service of air travel to the extensive selection of destinations possible.
Atlassian's mission statement focuses on its stakeholder groups including its team and its customers:
Behind every great human achievement, there is a team. From medicine and space travel, to disaster response and pizza deliveries, our products help teams all over the planet advance humanity through the power of software. Our mission is to help unleash the potential of every team.
The Coca-Cola Company
Coca-cola provides an example of conciseness and brevity:
Refresh the world. Make a difference.
Indeed's mission statement is below as an example:
Our mission is to create products that provide opportunities for all job seekers. To do this, we hire Indeedians of all backgrounds to mirror the job seekers we support.
Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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