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Are You on a Mission? Why Crafting Your Mission Statement is as Important as Your Business Plan

Topic: How-to,Managing Your Business,Tips & Tricks | Comments (1)

Posted on September 28, 2009 by Kelli Wall

I love the scene in Jerry MaGuire when Jerry, the title character, has a crisis of conscience and “maybe” a mild case of food poisoning and then goes on to write his own mission statement (not to be confused with a memo) for the company he works for. His colleagues think he has had a breakdown but he called it a break-through. (Check out the clip below if you need a refresher.) Jerry’s colleagues didn’t agree with his ideals, so he left and started his own company. He took a risk, decided to live by his own moral compass and it paid off, big.

If you are starting up your business, most often you start with a business plan. Your business plan is important, it helps you to really plan out how you are going to be profitable selling your goods or services and you need one if you want to get a loan to start your business. But there is a step you should consider before you start on your business plan, and that is, craft your mission statement.

Why a mission statement?
Your mission statement is a guiding force and motivator that helps keep you inspired and reaching towards your goals to success. Your mission statement is a good way to communicate why people should do business with your company instead of a competitors. It’s also a tangible document that you can look at and read over and over again, especially on those days when you don’t feel like working at your business or your wondering which decision to make for your company.

So how do you write a mission statement?
A mission statement can be a few succinct words or a 500 page manifesto. It really depends on you. But your mission statement should address the core purpose and values of your business, including what you do, how you’ll do it, and who your customers are.  Here are a couple well-known companies mission statements:

Starbucks
To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Nike
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Microsoft
As a company, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect. We are committed to our customers and partners and have a passion for technology. We take on big challenges, and pride ourselves on seeing them through. We hold ourselves accountable to our customers, shareholders, partners, and employees by honoring our commitments, providing results, and striving for the highest quality.

Our Mission
At WorkingPoint, we started as a group of small business owners that wanted an application that would make our lives easier, better, more productive and then we wanted to share the tools that work for us with you. We have a heart for small business owners, like you, because that’s who we are. We think sharing is the greatest. Because when we share, we all win. Click here to read the WorkingPoint Mission Statement.

Perhaps it’s time you had a breakthrough. Start thinking about your mission. Write it down. Share it with others. Put it into action.

What’s Your Mission? We would love to hear it!