When establishing a company mission, what is the most important thing people need to remember?
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1. Plan for the Long Term
A company mission shouldn’t be a knee-jerk response to a recent problem. If you want to build a company that is going to stand the test of time, your mission should be higher in aspirations than simply meeting the current needs of consumers. If you successfully look ahead in this way, you can create a company that will last beyond your own life.
2. Define the Customer Problem You’re Solving
To develop a company mission, you first need to have a clear understanding of the core problem you aim to solve for your customers. Then, draft a mission statement that states your business’s long-term goal of providing a solution to that same customer problem. That way, you establish a purpose-driven organization that job applicants will want to work for and customers will buy into.
3. Differentiate Yourself from Competitors
When establishing a company mission, the key is differentiating your company from the competition. There is so much competition out there, so it’s imperative to demonstrate what your company does better, more efficiently and more cost-effectively. Show how you stand out and use that to your advantage.
– Adam Wright, Associated Graphics (AGI)
4. Get the Whole Team Involved
Getting a different point of view is important, even if you’re the sole captain of your ship. Others can help you identify strengths and weaknesses that might otherwise pass your attention. If you have a team, conduct a brainstorming session and make a note of all the responses. In the end, ask each team member to come up with a mission statement and fit the best pieces together.
5. Strive for Simplicity
A company’s mission statement should be clear and easy to understand. Don’t overcomplicate it by using big words that you think investors want to hear. Instead, simplify your mission statement so everyone at the office understands its meaning.
6. Think About Your ‘BHAG’
The famed business strategist, Jim Collins, often talks about how companies need to think BHAG, or big, hairy, audacious goal. Mission statements should be considered in a similar vein. What’s something long-term and inspiring that can galvanize your team to work toward?
7. Be Able to Explain Your ‘Why’
A functional mission statement should be the reason why you get excited about your business, why investors should entrust you with their funds and why employees should work for you. If you started your company to dethrone a larger competitor, make that clear. If it is to help end homelessness, state that. Clarify what you want to be known for and what your purpose is.
8. Provide the Context for Your Mission
Everyone needs the context for the mission that is created. There must be a point to what the company is doing and how that impacts everyone inside and outside of the organization.
9. Explain How You Create Value
Every mission must tie to creating some type of value and that has to be defined as part of the mission, so people know what they are working toward.
10. Share Your Vision for the Future
Your mission should not only share your goals and reasoning, but it should share your vision. Your vision of where you wanted to go, where you are going. Bring people along for the ride with you, help them understand what it is that inspired all of this and where you’ll be 10 years from now, and what problems you’re going to solve, or how life will improve because of your company.