Mission statements may seem overused and unimportant in the scheme of things, but a well-crafted one can help you focus your business.
It can give you a framework for evaluating opportunities and deciding whether they fit your core business model and strategy. It can help you define your business and establish your brand, and it can help your employees focus their efforts and suggest ideas that fit with what you’re trying to do.
So how do you craft a strong mission statement?
Start by defining who you are. Who are your customers? What service do you offer them, and where and how do you offer it? What sets you apart from your competitors?
Then craft your mission statement. Keep it short, simple and specific; avoid banal generalities and overused buzzwords. Consider this example from the world’s dominant search provider:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google’s vision never mentions search – and leaves no doubt just how vast the company’s ambition is. It leaves room for the company to branch out into web analytics, mobile, shopping, videos, photos, maps, books, office productivity apps and online storage, to name some of Google’s ventures.
So take the time to set down your own vision and mission. It might be a more useful exercise than you think.