Website Planning 101: Write a Mission Statement for SuccessWeb.com Team
- A mission statement is a framework that defines your purpose as a business.
- It covers the what, the how and the why of what you do every day.
- There are two key groups your mission statement should target — your customers and your employees.
Did you know that 53% of consumers do research prior to making a purchase? Consumers rely heavily on the internet to make informed purchasing decisions, and your website acts as the main point of contact for visitors to understand why you do what you do and how you do it.
That’s where your mission statement comes in as it can help you quickly convey that information to your visitors.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a framework that defines your purpose as a business. It covers the what, the how and the why of what you do every day.
Often, mission statements are confused with vision statements.
The primary difference between the two is the timeline they cover. Vision statements are broad scope statements that focus on where your business is headed in the future. Meanwhile, mission statements focus on the present state of your business and how your business strives to meet current goals.
Keep in mind that your mission statement should evolve over time to reflect the current state of the business. As your business grows and changes, so should your mission statement.
Why You Need a Mission Statement
Your mission statement provides a concrete way to communicate your “why.” Every business has a purpose, and the mission statement helps define it.
Your why is what humanizes your business and allows people to make a personal connection to your brand. Purchasing decisions are often based on emotion and when consumers can identify with your why and discover that it reflects their own values, they’re more likely to purchase from and be loyal to your brand.
Mission statements guide strategic planning.
When making plans for your business, your mission statement acts as your guide. It can be used to help determine whether or not a campaign or initiative is aligned with your current organizational goals, and to keep everyone on track.
Mission statements enable you to empower employees.
Employees need to understand the why behind what they do and how that relates to their individual performance goals so they can be successful in their roles.
Employees can use the mission statement to help guide decision making. When choosing whether to move ahead with something, employees can ask themselves “Is this decision in keeping with our mission?”
Mission statements help you connect with customers.
Mission statements help you establish a connection between your customers and your brand. By sharing why you do what you do, you’re allowing the customer to make the link between what they need or desire, and what you can offer them. People do business with brands they like, and sharing what your business stands for helps humanize it.
How to Create a Mission Statement
To begin creating your mission statement, start with answering some key questions. This can be done in a brainstorming session with the leadership team and key employees to start.
Questions to consider:
- Why was the business started?
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Who do you do it for?
- What are your brand’s defining characteristics?
- What image does your brand want to portray?
There are two key groups your mission statement should target — your customers and your employees. Once those are defined, you can look at what influence your brand wants to have on the local community, your industry and the rest of the world.
Tips for Creating Your Mission Statement
Keep it simple. Don’t use industry jargon and avoid buzzwords that don’t have real meaning. Language should be succinct and specific so that anyone who reads the mission statement is able to easily understand what you’re saying.
Make it inspirational. Mission statements focus on what is attainable but should also include something inspirational. You want people to feel connected and motivated by your mission.
Gather feedback. Once you’ve crafted your mission statement, ask your employees and some trusted customers what they think. Does it reflect how they see your business?
Anatomy of a Mission Statement
Let’s look at an example of a mission statement. Outdoor retail brand Patagonia offers a prime example of a powerful mission statement.
When you break this mission statement down it’s simple and succinct, and you know exactly what their goal is. For their customers and employees, this leaves no ambiguity about how they do business and what to expect.
Where to Execute Your Mission Statement Online
With your mission statement written, it’s time to share it with your audience and beyond.
Knowing that most consumers start their shopping journeys online, your mission statement needs to be an ongoing presence in your interactions with them.
To start, your mission statement should be easily found on your website. Incorporating it into your About page (along with your vision statement and company values) gives visitors an opportunity to see what your company is really all about.
Next, look for opportunities to tie your mission statement into your branding and marketing campaigns. For example, email or other types of marketing initiatives can be used to make a link between your products and services and the mission of your business.
Social media is also an ideal spot to share your mission statement. Your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts should have your mission statement visible to readers, and your company page on LinkedIn can also integrate your mission statement as part of your introduction.
Putting it All Together
With a strong understanding of what a mission statement is, and why your business needs one for your website, you can begin to craft a statement that reflects your company’s values. By keeping it simple and inspirational and sharing it widely, your existing and potential customers will get a clear picture of what your business stands for.
Feature image: Shutterstock
Image 1: via Patagonia