Do you have a mission statement? You probably do. Everybody does.
What do you do with it - is the real question.
In this blog post we are going to look into why your mission statement is probably wrong, what is the difference between a mission and a vision statement and how you can use both to strengthen your brand and to streamline your company growth.
Your mission statement is not just a formality
What is your mission statement? Can you recite it? If you don’t have it memorized, then you might as well not have it.
“Why would I memorize some text from my website”, you might ask. “After all, I have been planning to re-write it anyway”...
Your company’s mission statement is not 2 paragraphs of text hanging out somewhere on your website’s About Us page. It’s role is to guide your brand and help you navigate your company development.
Treating your mission statement as a formality is a mistake and it is undermining your brand.
To get the most out of your statement, you need to have done right.
Authenticity - The key Ingredient of an Effective Mission Statement
What is in your mission statement? It probably has phrases like “passionate about dogs”, “love our clients” and “professional services”... How do I know? Because I have seen one too many. They all tend to sound the same. Because they were written to mimic everyone else’s. And because the intention was to sound professional. I get it. We, entrepreneurs, all want seem legit.
To unlock the power of an effective mission statement, you need to make it authentic. It requires a little soul searching and a lot of honesty. You need to stand behind every word.
Make Every Word Count
Examine every word of your mission statement. Is it true? Be brutally honest with yourself.
Do not just say you are passionate about dogs... because if you did not, you would not choose a career of picking up after them for 12 hours a day.
What does the passion for dogs really mean for you? How do you express it in your daily life? Do you research animal health remedies in your spare time? Do you write about it in your blog? Do you take a ton of daily pics with your furry clients?
Want to be known for professional level of services? Simply putting it in your mission statement will not make it true. Find ways to express it in your daily business operations.
Do you answer your phone in a cheerful manner? Do you have a stellar cancellation policy? Do you offer flexible rules? Whatever it is, make sure the words in your mission statement reflect the true state of affairs for your business.
Vision Statement vs Mission Statement
Vision and mission statements are not the same. They serve different purpose (besides making your website look “professional”). Yet it is a common mistake to use them interchangeably.
In a nutshell, a vision statement answers the questions of why you do what you do. It is the future of where you want to go. It is aspirational. It speaks of your hopes and dreams.
A mission statement is “the how” of what you do. It should answer questions like who you serve and how. Think of it as milestones of how you get where you want to be in a few years.
As your business growth, your mission (what you do) might change. Yet your vision (why you do it) stays the same.
How to use mission statement and vision statement to guide your brand
The job of a mission statement is not to be filed away on your website, but to inspire you and to guide your brand development. It unifies your strategy, making sure that everything your business does is in alignment with bigger goals.
Use It for Content Creation
Consult your mission statement when writing a blog article, creating a social media post or image, or adding new services. Do they resonate with your mission? Will they contribute to the overall message of your brand? Is there unity and cohesiveness in all the elements of your business?
Let It Inspire You
Your Vision statement is what drives you. Read it ever so often to remind yourself why you are doing what you do.
The more you are connected to the bigger vision, the more clear your path becomes. You will know which route to take when you are making a decision.
To be in alignment with something bigger than the present moment simplifies your daily operations. You are not just checking tasks off your to-do list, you are getting to where you want to be. Eventually.
Your vision is to inspire you. Remind yourself of your vision daily. Let it help you find grace in the chaos of mundane tasks and business obligations.
Get Your Team on Board
Familiarize your employees with your mission and vision. Make sure they understand what your company’s goals are. The more they embrace the direction your business is going, the stronger your company’s internal culture is. Which leads to a more impactful brand.
Share on Your Website
Share your mission and vision on your website if you wish. Just remember that most probably your clients will not read it. People do not hire a dog-walker based on his mission statement. But they will hire him because of what he stands for. So make sure your clients know what your company is all about by the way you are doing business, online and in-person.
- Read your current mission (and vision) statement. Is it authentic? Do you stand behind each word? How is it expressed in your day-to-day business operations?
- If necessary, create a separate vision statement. Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? Where do you want to be 5 years from today? What is your big goal?
- Examine your services, your social media posts, your blog, your marketing materials. Are they in alignment with your mission? Do they reflect the direction your company is growing?
- Find ways to represent your bigger vision in all aspects of your business. Would it be a blog post that talks about your passion for animals? Or a donation to a nonprofit that stands for what you belief?